Acne is a multi-faceted condition affecting all aspects of our being. It is also one which affects each sufferer differently. In order to manage and treat the problem effectively for long term benefit, it is important to consider an integrated approach which investigates and treats the problem on multiple fronts, including the physical, mental and emotional, in a way which is customised to suit each individual situation.
The practice of natural medicine is based upon a profound belief in the ability of the body to heal itself, given the proper opportunity. Naturopathic medicine is the key to this realisation, providing the most appropriate and least invasive intervention to bring about the desired therapeutic effect, aimed not only at treating acne, but also promoting general skin health and overall well being. It is an approach which bypasses the "quick fix" and focuses upon prevention and treatment of the causes of the condition, together with symptomatic treatment.
What is Acne?
Acne is a skin disorder that develops in the sebaceous follicles. These are present in large quantities on the face, neck, upper back and shoulders and as a result these are the areas in which acne is most prominent. These units consist of a sebaceuous gland (which produces the oily substance known as sebum) and small hair follicles. Acne generally occurs when the follicle is blocked by dead skin cells and possibly dried sebum, preventing the release of excess oil. Subsequently, bacteria multiply within the blocked pore, resulting in inflammatory reactions around the sebaceous gland, which leads to the formation of a pimple.
Acne exists in varying levels of severity, ranging from the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads, to pustules (pus-filled pimples), to the development of severe deeper boil like lesions, known as nodules and cysts. Whilst acne generally appears at the onset of puberty, it can occur in anyone at any age.
What causes Acne?
Acne is an extremely complex condition, usually caused by a combination of factors.
- Genetic predisposition. Unfortunately we are unable to change this, but if identified early, the adverse effects of severe acne can be reduced, and even alleviated.
- Hormonal activity and imbalance. Androgen hormones stimulate immature sebaceous glands to become fully functional at puberty, often leading to excess androgens stimulating the overproduction of sebum. Prolonged emotional stress and fatigue, closely interlinked with the adrenal glands and their hormonal functions may worsen acne. Conversely, having acne may cause stress therefore exacerbating the lesions.
- Excessive sebum production. The use of certain cosmetics only aggravates acne by clogging pores and encouraging blackhead formation. Excessive humidity and working in an environment of oils and greases also generates excessive sebum production.
- Bacterial activity. If the bacteria Propionobacterium acnes is in excess, an inflammatory process will occur, causing pustules. Increased exposure to free radicals (molecules adversely affecting the skin's health derived from pollution, chemical substances and other external irritants) will decrease the skin's immunocological capabilities.
Treatment of Acne using a natural, integrated approach
- Avoid vigorous and excessive skin cleansing which can result in further irritation. Instead, use Botani Purify Facial Cleanser to gently clean the skin twice daily. The cleanser should be applied with a gentle circular motion. Botani Purify Facial Cleanser also available in Botani's Skin Rescue Kit that is a specifically designed 3 Step Program for rescuing your skin from acne.
- Avoid squeezing pimples at all times - to stop the spread of bacteria and infection and perhaps avert potential scarring.
- Do eat a nutritionally balanced diet (3 meals per day) and chew all food properly (be relaxed) for proper digestion. Try to minimise foods high in saturated fats (eg cream, margarine, red meat) and refined carbohydrates (eg. pastries, sweet biscuits, fried foods).
- Do learn to manage stress through a number of techniques such as yoga, walking, deep breathing and meditation.
- Do incorporate exercise as part of your life. It will assist in combating stress and help to improve circulation, which in turn will assist the skin to function properly.
- Do drink plenty of water - an adequate daily intake of approximately 1-1.5 litres helps the body to hydrate.
Candida infections are often associated with the use of antibiotics, gastric upsets, premenstrual tension, fatigue or dehydration. Treatment should be accompanied by avoiding particular foods e.g. beer, nuts, biscuits, canned fruit and refined carbohydrates. Additional nutrients should include vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and folate, brussel sprouts and asparagus. The following are a list of common Candida infections and their recommended treatment using a natural integrated approach.
Thrush (external vaginal)
- Itching and soreness around the vaginal area
- Swelling of the vagina and vulva
- A yeasty smelling discharge from vaginal area
- Avoid cleansing the area with soap and use Botani's Eco or Olive Body Bars to reduce further infection and irritation
- Ensure area is dry before application
- Use Phytoseptic anti-fungal cream to reduce itchiness externally by applying 2 to 3 times a day.
- Burning, itching, tender or stinging nipples
- A deep ache or a burning sensation that radiates through the breast
- Pain to be experienced both immediately after and between feeds
- The nipple/s may appear bright pink; the areola may be reddened, dry or flaky.
- Nipple damage (eg. cracking)
- Signs of thrush may be present in your baby's mouth and/or on your baby's bottom
- Avoid soap in order to reduce further irritation and use either Botani's Olive Soothing Cleanser or Eco and Olive Body Bars to soothe affected areas.
- Directly after the Baby has been removed from the breast, apply Phytoseptic anti-fungal cream to the affected area and leave this on until the next feed.
- Gently remove any obvious residue with a warm damp cloth.
- Apply after every feed and continue to apply for 2 weeks after symptoms cease.
- The baby should be treated orally with an appropriate neo-natal anti-fungal treatment whether thrush is apparent or not.
- The skin appears red, chapped and sometimes spotty
- Careful cleansing is imperativ e and fragranced bubble baths should be avoided. Botani's Olive Soothing Cleanser and Eco and Olive body bars purify and soothe affected areas without further irritation.
- Dry the area using a soft cloth or cotton wool.
- Apply Phytoseptic anti-fungal cream after each nappy change.
- Phytoseptic assists in the treatment by acting to prevent bacterial and fungal infections from harming babies? skin.
- Phytoseptic also possess absorbent properties which help to keep the area dry.
- It is advised that wet or soiled nappies are changed regularly and the nappy area is exposed to air several times a day.
It is recommended that correct diagnosis is made by your medical or health practitioner. If symptoms persist, please consult your practitioner.
Dermatitis, Eczema and Psoriasis
Dermatitis encompasses a group of skin conditions.
- Contact dermatitis, which is a widespread skin disorder, marked by redness, oozing, scaling crusts and thickening of the skin. Contact dermatitis is caused by toxic effects on the skin, resulting in irritation, and an allergic reaction. This type of dermatitis is initially confined to the site of contact, but irritation and hypersensitivity may cause it to spread to other parts of the body.
- Atopic dermatitis or Eczema is a constitutional condition marked by raised papules, especially behind the knees or elbows, with bouts of itching. Usually, patients and relatives have above average incidences of asthma and hay fever. Complications sometimes involve infections with herpes simples' virus.
- Seborrheic dermatitis is characterised by brownish yellow to reddish lesions occurring on the scalp, as well as the face, especially around the edges of the nose, there is an increased secretion of sebum onto the skin.
Psoriasis appears to have a genetic component. The cause is unknown but it is generally regarded as metabolic, as it affects the entire body, not just the skin. Stress has been known to bring on psoriatic lesions. Psoriasis can be interpreted as defective reaction of the skin to injury. Instead of normal skin replacement, the cell division rate in the epidermis increases to five times its normal level. Psoriasis most often affects the arms, elbows, side and back of the scalp, finger joints, and the nails of the fingers and toes. The condition is characterized by sharply defined red patches of skin, which soon become covered with dry, silvery scales. Beneath the scales, the skin is inflamed.
Step 1: Soothe the irritation and stop the itching
Step 2: Ensure the skins surface is clean by using the above recommended cleansers and body bars
Step 3: Hydrate, heal and soothe using the above recommended products
Step 4: Seek medical advice if symptoms persist
Recommended Botani Products:
- Phytoseptic Natural Anti-fungal Skin Cream: an anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory cream helps prevent opportunistic secondary infections and open wounds by stopping the itching immediately. It is also effective skin healer by reducing inflammation and redness.
- Olive Skin Serum: is ideal for healing flaky, dry, sensitive and irritated skin by adding moisture instantly. Olive Squalene locks moister instantly by penetrating the skin and is an alternative to mineral oil. Mineral oil coats the skin's surface and does not penetrate or allow the skin to breathe. It is also known to dry the skin in the long term.
- Olive Repair Cream: an excellent face and body moisturiser that soothes, heals and protects sensitive or problematic skin by locking moisture.
- Olive Hand Cream: With its unique calming properties, Botani's olive hand cream soothes treats and protects hands by reducing redness and inflammation. The hand cream may also be used on arms, elbows and the body.
- Purify and Soothing Cleansers: are free of harmful chemicals and detergents. Both cleaners contain natural calming purifying properties that cleanse without causing further irritation.
- Olive and Eco Body Bar: are also free of harmful chemicals and detergents, and are ideal in cleansing, softening and hydrating the skin.
Outbreaks can usually be avoided with some simple precautions. The following suggestions may help to reduce the severity and frequency of flare-ups:
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature or humidity
- Avoid sweating or overheating
- Reduce stress
- Avoid irritant materials (eg. wool)
- Avoid harsh soaps, detergents, solvents, fragrances and some ingredients in skin care products
- Avoid environmental factors that trigger allergies (e.g., pollens, molds, mites, and animal dander)
- Be aware of any foods that may cause an outbreak and avoid those foods
- Moisturise frequently
One of the most important components of treatment is to prevent scratching caused by irritants. Because eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis are usually characterized by redness, flare-ups, dryness, itching, or flaky skin, the most common treatment is the application of lotions or creams to keep the skin as moist as possible. It is ideal to choose creams and lotions free of chemicals, solvents, soaps, detergents, mineral oil, fragrances and petro-chemicals to avoid further irritation.
Fungus infections can occur in many areas of the body and are caused by different types of fungi. Common fungal infections include jock itch, athlete's foot, and ringworm which are all types of fungal skin infections known collectively as tinea. They live on skin, hair, and nails and thrive in warm, moist areas. The following are a list of common fungal infections and their recommended treatment using a natural integrated approach.
Tinea (Athlete's foot)
- Recurring itchiness of the feet
- Raised, ring like itchy patches of skin
- Blisters and scabs
- Wear thongs in the shower to avoid cross contamination.
- Avoid cleansing the area with soap and use Botani's Eco Body Bar to purify and soothe the infection.
- Gently pat the area dry to avoid the infection from spreading.
- Apply the Phytoseptic twice daily, morning and night, without forcing the toes apart as this can crack the skin further.
- Continue application for 2 weeks after symptoms cease.
- Patchy, flaky, or scaly skin
- Swollen, tender, and red skin
- Avoid cleansing the area with soap and use Botani's Eco Body Bar or Olive Soothing Cleanser to reduce further infection and irritation.
- Ensure effected area is thoroughly dry.
- Avoid using perfumed soap.
- Apply Phytoseptic cream twice daily, morning and night.
- Continue application for 2 weeks after symptoms cease.
- Itching or burning in the groin or thigh
- Skin redness
- Flaking, peeling or cracking skin
- Avoid soap on the effected area in order to avoid further irritation.
- Cleanse using Botani's Eco and Olive Body Bars to purify and soothe infected areas.
- Apply the Phytoseptic anti-fungal cream to the affected area morning and night, twice daily.
- Ensure a change of c lean clothing on a daily basis
- Continue application for 2 weeks after symptoms cease.
Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time. However it can also be quite daunting trying to make certain that everything you do, every product you use, won't harm your new baby. It is time to make sure that everything is good for you and your baby.
At Botani, we passionately embrace the concept of being all "natural" with our ingredients being all plant based. That means we are 100% Botanical. You can rest assured that Botani products are all safe to use during pregnancy. All our ingredients and products are tested and of the highest quality, so we know that when you use Botani products you will enjoy the experience, your skin will glow and your baby will be safe. Botani products are so safe that you could eat them...if you have some weird craving!
Pregnancy Skin Crisis and which Botani product to use.
- Dry Skin - during pregnancy skin often extra hydration. Botani Olive Skin Serum is ideal to keep on hand. You can use it straight from the bottle as a highly concentrated moisturiser on damp skin, or add a drop or two to Boost Balancing Moisturiser
- Acne and blemishes - Skin Rescue Kit
- Dry, limp hair - a couple of drops of Olive Skin Serum in a natural shampoo. (Botani Moisturising Shampoo is due out next year.)
- Stretch Marks - Olive Repair Cream or Olive Skin Serum rub in twice daily
- Weak and brittle nails are common during pregnancy. Use Olive Hand Cream and massage around the nail beds.
- Existing skin conditions - Any existing skin conditions could improve or get worse during pregnancy. Check which Botani product suits your skin condition and use it with confidence that not only will it help to heal your skin, it is perfectly safe for baby.
- Nipple Thrush is a common problem new mums suffer. Botani comes to the rescue with Phytoseptic. It is recommended by many lactation consultants and the Nursing mother's association. Use it after each feed and wash off before the next feed. You don't need to be concerned about the safety of using this product with your baby. If there is any remaining residue on the nipple when you feed, it won't harm baby.
Welcome to your new little bundle of joy. Amongst all the joy of this precious little life that you have been entrusted with, can come some anxieties. You want everything to be perfect and want to make sure that everything that comes into contact with your baby is non-toxic, not just for your baby, but also for the environment. It is a new age and we are all very conscious that taking care of our children, means giving them a safe and healthy world to live in.
At Botani we have taken all this is to consideration and our products meet the highest possible standards. They are safe for your baby's delicate skin and safe for the environment.
The outermost covering of the newborn's skin is the first protective layer against exterior aggressions. It is far more vulnerable and delicate than adult skin as babies have a thinner protective layer comprised of sweat and sebum. Its main function is to protect babies' skin from bacteria and help maintain skin moisturisation and softness.
A Baby' skin is more acidic than adult skin to protect against exposure to bacteria. Newborn skin tends to dehydrate and is quite permeable, allowing for the absorption of topically applied, synthetic ingredients which can be quite harmful to baby.
Exposing your baby's skin to astringent, alkaline based solutions distributes the pH balance, often resulting in dryness and irritation. During the first few years of life it is important to protect and care for the delicate structure of your baby's skin by avoiding the use of harsh, abrasive products which strip it of vital natural oils.
Baby's skin need to be able to breathe to develop. The use of Petrochemicals creams and gels has been show to hinder the skin and the skin's immune system development in neo-natal infants. It is also highly flammable and traps micro-organisms on the skin! ****
Botani products are free of petrochemicals, so you can be assured that with our "100% Botanical" formulations your baby's skin will breathe and develop normally. With Botani's gentle formulations, you can cleanse, moisturise and heal any skin issues that may arise, in complete confidence that you are doing the best for your baby.
Botani and Baby.
- Dry skin - A drop of Olive Skin Serum in the bath can help keep baby's delicate skin hydrated. Soap is too harsh and drying. Either of our skin cleansers will be suitable: Purify Facial Cleanser or Olive Soothing Cleanser, depending on your baby's sensitivity. Use just a little.
- Eczema - Olive Hand Cream is an effective treatment for all over use
- Nappy Rash/fungal infections Phytospetic, a safe and effective treatment.
Watch out for our new range we are due to give birth to next year: "Baby Botani" It is a beautiful, all natural, 100% botanical range especially for Babies delicate skin.
****Neonate Skin Products Used in Oxygen-Enriched Environments May Pose Risks Associated with Flammability and Skin Breakdown...KDarlene MCord Pharmacy.D.,FAPWCA, Barry Newton, BSME,PE, Gwenael Chiffoleau, Pharmacy.D
- Small, tallow like plugs formed in the pores by accumulated dirt, oil and bacteria
- Small, black exposed ends
- Back, chest, shoulder and buttock pimples
- Irritation and may be painful, sensitive areas of pimples
- Dry, flaking characteristics predominant on elbow and knee areas
Dry and Chapped Hands
- Sensitive, itchy, uncomfortable hands
- Roughness, cracking and sensitivity
- Dry, itchiness and irritation
- Fine scaring lines or light burn scars
Shaving Irritations (men and women)
- Irritated redness of the skin
- Bumpy uneven skin
- Irritation due to shaving cream
Wounds and Cuts