We all know the importance of supporting our organs. Liver flushes, kidney support, healthy heart foods – we all try so hard to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep them in tip top shape. But often one gets left out, can you guess? I hope so cause we kind of gave it away in the title…
Your skin is the largest organ of the human body. Little fun fact for you, adults carry around 22 square foot of it! With that much skin, just imagine what it is getting exposed to. Toxins, infections, damaging sun rays, harmful chemicals, the list is endless really. So with all the protection it is providing you, we believe it is only fair that you provide a little protection in return, and maybe pamper it once in a while.
So what would a herbalist suggest to keep your skin fighting fit? Well, rather than just suggest you rub lotion on to your hearts content (though some are great and we will tell you our favourites in a bit), we believe that you should treat the skin internally.
Traditionally, cleavers (goose grass, sticky jacks) was used to help treat the skin, as skin health is about lymph glands, which are the storm drains of the body. If these aren’t kept clear, the skin blocks up and dries up, just like a block in your drain. You can get cleavers in tincture form or simply as a supplement to be taken daily.
Other supplements that will benefit your skin are essential fatty acids (EFA’s). These feed the skin with the right oils to keep it healthy and stop it clogging up. It acts a bit like a thinner, breaking up greasy fats and rehydrating the skin with good oils.
Nettles are also brilliant for the skin as it is full of minerals, and would act as a cleanser to remove toxins that could come out through the skin. Now you probably think that I cant possible be talking about all those nasty nettles at the side of the road or the end of your garden. But I am. In fact, most herbs that come through the grass in spring are natural cleansers, and these ones in particular are also fantastic in a soup…
“Fry an onion in a little bit of garlic and some butter and add some of water. Chop the nettles up (with gloves on) and add to the water to simmer. Then add a stock cube and some seasoning and you are ready to go” – Nik Imrye (if you try it let us know how it was)
Ok so, lotions and potions, what actually works? Well one we definitely promote is coconut oil. This little miracle isn’t just for cooking. It can be used as a natural hair mask, teeth whitener and a fantastic skin lotion. It provides intensive coverage for the skin which can be brilliant in treating dry skin and pesky keratosis pilaris (if you aren’t sure what this is, it appearance resembles permanent goosebumps, tiny little bumps that aren’t a concern but very frustrating/upsetting to have). Just rub some oil onto your skin (don’t worry that its solid, it will begin to melt in your hand) and feel it soak in, leaving you feeling like a goddess on those Veet adverts (or a god, works both ways).
Another one I have to mention is Twenty First Century Herbs Skin Balm, as it was specifically designed to treat 2 of the most common skin issues – eczema and psoriasis. A mixture of lavender, calendula, macadamia oil, sweet almond oil and oat straw; this mix of ingredients provides anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and antiseptic benefits, whilst also calming, healing and nourishing the skin. And lucky for you lot you can get it here, just a few clicks away…
(We tried some of the sample pots and loved it so much we got a big one straight away!)
So there you have it, our top tips for keeping your skin happy! Feel free to share any natural remedies you have discovered that work wonders on the skin; we always love a good natter.