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    Chamomile

    I'm a Rosacea suffer, now i've always had issues with my skin, when i went through puberty i was covered with spots, from head to toe and front to back, My mum tried everything, from putting me on a specific diet to even putting me on sulphur tablets, (don't do it, believe me you'll regret it) to try and help me. But nothing worked, they just went their course and now thankfully they're gone. I used to wear make up, not a lot of it, but enough, I used to cleanse and tone my skin, with a commercial brand, but all that had to change when i turned 30, because anything i put on my face, either turned me into a lizard (my cheeks were covered in very dry scales) or looked like a bleacher beacon (looked like a very red tomato). So when i started making my own skin care, i wanted to make something nice for my skin, something to soothe my face and that worked, granted i still cant wear make up but at least my skin is soft and i don't get the tomato face very often now. But over the years and studying both Aromatherapy & Herbalism i have come to realise its not just about what we put on our skin, its also about hormones and what we put inside our body our digestive system has a lot to answer for when it comes to understanding all kinds of disorders.

    Symptoms of Rosacea

    • blushing and flushing,
    • permanent redness,
    • swelling, burning, stinging,
    • inflamed acne,
    • and broken capillaries.

    Rosacea Triggers

    • STRESS (It is on top of the list and is one of the main causes)
    • Caffeine
    • Alcohol
    • Exposure to sun
    • Hot beverages
    • Spicy foods
    • Strenuous exercise

    So what can help Rosacea sufferer's?

    1. Liquorice Root Extract

    One of the culprits believed to be at the source of rosacea breakouts, is the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. In a 2001 study, 100 percent of adults with rosacea who fully recovered after antibiotic treatment were found to have antibodies to this bacteria. But Helicobacter pylori is just as likely to be found in people without rosacea. So the conclusion is, that even though this bacteria may not directly cause rosacea, eliminating it plays a major part in curing it.

    So what does this have to do with liquorice root extract?

    So! Liquorice root contains a number of flavinoids that prevent helicobacter pylori from multiplying. So when taken internally, it helps to eradicate the need for your immune system to fight this bacteria. You should take 380 to 760mg of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice root 20 minutes before meals. Liquorice root extract has also been included in some creams, to be applied to the skin. This is because it has an anti-inflammatory agent called glycyrrhizinate which soothes and moisturises the skin. If you have it in powder form, mixing it with Aloe Vera gel can make a noticeable difference to any facial redness. Leave it on for about 20-30 minutes.

    2. Burdock Root & Gentian Root

    Decreasing rosacea flare-ups can be aided with gentian root and burdock root. If theres an imbalance in your digestive system, Or If your gut is out of balance because it doesn’t have enough “good bacteria”, or lacks sufficient stomach acid or digestive enzymes, or carries too much candida fungus, the imbalance will be reflected in breakouts onto your skin. Gentian helps to eliminate indigestion and cleanses the system, while Burdock root is a good herb for rosacea because it promotes gastrointestinal health and regularity which helps detoxify the body and reduce the  rosacea flare-ups. Steep these roots in boiling water to make a daily detox tea.1 teaspoon in 150ml of boiling water

    3. Olive Leaf Extract

    Olive leaf extract is one of the most potent antioxidants on the planet, cleansing and detoxifying your system from pathogens and protozoa. Eliminating these will give your immune system a fighting chance to combat the causes of rosacea. This herb attacks rosacea causes from the inside.

    4. Camphor Oil

    If you’re experiencing acne rosacea, then you’ll be interested to learn that the papules and pustules probably contain tiny parasitic mites. Camphor oil has been shown in studies to be effective in reducing the infestation. It is readily absorbed by the skin so you can apply it – but in diluted form. Don’t take it internally. and it has been known to cause irritation in some rosacea patients.

    5. Tea Tree Oil

    May be useful because it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Never take it internally. It should be mixed with other natural oils (e.g. coconut oil) and applied to the skin. Some people have reported allergic reactions to it, so be careful using it to start with.

    6. Turmeric

    Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used medicinally for over 4,000 years to treat a variety of disorders including inflammation, digestive issues, and certain cancers. Curcumin is the active ingredient and primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. One study, published by ethnobotanist James A. Duke, concluded that curcumin has the ability to surpass the effects of potent anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals. He states that curcumin is a “multi-faceted anti-inflammatory agent, and studies of the efficacy of curcumin have demonstrated positive changes in arthritic symptoms.”

    As for rosacea, which is also an inflammatory disorder, the curcuminoids present in turmeric can be taken internally or applied topically to soothe symptoms. It can reduce irritation, while improving circulation to inflamed areas on the skin. Turmeric is available in many forms including capsules, fluid extracts, and tinctures. For a topical solution, here’s how to make a turmeric face mask to reduce rosacea symptoms:

    1. Mix a few tablespoons of turmeric powder with plain yogurt, milk, or honey in a bowl. Create a paste with spreadable consistency.
    2. Apply to clean skin and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes. (Be careful not to stain your clothes!)
    3. Rinse with tepid water. Once removed, splash skin with cold water. Pat dry face.

    7. Neem

    Neem, a tree Native to Southeast Asia and valued highly in Ayurveda, is another centuries-old remedy for skin health. Neem leaf, bark and oil are teaming with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, making them excellent additions in skin care formulations. Neem is known to sooth irritation caused by rosacea flare-ups and acne. Neem is also high in vitamin E and rich in essential fatty acids, which boost lipid content and repair the skin’s barrier function. Another naturally occurring constituent of neem is quercetin, which supports the body’s inflammatory response. No wonder neem means “perfect, complete and imperishable” in Sanskrit, as it is quite clear this magical plant harnesses an abundance of healing properties.

    8. Aloe Vera

    Aloe, nature’s best hydrator, has been proven a safe, gentle and effective treatment for mild to moderate forms of rosacea. Applying this plant to the skin can result in almost immediate relief from redness and irritation. It’s best to buy pure aloe vera gel (or an aloe plant to break open the leaf) because many over-the-counter aloe vera gels contain chemicals and preservatives that can increase symptoms.

    9. Coconut Oil

    Not really an herb, but definitely a miracle, coconut oil is in a kingdom of its own. The benefits of this oil are so plentiful that it really deserves it’s own encyclopedia. In terms of rosacea, coconut oil used topically and internally helps to reduce inflammation and support tissue healing and repair. Several studies have shown that Demodex mites, which exist on the face of all humans, proliferate on facial skin of people who have rosacea. One study conducted in Mexico City’s General Hospital found much greater numbers of these mites in biopsies of the skin in patients with rosacea than in people without rosacea. This is an interesting (though, not surprising) correlation between the positive effects of coconut oil on rosacea due to its anti-parasitic properties.

    10. Lavender

    Lavender essential oil is famous for its ability to heal skin that has been damaged. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a mild yet effective supplement to skin care products. You can apply lavender oil directly to clean and affected areas of the skin (or diluted in a carrier oil of your choice). Lavender does contain geraniol, which can cause irritation in some sensitive people. Try patch testing a small area before general application

    11. Oatmeal

    Oatmeal has been used for centuries and offer's a great deal of relief by soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, removing those pus-filled pimples and more. To use simply grind whole oats in a food processor until you have a fine powder. Mix this with a little water to form a paste and then apply to your face gently, do not rub or massage onto the skin, Leave for 10 or 20 minutes and gently wash off and pat your skin dry.

    12. Chamomile

    Chamomile is not only a nervine but also carminative, antispasmodic, and a great anti-inflammatory. It’s also very soothing to the GI tract, and is often used as an after-dinner tea to ease digestion. One clinical trial reported a significant anxiolytic effect in patients with mild to moderate generalised anxiety disorder that were given chamomile (Amsterdam et al., 2009). Chamomile has a pleasant taste and is safe for children. Chamomile is also a great external remedy for skin Try using a strong infusion of chamomile tea as a face wash for acne or rosacea, or taking a chamomile bath for inflammatory conditions that are more widespread. Chamomile flowers can also be made into a poultice for smaller areas of skin inflammation.

    13. Apple Cider Vinegar

    ACV contains a form of natural Acetic acid which is known to help reduce the swelling associated with this condition, balancing the skin's delicate pH levels at the same time. In addition to the natural acids, apple cider vinegar is also packed with trace minerals, vitamins and enzymes that help to set it apart from other commercial vinegar's. However, the most useful benefit of ACV when treating Rosacea is the way it can disinfect skin due to its unique anti-bacterial action.

     

    References

    www.herbalacademy.com

    www.annmariegianni.com

     

  2. I have always found the Human body amazing but the skin and what it does, is one of the most amazing feats of engineering, so i thought i would bore the pants of everyone (lol only joking) and explain why its so amazing.

    Our skin is part of the Integumentary System, which also comprises of our Nails, Hair, Sweat and Sebaceous glands. Our skin is the largest and the heaviest organ in our bodies— it covers approx 1.7 to 1.9 square metres, and weighs 2.3 to 3.2 kilos which is about 16% of an adult’s total body weight (Silverthorn, 2004)! Our skin is made up of about 20% water and is at its thinnest on the eyelids where it is 0.04mm thick and at its thickest on the soles of our feet at 6mm thick. Over the rest of the body the skin is generally about 0.1mm thick.

    The skin is also our interface with the rest of the world—it’s the first thing that another person might notice about us. The numerous essential functions of the skin make it extremely important to maintain the health of this large organ.
    The skin protects our body from the environment, including from ultra-violet radiation and certain microorganisms. The skin also regulates our internal temperature, excretes waste, guards against dehydration, and aids in the production of vitamin D. With its many sense receptors, the skin also allows us to feel and sense what is going on in our external environment. You can use the Acronym PASTES to help you remember the functions of the skin.

    Protection: The Skin Protects the moist, warm, internal environment from the dangers of the external environment in which we live.

    1. The Acid Mantle on the surface keeps the skin supple and provides a waterproof barrier to prevent the entry pf Pathogens and Dehydration.
    2. Melanin cells absorb UV Rays
    3. Connective tissues cushion and protect the underlying organs.

    (Interesting Fact about the Acid Mantle: This is a protective layer on the surface of the epidermis. It comprises of a mixture of Sebum, Dead Skin Cells & Sweat).

    Absorption: There is limited permeability through the skin but it can absorb certain substances, eg drugs.

    Sensory Organ: Nerve endings in the dermis relay sensations of pain, pressure, heat, cold and touch. These inform the Central Nervous System of changes in the external environment.

    Temperature Regulation: Assists to keep the skin at a temperature of 37oC/ 98.6oF through vasodilation and Vasoconstriction.

    Excretion: Sweat removes limited amounts of waste, eg Urea, Uric acid and ammonia.

    Synthesis of Vitamin D: Certain fatty substances in the skin are converted into Vitamin D by Ultra Violet (UV).

    Within the skin, there are three main layers:

    800px-Skin_layers.svg

    The Epidermis,

    The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin. It contains no blood vessels, all nutrients must pass from the blood vessels in the dermis and be transported from there to the epidermis. The layers of the epidermis are;

    1. Stratum corneum
    2. Stratum lucidum
    3. Stratum granulosum
    4. Stratum spinosum
    5. Stratum germinatum

    stratum

    The dermis contains connective tissue (tissue that connects, supports, or surrounds other tissues and organs); sweat glands that secrete a salty fluid to cool the body off; hair follicles; sebaceous glands that secrete sebum, a fatty mixture that is meant to lubricate the skin and hair; muscles that pull the hair follicles into a vertical position to create goose bumps; nerve endings that monitor the external environment; and blood vessels.

    The Dermis has 2 layers:

    A superficial papillary layer consisting of loose connective tissue (collagen and elastin), Small finger like projections extend into the epidermis to feed and nourish the tissue through an extensive capillary network.

    The Deep reticular layer, consists of dense connective tissue:

    1. Collagen; A major constituent of the dermis and an important structural protein in the body. These wavy white fibres are arranged in an intricate network giving strength. It also resists stretching. It is collagen that makes meat tough.
    2. Elastin; Also a protein, it Consists of yellow fibres, which provide flexibility. Once stretched these fibres have the ability to snap back to there normal shape.

    Other Structures in the Dermis are:

    1. Blood Vessels
    2. Lymphatic Vessels
    3. Nerves:  Sensory for tactile sensation & Motor for Muscular Tissue
    4. Sweat Glands: These help regulate the body temperature by excreting excess water. This evaporates, releasing heat off the surface of the body. There are 2 types.

    A) Eccrine Glands; These tiny coiled tubes extend up through the skin and open onto the surface. They are found all over the body. Their function is to regulate body temperature and eliminate waste materials.

    B) Apocrine Glands; These glands secrete into hair follicles and are found in the greatest numbers under the arms and groin. They develop and become active at puberty. The glands produce thick sticky secretion. the odour only becomes unpleasant when bacteria multiply and decompose the sweat.

    5. Sebaceous Glands; These are found all over the skin. Most open into hair follicles via little ducts. They are found in their greatest numbers on the scalp, face & back. The glands secrete an oily substance called sebum which contains waxes, fatty acids, cholesterol and dead cells. Sebum keeps the hair soft and the skin moist. it also provides an oily film that retards water loss from the surface of the skin and inhibits the growth of certain bacteria.

    The Hypodermis or subcutaneous: This layer is structurally unique, The fat cells are organised into chambers that are surrounded by strands of connective tissue. Its main purpose is to insulate and protect the internal organs. The subcutaneous layer is composed of adipose tissue, areolar tissue, blood, lymph and nerve endings. Below the subcutaneous layer is the sub-dermal layer. This layer allows the skin to move freely over the muscular tissue beneath it.

     

  3. shellac-nails-feet-hands-spa-salon

     

    When you think about it, the most over worked parts of our bodies are our Hands and Feet, but we try to look after our hands, but our feet tend to be the last things on our minds, in fact the majority of people i have come across hate their feet, but really they are just as easy to look after as our hands. So how do you achieve healthy hands & feet and strong Nails.

    First things first a Healthy Diet is very important, as too little protein can make your nails brittle and dull. Keeping them well moisturised is also important as the nail is extremely porous and gives off moisture a 100 times as fast as skin. Massaging the Cuticle will increase the circulation and encourage new nail growth. All of these things take minutes to do and the effects are long lasting. So next time your sat on a bus, train or even just waiting in a queue, take a pot of cream or balm with you and spend some time on your hands and nails.

     

    BS2

    Here is a list of few things i have picked up from the books that i have read and also experience over the years of making skincare.

    1. Always keep a pot of Hand cream by your sink
    2. Never use your nails as tools, I have learnt that lesson the hard way...
    3. My Mum always told me to push back my cuticles when ever i use hand cream, as it makes them softer and easier to push back.
    4. Never ever cut your cuticles, not only does it hurt, but it will inflame the nail bed as the cuticle protects the nail by sealing off the opening between the nail and the skin.
    5. This tip i love, to keep your nails clean while gardening, scratch a bar of soap, let the soap get under your nails so the dirt doesnt.

    Herbal-Tincture-Natural

    Now i am a fine one to talk, but at least once a week you should give yourself a manicure, these steps can also be used for your feet.

    1. Remove all traces of Nail polish,
    2. Soak your nails and fingertips in warm soapy water for at least 5 minutes, as this soften the cuticles and rinses off all nail polish remover. For your feet i find soaking them for about 20 minutes is so relaxing, and if you have really hard skin on your heels, it gives it a bit longer to soften, also for my feet i soak them with so sea salt or epsom salts.
    3. Gently pat your hands dry and apply cuticle cream/ balm into the base of your nails while they are still slightly damp. Massage thoroughly while gently pushing back the cuticle with a cotton bud. Now your Feet, after they have soaked for 20 minutes get a soft towel and rub them dry firmly, any dead skin should come away, if you have any stubborn bits, gently use a pumice stone, do not be too firm with it as it can make your feet sore.
    4. File your nails into rounded ovals, never points and make sure all nails are the same length.
    5. I'd advise doing each hand one at a time, Cover your hand in a Hand mask, you can use a Face mask, if you don't have one specifically for hands. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse well with cool water and pat dry.
    6. Massage your entire hands with a rich hand cream or oil, wrap in a towel or if you have cotton gloves even better and leave for at least 30 minutes or over night if you can. This part is so good for feet, they feel so soft in the morning.
    7. Now buff your nails, with a light oil and a cotton pad, buffing helps to increase circulation and results in healthier nails.

     

    References

    Picture: kamhairandbodyspa.co.uk

  4. We all deserve to treat ourselves to a Spa Day, but getting around to it might be a different matter, what with busy work schedules, school runs, house work etc.... I know i've made that promise to myself and you'd think me being in the Skincare and Soap Making business i would be more likely to do it.... but no, I think the last time i treat myself to a full spa day, facial, massage and hair was about 12 years ago if not slightly longer. But I have found away around it, yes i know nothing beats going to an actual Spa or Beauty Salon but a Facial is a Facial no matter how we get it... So here are some easy steps, to treat yourself in the comfort of your own home, in between School runs and doing the dishes.

    1. Wash your Face thoroughly, using a Mild soap or Cleansing Cream
    2. Clean your face, using an astringent to remove any dead skin cells, soap or cleaning cream residue
    3. Nourish your face using a face mask, Cover the skin with a light even covering, avoiding the area around the eyes, Now RELAX, If find sinking back into a warm bubble bath, with a good book or just some candles burning, is perfect for me. Choose a mask with ingredients that are best for your skin type, I normally use a dead sea mud & green clay mixture for my skin. Leave the mask on for 15 - 20 minutes, Try not to talk or move your face, too much.
    4. Rinse your face thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel
    5. Now Steam your face to clean out your pores, use a large bowl or sink full of hot water, If you want to add herbs to your hot water, even better, Now Dont worry if you dont have a well stocked Apothecary, you can nip down to the supermarket and pick up some herbal tea bags, or hopefully in the next couple of months youll be able to buy them from us, any way i digress.. You can use Chamomile, Calendula or Lavender for Normal Skin, Peppermint, Nettles or Lemon for Oily Skin and for Dry Skin Rosemary, Dandelion or Rose. Make a tent using a large bath towel, and lean over the water for 10 - 15 minutes to open your pores.
    6. Rinse thoroughly, starting with warm water then slowly changing to cold water, to slowly clean and close the pores.
    7. Moisturise your face with a light cream, massage the cream or lotion onto your face and allow it to soak in.
    8. Now your ready for what ever life throws at you.