After reevaluating my food choices, I started to look at other aspects of my life which could be improved. I was becoming healthier on the inside but what about on the outside?
Apart from flushing, I have been fortunate enough to have few skin complaints. Despite this, I still bought moisturisers, cleansers and toners to use on my skin, as do so many. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements featuring celebrities wearing new ‘clear-skin’ or ‘youthful skin’ products, so it can be challenging to see through the marketing ploys, particularly at a young age. I also went through a period of using a “dermatologically tested” rosacea cream in the hope of receiving some relief from my flare-ups. This had no positive effect on my skin and, due to the harsh ingredients, probably made my skin worse.
Nowadays, I use various oils internally and externally improve the health and appearance of my skin.
You must have heard by now that coconut oil can do wonders for your appearance. It can be used as a moisturiser, make-up remover, teeth whitener, hair conditioner, lip balm, deodorant – basically anything! It contains anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties1 as well as antioxidants which help wound recovery2. I eat it and apply it to my skin.
Avocado oil is becoming increasingly popular as a beauty oil. Due to its fatty acid profile, including oleic and linoleic acid, and the fact that it contains vitamins A and E, avocado oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in scarred tissue3. It is easily absorbed by the skin4 which is why it is a favourite of mine to apply before bedtime. The next day my skin has a fresh, almost dewy look and feels so soft. I use the oil externally as well as choosing to eat whole avocados.
Castor oil contains the unsaturated fatty acid, ricinoleic acid, which has numerous benefits including: healing acne, hair growth, fighting skin disorders and infections and hydrating chapped lips5. As it is thicker than both coconut and avocado oil I use it, along with lavender oil, to make a face mask. After wiping off the mask, my skin is left feeling very smooth and soft. Although I think it might have reduced some of the redness caused by flushing, I cannot say that this was exclusively due to the castor oil. I also apply a small amount on my eyelashes every few nights, and occasionally on my eyebrows to help growth.
This is one of my favourite essential oils due to its incredible scent. But, it also has potent benefits such as restoring skins complexion, reducing acne, healing wounds, and slowing ageing6. As it is concentrated I often mix it with another oil, either coconut or castor and apply directly to the skin. Due to its relaxing properties7, I also add a few drops to bathwater and to my pillow before sleeping.