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De-stress your Mind, Spirit, and Skin to Fight Inflammation

Posted by Cutter Cutshaw on
De-stress your Mind, Spirit, and Skin to Fight Inflammation

Have you lost your glow? Feeling out of sorts? It’s been a long summer and a hell of a year. Between work, kids, and all of the demands of adulting, it’s easy to lose our magnificent mojo and luster. Stressors can lead to inflammation and ”inflammaging”, a buzzy new term you’ve probably read being brandished about in the news and on your social media feeds. Luckily, there are so many things you can do to kiss inflammation goodbye. We have our top tips for wonderful ways you can distress your skin, mind, and spirit to become a “glow”- getter again! 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is not just a skincare concern but a full-body health issue. We are not talking about the classic signs of inflammation such as heat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function stemming from injury or serious illness, but the low-level type that we experience as simple body aches, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, depression, anxiety and overall state of malaise. You can just tell that you’re off and out of balance. You don’t sleep well, get tired easily, possibly feel stagnant or irritable (inflamed) and stressed. 

Your skin mirrors what’s going on in your body with symptoms such as a ruddy or uneven tone and texture, rosacea, breakouts, rough patches, looking puffy and swollen, and maybe even pigmentation. And “inflammaging”? Sounding somewhat ominous, it’s really just a dermatological medical term that refers to the combination of inflammation and aging.

What Causes Inflammation?

Inflammation is triggered by — you guessed it — all the bad stuff you already know about: poor sleep, an unbalanced diet (sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, processed meats, and trans fats), pollution, stress, and even skimping on sunscreen! The sun is a key player with UV exposure causing consistent production of pro-inflammaging factors. 

An unbalanced diet, stress, environmental aggressors and toxins expose us to chronic oxidative stress, which leads to tissue damage on the fast track. As the skin structure gets weakened and elastin and collagen are broken down, our skin ages more quickly, marked by hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone and texture.

Soothe and Calm with Green Tea, Vitamin C, Probiotics and Plant-Based Goodness.

As far as topical treatments, we enlist the power of superfoods and immune boosters with antioxidants, anything that is cooling and calming. Antioxidants are the way to go. They neutralize the free radicals that wreak havoc on your skin and tone down the detrimental effects of everything that’s constantly thrown at your skin. We love working with cold-pressed aloe vera and other essential organic  oils such as litsea, peppermint, rose absolute, basil, and eucalyptus lemon. Probiotics are key in fighting inflammation such as A.K.A. LEUCIDAL® LIQUID, a unique lactobacillus expelled through a fermentation process of the radish root. 

Green tea is a veritable antioxidant miracle worker, the star ingredient of our Green Tea - Superfood Facial Bar. This deeply nourishing herbal soap bar packs antioxidants and nutrients that fight inflammation and do so much more. Our new Magic Matcha - Green Tea Superfood Masque is another exquisite ally in fighting inflammation with organic Matcha green tea, a powerful superfood, and free-radical scavenger, that is fortified with green tea extract, cucumber and other potent ingredients to offer your skin a superfood smoothie.

We also recommend our Transform - Niacin Serum, highly powered with everything good for your skin, infused with organic green tea extract, to balance any skin type. Potion No.1 - Age Defying Serum is a nutrient-rich powerhouse that heals and repairs your skin, preventing stress and environmental damage from taking a toll. It’s a must in your repertoire to counter the effects of aging and environmental pollutants.

Vitamin C is one of the most amazing anti-inflammatory agents, thanks to its exceptional antioxidant capacity. Our Be Calm - Brightening C Serum features a medical-grade soluble vitamin C that takes away environmental stress and sun damage, promoting collagen production to deliver a youthful glow. Be Calm - Brightening C Serum and Be Nourished - Age Defying Moisturizer, both heal and repair at a profound cellular level with vitamin C and probiotic power, they truly are the most potent anti-inflammatory products in our arsenal.

Zinc is another mighty anti-inflammatory agent, working tirelessly as an antioxidant. Since sun exposure is a huge factor in the roots of inflammation, we urge you to wear a non-toxic, reef-safe sunscreen with at least 10% zinc. We highly recommend Suntegrity Sport Mineral Sun Sticks - Broad Spectrum SPF 30 with 20% zinc oxide.

Feed Your Skin, Body, and Mind to Keep Inflammation at Bay

Aside from eating a balanced, low-glycemic diet full of fresh veggies, good protein, and healthy grains, you can load up on anti-inflammatory foods. These include dark leafy greens, fatty fish like salmon that is high in Omega 3s, blueberries, walnuts, and almonds. Steer clear of triggers like refined carbs, red meat, soda, sugar, high-glycemic and processed foods, anything fried as well as alcohol. 

Many studies support the idea that the resveratrol in red wine can neutralize free radicals and boost antioxidant levels, so your skin and body can better defend and repair themselves. While we don’t promote the consumption of alcohol, if you do drink, your fave pinot noir can actually have some health benefits!  

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, who has been promoting anti-inflammatory foods since long before it became a trend. The classic Mediterranean diet is also a good direction to go. Ideally, you find out what your inflammation triggers are by going on an easy and gentle cleanse. All that means is eating super clean with lots of herbal tea and veggie broth and a rather plain diet. Slowly you incorporate some of your favorite foods back in, such as your daily latte (dairy alert!) or chocolate, and see how it affects your skin and well-being.

Say Yes to Vitamins and Supplements Internally

Even if you buy all-organic foods, the sad truth is that many fruits and veggies don’t have the vital vitamins they used to have. Supplements are a great way to give your body that extra boost. Zinc decreases oxidative stress and boosts immunity. The Mayo Clinic recommends 15 milligrams per day for adult and teenage males, and 12 mg per day for adult and teenage females.  Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals, which means fewer triggers for inflammation. A quality Vitamin B complex is also beneficial, especially when you’re dealing with stress and fatigue, as are probiotics for gut health. 

As far as homeopathic remedies, Tulsi (holy basil) is a sacred herb in Ayurveda. It’s considered an adaptogen. Think of an adaptogen as something that boosts your energy levels when feeling fatigued while at the same time calming your nervous system when feeling stressed. We love Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea from Organic India. You can also take it as a supplement from Gaia Herbs. It’s soothing, healing, and just magical. Rhodiola, a medicinal herb also known as golden root, is another adaptogen that fights inflammation.  We also love “Host Defense” mushroom supplements and tinctures made with U.S. grown mushroom mycelium developed by Dr. Paul Stamets, an American mycologist and inspiration behind the documentary “Fantastic Fungi”.

Destress and Create Self-Care Rituals

Stress is toxic. But if you have an overloaded schedule and a lot of demands, it’s hard to find the time for nurturing self-care. Awesome if you can squeeze in the occasional yoga practice, run around the neighborhood, or some time to meditate, but we have found that creating daily rituals really reduces the stress in your life — especially a morning ritual that sets the tone and intention for a positive and calm day ahead. 

We like to mist Be Happy – Brightening Toner upon waking. This perfect pick-me-up instantly balances, brightens, and deeply replenishes the skin with mood-boosting properties that make you feel happy. It’s also power-packed with probiotics that fight cell-damaging inflammation.

While we put on the tea kettle, we do some light stretching or simple meditation. We’re not suggesting you give up your life-saving cup of Joe, but making tea is such a beautiful ritual.

We love the teas from Tea for Tabitha, especially their GET UP + GLOW, a holistic treat that’s lightly caffeinated. They handcraft loose-leaf tea for beautiful skin that glows from within. We also start our morning with about two ounces of organic Aloe Vera juice diluted with a bit of organic unfiltered apple juice, and a shot or two of chlorophyll! Ready to seize the day!

Throughout your busy day, take some time to just breathe deeply, mist your favorite Jenette toner, stretch a bit, and fit in some time for exercise. You don’t have to become a hardcore yogi or serious meditator. It’s all the little steps of mindfulness and moment-to-moment awareness that add up to a calmer, more grounded, and more balanced you.

Remember to be kind and compassionate with yourself. There’s no need to take drastic measures. As our client, we will meet you where you are at and work with you based on your reality. We will help you find your balance with loving-kindness and all-natural skincare that’s good for your skin, body, mind, and our planet!

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