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Whole Remedies for Holistic Skin Care

By: Jimm Harrison
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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Topicals that provide overall benefits to whole body health with skin protective and rejuvenating properties, as well as contain powerful antioxidant and immune-stimulating effects, include:

  • green tea extract;
  • rosehip seed and berry seed oils;
  • olive and argan oil;
  • vitamin C—using the fat-soluble form, ascorbyl palmitate, for topical use;
  • lavender, geranium and tea tree essential oils.

Holistic remedies for emotions and skin

Essential oils are ideal ingredients for holistic treatment, especially when focused on emotional balance. An aromatherapy blend can simultaneously attend to stress relief, autonomic nervous system balance and a variety of physical symptoms.

There are many good essential oils for emotionally related skin conditions. South African cape chamomile is calming, reducing anxiety, stress and the accompanying inflammatory response. Cedrol, found in cedarwood, was studied for its effect in bringing balance to the autonomic nervous system, which may help reduce heart palpitations, a nervous stomach and anxiety-related conditions of the skin, and neroli is also good for anxiety-related conditions, as well as sensitive skin. Clary sage is emotionally calming and soothing, and it contains a phytoestrogen for the balance of hormonally related skin conditions. Ingredients containing flavonoids and carotenoids, such as extracts of pomegranate, sea buckthorn and acai, help to reduce stress-induced inflammation and free radical damage.

Also important to note, high amounts of polyphenolic compounds found in green tea and supercritical carbon dioxide extracts of rosemary, ginger, turmeric and astaxanthin have properties known to inhibit COX-2,2,3 which may cause many stress-related inflammatory conditions of the skin. Also, the stress-activated neuropeptide Substance-P, which is related to acneic skin, can be effectively reduced with ingredients that contain quercetin4 in extracts of green or black tea, apples and red grapes.

Environmental turnaround

The most direct approach to holistically addressing a person’s environment in support of health, skin and well-being—beyond suggestions for altering and adjusting the environment where possible—is to increase immunity and support detoxification. High amounts of antioxidants, already a general recommendation for health and skin care, are best for protection against environmental damage, and a topical formula designed to build immunity and protect against environmental damage may include:

  • olive oil,
  • shea butter,
  • green tea ,
  • eucalyptus globulus essential oil for detoxification,
  • lavender essential oil for emotional balance,
  • MQV* essential oil for detoxification,
  • tocotrienol.**