Prescription Drugs Vs. Holistic Treatment Options

Holistic skin care sometimes gets a negative reputation from mainstreamers who prefer to prescribe drugs for virtually every condition they encounter. The trouble is, most prescription medications and medical fixes have isolated effects, failing to take the whole picture into account. A strong oral anti-acne drug like Accutane might have the effect of reducing superficial skin oiliness and reducing acne, but only at the expense of the liver. Botox injections may plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but the effects are temporary and the safeness of the procedure is questionable.

Now what if you knew that eating salmon 10 times a week could not only plump up your skin and fill out wrinkles but also make your hair more lustrous, diminish blemishes, and improve your elimination system? Would you still opt for that Botox needle, or would you start making salmon part of your weekly diet plan?

And what if you were told that dry brushing your skin each morning before jumping in the shower could revitalize your sluggish circulatory system, boosting your energy, empowering your immune system, ridding your body of toxins, and clearing your head and skin? Would you keep taking dangerous antibiotics for your acne when simply sloughing your legs and arms with a loofah could dramatically improve your complexion? (And did you know that taking antibiotics can actually throw your whole system out of whack, killing off the good bacteria that are essential to digestion ultimately clogging up your elimination system and worsening your complexion?)

Certainly, some medicines are modern miracles, providing cures to people who would otherwise be condemned to suffering. But in this day and age, medications are so over-prescribed (and often inappropriately prescribed) that it is good to be wary before popping another pill. Many physicians in the West don’t know much about natural treatments options or alternative solutions to common skin problems. It is well within your rights as a patient to research them and discuss them with your physician or dermatologist if you so choose.

Caring for Your Skin the Natural Way

In your attempts to improve the condition of your skin, start by looking inward. Don’t just think about how you look think about how you feel.

Are you irritable, congested, upset, depressed, stressed out? If so, topical treatments alone may not do the trick. You’ve got to exercise, drink plenty of water, dry brush your skin and perhaps even get regular massages as a way to recharge your batteries, boost circulation and improve your mental state. How we look is a reflection of what’s going on inside, and that includes both our physical and our emotional health.

Pay attention to your diet a much neglected aspect of life in our modern day and age. Make sure you are eating foods that feed your skin, not foods that work against your body. Avoid excessive sugars, white flour and processed items, which trigger dangerous inflammation. Junk foods and fast foods are a big no-no. Limit your intake of meat, which essentially rots inside your gut; instead, choose plenty of veggies and fruits they will help sweep out your colon, improving absorption of nutrients and boosting your energy levels. Eat lots of oily fish, like salmon, to give your body the essential fats for proper functioning.

As you eat, try this simple and yet incredibly effective tip: chew your food thoroughly. Don’t just chomp a few times and swallow. Instead, chew at least a dozen times on each side of the mouth. Most of us don’t break down our food into small enough pieces, and this can wreak havoc on our digestion by hindering the body’s absorption of nutrients. You may be surprised to find that this simple change has a considerable impact on how you feel and how your skin looks.

Give the Holistic Approach an Honest Try

If you’re used to quick fixes and easy prescriptions, it may be hard to accept the idea that deceptively simple changes like the ones above, in combination with natural topical treatments and vitamin supplements, can have a major impact on your health and your skin’s condition. But just give them a try and you may be shocked at how quickly your body transforms. The human body is astonishingly resilient and fast to respond to positive changes you’ll see the proof in your mirror!

Sensitive skin is believed to be hereditary and there is no real way to cure it. You can reduce the irritation caused by harsh products and irritants. Many people react to ordinary products. You may feel itching or burning soon after application. Other common irritants are skin care products, soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners and cosmetics. Choose dye and fragrance free varieties of all these products to reduce allergic reactions and irritation.

If your skin reacts easily to products, you will need to choose your soaps and skin care products very carefully to avoid reactions. Look for hypoallergenic products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Any products you use should be fragrance free, as the fragrance is a common irritant.

You should choose cosmetics carefully. Most cosmetics contain a wide range of chemicals, in addition to coloring and fragrances that cause irritation. Chemicals are used to preserve make up and increase the shelf life. Look for all natural ingredients and make up that is made for your skin type. Mineral make up is an excellent choice. It contains no artificial ingredients that can cause a reaction.

Dry skin is a common complaint. If the skin is very dry, it may show the signs of aging sooner. Fine lines are a common complaint and can be treated in a variety of ways. Keep the skin moist with an oil free moisturizer that is made for your skin type. As with other products, look for a lotion that contains all natural ingredients, rather than a lot of chemicals. Apply moisturizer twice each day, in the morning and before bed. An occasional facial peel can help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

Many people with sensitive skin also suffer from acne. This presents a challenge as many products made for break outs contain harsh chemicals. These can be very irritating and make the condition worse. Look for natural products that don’t contain harsh chemicals. Use only cleansers that are gentle and made for your skin type. Avoid washing the skin too frequently, which can cause irritation.

To soothe irritated skin, you can apply an ice pack on the inflamed areas twice each day. Don’t pick at blemishes, as this irritates the skin and spreads pimples to other areas of your face. Drink plenty of water to flush the skin and help keep the pores clean. Stay out of the sun whenever possible. When you are out in the sun, always wear a non oily sun block to protect yourself from overexposure.

For bad cases of acne, gentle skin care products may not be enough to clear the blemishes and improve the condition. You may need deeper exfoliation, such as in a facial peel. Esthetician’s Choice is the perfect product for sensitive skin. This product contains TCA, a non toxic chemical that has been used for the past 30 years by estheticians and dermatologists. In addition, this product can be diluted for a gentler, surface peel.

The aspirin mask is a homemade BHA mask available to each and everyone of us, totally inexpensive and highly efficient, made of salicylic acid or tablets of aspirin. BHA is known to help tremendously with cleaning pores from deep inside and therefore contribute to keeping our skin blemish-free. BHAs are efficient on existing blemishes as well, by helping them heal faster and keeping pores clean afterwards.

Indications: all skin types, especially normal to oily and combination skin, acne-prone and clogged skin.

Basic preparation: 1/4 tsp. salicylic acid (ask for it at pharmacy, if you cannot find it, then crush 3-5 tablets of plain aspirin instead), distilled water. Mix the powder with the water until it becomes of a creamy consistence, apply on clean dry skin (focus on T-zone and sides of the nose). Keep it on until completely dry. Take a small cotton pad, wet it lightly and begin scrubbing the areas covered with the mask, making small circles. Finally, rinse with plenty of water. It would be excellent to apply a calming mask or a hydrating mask first, followed by your regular moisturizer. Skin will be left completely smooth and even.

There are practically unlimited versions of this mask. You can add yoghurt for an astringent effect, aloe vera, honey. You can also make the mask using a basic moisturizer mixed with salicylic acid instead of water, as it will be less harsh on the skin and will be more easy to use.
Another option is to mix salicylic acid / crushed aspirin into a mask: into a clay mask, a hydrating mask or a soothing mask. My personal favourite is aloe vera mask with a hint of salicylic acid – application is much better, skin is less irritated and dried compared to aspirin with water, the feeling left after this mask is absolutely unique so smooth and clean!

If you use powdered salicylic acid, it is advisable to limit the quantity to 1/4 tsp. for the whole face, too much will burn the skin. If using aspirin tablets, you will probably need somewhere between 3 and 10 tablets depending on the area where you apply it.

Do not apply it near to eye zone, as it would be extremely drying and irritating for the sensitive skin there.

Refrain yourself from over-using it. For very oily skin and for severe blemishes, every 3 days would be more than enough in order not to stress the skin and obtain maximum efficiency. Other skin types should use it once a week or twice a month (dry to very dry, sensitive skin).

The normal production of the major protein that makes up the connective tissue in our skin, collagen, is disrupted. Our skin is stretched thin and loses its elasticity. At first, due to the dilation of capillaries, the stretch marks may appear pink or red-colored. While trying to heal the wounds, the production of collagen is increased in the overstretched tissue, resulting in the familiar scars.

A lot is said about the prevention of stretch marks, but what can we do to remove them if they are already formed? Can we get rid of them? Or should we just learn to live with them? Let’s take a look at some of our best options:

  • In the early stages, when stretch marks are still pinkish, apply several moisturizing creams and oils to make them less intense while they are maturing. Massage the area daily with body oil. Olive oil is said to be the best. Vaseline also works, any cream rich in vitamin E, different types of butter, cocoa butter, coconut butter and shea butter being the best.
  • Micro-dermabrasion can also help. It is a skin-freshening technique that helps repair skin conditions. The micro-dermabrasion technique abrades the skin with a high-pressure flow of crystals, which stimulates the formation of new collagen and elastin. This causes the attenuated epidermis to heal more effectively, making stretch marks heal and become much less noticeable.
  • You can also use medicines known as retinoids, which are derived from Vitamin A. Vitamin A is known to stimulate collagen renewal underneath the skin, healing the tears gradually.
  • Creams containing alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) can be of some benefit also. AHAs are usually derived from fruit. They are actually fruit acids. These creams can improve your skin texture and color by increasing cell regeneration. AHAs remove the top layer of cells causing healthier ones to come to the surface. This will help improve the appearance of the stretch marks.
  • You can also use laser light as an expensive but effective treatment, if used during the early stages. Dermatologists use a pulsed dye laser to fade red marks. A new type of laser has been used more recently, that can fade away mature light-colored marks. This type of therapy requires multiple treatments. Also, some pain may be involved, although it’s minimal. A few patients with darker skin tones have been reported to have some post-procedure pigmentary alteration, which is usually temporary.
  • If the stretch marks appear on your belly there is a final solution, plastic surgery. During this procedure much of the skin below the belly button is removed. Stretch marks in this area are also removed with the skin.

I have found that the apple mask is very good for normal skin. Peel, core, and quarter an apple. Chop the apple in your blender, and add two tablespoons of honey. Blend until smooth. Then remove the mixture from the blender, and refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes. Apply the mixture to your face using a patting motion, and be sure to pat until the honey becomes tacky. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, and rinse with warm water.

I have also had great success with a Strawberry mask that my Grandmother told me about. The trick here is to use extremely ripe Strawberries. Add approximately ½ cup of strawberries and a ¼ cup of cornstarch to the blender, and mix until smooth. Apply the mixture to your face, and be careful to avoid the area around your eyes. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and rinse it off with cool water.

The next facial mask is excellent for blemished skin. Chop a ripened tomato into small pieces, and place it in your blender. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice and some instant oatmeal or rolled oats. Mix until it is all combined. Do not mix for too long, as it will not stick to your face. If it gets too thin, simply add more oatmeal. Apply the mixture, and leave it on for 10 minutes. Scrub it off using a warm, wet cloth.

There are many different ways to care for your skin, and as many different products on the market. In my experience, the most natural treatments provide the best results. Try to avoid products that have heavy perfumed scents or appear to use poor quality ingredients. These all natural fruit facials have worked wonders for me. I hope you enjoy them.

The latest trend in skin care marketing is anti-aging. Many women today are concerned about reversing the signs of aging as well as prevention of the aging process. With so many well known brand name products out there, it may be difficult to find the perfect most beneficial one for you. That is why I encourage you to be a label reader and know what you are putting in and on your body.

The difference between botanically based products and those that only contain botanical ingredients is simply in the recipe.
Botanicals can be added to a base of ingredients such as mineral oil, drying alcohols or animal by-products. In a base like that, your skin won’t benefit from the botanicals. You are paying for useless added ingredients that do not benefit your skin or health. For example 98% of cosmetic companies use some type of petrolatum by products, mineral oil, petrolatum or petroleum, in their products. Have you ever turned your products over and read “animal by products”? No, but the labels might say collagen, elastin and lanolin. Remember that the next time you lick your lips.

Furthermore, what you put on your body, you are essentially putting in your body. Don’t believe me? Put a piece of garlic between your toes, you will taste it in about fifteen minutes. Wouldn’t you like to be putting something on your body that aids in beauty as well as health? The ingredients are just a important as the effects.

There is hope, I have found a company with a Swiss formulated skin care line for the whole family*. These products are hypoallergenic and formulated without dyes, chemicals, or synthetic fragrances. They are also PH correct, which is part of their pure, safe and beneficial guarantee. It is not beneficial to use a product that makes you feel squeaky-clean because the PH of skin is 5.5 and we have an acid mantel that keeps down the bacterial infections. PH balanced is what most products advertise and that is about a 7, which is too drying for our skin. A lot of the clear soap that people use on their skin is actually a 14 on the ph scale, the same as perm solution.

I hope you come away from the article with a greater understanding of the importance of skin care and the products used to achieve healthy skin. At least, I hope you have become a label reader and are aware of what you are using and what you should be using.

Your skin will most likely burn and then peel. You also receive the highest amounts of UV radiation that can have long term affects like melanoma or skin cancer. When you do go out, make sure to apply at least a SPF of 10 or higher and couple of times. This way you can see if you get any color. A slight pink color is the most that you want. Even if you do not look like you got any color it can come in at a later time that day or when you shower. It is good to take a mildly cold shower after returning from being in the sun because any color you do get is like a burn and should be treated as such. Cold water will help stop any temporary damage that could cause you to peel. Aloe vera is also a great natural oinment to heal your skin and help it maintain a darker shade.

If you do burn, Solarcane is a good skin treatment cream that has medication to help heal burns, but it is not necessary unless you are uncomfortable. Take at least two days after being in the sun to see the effects. You can then assess if you would like more or less sun exposure based on the results. Never alter your time in the sun by more than 1 hour for testing and always use some form of sunblock. Sunblock, even in weak forms, has UV protection that protects you from the harmful radiation. Do not layout in the sun with out it. The process can be slow at first, but you should see some results. If you are prone to freckles from sun exposure, you may want to slow the process even more, because the freckles are a reaction to too much sun at one time.

Consequently, there are hundreds of companies selling thousands of products, all vying to have the best selling skin care product. Although this is not inherently bad, many of these companies charge an arm and a leg for products that are chemically based, pose a risk of skin irritation, and damage to the environment.

However, there are effective alternatives to chemical skin care. An all natural, home remedy can often achieve the same results as the chemically based products, but without any of the irritation or side effects.

One of the best forms of natural home skin care are masks. Masks can be made from a wide variety of ingredients at home to achieve whatever your skin care needs are. Furthermore, most of the ingredients are easy to find, and very affordable.

The most popular home made mask is an oatmeal mask It is a simple, completely safe mask, and it works perfectly for people with oily skin. The ingredients are as follows:

1/3 cup of fast cook oatmeal (1-3 minutes)

¼ cup of honey

½ cup of water

Mix the water and the oatmeal together, and cook. Then, set the oatmeal aside to cool and thicken. As it is cooling, mix in the ¼ cup of honey. Once the mask is well mixed and cool, apply a thin even layer to the skin.

Be careful when applying this mask around the eyes. Though completely safe, the oatmeal can cause slight eye irritation. Better yet, place a used tea bag over the eyelids to reduce any redness or eye irritation.

The way this mask works is simple. The oatmeal in the mask is the primary “active” ingredient. It works to absorb excess oil on the skin and in the pores. Oatmeal will also help remove excess skin cells, and exfoliate the skin. The honey is simply there to turn the oatmeal into a pasty, sticky consistency that will adhere to the skin.

Another all natural skin treatment is to use lemon juice to help exfoliate and freshen the skin.

Lemon juice is a fruit acid, AKA Alpha Hydroxy Acid. It works in a similar fashion to salicylic acid, except that it is 100% all natural. It will help exfoliate the skin by reducing the “glue” that causes dead skin cells to stick to the skin.

This is one the simplest masks you can make, and is actually more of a “rinse” than anything. The only ingredients needed are water and lemon juice. Mix 1 part water to 5 parts lemon juice, and massage the solution onto your face. Then, rinse your face with cool water. Make sure to rinse well, because it can cause skin irritation if left on too long.

Chemical peeling is now being regarded as the best option to give the skin a second lease at life. Chemical peels work by removing the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin. Peeling off the epidermis dramatically improves skin texture, smoothing out wrinkles, erasing spots caused by photo-aging and balancing the skin’s color.

The chemical applied to the skin varies, depending on the extent of skin damage. Light to medium chemical peels are advisable for people who have age spots and pigment abnormalities or those suffering from the early stages of photo-aging. Cosmetic surgeons normally use either alpha-hydroxy (glycolic, lactic or fruit acids) or trichloroacetic (TCA) acids for the said procedure. Phenol peels, on the other hand, are recommended for severely damaged skin.

TCA vs. AHA

While both TCA and AHA can be used to treat light to moderately damaged skin, the former proves to be more effective in providing definite results. Dr. Mitchell E. Blum, a recognized cosmetic surgeon who has been practicing for more than 25 years, provides a deeper, more thorough peel, as opposed to AHA, which may require several applications before results can be achieved. He also states that a TCA skin peel mimics the results of a Phenol peel, in that it penetrates the deeper layers of the skin, but provides a shorter recovery period. TCA peel is also quite affordable, and medical grade kits for home use can be found online at http://www.bestskinpeel.com.

However, Dr. Blum advises the use of tretinoin (preferably Retin-A), glycolic acid and other bleaching agents at least four to six weeks prior to undergoing the procedure to prepare the skin for the chemical peel. This is because tretinoin stimulates the skin to heal faster while glycolic acid enhances the effect of the tretinoin.

The Procedure

The procedure is fairly quick, consuming a maximum of one hour. TCA is applied onto the face, focusing specifically on troubled portions of the skin. Because of the burning sensation that the TCA will generate, surgeons normally advise their patients to drink painkillers or sedatives to relieve the discomfort. Ice can also be applied to the skin to relieve the pain.

After The Procedure

Patients are advised to wash their face daily with gentle soap and water, followed by the application of an oil-based or steroid ointment. The skin will appear red for the first few days but will eventually flake within four to seven days. To achieve maximum effect, patients are advised to use sunblock to avoid recurring skin problems.

Name an ailment, and you will find hundreds of skin care creams, lotions and other products for it. As a result of ongoing research and due to ever increasing demand, the number of skin care products seems to be on the increase. Skin care lotions and skin care creams are the most popular forms in which these products are available, and there always seems to be a debate on which form is better?

Well, there is no definitive answer to this. It seems more like a matter of personal choice. However, greasy creams are surely less popular as compared to the non-greasy (or less greasy) ones. Since the application of skin care creams is easier, they seem to be preferred (over lotions) in cases where the skin care product is not to be removed immediately after application. So, skin care creams seem more popular as moisturisers than as cleansers or toners. For toners, lotions seem to be preferred over skin care creams. There are some skin care creams that acts as toners too, but generally the toners are available in liquid form only. For cleansing, lotions and skin care creams are equally popular; however, the tilt seems more towards lotions.

Creams are known to be most effective in keeping skin moist; hence, the most popular form of skin care creams is moisturisers. Due to the same reason, a lot of people tend to associate skin care creams with dry and sensitive skin. Though it is true to a certain extent, skin care creams are not used only for dry skin, they are also used for making products for oily skin e.g. vitamin A creams and sulphur creams that help reduce the rate of sebum production.

Skin care creams are also used for products that cater to skin disorders especially for disorders that require the application of product over a small localised area. This is again due to the fact that skin care creams are easier to apply (without wastage) on the affected area. However, in cases where skin needs to be washed using a medicine/product, lotion is a better choice. Mostly, the manufacturers too realize this fact, making it easier for you to choose between a lotion and a skin care cream

Eye-creams and anti-ageing creams are other examples where skin care cream is preferred over its lotion counterpart.