01 Dec First Aid Skin
In the next couple of newsletters, I’m going to focus on “First Aid Kits” for different systems. We’ll cover a few key remedies to have on hand at home to help address common issues.
I’ll start today with your First Aid Kit for Skin. We’ll talk about wrinkles, skin infections, and dry/ irritated skin. Many topical preparations contain ingredients should be avoiding (such as parabens and phthalates). Here are three natural, safe, and effective solutions for your skin woes.
I’m not ageing! but some of you may be interested in one of my favorite products for minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles is hyaluronic acid (HA). It is a naturally occurring substance in the human body which is found in highest concentrations in the joints, offering lubrication, and in the eye, helping the eyeball to preserve its shape.
HA is approved by the FDA for use in certain eye surgeries (including cataract removal, corneal transplants, and other eye injuries) in which it is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace the fluids within the eye.
HA is also used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. It can be injected into the joint space or taken orally. In some people, it’s effective in reducing pain and improving joint stiffness. It may also delay the progression of joint damage over the long run.
What we’ve seen so far is that HA is involved in “plumping and moisturizing” and so, it makes perfect sense that it’s being studied for protection of the skin against aging. In fact, HA is used by plastic surgeons and dermatologists in injectibles (such as Juvederm) to reduce fine lines.
HA keeps moisture in the skin, filling fine lines and adding a glow. There is some evidence that HA may stimulate collagen production with long term use.
HA is best in serum form, either on its own or with other antiaging and antioxidant ingredients. I like these two products:
Pure hyaluronic acid from Complementary Prescriptions
Less expensive, with added firming ingredients from NOW Foods
Dry Skin, Eczema, Minor Burns, Bruises, and Cuts:
Calendula (pot marigold- not to be confused with the annual marigold you’d find in American gardens) is an herb with a time honored use in skin and mucus membrane healing.
Calendula contains large amounts of flavonoids; antioxidants which protect cells from damage. It has anti-inflammatory effects and also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Calendula helps wounds to heal faster (it increases blood flow and oxygen to the affected area, stimulating the growth of new tissue). It also hydrates skin and protects skin from the inflammation caused by radiation therapy.
Internally, I recommend calendula infusions for healing inflammation of the large intestine when used as part of a retention enema.
Mostly, I use it topically to help heal cuts, reduce the inflammation of dermatitis, heal diaper rash. It’s generally very safe and effective with two caveats:
1)If you’re allergic to plants in the daisy or aster family, including chrysanthemums and ragweed, you may also have an allergic reaction to calendula (usually a skin rash).
2)Calendula shouldn’t be used for deep, open wounds as it may cause the skin to heal too quickly.