Today we well be taking a look at different tools and ingredients in skin care which can tend to common skin inflammations and why inflammation may occur. For some people who perhaps have sensitive or acne prone skin types, inflammation is a reoccurring issue which requires daily attention or at least consistent specialist care. So it’s important to invest in good quality, beneficial, safe and non-gimmicky products to reduce skin inflammation. This blog post will discuss several options for you to consider based on various price points.
Let’s not waste anytime and explore our options…
Its not a surprise that Aloe Vera is used for treating skin inflammation when a large portion of it contributes to after sun lotions. In after sun skin care Aloe serves the purpose of cooling down heat retained by skin after a day out in the Sun, soothes soreness and itchy sensations associated with minor sun burns and in turn reduces inflammation in addition to subsiding the prominence of the redness that comes with swelling.
Whether you have inflammation as a result of poor protection against UVA and UVB rays, by using harsh products on your skin, insect bites, over exfoliating or pollution and other environmental factors - aloe vera in high concentrations of 70% or more are one of the cheapest and rapid methods for solving skin inflammation by constricting the size of pores. With its natural antioxidants, enzymes and richness in Vitamins A and C aloe vera can even work on the inflammation of superficial surface acne without depriving skin of hydration. To maximise the soothing and cooling benefits of aloe vera, store it in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours before each use. If aloe based products don’t suit your skin, look into using cactus gel which essentially performs similarly to aloe vera.
For those who are unfamiliar with Tamanu Oil, it is the product of pressed nuts derived from tropical trees belonging to the Calophyllaceae family which originate from Polynesia. Centuries ago Polynesians discovered the wound healing properties of Tamanu oil; the result being that the use of the oil grew exponentially across the land as well as the number of ways in which to use it. It has been suggested that originally this “green gold” was used to treat minor wounds to aid the healing process whilst also lessen the risk of infection without drying out the effected area.
Now that we have sufficient knowledge surrounding Tamanu oil, we have now been able to officially and more scientifically recognise it for it’s skin rejuvenating abilities - coaxing the production and turn over cycle of healthy and strengthened skin cells. In present time Tamanu Oil is more greatly advertised as an intensive treatment for skin pigmentation issues with it’s high concentration of Vitamin C and as topical relief to inflamed areas. Some people use Tamunu oil in its original oil form or in a paste/balm as a natural and Vegan alternative to Ibuprofen tablets and Corticosteroid creams. It can be applied to any non-severe skin inflammation that doesn’t require antibiotics.
We’ve all seen Rose Quartz, Onyx and Jade face rollers trending on social media and the demand for them skyrocketing. The concept of this massaging tool stems from Ancient Chinese medical practices named: Gua Sha. This practice dates back to as early as the 5th Century. During this period China had a considerably large influence on Vietnamese culture - hence why Gua Sha is also often associated with traditional Vietnamese massage. In place of a precious stone roller, Gua Sha requires the use of a flat stone that fits well to the shape and size of our palms; it’s curved edges which vary on each side help target different areas of the body.
Without reflecting too much on the extensive history of Gua Sha, it can simply be explained as: repeated strokes of the skin with porcelain to alleviate blood statics (blood stagnation) in sore and tense muscles. The motions of Gua Sha are said to ‘drain away’ blood from pained areas of the body which are inflamed from repetitive movements and strain injuries underneath skin.
Despite there being no official evidence to support such adverse claims, Gua Sha has since become an at-home practice of self care for those who often experience bloating to their face. By following a simple Gua Sha routine 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before sleeping you can reduce skin inflammation - or ‘puffiness’ - and keep your skin firm with more defined contours. It’s advised that you follow diagrams and tutorials to identify in which directions to move a Gua Sha stone on your face, as some movements should end upwards whereas some strokes should be in an outward or downward direction. Never perform Gua Sha on bare skin. You’re skin needs to be oiled to allow movement without friction. Ensure to use a non-comedogenic facial oil, free from essential oils.
FACE COOLERS & ICE GLOBES
Recently, one of the most popular anti-inflammatory and detoxifying skin care tools in Korea are Face Coolers which resemble the shape of a stamper or chess piece. Generally this type of face cooler is made with a stainless steel base which can quickly become cold when placed in a refrigerator or freezer. As the base is circular and flat you can reduce the inflammation of flat areas of skin - such as your forehead, cheeks, the sides of your neck and backs of your shoulders - more quickly and effectively than using a roller ball massager for example.
Having a metal base means these tools are more hygienic and easy to clean than in comparison to traditional wooden tools that are sometimes still used for relieving skin inflammation. It's advised that you place it into a clean plastic zipper bag before placing into your fridge or freezer to further keep it sanitary. If a Face Cooler isn’t for you or aren’t available in your country, Facial Ice Globes act in the same way and are widely sold on the internet. Ice Globes can be used similarly to Gua Sha stones. They’re made from glass and filled with a liquid which retain low temperatures well when placed in a refrigerator or submerged in cold water. Just keep in mind that they are delicate and more expensive than other manual massage tools.
Last but not least we have Propolis. In a sense you can view Propolis similarly to Aloe Vera; considering both ingredients are natural sources of anti-inflammatories and have antiseptic qualities. If you ever experience inflamed skin as a result of bacterial transmission, propolis is reliable for it’s antibacterial properties.
With propolis being an all-rounder, it’s a reliable anti-fungal acne treatment to fight the source of the acne as well as the swelling which comes with it. Its advised that you speak to a dermatologist before using skin care rich in propolis is you have pollen allergies or have ever had an adverse reaction to Bee stings.