I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now, because I really want to highlight the importance of treating the skin you’re in – not just with skincare products …. much as I love them – and they are a priority to me … but they’re only a part of the jigsaw that is skin health . Looking after yourself on all levels is so important to achieve balance and skin that radiates good health. Your diet. Your lifestyle in general … stress levels, sleep, exercise etc. Your spiritual self, making time for self-care, mindfulness, time out, meditation, baths, reading, cooking …. whatever floats your boat and allows you some ‘me’ time.
A Healthy Gut Radiates Outwards
The health of your gut is vitally important too and is impacted by many factors. Having a healthy gut will radiate outwards with a glowing complexion, bright eyes and healthy hair …. what’s going on inside reflects outwards in the appearance of your skin and also in your general well being. So, if your gut isn’t in the healthiest functioning state this will manifest in all kinds of ways outwardly.
As a Spiritual and Crystal Healer, I also look to the chakras for well-being. Chakras are energy centres in the body. There are seven chakras that are positioned from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Each chakra has its own vibration and colour and is linked to specific body parts and their functions. Each chakra is also linked to different emotions that we feel. Our chakras are influenced by everything we do and will go in and out of being balanced at different times. Illness – physical and mental, daily stress and busy lives will all affect the balance and energy. Using crystals and meditation are just two ways of helping to get the balance and flow back.
The Solar Plexus chakra, associated body parts are – the stomach, liver, digestive system, nervous system, abdomen and gall bladder. When this chakra is balanced and energised there is a feeling of inner peace and acceptance. You will feel calm and in balance …. not always easy when people are typically living such hectic lives. Just for your information here, if you are a lover of crystals and believe in their energy and vibrations for helping achieve more balance. The crystals relating to the Solar Plexus are yellow and are – Citrine, Tiger’s Eye, Yellow Topaz and Amber.
When I was studying for a year on my Spiritual Healing course and also studying on the crystal healing course at the same time, I got to a point with twice weekly healing sessions where my chakras were pretty much always balanced and energised ….. and I really felt the effects both physically and mentally. It was also a positive effect having that time out for regular meditation, calming music, candles and peace that helped. As I said before though, they go in and out of balance and sometimes things happen to tip the balance in our lives, as much as we try to maintain it.
When Things Throw You Off Balance
So rewind back to the back end of last year/beginning of this year and post just finishing a year of studying. Life threw in a couple of situations that at the time felt a little bit stressful. On top of that, I (and the husband) hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in almost three years because my little boy (bless his heart) had never slept properly. It had got better for a short while and I even gleefully wrote a post about sleep for the Huffington Post … but then we went backwards again. I’d be up and down all night playing musical beds and then up before the sun would rise with stinging eyes. We were all pretty grumpy with one another. This isn’t a poor me post by the way, so I hope it doesn’t appear so … I’m just setting a scene.
The sleep situation did have a HUGE impact on all areas of life. Motivation, work productiveness, productiveness in general, patience, mood, exercising, diet …. You know it I’m sure. We’ve all been there. My body was out of balance and spiritually I felt out of balance. I’d finished two courses, I missed the groups and the peace and time out that I found there.
My Skin Was Showing The Unbalance
Around this time I noticed my skin wasn’t looking its best, despite using the amazing products that I’d always used and taking supplements I love. I had several small itchy bumps on my skin and redness around the nose area. I had recently tried out a new product around the same time and wondered if it was a reaction to that, but when I removed it my skin still continued to get worse. I was a bit frustrated and also a little embarrassed to be honest. I certainly didn’t feel like I was any kind of good advert for ‘treat the skin you’re in’. I felt a bit like a fraud. There were lots of things going on at the time that were keeping me very busy and distracted, so although I tried to figure out what was causing it, at this point I was quite distracted and mainly looking at the products I was using and trying a process of elimination. I figured it might also be due to feeling a little run down and it would naturally right itself eventually. I guess I just kind of accepted it, covered it up as best I could with makeup and got on with the other stuff as at this point it was only in a small area next to my nose and hadn’t yet spread.
Fast forward a little further down the line and the sleep situation had improved hugely, which had a real positive impact in lots of ways …. But not on my skin unfortunately.
As my skin got worse and the redness spread around my chin and to the other side of my nose, I got to thinking that despite my frustration perhaps there was a positive. It was giving me an experience of how others feel with skin problems such as acne or regular breakouts – and some people live with it far worse than this was, and consistently. I was pretty confident that this was temporary and would improve. After a while of just carrying on though – I cracked and decided I had to sort it out. I was fed up of only feeling okay with my skin when it was masked with makeup – which never covers bumps, it just conceals the redness. I also worried that covering it was making it worse, but I didn’t have the confidence to put myself out there sans makeup!
Building A Picture
I looked back at when it began and started to build a picture. I looked at all aspects of my lifestyle at the time, my diet etc … which I always do my best with, but I’m human and there are times that I turn to sugar (usually when sleep deprived). I looked at my supplement stash and what I’d fallen out of habit with … and I looked at how my skin complaint had started in one tiny spot near my nose and gradually spread to both sides and around my mouth. I came to the conclusion that it was Perioral Dermatitis, which I’d never personally experienced before.
Perioral Dermatitis – A First For Me
Perioral Dermatitis can appear as a rash or raised bumps. They tend to be itchy or sore and spread easily. Many things can cause it and there are lots of theories out there including fluoride toothpastes (which I don’t use), skincare with nasties in them – again I don’t use those, and using shampoo with sodium laurel sulphate in it – again, I don’t use them. There are also theories that hormones can be a large contributing factor.
My gut feeling when looking at all aspects was that it actually stemmed from my gut health and I had to work from within on a physical level as well as a spiritual level to get back to feeling more balanced. I felt that lack of sleep and not managing stress properly, as well as falling out of a routine with certain supplements had impacted my gut health. I had stopped making my own kefir and wasn’t taking my probiotics on a daily basis. I felt certain from reading extensively, that I likely had Candida overgrowth. The bad bacteria in my gut had overtaken the good, leading to my skin issues.
I hope you’re still with me ….
My Natural Treatments
I wasn’t about to run off to the Doctor as I thought the likelihood would be a prescription of antiobiotics. I prefer where possible to treat with natural methods and will always try this first. Let food be thy medicine! I was determined to get my skin back on track, especially as this was reflecting what was going on inside my body. I also wanted clear skin for my summer holiday where I knew I’d have bare skin every day. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin. Give me a few lines and wrinkles over red itchy bumps any day!
Here are the things I took and did – I’m happy to say that they worked.
More coconut oil – internally and applied lightly on the affected areas.
I took grapefruit seed extract supplements daily.
I took oil of oregano supplements.
I increased my garlic consumption and took garlic supplements.
All of the above are natural anti-bacterials and work to kill off the fungus.
I regularly took MSM capsules.
I started making time for meditations and long walks again.
I drank Pau d’Arco tea – said to help with Candida.
I cut out all sugar whilst detoxing. This included most fruits and all dried fruits – sugar feeds Candida.
I took baths with Epsom salts and Pink Himalayan Salts to detox my body.
I went to bed earlier every night as I was experiencing detox symptoms. My body ached and I was so tired.
During this time my skin actually got worse before it got better. I was prepared for this and knew I was turning a corner. The detox symptoms began to subside and I felt like a fog was clearing.
I was also very kindly sent at this time, a product from Pai Skincare that is apparently good for acne and breakouts, but also many people suffering with Perioral Dermatitis have found this to help.Perfect Balance Blemish Serum, Copaiba and Zinc. By the time I received this my skin was already improving a lot, but I think this along with coconut oil may have helped to calm the redness. I will stress that I believe that treating internally is first and foremost important … but of course, anything that can help to calm redness and alleviate symptoms is also welcome.
Good Bacteria – A Daily Essential
I then added back in to my supplement routine – Probiotics, to increase the good bacteria in my gut. Probiotics, as I’m sure you probably know – are good bacteria. They’re essential for a healthy gut that functions well. I had not been taking them consistently during this ‘busy period’. I will try my best to not miss a day again or assume my gut is just fine without them.
Over a period of a few weeks my skin got better … it cleared completely and it remains completely clear. I felt more energised after my detox and I got back to using all of the skincare products I always use (with no issues) and did not dare use during this time.
Every day I take Just For Tummies Live Bacteria and sometimes before my evening meal I also take a Digestive Enzyme from Just For Tummies. I have noticed a positive difference in how I feel from taking these.
Striving For Balance
As much as we can all do our best to do be on top of everything and look after ourselves – life sometimes throws curve balls. I’m not perfect, but each day I try to take some positive steps to benefit my health and well-being. Some days are better than others – but that’s okay. Balance is good. I allow myself a cup of good quality coffee daily if I want it, rather than stressing about only drinking green tea all day or only having coffee if it’s decaf – I just don’t have 4-5 cups a day because I’d feel awful and dehydrated. I eat cake sometimes and I enjoy it guilt free … most of the time. I drink champagne and prosecco, just not daily. I can literally go months without alcohol and then I went on holiday and drank champagne everyday for 10 days. I drink more water and eat more veggies to balance things out. I take spirulina tablets and chlorella when I’m being good and I remember to include them – I’m a supplement junkie! and I make a smoothie most days. I believe it’s about finding your own balance and finding what suits you and your life. You know when you feel your best and when you don’t.
If you ever have issues with your skin, look within first. Look at all factors of your lifestyle before trying to ease the symptoms with only a topical product. Look at what the root cause may be and not just the symptoms. It might be reactive to something topical, but it may also be reactive to something internal.
I actually took a picture of my skin at the time on my phone, however you can’t really see how bad it actually was in real life because the lighting isn’t great, and I think I took this as it was starting to improve. I’m sorry I don’t have it at its worst. It is cropped because as much as I want to share with you – bad skin, no makeup and wet hair isn’t what I want to put out there. I’m thankful for makeup every day! LOL. If you google images of Perioral Dermatitis you’ll get a clearer picture of the tiny blisters too. The other picture is me on my way to the airport for my holiday, with clear skin, wearing only a very light BB Cream and feeling comfortable in my skin. No filter but it was a sunny day. I may not look really happy but I am so rubbish at taking selfies! Trust me, I was actually very excited to finally be on our way to the airport!
I hope this post might help someone that is suffering with skin issues. Please do contact me if you have any questions at all – email@example.com
My gleeful sleep post should you wish to read it – The Invisible Elixir of Youth and Vitality
Have a great day.