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Self-Care for the skin. A natural guide to healthy skin.

It’s always great to be asked to share top tips so thank you THEENK TEA for inviting me to guest blog this month. Think about it, what’s a better relaxing combination than a mindful cup of tea and some transformative skincare rituals.

At nearly 48 years old I have never been happier with my skin. Rewind 5 years and I would not have felt confident leaving the house without makeup. Skin Elixir is the result of me wanting to address my own skin concerns - dry, flaking, spot prone skin with a lacklustre uneven skin tone.

Now I can happily attest, along with my customers that Skin Elixir really is the healing balm for those with little time to spare for beauty regimes, for those who want to leave the house with smoother, soothed, nourished skin without the faff of applying lots of make-up. With nothing to mask, there's no need.

Obviously, I serve skin with my moisturiser which on the application looks like you've just drunk a couple of glasses of water - it gives such serious hydration naturally - but what else can we do to stifle the effects of dry skin from the inside out?

Food For Skin

1. Sweet potatoes Eat sweet potatoes they are loaded with vitamin A and beta carotene which is essential for skin repair. A lovely quick and skin-loving soup is butter, garlic, sweet potato, french tarragon (I buy it then freeze it and use it sparingly to create the stock cube), and carrots. Fry off the garlic in butter or vegan alternative, add in the chopped sweet potato and carrots, add the tarragon, add water boil then simmer for 20 mins. Whizz with a stick blender and enjoy with some sourdough bread. 2. Nuts and seeds Need we say more? These are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E and essential fatty acids that play a pivotal role in nourishing and hydrating the body from within. Regular nut consumption helps in staving off and repairing skin cell damage from free radicals and accelerates the process of skin cell repair and regeneration. Skin will get smoother and more supple after introducing these daily, just a handful a day is enough. Almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds top the list of vitamin-e enriched nuts and seeds. Great for lifting the mood too. 3. Spinach

Spinach contains more nutrients than virtually any other vegetable. It has exceptionally high levels of vitamin K and A. The vitamin A in spinach can help your skin retain moisture and fight dryness. Packed with antioxidant vitamin C, Spinach is known to increase the production of collagen which helps to strengthen the capillaries to smooth and even out skin tone. It's great added to a juice or smoothie and gives a creamy texture.

The Amazing Black Seed Oil

On the topic of healing dry skin, we must say a few words about the phenomenal healing properties of Back Seed Oil.

Black seed oil, otherwise known as black cumin seed or its Latin name, Nigella Sativa is a true skin saviour, a gem of an ingredient. Native to South-Eastern Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa it is grown for its aromatic and flavoursome seeds used in most notably, Indian cooking. Its healing prowess is pretty phenomenal, packed with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties namely essential fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids and flavonoids which all work together to provide the skin with a wondrously moisturising, nourishing and anti-ageing effect. There have been over 600 research studies conducted on the seed and in the Arab world it is called habbatul barakah which means 'blessed seed'. Described in an ancient text as 'a cure for everything but death! Here are 5 reasons our skin loves it! 1. Packed with Vitamin A and amino acids, Black Seed Oil helps to reduce acne scars. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil reduce the appearance of spots and acne by vastly reducing the redness and scarring caused by skin inflammations. 2. Highly nourishing, it is rich in plant acids and essential fatty acids which help to maintain the skin's lipid barrier, preventing the skin from drying out. 3. Naturally anti-histamine and anti-microbial Black Seed Oil works to nourish the skin, making it perfect for treating rashes and Eczema and even Psoriasis, soothing itching and irritation. 4. As it's rich in powerful antioxidants, the skin's number one anti-ageing agent. A key active component of which is Thymoquinone, this powerful antioxidant helps to fight off free radicals - which damage skin cells through oxidation. Free radicals destroy the skins cellular degradation by stealing oxygen from healthy skin causing them to wither which in time leads to the formation of lines and sagging skin. Black Seed Oil works to fight these ageing processes. 5. It can provide mental support. Notably Thymoquinone, in a 2018 Human and Experimental Toxicology study, showed how its ability to improve cognitive decline could ward off the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. For memory improvement, you can take orally a 5ml spoonful of unrefined virgin black seed oil with 100mg of boiled mint.

Is Black Seed Oil safe for everyone to use?

Yes, Black Seed Oil you will be pleased to learn is a great oil for all skin types. When applied to the skin this oil provides nourishing moisture. The Calcium present in this oil works with the epidermis to produce sebum - which is the natural skin coating substance - and in turn, helps the skin to retain moisture. It is also rich in vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) which is known to boost moisture and alleviate skin dryness by strengthening the skin barrier function.

It is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-ageing and is a great oil for reducing skin redness. Niacin present in this oil helps stimulate the production of elastin and collagen whilst helping to reduce bumps, redness and skin irritation, smoothing out fine lines and addressing wrinkles. Over time the combination of amino acids, fatty acids and Vitamin A work to regenerate skin cells and reduce scarring and fade age spots.

Bakuchiol- The Wonder Ingredient You've

Never Heard Of

As I will be launching a final product for 2021 at the end of this month (so exciting) - the much-awaited Skin Elixir Super Natural Oil - I wanted to introduce you to the wonder ingredient Bakuchiol.

For any skincare enthusiasts out there you will know that over the course of the last decade Retinol has been prized as the holy grail in anti-ageing ingredients seen in eye creams, daily face oils and moisturisers as well as facial serums. A form of Vitamin A, Retinol works to prevent and treat fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing collagen production and renewing skin cells. Retinol is, without doubt, a powerhouse skincare ingredient, however, for those with sensitive skin, it is unlikely to be tolerated without causing signs of irritation namely redness, peeling and itching skin.

Bakuchiol Is the latest plant-based anti-ageing ingredient that is suitable for the most sensitive of skin and is considered a natural alternative to Retinol. Bakuchiol is a phenolic antioxidant oil extracted from mainly the seeds of the plant Psoralea Corylifolia also known as the Babchi plant - a plant used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.


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