The health of our skin is a huge reflection of what is going on internally in terms of our physical and our emotional health. Before I began to take care of my own well-being, my skin was my enemy. My face was constantly sore, dry, oily, sensitive and spotty and nothing I seemed to do helped. I tried every product on offer, I tried using nothing, I even tried chemical peals with horrible consequences and permanent damage. Nothing worked. When it started to get even worse, I gave up on ever having healthy, good skin. After a long time however, I slowly began to make some changes which helped my damaged skin, some of which you may wish to consider and try.
Firstly I had to realise and accept that my bad skin was a symptom of a larger problem, and I needed to treat it that way. So instead of trying to chuck every product I could on to my face, I began to explore what the deeper issues could be and that is when I realised that my skin was stressed. I was stressed. It was official, the stress was the first thing that had to go! After realising that, change seemed to be much easier.
Because I had been stressed and finding things hard, I was making bad choices in terms of my life style, predominantly what I consumed. Processed and unhealthy foods during the week were followed by weekends full of takeouts. To amend this, for me the right choice was to go vegan. Not everyone will want to make such a drastic change, so just looking at cleaning up your over all diet is a good place to start. More fresh ingredients, more water, less alcohol & less processed food are all simple small changes that can go a long way. It was a natural step for me in terms of looking after myself and healing some of the internal damage stress had caused.
I knew stress was a major problem and I knew the gym wasn't for me, so I started to try Yoga. This took a long time for me to get in to and many many failed attempts, however it has been key in dealing with my stress and therefore seeing a change in my skin. With more focus being on what is happening on the inside, Yoga helped me to feel calm, taught me to actually breathe properly in ways that encourage the relaxation response and to slow down.
Sometimes people are a great source of stress. Take a look at your relationships and examine how good they are for you. Are there any relationships that are toxic or pulling you in a direction you don't want to go in? If so it may be time to address this by perhaps setting some healthy boundaries, having some honest conversations or backing off from some people all together.
Everyone experiences stress thanks to their job, but it is always healthy to be mindful of how much stress you are willing to endure due to your work. Have stress levels increased without you really realising? Have you allowed pressure to build up? Are you taking on too much? Is the commute/environment/hours all still working for you or is it something that needs some attention? My solution was to take a job closer to home and eventually start working for myself.
Stress generally means there are many elements of your lifestyle that are not right for you or being neglected and often it can be the most obvious that we overlook; relaxation! Beginning to meditate was a natural progression from the yoga classes I started but on a deeper level. Science even tells us that just 10 minutes of mindfulness a day can have a huge impact on stress and I can not recommend it enough.
Finally once I had addressed food, people, exercise, lifestyle and my job, I was ready to start looking at how I wanted to look after my skin externally. There had already been so much improvement and if you have dealt with the deeper issues, this last stage will be like the icing on the cake! I decided to go natural and organic and ended up using Neal's Yard products which take perfect care of my skin.
So if your skin is causing you problems and you want to explore the bigger picture, hopefully this will give you some ideas as to what areas you can look at! If you are looking to discover a natural and organic skin care range please click here for your Neals Yard consultation where we can select the right products for you. x