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Wrinkles – What They Are and How to Prevent and Minimize Their Appearance

Let’s face it. We’re all going to get older, and with the natural aging process comes changes in our appearance that might not be so welcome. And when we think of changes in our appearance, skin wrinkles come to mind. However, there are more options now than ever before for preventing, minimizing, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Technology has given us much in the realm of cosmetic medicine. People who are bothered by their wrinkles1 can utilize skin-resurfacing techniques, medications, filler procedures, even surgery to remove or reduce wrinkles.

However, many would prefer a more natural, non-invasive approach. And we can see why! Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies and natural approaches to preventing wrinkled skin.

What Causes Wrinkles?

One of the first steps towards knowing how to prevent and reduce wrinkles begins with knowing what causes wrinkles. The Mayo Clinic2 offers some concise explanations for the causes of wrinkles:

  • Aging. Aging is the most common cause of wrinkles. It happens to all of us. As we age, our skin changes its texture and structure, forming lines on the skin’s surface. Aging causes the skin to becomes less elastic and more fragile. Our skin’s production of natural oils slows down as we age, and fatty tissue deep in the skin recedes. All of these phenomena contribute to skin wrinkles.
  • Sun exposure. Ongoing, regular sun exposure contributes significantly to skin wrinkles. Ultraviolet radiation speeds the aging process of the skin. In fact, sun exposure is the primary cause of early-onset wrinkling. And that’s because exposure to UV light breaks down the skin’s connective tissue, mainly collagen and elastin fibers. Without those supportive tissues, the skin loses its strength and tensility. As this process continues, the skin surface appears to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
  • Genetics. Some people are more prone to develop wrinkles than others are. The appearance of early-onset wrinkles can be an entirely hereditary matter.
  • Smoking. Among the many harmful side effects of smoking is the acceleration of the skin’s aging process. Smoking reduces collagen, which in turn leads to premature wrinkling.
  • Facial expressions. When we repeat the same facial expressions over and over again, such as by squinting, smiling, frowning, or raising an eyebrow, that facial expression works the muscles beneath the skin layers. Doing so causes repeated grooves beneath the surface of the skin. As the skin ages, it loses its flexibility, and those grooves become more prominent. A good example is how someone who spends a lot of time outside in the sun is more likely to form crow’s feet around their eyes early on in life, due mostly to squinting in the sunlight so often.

Those are the common causes of wrinkles. Now, how does one prevent the formation of wrinkles? And how does one reduce the appearance of wrinkles once they do form?

Preventing and Remedying Wrinkled Skin

Though some degree of wrinkling is inevitable for everyone, there are skincare routines3 we can implement daily to not only slow down the natural aging and wrinkling process but also to reduce the aging of our skin. Here are some quick tips for preventing and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles:

  • Protect your skin from the sun. To prevent wrinkles, one should reduce the time they spend in the sun. This is especially important during midday and in the summer, but off-season sun can also be damaging. Most experts advise wearing wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sunglasses. Skin that is exposed to the sun should be covered by a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
  • Use Aloe vera products daily. Aloe vera is the skin’s best friend in more ways than one. Studies show that Aloe vera not only hydrates the skin considerably, but that Aloe even goes so far as to add and maintain collagen4.
  • Refrain from smoking. Smoking has a direct effect on the rapid reduction of collagen. Cigarette smoke also harms the skin from the outside, too, reducing elasticity and generally damaging surface skin cells.
  • Use skincare products with built-in sunscreen. It’s best to use moisturizers and lip balms that have built-in sunscreens, such as skincare products that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Eat a healthy diet. There is plenty of evidence that indicates a healthy diet is conducive to youthful, smoother, wrinkle-free skin. Be sure to maintain a healthy diet every day, particularly one that is rich in fruits and vegetables. And while various foods will have different effects on different people, the following foods have been found to promote healthier skin in most people: artichokes, avocados, chia seeds, cinnamon, egg whites, ginger, miso, oatmeal, salmon, sardines, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and walnuts.
  • Take good care of your skin year-round, but especially during the winter months. The winter season has the added effect of drying the skin out, something that further serves to wrinkle the skin. Be sure to moisturize, apply lip balm, keep the skin covered when outdoors, and keep the skin at a comfortable temperature when indoors too. Also, consider running a humidifier indoors to keep the air at a suitable humidity level.
  • Moisturize! Daily moisturizing is anyone’s best defense against skin wrinkles. And that’s because dry skin shrivels up and shrinks what would ordinarily be plump and healthy skin cells. That can lead to premature wrinkling, as well as a whole other host of unpleasant skin symptoms. Moisturizing, on the other hand, helps to trap water in the skin, keeping the skin adequately hydrated and lubricated. Doing so prevents dryness and also serves to keep the skin healthy, smooth, itch-free, and redness-free.
  • Moisturize with essential oils. While any skincare lotion, face cream, or organic skin cream is going to have benefits for anti-aging and wrinkle prevention, the best types of skin creams for wrinkles tend to be creams that are chock-full of healthy ingredients, essential oils, and other natural (not pharmaceutical) substances. For example, some research suggests that the following skin cream ingredients can help reduce and prevent wrinkles: argan, carrot seed, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, grapeseed, helichrysum, jojoba, lavender, neroli, pomegranate, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, and ylang-ylang.

From protecting your skin from the sun to moisturizing daily, anyone can take steps towards healthier, wrinkle-free skin. And for those who begin implementing these daily habits early on, it’s entirely feasible to slow the aging process considerably. Diligent skin care routines maintained as daily habits are the keys to youthful, healthy, wrinkle-free skin.

Sources:

1 https://www.webmd.com/beauty/wrinkles
2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wrinkles/symptoms-causes/syc-20354927
3 https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-wrinkles
4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4345938/

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Dry Skin – What Causes It and How to Remedy It Without Prescription Drugs

A recent article in the New York Post1 indicated that six in ten Americans are plagued with what’s called, “winter skin syndrome” through the cold, dry months of the year. The article cited research from a survey of 2,000 people. Sure enough, about 1,200 of the survey participants experienced uncomfortable skin symptoms during November, December, January, February, and March, with January and February being the worst months for unpleasant symptoms.

Winter skin syndrome can refer to a few different dermatological ailments, including itchy skin, red skin, irritated skin, scaly, flaky skin, and dry skin. Of the conditions, dry skin is by far the most common, with 75% of winter skin syndrome patients indicating that they experienced dry skin during the winter season. That means, in a study group of 2,000 randomly selected Americans (with 1,200 of them indicating winter skin syndrome), 900 of them suffered from dry skin symptoms during the winter.

What Factors Cause Dry Skin?

Before we look at remedies for dry skin, let’s take a look at what causes dry skin. When seeking a remedy, it’s important to understand the cause of the problem. And as it turns out, there are a few potential causes as listed by the Mayo Clinic2:

  • Cold, dry weather. Weather change is the most common cause of dry skin. When the weather cools down and the humidity levels recede for the season, that lowers the amount of moisture in the air. That, in turn, serves to make the skin feel dry, flaky, scaly, itchy, and red.
  • Heat. Believe it or not, heat and warm air can also be a cause of dry skin. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, fireplaces, all of these heat sources pull the moisture out of the air. That’s why the winter months are notorious for creating dry skin symptoms. Not only are the outside weather conditions cold and dry, but the inside heating conditions cause a further removal of moisture from one’s environment. The result is warm, dry air inside and cold, dry air outside.
  • Hot showers and harsh soaps. Hot showers (again, a common winter item), tend to remove moisture from the skin, effectively creating dry skin symptoms. Furthermore, most soaps are designed to remove oils from the skin, so they too have the effect of drying out the skin.
  • Skin conditions. People with common skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are prone to dry skin symptoms.

The above are the most common causes of dry skin. But there are other circumstances that can bring on dry skin symptoms. For example, excessive exposure to the sun can lead to dry skin. Certain work conditions can result in dry skin. Exposure to harsh cleaning products and chemical solvents can dry out the skin. The list goes on.

How do Environmental Factors Create Dry Skin Symptoms?

Now we know what causes dry skin, but how do those environmental (or genetic) factors actually create dry skin symptoms?

Dry skin is an uncomfortable skin condition, and that’s because certain, physiological phenomena are occurring within the skin layers that are non-optimum.

Skin is a semi-permeable membrane. In fact, the skin is actually comprised of several layers of semi-permeable membranes. The skin is constructed in this way because its purpose is to protect the body from external factors. However, the skin also serves to absorb moisture, sunlight, oxygen, and other essential nutrients from the atmosphere. In ideal environmental conditions, a person’s skin is healthy and happy, well-moisturized, well-taken care of, and not suffering from adverse symptoms and ailments.

However, for someone prone to dry skin symptoms, their skin tends to lose moisture more quickly than someone who is not prone to dry skin symptoms. Remember, the human body is comprised of mostly water. The same is true for the skin. When the skin loses some of its water content, that can cause the skin to become dry and scaly.

Think of the skin as a wet rag hung out to dry in front of a wood stove. As the heat from the wood stove comes into contact with the rag, the moisture content of the rag will recede. Before long, the rag will be completely dry.

The analogy is fitting for those who struggle with dry skin symptoms, especially during the winter3. While the body is continuously working to rehydrate the skin, the body cannot do this as fast as the environment is pulling moisture out of the skin. That’s why it’s so essential for people with dry skin to use moisturizers.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin

There are plenty of home remedies for dry skin. From using a humidifier to taking lukewarm (not hot) baths to bathing with a non-soap cleanser to wearing warm clothes when going outside in cold, dry conditions, there are a few, daily practices that can work wonders in reducing dry skin symptoms.

But possibly the most effective means of treating dry skin is to moisturize. Remember, dry skin is caused by moisture leaving the skin. Therefore, the best remedy for dry skin is often just a process of adding moisture back into the skin, externally.

Dry skin creams, face creams, organic skin lotions, all-natural face creams, all of these and others work well for getting moisture back into the skin.

Rather than spending hours trying to find the best organic skin cream, instead one should pay more attention to how they go about their daily moisturizing routine. It’s critical to moisturize every day, especially after bathing and before bed. Rubbing skin cream and lotion into the skin after bathing and before bed allows the skin to rehydrate and replenish itself with needed moisture.

Getting past dry skin symptoms can seem like a real chore. But the satisfaction of having clear, comfortable, flake-free, itch-free skin is worth it! And we should remember, every time we moisturize, we’re doing our skin a favor!

Sources:

1 https://nypost.com/2019/01/08/americans-are-plagued-by-winter-skin-syndrome/
2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885
3 https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/dry-skin-relief/dr-wu-causes-of-dry-skin/

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What is Psoriasis? How Do We Remedy It?

Psoriasis. It’s a common enough skin condition. But it’s not widely understood, even by those who have it.

Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply at a rate much faster than usual. Skin cells might multiply at a rate ten times their average growth speed. The result is bumpy, itchy red patches of skin and scaly, flaking white spots here and there.

Skin cells are constantly growing, multiplying, and dying. The skin is the body’s first defense against the outside world, so it makes sense that the skin would regularly repair and “regrow” itself.

Now imagine that new skin cells are growing at a rate far faster than old skin cells are dying off. That might put some weird images in our head, like something out of a science fiction novel or a superhero action movie.

But let’s not forget that this accelerated skin growth is occurring on a cellular level, and it is only happening in specific parts of the skin.

Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body. Sometimes psoriasis will “flare-up” in certain areas, recede, then show up in a different area. Common places for psoriasis to crop up are the scalp, elbows, armpits, face, knees, and lower back.

What Causes Psoriasis?

To better understand what psoriasis is, first we have to understand what causes psoriasis. First off, psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis can be hereditary, but it is not a skin condition that is transferred by contact with others. Secondly, psoriasis can manifest at any point in an individual’s life. Sometimes symptoms can fade away and go dormant for years. It’s a very unpredictable skin condition.

But here’s the real shocker. As for what causes psoriasis to occur in some people and not in others, no one really knows. Scientists are still looking for an exact, direct cause. However, some theories have been forthcoming.

For one, most experts believe that psoriasis is caused by an irregularity within the immune system. Quoting WebMD1 on the matter: “Something wrong with the immune system causes inflammation, triggering new skin cells to form too quickly. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 10 to 30 days. With psoriasis, new cells grow every 3 to 4 days. The buildup of old cells being replaced by new ones creates those silver scales.”

The WebMD article goes on to talk about the genetic component of psoriasis, how this immune system disorder is often passed down from one generation to the next. However, it’s worth noting that the condition often skips a generation.

Is Psoriasis Here to Stay?

It seems as though psoriasis is something that some people are just born with. Sometimes it develops later on in life. It depends on the individual. Either way, it is a condition that is wholly unique to the individual. No two cases of psoriasis look exactly the same. And while there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are methods of treating the symptoms of psoriasis.

People who struggle with psoriasis and its many symptoms shouldn’t be dismayed. There are methods to help prevent psoriasis symptoms. And there are ways to treat psoriasis symptoms, should they crop up.

What Can We Do to Prevent Psoriasis Symptoms?

An article on Healthline2 offers some excellent information on preventing psoriasis symptoms. Let’s not forget, one of the best medicines is prevention. And it makes sense too. If we can prevent an illness or malady from ever coming about, we’re already ahead of the game.

And it seems logical that preventing something from occurring is usually simpler and more manageable than treating the issue once it has occurred.

There are several approaches to preventing psoriasis flareups. We’ve included a few below:

  • Eat a healthy diet. Diet is connected to skin health. What we eat affects all aspects of our health. People who know they are prone to psoriasis outbreaks and who want to prevent symptoms should reduce their consumption of alcohol, gluten, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Those same individuals should add omega-3s, fish oil, and vegetables to their diet.
  • People with psoriasis should avoid smoking. (And thankfully, there is a mountain of other health benefits that go along with avoiding cigarettes).
  • Don’t forget to protect the skin. People with psoriasis should use sunscreen when going out in the sun. They should also wear coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and long pants when going out in cold, dry weather.
  • Decrease stress. While it may be more challenging to monitor, stress has a direct relationship to psoriasis flare-ups. Finding ways to de-stress can prevent such outbreaks from occurring.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Let’s not forget that our time spent sleeping is the time when the body can heal itself. It’s a time when the body hits the reset button. Ensuring that we get enough sleep at night is one way to help prevent psoriasis symptoms.
  • Take warm, not hot showers. Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered when hot water is applied to the skin. Especially during the winter months, people with psoriasis should avoid hot, long showers.

From using a humidifier in the home to taking an oatmeal bath, there are lots of ways to prevent psoriasis symptoms. Most experts will recommend utilizing all of these methods, as different approaches will have varying results for different people.

What Can We Do to Treat Psoriasis Symptoms?

There are several treatments for psoriasis. Most medical experts will recommend a prescription drug or some form of medicinal approach. However, there are also plenty of home remedies and simple treatments that one can do to alleviate symptoms.

Probably the simplest and easiest method of treating psoriasis symptoms is by applying a psoriasis skin cream to the skin every day. Organic aloe vera skin creams can also help with psoriasis, as can other skin lotions and natural face creams. Any organic skin lotion which serves to moisturize the skin is going to have benefits in alleviating psoriasis.

There’s another bonus to addressing psoriasis symptoms. According to the WebMD article we cited earlier, when people treat their symptoms of psoriasis, their risk of other inflammation-based diseases goes down. That could mean lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, etc.

People can get a lot of benefit out of treating psoriasis symptoms. Not only do patients experience better looking, better feeling skin, but they are also taking care of their bodies in general by treating psoriasis symptoms. They are protecting themselves from other ailments, all while keeping their skin healthy and looking fantastic.

Just another reason to moisturize!

Sources:

1 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics#2
2 https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/does-psoriasis-spread

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Eczema – Information on the Common Skin Condition and Natural Remedies for Treating It

You might be surprised by how many people in the United States are affected by skin conditions like eczema. According to Medical News Today1, 31.6% of people in the U.S. live with some stage of eczema. Eczema is certainly common enough, yet few people who struggle with eczema know the proper techniques for reducing symptoms or preventing new symptoms from cropping up. In fact, most people just live with their symptoms and try to ignore them.

Thankfully, there are effective techniques for reducing eczema symptoms. It’s just a matter of understanding what eczema is, learning how eczema causes symptoms, and then learning what types of remedies counteract and prevent those symptoms.

What Causes Eczema?

Eczema is the most common term used to refer to “atopic dermatitis.” The word “atopic” denotes a form of allergy in which the body experiences a hypersensitive reaction. Such a reaction occurs in one or more parts of the body. “Dermatitis” refers to a condition of the skin in which areas of the skin become red, swollen, sore, itchy, or infected.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is an immune system disorder. It is a condition in which the immune system does not process certain environmental situations well, thus resulting in allergic reactions on the skin.

Eczema is a hereditary condition, meaning the genes which cause eczema are passed down, generation to generation. Sometimes the condition skips a generation. When someone with eczema is exposed to certain pollens or allergens in the air, it could trigger a reaction. Eczema symptoms are also brought on by eating certain foods, smoking, exposing oneself to cold, dry weather conditions, exposing oneself to dust, mold, extreme heat, hot water, etc.

Is Eczema a Life-Long Condition?

While eczema is not contagious, it is a life-long condition. At this time, there is no known cure for eczema. However, there are ways to treat eczema effectively. More specifically, there are ways to prevent eczema symptoms from occurring, and there are also ways to treat eczema symptoms once they have manifested.

How Do I Prevent Eczema Conditions?

Scientists have proven that eczema and allergies are closely linked. According to an article published on WebMD2, “People with both eczema and allergies have a change to a gene called filaggrin. It’s a protein that keeps the skin moist. People who don’t make enough of this protein lose more water from their skin, which causes the dryness and itchiness of eczema. The lack of filaggrin also makes the skin let in more allergens like dust and pollen.”

With that, we have our first round of eczema prevention techniques. Because eczema is often brought on by allergic reactions, preventing eczema conditions from cropping up becomes a matter of avoiding foods one is allergic to. Foods that tend to result in eczema symptoms are eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

Other allergens that can cause eczema flare-ups include dust mites, makeup, mold, cat or dog dander, pollen, certain soaps, some perfumes, and seasonal changes.

It’s important to remember that it’s not just allergens that can cause eczema symptoms to crop up. Other factors like cold climates, dry air, or a combination of the two also lead to eczema flare-ups. Remember, eczema is a condition that causes the skin to lose moisture, so being in an environment lacking in moisture tends to exacerbate eczema symptoms, even if one has not been exposed to allergens or pollens. One of the best ways to prevent eczema symptoms is to keep one’s environment humid and warm (but not hot).

How Do I Treat Eczema Conditions?

If eczema symptoms are already flaring up, it’s critical to shift the focus from one of prevention to one of treatment. Thankfully, there are lots of methods for treating eczema symptoms.

The National Eczema Association3 lists the following as the fundamentals of treating eczema:

  • Knowing what triggers eczema flare-ups for you.
  • Implementing a regular, consistent bathing and moisturizing routine (more on that later).
  • Monitoring daily stress levels and eczema triggers, both environmental and psychological.
  • Creating environmental conditions conducive to properly-hydrated skin (warm, but not hot, humid air).
  • Avoiding scratching or irritating the skin, as scratching only serves to worsens symptoms.

After one has determined their own, personal eczema triggers (foods, pollens, allergens, etc.), the next step in treating eczema symptoms is to rehydrate the skin. The drier the skin becomes, the worse the symptoms, so hydration is critical. And the best way to hydrate the skin is with an all-natural skin cream or an organic eczema cream. Specially-purposed creams for eczema are designed to hydrate and moisturize while also relieving itching, redness, and discomfort. Such creams seek to remedy the source of the flare-up while also reducing uncomfortable side-effects.

There are other approaches to treating eczema symptoms. Some experts recommend taking lukewarm oatmeal baths, as doing so hydrates skin pores and helps relieve itching.

Another approach is to use mild soaps or non-soap cleansers and shampoos. Traditional soaps dry the skin considerably, so changing one’s soap to a non-soap based cleanser is one way to help keep the skin hydrated.

Experts also recommend wearing cotton and soft fabrics. It’s wise to avoid rough, itchy, starchy textiles and tight-fitting clothing. The goal is to help the skin breathe.

One technique for reducing eczema symptoms is to take control of the air in one’s home. That can be done by not excessively heating or cooling the house, and also by using a humidifier every day. Keeping the air temperature in a normal range and keeping the air at a pleasant humidity does wonders for reducing eczema symptoms.

Experts recommend that people with eczema try to avoid rapid temperature changes, (such as by strenuous exercise or exposure to direct sunlight). It’s also recommended to avoid heavy sweating when possible.

Living with eczema comes with its challenges. Thankfully, there are treatments and preventatives. And most importantly, don’t forget to moisturize!

Sources:

1 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14417.php
2 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/eczema-allergy-connection#1
3 https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/treatment/

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How Organic Skin Cream Helps with Dry Skin Symptoms

Dry skin can be an uncomfortable and unsightly problem. From itchy, red patches to cracking, even painful skin, our skin is more than ready to tell us when it’s unhappy. And when our skin is dry, it is miserable. Dry skin symptoms can be caused by environmental factors or a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema.

No matter the cause, dry skin is unpleasant and difficult to deal with. And whether you’re prone to dry skin symptoms or not, the cold, dry winter months lead to the onset of dry skin symptoms for a considerable percentage of Americans. You might have beautiful, bright, smooth, itch, and flake-free skin for the rest of the year. But come winter, scaliness abounds and redness erupts.

So how can you effectively address dry skin symptoms?

Organic Face Creams for Dry Skin

Later on, we’ll discuss some home remedies for relieving dry skin that you can do in addition to applying organic face creams and moisturizers. But let’s not forget that your best defense against dry skin (especially during the winter months) is by using all-natural skin cream daily.

Here are some of the categories of creams to look for. Each is similar, but not the same. These creams and lotions are made with different purposes and remedies in mind, but all of them serve to treat dry skin symptoms:

  • Organic face cream.
  • Eczema cream.
  • Psoriasis lotion.
  • Face moisturizer.
  • Aloe vera cream.
  • Body cream.
  • All-natural skin lotion.

When using skin cream, make sure your skin is clean and free of dirt and oil before applying the cream. The best time to apply your skin cream is after a shower, after toweling off. Apply cream to your skin, paying particular attention to sensitive areas like the face, hands, feet, armpits, elbows, etc. Work the cream into the skin and reapply 12 hours later for maximum moisturizing potential. Don’t wait more than 24 hours to reapply.

Best Practices for Maximum Comfort from Skin Cream

To understand how to reduce dry skin symptoms, we have to first understand what causes dry skin.

Your body is comprised of 60% water. In fact, your skin alone is about 64% water. When dry weather sets in, the humidity in the air and environment drops, leaving your skin without the daily, environmental moisture that it is used to.

That’s why it’s so important to moisturize, especially during the winter season.

Applying skin cream may seem straightforward enough, but there are some best practices to obtaining maximum comfort. Experts recommend gently smoothing moisturizer onto the skin, as opposed to slapping, patting, or padding moisturizer on or rubbing it vigorously and roughly into the skin. The keyword here is “gentle.

Applying skin cream or body lotions for dry skin is best done gently, methodically, and regularly. Most experts recommend using moisturizing creams after bathing. Some recommend using skin creams and body lotions in the morning and at night both. Experts also recommend looking for skin creams that have all-natural ingredients. Keep your eye out for these ingredients:

  • Organic Aloe
  • Sunflower oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Cocoa butter
  • Shea butter
  • Beeswax
  • Jojoba oil
  • Kukui nut oil
  • Borage oil
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin E
  • Passionflower
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Calendula
  • Horsetail

Those are just a few of the all-natural ingredients that go into some organic face creams and moisturizers.

For more information and some helpful pictures on skin cream application tips, check out this article on WikiHow1.

How Else Can You Alleviate Dry Skin Symptoms?

While an all-natural face moisturizer is anyone’s first choice and their best defense against dry skin, there are other home remedies that you can work into your day-to-day life to maximize comfort and minimize dry skin symptoms.

Adjust how you bathe. The American Academy of Dermatologists2 lists improper bathing techniques as being one of the top causes of dry, irritated skin, especially during the winter months. When you bathe, be sure to limit your shower time to 5 to 10 minutes. Use warm (not hot) water, wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser, and blot your skin dry with a towel. And last but not least, be sure to apply moisturizer immediately after drying your skin.

An article in Medical News Today3 cites the importance of exfoliating daily. Exfoliation removes excess dry skin, frees up pores, and enhances the skin’s natural hydrating process. Quoting their text, “The skin naturally makes new cells and sheds old cells, typically replacing itself within about a month. When dead skin cells become stuck on the surface, people may notice dry patches and clogged pores. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin cells, which can reduce dry patches and improve the skin’s overall texture.”

Use coconut oil in tandem with skin cream. Healthline4 swears by coconut oil as being a natural emollient. An emollient is a substance that substantially softens or soothes the skin. Coconut oil is an emollient oil because it fills the spaces between skin cells, promoting hydration and preventing itchy, red skin symptoms. Healthline encourages using coconut oil on the most sensitive areas of the skin.

In an article published by the Harvard Medical School5, the authors encouraged readers to use a humidifier in their homes. Humidifiers counteract the effects of a cold, dry, wintery climate. That’s why using a humidifier is particularly wise during the winter. And even in warmer geographic regions, the winter months almost always bring a drop in relative humidity levels. For those who are sensitive to dry environments and temperatures, a humidifier can be a great way to boost your daily skincare regimen. Set your humidifier at 60% and run it everyday, particularly at night.

Another article in Medical News Today6 discussed the benefits of Aloe vera. Whether it is used in gel form or as a cream or lotion, the Aloe vera plant has natural, hydrating properties. Aloe vera cream is particularly beneficial for addressing extremely irritated areas of the skin. Experts recommend applying liberal amounts of organic Aloe vera cream to affected areas daily, particularly before bed.

Life With Clear, Comfortable Skin

People who struggle with dry skin symptoms often feel as though nothing can be done about it. If you’ve tried to ameliorate your skin symptoms in the past but had negligible results, don’t lose hope. It’s just a matter of seeking the right technique or approach. Utilize the above home remedies every day, and don’t forget to moisturize!

Sources:

1 https://m.wikihow.com/Apply-Face-Cream
2 https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin
3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324935.php#exfoliate
4 https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-dry-skin#coconut-oil
5 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/9-ways-to-banish-dry-skin
6 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319555.php#prevention

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Dry Skin in the Winter – Five Strategies for Better Looking, Better Feeling Skin

We are well into the winter season, and for a significant percentage of us, that means we’re experiencing cold, dry weather. And while lots of people might enjoy the winter months for the snow, the seasonal activities, and the ongoing excuse to snuggle up with a book and a hot mug of cocoa, there is one aspect of this season that is just plain bothersome.

When the winter months roll around, the relative humidity in the air recedes considerably. That means there is simply less moisture in the air. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air can. Add that to the forced air we use to heat our homes, (forced air heating systems tend to dry out the air), and the winter months become quite dry whether one is inside the house or outside.

So how can we keep our skin looking great and feeling great during the winter?

Why Our Skin Dries Out During the Winter

When humidity recedes from the air due to natural or man-altered causes, that means our skin does not absorb as much moisture as it usually would. Remember, our skin is a semi-permeable membrane. It acts as a protective layer for our bodies, but it also serves to transmit moisture from the environment into our skin.

Skin that is properly hydrated is healthy. Conversely, skin that is continuously subjected to dry air is going to exhibit all kinds of uncomfortable, unsightly symptoms.

The formula for having healthy, great-looking skin in the winter is simple enough. Let’s look at it this way:

  • For skin to be healthy and to look healthy, it needs to be properly hydrated.
  • While skin hydration does occur internally, (remember, our bodies are made up mostly of water), skin hydration also occurs via the absorption of moisture from the environment.
  • When moisture recedes from the air due to cold temperatures or due to hot, dry forced-air heating, (or both), a person’s skin is no longer able to pull moisture out of the air. In fact, the cold, dry air serves to suck moisture out of the skin instead, drying the skin out and causing all kinds of uncomfortable, unpleasant symptoms.

Five Strategies for Keeping Skin Properly Hydrated in the Winter

The key to remedying or preventing dry skin in the wintertime is to take extra steps to hydrate and moisturize.

Here are some tips:

  1. Don’t Forget to Stay Protected.

    A holistic medicine group called Everyday Health1 published an article on the causes of dry skin and various remedies for it. According to that article, our skin loses 25% of its ability to hold moisture during the winter months.

    One of the best ways to protect the skin during the cold, dry season is to wear protective clothing and to stay shielded from the elements. Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, earmuffs, and plenty of layers help a great deal. The goal is to shield the skin from the elements, all of which helps to reduce the drying, moisture-leeching effects of cold weather.
  2. Use a humidifier when indoors.

    When we spend a lot of time inside during the winter, we’re breathing and living in a dry (if thankfully warm) environment. That is particularly true with forced-air heating, though all forms of indoor heating will have some degree of a drying effect. To help reduce the effects of such heat, it’s important to put moisture back into the air.

    This is where a humidifier comes into play. Humidifiers help inject moisture into the air, serving to increase relative humidity levels and to help reduce the effects of dry air on our bodies in doing so.
  3. Apply body lotion, face cream, and natural moisturizers daily.

    It might sound like a chore, but a good, all-natural face cream or an organic body lotion is anyone’s best defense against the winter weather. People with dry skin should apply a rich body lotion to all areas of the skin immediately after showering, and again before bed. One should use creams with natural ingredients, like organic aloe vera, cocoa butter, coconut oil, Shea butter, sunflower oil, beeswax, Jojoba oil, Borage oil, Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, etc.
  4. Drink lots of water!

    We might not get thirsty as quickly in the winter, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is especially important during the coldest months of the year, as this is the time when we lose the most moisture through our skin. According to Active2, we need to take extra care to stay hydrated during the winter months, not just for our skin health, but for lots of other areas of our general health and well-being.
  5. Be gentle on the skin.

    According to a research paper by Harvard Health Publishing3, “Wintertime poses a special problem because humidity is low both outdoors and indoors, and the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. Think of the epidermal skin cells as an arrangement of roof shingles held together by a lipid-rich ‘glue’ that keeps the skin cells flat, smooth, and in place. Water loss accelerates when the glue is loosened by sun damage, over-cleansing, scrubbing, or underlying medical conditions — or by winter’s low humidity and the drying effects of indoor heat. The result is roughness, flaking, itching, cracking, and sometimes a burning sensation.”

    The Harvard article goes on to talk about the importance of being gentle with the skin. The report advises its readers to use skin-friendly body washes instead of harsh, deodorant soaps. The article also recommends brief, lukewarm showers, bath oils, soap-free cleansers, regular and liberal usage of moisturizer, and the daily use of a humidifier.

Taking Care of Our Skin

For those of us with sensitive, dry skin, the wintertime is always a challenge to keep the skin looking and feeling healthy and fantastic. Thankfully, with the right preventive and proactive daily regimens, we can still have the lovely, bright, glowing, hydrated, and smooth skin that we desire, even during the coldest, driest time of year!

Our skin is our most prominent feature, the first thing anyone sees when they’re talking to us. We should take care of our skin just like we would our general health. We’ll feel better everyday, and we’ll look better too! It’s a win-win situation all around.

Sources:

1 https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/dry-skin-relief/dr-wu-causes-of-dry-skin/
2 https://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/8-tips-for-hydrating-in-cold-weather
3 https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/what-to-do-about-dry-skin-in-winter

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Sun Poisoning – Signs, Symptoms, and How to Remedy It

Ah the sun. That great yellow orb we see just about every day. The sun can either be our best friend or our worst enemy. While it is essential to get a sufficient amount of daily vitamin D to stay healthy, (and we can get our vitamin D from the sun), we don’t want to overdo it with sun exposure. Spending some time in the sun is healthy. Spending too much time in the sun is definitely unhealthy.

The tricky part is, different peoples’ bodies respond to sunlight differently. We cannot give a general estimation of how much sunlight is “enough” sunlight or how much sunlight is “too much” sunlight. It will differ significantly for each individual. And it will also depend on where the individual is located. Sun exposure is not necessarily a huge concern for most of the people living in, say, Maine. But it’s something to think about if you’re in Florida.

Let’s say one spends too much time in the sun, regardless of where they live or what their body’s tolerance of sun exposure is. They spent too much time in the sun, and now they’re trying to figure out how to treat sunburn symptoms.

What is Sun Poisoning?

Sun poisoning is another term for sunburn. But, contrary to popular belief, sunburn is more than just a burn from the sun’s rays. It is an over-exposure to what is in the sun’s rays. A sunburn is a form of radiation exposure, as it is the radiation particles within the sun’s rays that causes the sun to have its effect on our skin and bodies. A little bit of exposure each day is healthy, because there are also healthy nutrients in the sun’s rays (like vitamin D). However, too much exposure to the sun is harmful both in the short term and in the long term.

WebMD1 has a fitting and straightforward definition for sun poisoning. “Sun poisoning doesn’t really mean you’ve been poisoned. It is often the term used for a severe case of sunburn. This is usually a burn from ultraviolet (UV) radiation that inflames your skin.”

What are the Symptoms of Sun Poisoning?

One of the reasons why people become sunburned is because they do not notice the symptoms of sunburn occurring on their skin right away. Unlike accidentally grabbing a hot pan or touching a hot stove, (which produces an instant reaction), a sunburn is not an immediately noticeable phenomenon. One might spend several hours in the sun before noticing symptoms. But by then, the damage is already done.

Once symptoms begin to appear, people who suffer from overexposure to the sun will notice:

  • Redness and discomfort within the skin
  • Sensitive skin
  • Discomfort when showering or bathing in hot water
  • Chills, fever, nausea, or even vomiting
  • Other flu-like symptoms
  • Blistering and peeling of the skin (2nd degree sunburn)
  • An itchy skin rash
  • Hives, small bumps, or dense clumps of bumps on the skin
  • Headache, confusion, or general disorientation (also a symptom of dehydration from sun exposure)

The online resource eMedicine Health2 offers plenty of advice on sunburns, sun poisoning, symptoms, and treatments.

Treating a Sunburn – Prevention is the Best Medicine

As simple as it might sound, the best method for treating a sunburn is to prevent sunburn from occurring. Medical News Today3 offers these four simple steps to avoiding sunburn/sun poisoning:

  • Reduce exposure. The best way to prevent sunburn is to reduce and avoid exposure to the sun. Sun poisoning is a direct cause and effect condition. One can only receive sun poisoning if one exposes oneself to the sun. Reduce exposure, reduce sunburn.
  • Use sun lotion. When going out in the sun for an extended period, the best preventive is to cover exposed areas of the skin with sun lotion (also called sunscreen). High-factor sunscreen (sunscreen with a high “SPF” or “Sun Protection Factor”) can be useful in preventing the sun’s rays from damaging the skin.
  • Be aware of the side effects of medication. Some medications can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. One should always read all of the warning labels on all medicines and ensure that proper measures are taken should such meds increase skin sensitivity.
  • Avoid tanning beds. The sun isn’t the only source of sun poisoning. Though tanning beds are certainly legal and used often, their use is not medically recommended. Tanning beds can cause sunburn. People who are trying to avoid excessive sun exposure should also avoid tanning beds.

Suffering from a Sunburn? What You Can Do to Alleviate Symptoms

Sunburns are relatively frequent, especially for those who spend a lot of time outside. Thankfully, there is much that we can do to alleviate symptoms.

  • Apply aloe vera cream, whether an organic face cream or an all-natural skin cream, to the affected area or areas.
  • Take cool showers or apply cold compresses to the skin.
  • Topical antibiotics can be used to prevent infection.
  • Drink extra water. Sunburns dehydrate the skin. Drinking extra water helps to rehydrate the skin.
  • According to the American Academy of Dermatology4, “Wear clothing that covers your skin when outdoors. Tightly-woven fabrics work best. When you hold the fabric up to a bright light, you shouldn’t see any light coming through.”

Perhaps the most critical concern relating to sunburns is the risk of long-term damage that such burns create. According to Healthline5, “Another complication of sun poisoning may not appear until long after the burning, blisters, and pain have gone away. People who experience severe sunburns are at a higher risk of developing premature wrinkles and skin spots later in life. Your risk for skin cancer may also increase.”

When to Seek Medical Care

We cannot give medical advice on this subject, but many people wonder if they should seek medical attention for a sunburn. In the same article cited earlier, Medical News Today offers this advice on sunburns and the question of seeking medical care:

“In most cases of sun poisoning, the condition will pass with time and self-care. However, in some instances, seeing a doctor is recommended. If the affected area of skin is large or covers several parts of the body, it is recommended that medical advice is sought. Even when the sun poisoning is mild, seeking a doctor’s opinion can ensure that it is treated properly. This can prevent complications and ease symptoms faster.”

— Medical News Today

It’s essential to take good care of our skin. Our skin is our most prominent feature, in a way. It’s also our first defense against the outside world. We want it to look great and to feel great too. And with a combination of preventive care and the use of organic skin lotions and face creams, we can keep our skin healthy for years to come.

Sources:

1 https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sun-poisoning#1
2 https://www.emedicinehealth.com/sunburn/article_em.htm#what_is_the_prognosis_for_sunburn
3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318005.php#When-to-see-a-doctor
4 https://www.aad.org/injured-skin/treat-sunburn
5 https://www.healthline.com/health/sun-poisoning#complications

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How to Soothe Irritated Skin

Our skin is one of our most prominent features. It makes up a significant part of our appearance. And coincidentally, how our skin looks is often a reflection of how our skin feels. Healthy skin, generally speaking, looks excellent. Unhealthy skin often looks and feels like it is unhealthy.

Skin irritations are not only quite uncomfortable, but they can look unpleasant and unseemly. Furthermore, skin irritations and the painful conditions they come with are pretty common. That’s how the field of dermatology came about, an entire branch of medicine dedicated solely to helping patients achieve healthier, cleaner, more natural-looking skin.

Thankfully, even though skin irritations are pretty common, there are also several ways in which we can treat irritated skin. And happily enough, a lot of these treatments can be done right in our own homes.

First, How Does Skin Become Irritated?

There are several circumstances that cause our skin to become irritated. Remember, our skin is the tough membrane that surrounds our entire bodies. It is the first defense against all aspects of the physical world. Our skin must protect our bodies from invasive substances, particles, objects, and other influences that could do us harm.

Basically, our skin’s health is affected by two different factors:

  1. Conditions outside of our bodies. Our skin is subjected to constant barrages, even if we don’t notice it. Daily, our skin is assailed by different types of water, different kinds of liquids, particles in the air, sunlight, certain levels of radiation, pollution, etc. Dry air, for example, can harm the skin and cause irritation. When the skin is subjected to excessively dry environments, that robs the skin of its inherent moisture content. Those conditions cause itching, redness, scaliness, inflammation, and general irritation.
  2. Conditions within our bodies. Skin irritations can also come about from internal, physical conditions. Such conditions include skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, hives, shingles, etc. Contagious diseases can also affect the skin. All of these conditions are phenomena in which something within the body is affecting the skin.

According to Allure1, about 85 million people in the United States are living with skin conditions or skin diseases. Again, skin issues, whether they are caused by external or internal factors (or a combination of the two), are not uncommon.

But luckily, there is much we can do to soothe irritated skin.

Tips for Soothing Irritated Skin

The American Academy of Dermatology2 offers a great deal of helpful information on soothing irritated skin. Their proposed home remedies include:

  • Applying a cold, wet cloth or ice pack to the affected skin. This can be done off and on, for about five to ten minutes at a time, or until the skin irritation subsides.
  • Taking an oatmeal bath. Colloidal oatmeal binds to the skin and provides a unique, protective barrier against irritants. Oatmeal also has the quality of softening or soothing the skin thanks to natural emollients within oatmeal. And last but not least, oatmeal helps the skin maintain a healthy pH level.
  • Moisturizing the skin. Moisturizing is the most common remedy for irritated skin. Nine times out of ten, irritated skin is an indicator of excessive dryness within the skin. The solution lies in adding moisture to the skin. That can be done with the help of organic skin creams and all-natural body lotions.
  • Bathing in lukewarm water and using a humidifier. Skin irritants occur during drastic changes in both temperature and humidity. It is wise to bathe in lukewarm water (not hot water). One should keep a humidifier running in the house (especially during the winter). One should also avoid excessively hot or cold temperatures. Keeping these daily factors in place helps reduce the conditions that cause skin irritation.

While we can learn a lot from medical institutions like the American Academy of Dermatology, sometimes the best advice on reducing skin irritation comes from people who have skin irritations and who have figured out how to treat their conditions successfully.

A contributor for Healthline3 offered these three tips for reducing skin irritation:

  1. Drink lots of water! We don’t usually think of our water consumption as much during the winter months, but that’s a big mistake. Drinking enough water every day is just as crucial in the winter as it is in the summer. We might not be sweating as much, but the dryness of the season is sucking the moisture from our bodies, whether we know it or not. Therefore, drinking plenty of water (after all, it is water that hydrates the skin from the inside out) is one giant step towards reducing skin irritation.
  2. Be mindful of certain foods. Certain foods like cow’s milk, eggs, nuts, shellfish, wheat, and peanuts can cause skin irritation in people who have allergies to those foods. For those of us with skin irritations, we may consider changing up our diets.
  3. Get lots of sleep, reduce stress. It has been proven that skin conditions are often caused by stress4. Not only does getting lots of sleep help the body heal and repair itself (and that includes restoring the skin), but plenty of sleep also helps reduce stress levels. We should think of getting a good night’s rest as accomplishing two objectives at once; reducing stress and healing the body physically.

Healthy, Clean, Clear, Itch-Free Skin is Attainable

There are lots of remedies for skin irritations. While it is true that most skin conditions are uncurable (eczema and psoriasis are usually permanent, genetic skin disorders), the symptoms of such conditions can be alleviated. It’s just a matter of trying different remedies and seeing what works best for each individual.

It does us great benefit when we drink lots of water, get lots of rest, and take care to create a diet that works for us. And remedies like oatmeal baths, moisturizers, humidifiers, warm showers, comfortable temperatures, cold water compresses, and other natural remedies are easy enough to come by. When we put in the effort, we can experience better results. And our skin will thank us!

Sources:

1 https://www.allure.com/story/report-finds-skin-disease-high-rate-americans
2 https://www.aad.org/itchy-skin/relieve-itchy-skin
3 https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/natural-remedies-irritated-skin#1
4 https://www.webmd.com/beauty/the-effects-of-stress-on-your-skin

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How to Get Clear, Rash-Free Skin Without Medication – The Complete Guide to Eczema Dos and Don’ts

Eczema is not an uncommon skin condition. According to the National Eczema Association1, about 31.6 million people have this condition just in the U.S. alone.

As the medical field and our understanding of dermatological ailments increases, we learn about more things we can do to treat eczema, all without ever having to take a pill or pharmaceutical drug for it. Let’s take a look at what we should add to our day-to-day lives to reduce unwanted symptoms. And let’s also take a look at what we should subtract from our lives to combat eczema.

What Can We Do to Reduce Eczema Symptoms?

While eczema might be an incurable condition at this time, thankfully there is much that we can do to reduce symptoms. It’s merely a matter of first understanding what eczema is, and then learning how to counteract the role that eczema plays in the skin.

Simply defined, eczema is a biological condition in which the human body’s immune system is overactive. That leads to the body’s excessive production of skin cells. Think of it as the skin building new layers of skin, over and over each other, all without allowing dead skin cells and skin layers to be removed before new skin layers are built on top of them. That’s what leads to inflamed, dry, itchy, red, cracked, bumpy, and generally rough and irritated skin.

The National Eczema Association2 defines eczema as such:

“Eczema is the name for a group of conditions that cause the skin to become red, itchy, and inflamed. The word ‘eczema’ is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to boil over.’ When an irritant or an allergen ‘switches on’ the immune system, skin cells don’t behave as they should, causing an eczema flare-up.”

— National Eczema Association

Not only is eczema an immune issue, but it is also a skin moisture issue. Eczema prevents the skin from retaining moisture. That causes dryness, and that in turn leads to the unpleasant symptoms associated with eczema. Because eczema is both an immune system issue and a skin moisture issue, we have to consider both internal and external factors when treating eczema.

Here are some simple, natural remedies for eczema:

  • Take steps to reduce stress. Skin conditions like hives are commonly connected to stress, and eczema is no different. People with eczema should implement daily activities into their lives that reduce stress. These could be activities like taking Yoga classes, meditating, getting regular exercise, eating well, reading books, and taking lots of vitamins.
  • Utilize natural antibacterials like coconut oil. Both the National Eczema Association and Healthline3 discuss coconut oil as a potential remedy for eczema symptoms. That’s because the antibacterial nature of coconut oil helps to reduce staph bacteria on the skin, and that in turn reduces eczema symptoms.
  • Capitalize on camomile. Camomile4 is quite soothing for several skin irritants including eczema. Simply brew a mug of camomile tea, let it cool to a comfortable but warm temperature, then pour the tea onto a washcloth. Apply the washcloth to affected areas of the skin. Repeat if necessary.
  • Apply cold, wet compresses to the skin. Sometimes all that’s needed to relieve an area of the skin affected by eczema is a cold compress. Heat exacerbates eczema. A cool, wet towel can provide quick relief, especially on a hot summer’s day.
  • Keep the skin clean and moisturized. It is crucial to moisturize on a daily basis to reduce eczema symptoms. One should bathe daily and always moisturize the skin with a natural skin cream or organic skin lotion. Keeping clean, bacteria-free, moisturized skin should be a daily habit for eczema patients. Think of eczema as a skin ailment which robs the skin of moisture. Daily application of natural creams and lotions effectively moisturizes the skin, eliminating eczema symptoms in the process.
  • Make use of light therapy. Light therapy simply uses UV rays to improve the health condition of the skin. When daily moisturizing is not enough to relieve eczema symptoms, light therapy might be the next treatment on the docket. Light treatment has shown to be particularly useful in patients who have severe eczema flare-ups. (To learn more, the National Center for Biotechnology Information5 has a great article on the benefits of light therapy).

Treating Eczema – What to Avoid

When we think of treating eczema, we often immediately jump to the remedies or daily healthcare approaches we should add to our lifestyle. But there are also lifestyle habits and daily routines that one should avoid or even subtract from one’s current life. The truth is, we might need to remove things from our daily lives to treat eczema properly. These could simply be day-to-day habits, foods, skincare products, or common tendencies that one wouldn’t really think of, but which actually makes eczema worse.

Some of the things we should avoid are as follows:

  • Avoid using harsh soaps and highly fragranced products. Some soaps are tough on the skin, roughing up the skin’s natural, protective barrier, drying it out, and irritating what is already very sensitive skin. Be sure to avoid harsh, gritty soaps, and instead use soaps intended for sensitive skin.
  • Refrain from taking long, hot baths or showers. We all love a good hot shower, but for those of us with eczema, these are best avoided. The problem is, extremely hot water further irritates the skin, particularly hot, hard water. Eczema patients should content themselves with warm showers to keep their skin healthy and reduce irritation. A soft water filter might also be a good investment, particularly during the cold, dry months of the year.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is a harmful carcinogenic. Not only is such smoke toxic to the lungs, eyes, and nose, but it irritates the skin too. People with eczema should avoid tobacco smoke, even second-hand smoke. Furthermore, eczema patients who smoke cigarettes should consider quitting. They might also consider switching to vaping, a smoking substitute that emits water vapor (not harmful to the skin).
  • Avoid hot temperatures that lead to sweating. Sweat and heat combined can worsen eczema symptoms. When one is in a warm environment, the skin heats up along with the rest of the body. An increase in skin temperature can lead to further irritation of the skin, which in turn can lead to a worsening of eczema symptoms. If one desires to exercise or perform strenuous, sweat-inducing labor, one should attempt to do so in a cool, temperature-controlled space.
  • Stay away from foods that produce allergic reactions. Food allergies can trigger eczema in some patients. That is particularly true with foods like eggs, milk, soybeans, peanuts, and wheat. But in general, if one knows of a food allergy, they should avoid that food, not only for the impact that food has on their digestive system but also for the effect that food has on their skin.
  • Take care to avoid dust. Dust is chock-full of pollens and allergens. People with eczema should avoid dusty surfaces, especially on pillows and furnishings. One might consider using dust protectors and should take care to keep a clean home, living space, and workspace.

Up and Coming Treatments for Eczema

Trying everything under the sun and moon and still struggling with eczema conditions? Don’t lose hope. Even as we speak, there is new research on the horizon that brings us good news in the form of useful, near-future treatments for eczema.

According to an article published in Medical News Today6, there is research that suggests that a vanilla extract derivative called “vanillin” might be a revolutionary remedy for eczema. Researchers tested vanillin on psoriatic mice, finding soon after that the extract considerably improved skin condition in test subjects. Granted, mice are not the same as humans, and psoriasis is not the same as eczema (though the conditions are very similar). But these findings could lead to groundbreaking discoveries in natural treatments for eczema. Quoting the research:

“Vanillin significantly decreased both the amounts of IL-17A and IL-23 and the infiltration of immune cells in the skin tissues of IMQ-treated mice. In conclusion, our findings suggested that vanillin was an effective bioactive compound against psoriatic skin inflammation.”

— Medical News Today

The story on vanillin is a hopeful one. We still don’t know for sure if this vanilla extract derivative will have the same positive results for human eczema patients, but it gives us something to look forward to. There are always new ideas, discoveries, and new solutions to improving our health.

A Life of Clear, Itch-Free, Rash-Free Skin

We can see that treating eczema via natural, holistic means involves two, key approaches:

1). Adding certain supplements and lifestyle changes into our lives, and adhering to those changes on a daily basis.

And,

2). Taking certain habits out of our day-to-day lives.

Another article on Medical News Today7 further explored that concept of adding and subtracting habits, elements, foods, and routines in an effort to treat eczema. That article also gave valuable data on the differences between eczema and psoriasis.

Thankfully, there is much that we can do to curb, reduce, and even eliminate the symptoms of eczema. It’s just a matter of studying the materials and information that we have available and applying the gathered data into our day-to-day lives. We should all take comfort in knowing that there are natural remedies and lifestyle changes that we can all make to have happy, healthy, itch-free, and rash-free skin.

Sources:

1 https://nationaleczema.org/research/eczema-facts/
2 https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/
3 https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-remedies-to-reduce-eczema-symptoms#coconut-oil
4 https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12413/5-natural-treatments-for-common-skin-conditions.html
5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK424892/
6 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320238.php#3
7 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315749.php#treatments_eczema

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Beeswax – Getting a Little Help from Our Bee Friends in Our Daily Skincare

You’re strolling through the pharmacy aisle at the supermarket, looking for a topical remedy for this season’s bout of itchy, dry skin. The sheer variety of options is a little overwhelming. How many skincare remedies can there be? Usually, you’d grab the first thing off the shelf that looks more or less good, (even if you can’t understand half the terms on the ingredients list), and move on with your shopping list.

New data (or ancient data now resurfaced) suggests that beeswax, literally the wax that honeybees make for their honeycombs, has skincare benefits that rival expensive, pharmaceutical-grade unguents.

Looking at the Research

A 2016 publication in Science Direct1 lauded organic beeswax for its benefits, particularly when this natural substance is used as an antimicrobial. And let’s keep in mind that this is not new science either. Beeswax has been in use not only as a foodstuff but also as a medicinal substance for thousands of years. According to Science Direct:

“‘Pharmaceutical’ use of beeswax dates back to ancient Egypt. Beeswax was the main ingredient in many recipes for the preparation of ointments and creams used to help pull plugs, to treat burns and wounds, and to soothe joint pain. The ‘father of medicine,’ Hippocrates, recommended the use of beeswax in cases of purulent tonsillitis. In ancient Rome, many doctors of the time used to apply a cream known as ‘cold cream,’ which contained olive oil, beeswax, and rose water for the treatment of burns, wounds, cuts, bruises, and fractures.”

— ScienceDirect.com

As millions of people across the world continue to struggle with dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, dry, itchy, flaky skin, and other dermatological problems, modern science is circling back to the natural remedies that ancient medical practitioners used to heal their patients.

And the beautiful thing about this transition is that it’s working.

A scientific research and experimentation project out of Dubai was published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine2. The study hailed beeswax as being a useful ingredient when used in a face moisturizer or a lotion for dry skin. Scientists arrived at that conclusion by performing experiments and testing honey and beeswax-based products for efficacy in skincare supplements.

Quoting that study:

“In the honey mixture group, 8/10 patients with dermatitis showed significant improvement after two weeks. Honey mixture appears useful in the management of dermatitis and psoriasis vulgaris.”

Since beeswax came back on the radar as an all-natural health product, health gurus and natural science aficionados alike have sought to unravel the inherent nature of beeswax. The goal here has been to find out why this simple honey bee byproduct is so beneficial.

How is it that beeswax, a byproduct of honeybees, has all of these great benefits for humans?

For starters, beeswax is a humectant. A humectant is simply a substance that retains moisture. Beeswax binds water molecules to the skin without clogging pores, allowing the skin to remain hydrated without preventing the skin from receiving oxygen from the air, vitamin D from the sun, etc.

Beeswax is an excellent source of vitamin A. That aids in the hydration and the general exfoliation of the skin. The vitamin A also makes beeswax great for dry skin, particularly when used in a face cream or psoriasis lotion. Beeswax is also an anti-allergenic and has a high bioavailability (bioavailability refers to the rate at which a substance can be absorbed into and used by the body).

The Benefits of Beeswax

Beeswax is a natural substance that has many health benefits. (And we haven’t even touched on the non-skin-related healing aspects of beeswax yet). For just skincare alone, beeswax has the following traits:

  • Beeswax softens and lubricates the skin.
  • Beeswax is an antiallergenic, meaning almost anyone can use it.
  • Beeswax serves to increase elasticity, thus slowing the aging process.
  • Beeswax is rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, and anti-microbial, anti-bacterial properties.
  • Beeswax is the perfect ingredient for an organic face moisturizer because it does not clog or block pore function.

Finding the Best Face and Body Cream

According to an article on Bustle3:

“Beeswax carries antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that are essential in fighting chapped skin and bacterial infections that tend to affect us most in the dry, winter months.”

— Bustle.com

So the next time you’re at the supermarket shopping for a face and body cream that will work, you might consider avoiding heavily chemicalized pharmaceutical products. Why not instead consider ordering an all-natural, organic skin cream, (preferably, one that has beeswax as a primary ingredient.) Your skin will thank you!

Sources:

1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764516301407
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15022655
3 https://www.bustle.com/articles/58023-3-uses-for-beeswax-thatll-have-your-hair-skin-and-clothes-looking-their-best-because