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Essential oils are great for adding a natural fragrance to cosmetics, however, essential oils can react to our environment in ways that harm our skin. Specifically, citrus oils reacting with sunlight, and some are photosensitive. Photosensitization is the process in which ultraviolet light radiation combines with a particular substance and causes chemical or biological changes. Some essential oils contain furocoumarins, a special class of chemicals that can change the photosensitization of the skin. This can cross-links with the skin cell DNA, in turn making the skin especially susceptible to UV radiation. This can all so damage the cell membrane, organelles, and proteins. If exposed to sunlight after a topical application of photosensitive oil, the skin may become temporarily darkly pigmented, red, or irritated. Symptoms of this can be severe sunburn, darkening of the skin, swelling, and blistering. Often times you will see this occur in areas where perfume is usually applied such as the neck, decollete, wrists and inside of the elbows.
Which oils are photosensitive?
Bitter orange oil
Fig leaf absolute
How to avoid photosensitization
Avoid the sun for 12-18 hours after you applied a photosensitive
essential oil. the easiest way to avoid photosensitization is to not apply a furanocoumarin-containing
essential oil to the skin at all. Covering up any skin to which phototoxic
essential oils have been applied can help prevent a phototoxic reaction however
thin fabrics may not provide adequate protection. Phototoxic essential oils can
still be used topically on the skin even with exposure to UV light as long as
they are safely diluted. Using photosensitive oils at nighttime helps reduce
the risk associated with these oils.
Many people write off all citrus oils as being photosensitive but there are several that are safe to use, including steam distilled version. Although furanocoumarins are present in cold-pressed versions, the molecules are not volatile and remain behind during steam distillation/
LED light therapy is a painless skin care treatment that has so many benefits, specifically stimulating collagen and treating mild to moderate acne. LED uses an array of bright light-emitting diodes that send low-level light energy into the deepest layers of your skin.
Red light stimulates cellular activity to produce collagen and give your skin a plump look. This helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, stretch marks, and reduce the redness that could be the result of aggressive IPL or laser treatments. These results won’t be as dramatic as plastic surgery, IPL, or last, however, it’s gentler, natural, and less expensive.
Blue light works by killing Propionibacterium acnes, which
is the bacteria that lives below the surface of the skin and is responsible for
Both red and blue light LEDs are effective when used repeatedly. It is important to get this treatment every month or two and can be a part of larger treatments such as a HydraFacial.
Some other interesting points about LED therapy is that it
can help treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in winter months. Also, your eyes
can’t be hurt by LED light, so they do not have to be covered.
These treatments are a good choice for those who want to boost collagen or treat mild to moderate acne. This works best in conjunction with a regular skin care routine that you can develop with me.
What is gut health and how can it affect your skin?
A lot of the time we treat skin concerns from the outside, but your gut health could be the true key to having flawless skin. When your gut is unhealthy, it can have a huge impact on your skin, this connection is known as the gut-skin axis. There is scientific evidence that suggests a close bidirectional connection between your gut and your skin. This is linked to three common skin disorders: acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
The Gut-Skin Axis Many skin conditions are caused by gut issues and vice versa. A study found that a higher number of patients with rosacea also tested positive for a gut condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth. When treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth, 70% of the patients was an improvement in their rosacea, demonstrating a strong association between the two: treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth alone improved the skin. Inflammatory bowel disease is also associated with a greater risk of inflaming the skin in conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or rosacea. This relationship is likely due to the fact that both inflammatory bowel disease and skin conditions like psoriasis have similar inflammatory pathways that may begin in the gut. Research has also found that there is a strong association between gut health and acne with several studies linking an imbalance in gut bacteria with a high prevalence of acne. Therefore, healing the gut is one of the best ways to treat chronic inflammatory skin issues.
Diet and Gut Health
The imbalance of the gut microbiome is known as dysbiosis and can cause the immune system to suffer while also increasing skin inflammation. Gut bacteria regulate many functions in the body including fat metabolism, intracellular signaling, and cell growth. When bad bacteria outweigh the good, it can disrupt these pathways and cause inflammation. Diet is the major culprit in a poor microbiome, processed foods, sugar, alcohol artificial sweeteners, and low fiber can all negatively impact the gut. Stress, poor sleep, and environmental toxins also play a role in disturbing the gut-skin axis.
Improving the Gut
For improving skin health, focus on a fiber-rich diet. Research shows that a wide variety of plant-based foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria. For additional support, probiotics can be used to help balance the gut-skin connection, 80% of participants showed clinical improvement after using probiotics as they help boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics is also key for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are foods for the probiotics in your guy; for healthy skin, both are key. Prebiotic foods are rich in fibers your gut bacteria ferments. Bananas, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, apple skins, and beans are all great prebiotics.
To treat chronic inflammatory skin issues, healing the gut is one of the best ways to do that. Follow these simple guidelines and you should see an improvement in your skin, however, this is subjective to each person depending on the severity of their skin concern.