Mar 10, 2014

Natural skin care: 5 things to know about making the switch

By: Ava Baccari Author: Elle Canada Credits:

Mar 10, 2014

Natural skin care: 5 things to know about making the switch

By: Ava Baccari

The trouble with problem skin (apart from the obvious acne-prone and dry patches) is not knowing what products or ingredients to use that will help alleviate symptoms in the long term. “In order for skin to heal faster, it's about taking precautionary steps and being educated in why your skin is doing this,” says Julie Clark, a Toronto-based holistic health practitioner and founder of Province Apothecary.

And the solution to troubled skin could be a natural one. “Expect healthier skin,” Clark says about transitioning to all natural skin care products. Here are five reasons why you can achieve naturally glowing skin.

1. Skin will become more balanced

“The first thing to cut out is soap-based cleansers,” says Clark, who’s clients range from people looking to treat problematic skin, lead overall healthier lifestyles or transition to all natural skin care products. Harsh cleansers, she explains, strip away natural oils from the skin, in addition to dirt and makeup.

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“Your skin will then go into hyper-drive to create oil.” Swapping out your gel or soap-based cleanser for an oil-based equivalent will help balance out the skin, since you’re removing the harsh drying agents. Try Province Apothacary’s Moisturizing Cleanser and Makeup Remover, made with soothing jojoba and avocado oils. “You’ll notice that your skin will not be as oily at the end of the day.”

2. Stick with your new skin care routine

Clark recommends to her clients that after making the switch, they commit to their new skin care regimen for at least two weeks to see results. “Then if you like, go back to your regular products to notice the difference in your skin,” she suggests. Once skin is balanced, “it will start to feel more like itself,” Clark says, adding that skin is less likely to breakout with natural products.

You can start incorporating facials with all-natural products and aromatherapy oils to complement your new routine and enhance the results.

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natural-skin-care-switch-page-tw.jpg3. Develop a regimen that suits your skin care needs
Invest in natural skin care products that are suited to your skin type—and will work to heal problem areas. Clark suggests that you start with a serum (as opposed to a moisturizer). “Serums feed the skin with pure oil,” she says. And mix in your serum with water to allow it to absorb more easily into the skin. “Then you’re not loading too much oil onto the face.” Serums also help to relieve any scarring on the skin.

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4. Exfoliate for naturally glowing skin
Since you’re starting out a whole new skin care regimen, now’s the perfect time to begin exfoliating (if you haven’t already). “With acne and excessive dryness, the focus is deeper exfoliation and feeding the skin with pure ingredients,” says Clark. Skin is healthiest when you’re constantly stimulating it, which increases blood flow to your skin cells—this reduces redness and helps damage to heal faster on the surface. For an all-natural enzyme mask, mash a one-inch cube of pineapple and apply to the face for 10 minutes. “It digests the dead skin cells,” says Clark.

5. Incorporate at-home skin remedies
Think of your new routine as food for your face—literally. Many ingredients for naturally glowing skin can be found in your kitchen. For example, honey contains anti-microbial properties and helps to fight infections on the surface of the skin. Dab directly on to a zit or mix a half-teaspoon of honey with equal parts plain yogurt and apply as a face mask for 10 to 20 minutes in the morning or before an event. “It won’t dry out and will make your skin glow,” she says.

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Or apply hemp oil—a perfect blend of Omega 3-6-9—to the body in the winter (and mix in your favourite essential oils) to keep skin soft and well moisturized. “It’s about exploring possibilities of what you can do for your skin and learning about different ingredients in products,” says Clark.

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Natural skin care: 5 things to know about making the switch