Skincare from the inside – a Functional Medicine perspective

The dive into cosmetics of today.

Skincare is an inside job : Any beauty routine starts with good nutrition and lifestyle practices, and addressing underlying health issues. It involves healing the gut with dietary changes, sleep, exercise, stress management, supplements, hormonal balance and focused elimination of environmental toxins.

Did you know that many personal care products expose you to toxic chemicals? An analysis by the Environmental Working Group2 found that

More than 1 in 5 of all products contain chemicals linked to cancer, 80% contain ingredients that commonly contain hazardous impurities,….. Personal care products may be the primary exposure route for many chemicals that raise significant health concerns. Consumers can be exposed through skin absorption, inhalation, and ingestion.”

The average woman uses 12 personal care products a day, exposing her to over 168 unique chemicals3

Here’s a list of some common ingredients that studies have indicated to be hazardous to one’s health.

  • Parabens, a family of synthetic preservatives, have been shown to be hormone disruptors and cannot be broken down in the body. They mimic estrogen and can stimulate the estrogen receptors as if they were estrogen. Studies also showed that parabens interfered with detoxification and hormones such as testosterone and DHEA. They may also be toxic to genes. They are a family of compounds that includes the word “paraben” in it such as butylparaben, ethylparaben, and so on, in the ingredient list of cosmetics.
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate is a skin irritant and is found in many products from toothpaste to shampoos and body washes. Look out for this in a skincare product.
  • Phthalates and/or Fragrance: Phthalates are found in fragrance, toys and wall coverings as well as many personal care products such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, and perfumes. Studies indicate that phthalates damage the male reproductive system, and may be associated with breast cancer and increased risk of allergic illnesses.
  • BHA is used in food and cosmetics as an antioxidant that prevents fats from going rancid, It has been shown to be a hormone disruptor . The European Union bans its use in cosmetics and fragrance. Why put it on your skin where it will be absorbed and add to your toxic load?
  • Petroleum distillates: Propylene glycol, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and fragrances are extracted from petroleum, which may be contaminated with poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) that are known carcinogens. These can irritate skin.
  • Other – gluten, herbicides, and pesticides and other chemicals and substances can be absorbed through the skin.

Alternatives

Choose natural plant based products with ingredients that are organic, safe for your skin as well as the environment. Look for cold pressed oils, gluten free, free of the chemicals listed above, check tha they are made in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) facility.

Safe Ingredients:

  • Cleansing include honey propolis, hazelnut oil, and shea butter
  • Antioxidants in the form of extracts of fruit, green tea, olive leaf, rosemary and aloe
  • Moisturizer with sunflower, jojoba, sea buckhorn oil and/or shea butter and adaptogenic herbs such as astragalus, Panax ginseng, schizandra and rosemary

A good rule of thumb is don’t use anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.

Functional Medicine tests:

Going beyond the basic testing that a primary care doctor or even dermatologist do, will assess the drivers of skin inflammation. There are a few tests that I would recommend if you’re suffering from skin problems:

  1. Intestinal permeability: Leaky gut, a condition in which the tight junctions in your intestinal lining break apart. The ‘leaks’ cause harmful substances to enter your bloodstream, leading to inflammation that can cause as well as aggravate skin conditions like rosacea and eczema.
  2. Hormone testing: Imbalances in hormones like cortisol, testosterone, DHEA-S, and estrogen could be a major contributor to skin conditions. Overproduction of testosterone, for example, can trigger oil production on the skin which leads to acne.
  3. Metabolism and blood sugar: Fasting insulin and haemoglobin A1C are useful tests for assessing if blood sugar imbalances lead to poor metabolic management and skin problems.
  4. Food allergies and sensitivities: can be triggers for skin issues. In fact, people with celiac disease, or an intolerance to gluten, are three times more likely to have eczema.

5. Environment toxicity profile and hair mineral analysis.—in order to detect presence of mercury, aluminum, lead, copper etc. in the body which leads to skin flare-ups.

6. Microbiome assessment for fungal overgrowth: i.e. different forms of yeast and imbalances in bacteria that studies show, can lead to conditions like acne and eczema.

Using Functional Medicine protocols, one gets to the ‘why’ of the matter or the ‘root cause’ of your skin problems. Once we know the root cause, we can then form a patient-centric personalized skin-care regimen, that will be a permanent cure and not a symptomatic, treatment.

Kamal Parmar

Certified Functional Medicine practitioner

Naturally Healthy Clinic

Coronavirus – Ozone can help against (and bacterial) infections

Medical ozone is always a mixture of purest ozone and purest oxygen. A qualified, certified medical Practitioner determines the concentration and total dosage according to symptoms and general condition of the individual.

Due to its powerful oxidizing and disinfectant properties, it is used as a germicide, air purifier treatment, and as well as drinking water purification method.

Viruses are small, independent particles, built of crystals and macromolecules, unlike bacteria, they multiply only within the host cell. They transform the protein of the host cell into proteins of their own. Ozone destroys viruses by diffusing through the protein coat into the nucleic acid core, resulting in damage of the viral RNA.  At higher concentrations, ozone destroys the capsid, or exterior protein shell by oxidation so DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), or RNA (ribonucleic acid) structures of the microorganism (virus/bacteria) are affected.

 

Medical ozone has remarkable bactericidal, fungicidal and virostatic properties.

In the low concentration range, Ozone activates the immune system, thereby mobilizing the body’s own resistance to disease. As a response to Ozone the immune cells produce specific messenger substances, cytokines such as interferons or interleukins, which pass their information on to other immune cells, inducing a cascade of positive immune activities. This means medical ozone can always be applied, especially in cases of an immune deficit or a high risk of contamination.

Small quantities of ozone provided as IV activate the cellular antioxidants and radical scavengers, protect the body and enhance rejuvenation and function of cells, and support the immune system. 

 

In times of serious viral and bacterial activity a combination of IV Ozone, IV vitamins and a homeopathic phyto-remedy called Pascoleucyn Drops greatly helps to relieve symptoms of Viral infection and flu such as headaches, stuffy noses, sore throats, coughs, and fevers. Pascoleucyn can be taken at the first signs and symptoms of an illness and the main components include:

ECHINACEA – Echinacea also is known as purple coneflower is one of the most supportive plants for the human immune system. It both modulates and stimulates the immune system so it can respond effectively to colds and flus, and aids to relieve symptoms. Echinacea also is an anti-inflammatory, decreasing any symptoms of the cold and flu. 

BAPTISIA TINCTORIA (WILD INDIGO) – Baptisia is a potent antimicrobial herb that helps to kill bacteria and pathogens that are causing illness in the body. In addition, it helps to stimulate the immune system to fight off pathogens as well as help the body remove the pathogen through its alternative function. Baptisia also has antipyretic effects helping to bring down fevers and the symptoms associated with them.

 

For more information and education, for patients, Health Professionals and Practitioners please contact:

Naturally Healthy Clinic

210 Milton Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2K6

250-755-4051

reception@n-h-clinic.ca

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