March 15, 2019
By: Shop Good Holistic Esthetician, Ashley Wittke
Inflammation. A term we so often hear when discussing our health, wellness, and even the condition of our skin. Many forward-thinking scientists and holistic medical practitioners even call it the root of all dis-ease in the body. Inflammation has been blamed for everything from fatigue and trouble sleeping, to digestive issues and even cancers.
A quick foundational note here: inflammation is our body’s response to any foreign body or injury. Our bodies’ white blood cells release chemicals that promotes a healing mechanism by isolating and destroying invaders. And in our oftentimes stressful worlds today, this state can become chronic. Our body’s immune system remains overstimulated by continuously producing this protective response. Stress, processed foods in our diet and toxins in our environment and products can all contribute to this internal fire.
We may not be fully aware this is low-grade inflammation is happening internally, although, you may witness undiagnosable symptoms like fatigue, depression, trouble sleeping, etc. Let our skin do the talking! Yep, our largest organ can oftentimes serve as the window to what’s going on inside. The pH, tone, texture, clarity and overall health of our skin can be directly affected by internal inflammation and thus, can send us cues on how to treat.
I believe our first line of defense to lower inflammation in the skin should be reducing inflammation inside the body via a whole foods anti-inflammatory diet (think, foods rich in omega fatty acids like chia and hemp seeds, salmon, and dark leafy greens), exercise (drain that lymphatic system!) and meditation (getting the body into a state of rest and recharge vs constant flight or flight).
However, as we work to fold in these healthy lifestyle habits (together – here at Shop Good!), I love equipping my clients with the #wellnesstools they can use to help improve their chronic skin issues, both at home, and when working with me one-on-one at Shop Good’s spa.
Here are the top 3 inflammatory skin conditions that I see most as an esthetician and my pro tips to treat at home and with me in the treatment room.
As we know, there are many contributing factors to acne. Chances are, when we are experiencing elevated levels of inflammation in the body, our skin is likely to show signs in the form of acne. Inflammation increases pH levels to a more acidic state and increases mucus in the body, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria, virus, and fungus. This can directly impact the skin and influence the epidermal flora. Cue: breakouts.
Home solution – Calm these bad boys down at home with Botnia’s Fix Zit mask. Key ingredients sulfur and oatmeal work in tandem to kill bacteria fight inflammation and irritation, while still delivering a dose of soothing nourishment to your skin. Added bonus – mix with goats milk yogurt for added bacteria-fighting probiotics!
Pro solution – Add on high frequency to your next facial! This powerful skin tool sends a gentle electrical current into the skin, increasing the flow of oxygen and causing an immediate bacteria-fighting effect. I love using this tool with my acne prone clients because we not only zap away those pesky zits, causing more rapid healing of the skin abrasion, but high frequency helps to increase collagen production, promoting energized, glowing and youthful skin.
When our skin is constantly in an inflamed state, the effects not only become apparent on the surface of the skin, but also at the layer beneath it. Chronic inflammation can play a huge factor in not only redness that comes and goes, but also rosacea. Rosacea can include persistent erythema (redness), thickened skin, and even papules or pustules (acne).
Home Solution – Allow Wildcare’s Rosemary + Bay Hydrosol to provide your skin some relief with its’ antimicrobial and vitamin-rich properties. This aromatic water holds the immune system of the plant botanics and thus, is some of nature’s best antioxidants for the skin. This will play an important role in protecting and nourishing the skin from everyday pollutants and triggers. Added bonus – store your hydrosol in the refrigerator for extra-cooling skin relief or, when mixing your next at-home mask, swap out water and replace with this hydrosol for an instant soothe.
Pro Solution – When you book a facial at Shoo Good, every step is customized to your needs. For my clients dealing with redness or sensitivity, I love using my ice globes. A massage performed with these heavenly globes will further reduce redness and inflammation while increasing your circulation for a more youthful appearance.
3. PREMATURE AGING
Aging is a natural process that we all move through, and ideally, we’d all like to do this gracefully! Did you know that inflammation is one of the top causes of premature aging from the inside-out? Inflammation can more rapidly breakdown healthy collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, which are crucial to skin health. Aging is unavoidable, but the lifestyle choices we make when dealing with stress, feeding our bodies, and incorporating critical self-care, all can affect the speed and characteristics of how we age. There are a few tools I love to help support the process of aging.
Home Solution – Incorporate Moon Juice’s Vegan Collagen Shroom Protection into your morning routine! With skin-protecting superfoods that help preserve your natural collagen and hydrate your skin from the inside out, this nourishing and detoxifying supplement can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while helping to protect your skin from free radical damage. Added bonus – add into your smoothie packed with berries and leafy greens. Collagen AND anti-inflammatory benefits? Sounds delicious.
Pro Solution – In the treatment room, I like to choose our microdermabrasion add-on to help rejuvenate, exfoliate and brighten for the right skin type. The benefits of microderm are great. This ultra-exfoliating tool can immediately remove dead skin cells, stimulate cellular turnover and promote the production of collagen. Over time, my clients who are candidates for monthly microdermabrasion see brightening of dull skin, fading of scarring and pigmentation lifted, more youthful skin.
Lowering internal inflammation in the body to seek the skin you desire may sound overwhelming. But at Shop Good, we’re completely committed to shower you with quick tips for processing stress in your life, nourishing your body with whole foods, moving the lymphatic system daily and practicing mindfulness (whatever that looks like for you) — all which can lower inflammation in the body! And when it comes to skin, our Holistic Estheticians and Product Experts are always here as a partner in equipping you with the education, inspiration and wellness tools that support your internal and external cooling, calming and healing.