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  1. In 2003, when I began practicing, the condition was called Acne Rosacea and mainly reserved to farmers, gardeners, athletes and those with a genetic predisposition for very flushed complexions. The very few cases, which I encountered at the time, manifested predominantly in flushed cheeks, nose and chin with visible broken capillaries. Those with actual breakouts were even rarer, which made me think it was not a condition related to acne.

    A few years later, the introduction of chemical peel treatments promoted the idea that causing trauma to the skin will force it to renew itself, resulting in a firmer more youthful appearance. Not long after, the market was flooded with all kinds of glycolic acid-based products for home use. Soon after, came the ‘skin-resurfacing’ using fruit enzyme-based, vitamin C serums and of course the big seller, retinol (more to come on Retinol in future blogs). These removed skin to reveal younger looking skin underneath. There are also a multitude of treatments that either removes the skins top layers or cause trauma and inflammation to the deeper dermal layers to force them to renew. Within a few years of this ‘skin-resurfacing’ approach, causing trauma and inflammation to the skin, rosacea cases started to rise. The skin became more sensitive, more reactive to essential oils and other natural skincare ingredients. This resulted in flushed cheeks, and some with small pustules.

    Fast forward to 2015, and half of the clients that came to my clinic had some form of rosacea. Present day, 90% of all skin consultations I preform are rosacea related. Being the number one skin complaint, finding solutions for my rosacea suffering clients became a priority.

    Most people with rosacea have used foaming cleansers, skin resurfacing products or skin care products containing retinol, vitamin C or other acids. Most have also had some form of treatment that involves micro-trauma to the skin. It would therefore be easy to conclude that such products and treatments are the cause of modern rosacea, but not all people who use such skincare products develop rosacea, so something else must be going on.

    The 2nd Factor

    In my holistic approach, I look at skin as the outcome of our internal health. I begin by asking my clients about the main health factors that affect the skin. This is where I found the second contributing factor that almost all my rosacea suffering clients have in common; gut issues. Most refer to their gut issues as bloating, flatulence, constipation and abdominal discomfort, all of which are symptoms of an inflamed gut and/or an unbalanced microbiome.

    The two conditions are so related that whenever a client shows signs of rosacea, I immediately ask about their gut health, and if they subscribe to this modern way of caring for one’s skin. However, the dot joining does not end here. Further digging into my client’s health history, it becomes apparent that their gut issues, which had led to the offset of rosacea, were caused by some kind of trauma in their life. From experiencing an illness, an accident, deep grief, a stressful work-related period and even from doing a juice detox, the body does not discriminate against any type of trauma.

    The conclusions that I have drawn from over 10 years of research on rosacea sufferers has led me to believe that there are 4 categories of rosacea roadmaps:

    GROUP 1 – 12%
    Trauma >>> Gut issues >>> Rosacea 

    GROUP 2 – 73%
    Trauma >>> Gut issues >>> Use of modern day skincare >>> Rosacea 

    GROUP 3 – 11%
    Use modern day skincare >>> Rosacea 

    GROUP 4 – 4%
    No such triggers, condition may be genetic or environmental. 

    It is apparent that the most common initial trigger is based on trauma that inflames the body, which leads to gut problems. This, together with modern day skincare, leads to rosacea. This makes perfect sense to me, as the skin’s health is dependent on its own microbiome. The provision of a supportive environment to the trillions of microorganisms that live on the skin is vital for their survival. Modern day skincare destroys the skin’s acid mantle, removes skin layers and contains chemicals that are toxic to the beneficial bacteria living on the skin. The inflammation from the gut combined with skin inflammation caused in the name of rejuvenation, is all too much for the skin to cope with.  

    There are many cases where the trauma is dealt with, gut issues healed but yet rosacea persists. This is because once the skin is compromised, it may take a very long time to rebuild its’ defences and its microbiome. However, it is not impossible, but it takes a holistic approach. 

    In the next newsletter: Rosacea - The Solution 

  2. Pigmentation Edit_1

    Skin pigmentation can have a variety of causes; however the result can be the same – feeling self-conscious of your skin and desperately searching for topical treatments to lighten areas of concern.

     In my experience, the three leading causes of pigmentation are sun exposure, hormonal impacts from pregnancy or HRT, and side effects of medication. These causes can affect the appearance and longevity of skin pigmentation; however, our recommended treatments are the same.

     Pigmentation patches, often caused when high levels of estrogen in the body react with UV rays (this most commonly occurs during pregnancy or when on Hormone Replacement Therapy) or as the side effects of medications, and are usually temporary. However, if not cared for, they can become permanent. To try and avoid permanent pigmentation you should keep the skin well nourished, and not let it dry out.

     This can be achieved through daily use of our Angel Balm cleanser and restorative mask to deeply nourish and feed the skin, Midnight Oil to nourish the skin through massage (daily facial massage will also help to even out your complexion) and brighten the skin, and finally a Soveral Moisturiser of your choice to keep your skin moisturised and protected – if prone to pigmentation we would recommend using our Formula 2 Moisturiser during the day as this contains SPF 15 to offer sun protection. During pregnancy we highly recommend avoiding unnecessary sun exposure, as sun exposure can cause temporary pigmentation to lock in to scar tissue.

     Sunspots, however, cannot be removed through topical products alone once set in the skin. Persistent massage may help lighten their appearance, but will not remove the sunspot completely. Again, Angel Balm, Midnight Oil, and a Soveral Moisturiser of your choice can be used daily; however the effects on sunspots will vary in comparison to their effects on pigmentation patches.

     The only way to remove sunspots or pigmentation once they have set in the skin is through laser treatment or acid peels. But everything comes at a price – these treatments may severely impact the skin’s natural defenses against UV light and disrupt your acid mantel. They should only be considered once you have received the best advice from your healthcare provider, and are not recommended by Soveral.

     Pigmentation should not be confused with discoloration or yellowing of the skin. If this occurs please seek medical advice. Once under treatment our products may help alleviate the problem.

  3. lets talk dehydration

    Delving into dehydrated skin
    Dehydrated skin lacks moisture. It may be confused with dry skin, which lacks oil. So, how do you know if your skin is dehydrated? The main clues are:

    • Itchiness
    • Dullness
    • Under-eye circles & sunken eyes
    • Uneven skin tone
    • More noticeable fine lines

    The water-retaining issue
    Many of my clients tell me that they drink tons of water, yet their skin is still dehydrated. The problem here is that for some reason the skin is not efficiently retaining water. The skin’s top layers act as a barrier that is then coated with a hydrolipidic film that, as the name suggests, is a mixture of oils and water; this prevents excess moisture from evaporating from the skin.

    The limits of the hydrolipidic film
    Exposure to a dry environment such as a heated home during the winter months, or an environment where there is not enough humidity in the air, can be too much for this thin coating and cause it to be compromised, leading to moisture evaporating from the skin.

    The destruction of the skin’s barrier
    The popularity of skin resurfacing ingredients in many cosmetic products, harsh soaps, solvents, acids, and retinols all compromise the integrity of the skin’s barrier. Without this barrier the skin loses its ability to retain water, as well as becoming exposed to pollutants and pathogenic bacteria.

    How to solve the problem

    1. Make sure you are drinking enough water.
    2. Turn the heating off during the night and open a window a little.
    3. Avoid any foaming cleansers and skincare products with exfoliants or skin resurfacing effects.
    4. Apply moisturiser morning and evening, and top up during the day if needed!

    Top Tip: How to choose a moisturiser for dehydrated skin
    Moisturisers are meant to do what the name implies, to moisturise, and to help the skin with moisture binding. The most effective moisturisers are the ones that need to be worked into the skin a little, this will allow for the water-binding ingredients to blend with the skin, reinforcing its hydrolipidic film.

    Shop the Soveral moisturisers