Herbal Essentials Skincare

Having spent a month at an Ayurvedic retreat in India, I absolutely believe and understand how the ancient tradition of Ayurveda restore balance and harmony. Herbal Essentials are inspired by Ayurveda and use natural ingredients, active essential oils and fresh spring water from the ancient foothills of the Himalayas. All their products are free from parabens, sulphate, paraffin and soap.

This events season always wreaks havoc with my skin, full makeup most evenings, late nights and a lot of eating on the go. At the moment I am paying for it big time, I can feel so many bumps under my skin just holding it together before the season ends and they erupt! I have already had a mini breakout on my chin and I know this is just the beginning. I needed to go and get me some products to keep my skin in check and I love Herbal Essentials Papaya and Honey Facemask. Mine had finished so I needed a replacement and I wanted a new toner.

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The Papaya and Honey Face Mask is Detoxifing, it contains clay, papaya and honey to remove impurities and releases antioxidants into the skin. I use it when my skin is particularly oily or acne prone because it restores the balance and makes my skin normal again. At times of crisis I use it twice a week and then weekly when my skin is normal. It is easy to use, I just spray my face with an Evian spray to make it damp and then I wet my hands and spread the clay evenly using my fingers and avoiding my eye area. After 10 minutes it goes hard, I wet my face and I brush it off with my wet Clarisonic Mia 2 brush and then pat my skin dry with a flannel.

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After the mask or my cleanser, I squirt a generous amount of the Neem Purifying Toner on some cotton wool and wipe my entire face, then using a dry cotton pad I wipe away any remaining product. This is great after the mask as it removes any remaining residue and seals the pores closed.The Neem Purifying Toner improves the appearance of large pores and is suitable for acne prone or oily skin. It contains aloe vera which has wonderful moisturising effects and neem which is known for its antibacterial properties.

 

 

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I did not buy a moisturiser as I am super happy with the one I am using at the moment from Sephora, it is the Instant Moisture + Cream and contains a Hyalurinuc acid booster. It is a really nice formula, nice and light and doesn’t feel or look oily on the skin. I finish my regime with that as masks generally do dehydrate the skin and it is really gentle and restores the moisture.

 

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What Is Your Acne Telling You?

Acne is not always the result of bacteria collecting in your pores, often spots are an indication of an imbalance in the body. No matter how much we cleanse the skin if we have a hormonal imbalance or toxins in the body they will surface as unsightly pimples! The location of these spots can be used to carry out an ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese science of face mapping.

Face mapping, which is fast taking centre stage at most clinics nowadays, combines Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine with cutting edge dermatologists’ prescriptions to explain how certain parts of your face are connected to other areas of your body. Put simply, think of your face as a map and blemishes as X’s on that landscape. Spots in different zones correspond to different problems. So, with this “map” as your guide, you can address the underlying causes of blemishes and not only get rid of your acne but also  treat the underlying health problem in time.

Try it out: Here is how to decode breakouts in the basic areas.

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1 & 2: Digestive System — Eat less processed or junk food, reduce the amount of fat in your diet, step up water intake and opt for cooling things like cucumbers.

3: Liver — Cut out the alcohol, greasy food and dairy. This is the zone where food allergies also show up first, so take a look at your ingredients. Besides all this, do 30 minutes of light exercise every day and get adequate sleep so your liver can rest.

4 & 5: Kidneys — Anything around the eyes (including dark circles) point to dehydration. Drink up!

6: Heart — Check your blood pressure (mine was slightly high) and Vitamin B levels. Decrease the intake of spicy or pungent food, cut down on meat and get more fresh air. Besides this, look into ways to lower cholesterol, like replacing “bad fats” with “good fats” such as Omegas 3 and 6 found in nuts, avocados, fish and flax seed. Also, since this area is chock-full of dilated pores, check that your makeup is not past its expiry date or is skin-clogging.

7 & 8: Kidneys — Again, drink up! And cut down on aerated drinks, coffee and alcohol as these will cause further dehydration.

Zone 9 & 10: Respiratory system — Do you smoke? Have allergies? This is your problem area for both. If neither of these is the issue, don’t let your body overheat, eat more cooling foods, cut down on sugar and get more fresh air. Also keep the body more alkaline by avoiding foods that make the body acidic (meat, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, sugar) and adding more alkalizing foods like green veggies and wheatgrass juice. Another thing that most of forget – dirty cell phones and pillow cases are two of the top acne culprits and this area is what they affect the most!

Zone 11 & 12: Hormones — This is the signature zone for stress and hormonal changes. And while both are sometimes unavoidable, you can decrease their effect by getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating leafy veggies and keeping skin scrupulously clean. Another interesting point: breakouts in this area indicate when you are ovulating (and on which side).

Zone 13: Stomach — Step up the fibre intake, reduce the toxin overload and drink herbal teas to help with digestion.

14: Illness — Zits here can be a sign that your body is fighting bacteria to avoid illness. Give it a break, take a yoga class, take a nap, take time to breathe deeply, drink plenty of water and know that everything always works out!

So the next time you break out or notice dark under-eye circles, look to your face map: your skin is probably trying to communicate on behalf of the internal organs. However, do remember that, as with all medical issues, it is always best to see your doctor or dermotologist for a proper prognosis. This is just a general guide to head you off in the right investigative direction – just becuase you break out between the brows doesn’t always mean you have a bad liver!