Skin

How Removing These Key Food Items Can Offer Clear Skin + More Energy

Hi and welcome back!

Today we shine more light on the potential hidden dark side of certain foods that could be causing a myriad of symptoms we experience every so often, and even daily (fatigue). Miss the intro to nightshades? Get that here, or just review below!

I’m going to pose the possibility that a food reaction may be a culprit of fatigue,  bloating and skin flare ups. One culprit has hit the google stream as of late, so let’s focus on one of the most commons hidden food triggers, nightshades. Let’s explore what happens when the body “perceives” itself being attacked and it’s damage over time.

nightshades-eggplant-tomatoe.jpg

NIGHTSHADES CONNECTION TO COMMONS SKIN REACTIONS

Have you ever been on an elimination diet?  Even if you haven’t, many have at some point experienced how frustrating it is to figure out skin flare ups or fatigue based food triggers.

I think for many women, we seem to have pinpointed a problem only to discover it’s not what you think or you just opened the outer layer of an onion.

As a natural skincare formulator and having done my share of facials, I see firsthand how the rise of low grade inflammatory conditions affect women’s energy - and their skin.

Many women experience low grade puffiness due to water retention, eczema flareups to name a few, and the nutritional world is now connecting to nightshades as a often underlying factor for people with chronic inflammatory conditions.

In Fact: A very telling study from 2017 found that 52% of psoriasis sufferers saw an improvement by removing nightshades from their diet.

So with a conclusion of 50% of people suffering from really, a inflammatory response in the body, it’s a high enough number to test out what the triggers are by simply removing items from your diet.

  • Tomatoes

  • Tomatillos

  • Chili Peppers

  • Bell Peppers

  • Eggplant

  • Potatoes (not Sweet Potatoes)

  • Gogi berries

  • Huckleberries

  • Chili powders

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Paprika

  • Red Pepper Flakes

  • Tobacco

  • Ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb)

  • Sorrel

  • Gooseberries (also known as Goldenberries)

  • Belladonna (typically found as a homeopathic remedy)

Circling back, the primary reason that nightshades could trigger skin specific ailments and other symptoms are due to naturally-occurring phytochemicals called Lectins that are there to protect the food from its natural environment and pests.

The problem is, unlike pesticides, we cannot rinse them off because they grow within the plant.   

Other than Lectins, here are three additional tagalongs to look for:

  • Salicylates

  • Histamines

  • Glycoalkaloids (most notably Solanine)

Salicylates
Salicylates can certainly be tricky to identify. Many “prescribed” low-salicylate diets are give to calm eczema or atopic dermatitis. A salicylate sensitivity is a reflection of liver detoxification issues versus relation to the gut.

That means it’s not actually a food issue, but your liver struggling to process salicylates through Phase Two Detox.  For this phase its critically important to support the pathway with healthy fats and protein so the body can convert toxins - out of the liver channel.  

Histamines
As far as histamine is concerned, nightshade foods can create a higher histamine burden than your body can handle.  For myself, I also found bone broth consumption put me over the edge due to the slow ferment process.
High histamine responses often manifest into hives, itchiness, swelling, nausea, heart palpitations, elevations in blood pressure, anxiety, and other GI symptoms.

If you suspect histamines, I suggest adding support  so you can better breakdown of histamines in your diet by supplementing with the DAO enzyme about 10 minutes before eating every meal.

Glycoalkaloids

As far as the Glycoalkaloids like solanine, the information is newer to the nutrition and health community.  Dr. Gundry has done a incredible job of pointing out his one to one findings on all kinds of flares due to phytochemicals.

jk.jpeg

He notes  glycoalkaloids —  much like lectins, are the plant’s first line of defense against bugs, viruses, bacteria, animals, and even humans, which might even cause digestive issues like vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.

They grip onto cholesterol in your body’s cell membranes. The cholesterol is there to strengthen your cell membranes so they’re less permeable to molecules that may want to pass through and cause damage to the cell.

Without cholesterol, your cell membranes wouldn’t be strong enough to keep out these molecules. It’s the perfect place for glycoalkaloids to strike because once the cholesterol is attacked, your cells could split or leak.

One of the things to note about glycoalkaloid toxins is that they take your body a long time to process — more than a day in some cases.

Removing the Triggers

Just the words “food elimination diet” harbors a feeling of fear and restriction. Suggestions here are meant for exploration so you can heal and feel better.

Removing too many items can lead to both micronutrient and macronutrient deficiencies and nightshades are not a problem for everyone.

Nightshade Reduction

To test out if nightshades and the three tagalongs of salicites, solanines and glycoalkaloids are an issue, try completely excluding them from your diet for 3 weeks. See if you notice any improvement in your health and skin. Nightshades can be hidden in the products, so read labels carefully. One biggy here fiding and staying clear of potato starch and spices.

There are great replacements for these foods, like avocado, Brussels sprouts, and Jerusalem artichokes. Here’s a quick guide on how to replace!

ightshade-Sensitivity.jpg

FREE your mind from restriction! Here’s great recipes free of nightshades!

Here’s 31 Quick & Easy Lectin-Free & Nightshade Free Snack Ideas

Tell me!

Have you tried eliminating Nightshades before and what was the result?

If you haven’t given it a try yet, are you considering this elimination?

Till next time ….. Love n’ Light! - Kassandra

Shedding Light on Nightshades + What You Need to Know

Hola Chica!

As naturalista’s, we often already play the role of our own health detectives out of the love for truth.

Have you ever had a trigger response from a food you’ve eaten? I know that when I eat gluten, or too much of one food type over time - I feel it! It may be a pleasure reward in the moment, but boy do I pay for it later.

Sometimes we have no idea where a ‘reaction’ comes from, nor does it always show up in your gut. Other common reactions can be foggy brain, insomnia and commonly - our skin.

There are common foods that cause allergies such as egg and dairy, but one heavy hitter the health industry is starting to recognize more than others are NIGHTSHADES and the active agitator within it called “Lectin.”

Later, I’ll help us connect the dots to how nightshades potentially affect our skin, but today’s dialog is breaking down the basics of new nutritional science I deem highly valuable to know for yourself, or someone you know.

jk.jpeg

Nightshades are a family of plants known as Solanaceae. The family includes some pretty popular veggies like:

  • Potatoes

  • Tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Peppers (including bell, cayenne pepper, and paprika)

WHY NUTRITIONISTS SUGGEST AVOIDING NIGHTSHADES

Many health experts believe you should avoid the nightshade family altogether. Why? There are a couple of reasons.

I’ve already mentioned an alkaloid called solanine. But nightshades also contain the alkaloids capsaicin and nicotine (yes, nicotine — tobacco is part of the nightshade family, after all). And all of these alkaloids may have irritating effects on the body.

Solanine has been linked to aggravated joint pain and inflammation. Though no scientific studies currently support this finding, The Arthritis Foundation reports that many patients do find this to be the case.

Nicotine is found in tobacco plants (also a nightshade family member) as well as these common nightshade vegetables. Amounts of nicotine in the veggies can range from 2-7 microgram/kg (a cigarette averages about 12 milligrams) but decrease with the fading of “green” coloring. So when a tomato ripens it does decrease in nicotine.

The bottom line with alkaloids is: Though they may not affect everyone, some people are very sensitive to them because they can’t digest them properly.

According to Dr. Gundry, lectins are toxic proteins found in certain plants.

Lectins are part of a plant’s natural defense system. The problem with lectins is:

  • They can bind to cells on your gut wall

  • Damage the gut

  • Preventing you from properly absorbing nutrients.


Lectins are found in their highest concentrations in legumes, grains, and — you guessed it — nightshades.

Research has begun to show that – though some people are more sensitive to lectins than others – lectins are:

  • Toxic, inflammatory, or both

  • Resistant to your digestive enzymes

  • Able to cause major discomfort if consumed in high concentration

BEWARE! LECTIN CONTENT IS MOST POTENT IN THE PEELS AND SEEDS

If you suffer from a leaky gut, an irritable bowel, or any other gastrointestinal sensitivity you should definitely think about cutting lectin-rich nightshades from your diet to see if you notice any difference.

THE SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF A NIGHTSHADE SENSITIVITY

Nightshade sensitivity can be very similar to a host of other conditions but generally appear as:

  • Diarrhea

  • Heartburn / Reflux

  • Nausea

  • Irritable Bowel

  • Joint Pain and/or swelling

nightshades-eggplant-tomatoe.jpg

TUBERS

Funny word, I know. Tubers include sweet potatoes, yucca, and taro root. The sweet potato is particularly wonderful with health-promoting antioxidants like β‐carotene and anthocyanins — both of which have been shown to protect against certain health issues.

LEAFY GREENS

The following leafy greens are incredibly high in nutrients (like vitamins A, C, E, and K).

  • Romaine

  • Red & green leaf lettuce

  • Kohlrabi

  • Mesclun

  • Spinach

  • Endive

  • Butter lettuce

  • Parsley

  • Fennel

  • Seaweed/sea vegetables

CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES

Like leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like the ones below are also high in important carotenoid-antioxidants (like beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) as well as vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and fiber.

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Arugula

  • Kale

  • Cabbage

  • Collard greens

  • Bok choy

AVOCADO

Hello chipotle or avocado toast (minus the gluten for me). Avocado is actually a fruit, but because it’s a first-class choice when it comes to gut-friendly veggies.

Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats and soluble fiber. As well as plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Research has even found the avocado may also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol which is a huge contributor to cardiovascular diseases.

How to Test for Nightshade Sensitivity

The best way to test for a nightshade sensitivity is to go through an elimination diet. You’ll want to remove all nightshades from your diet (including culinary spices such as red pepper flakes, chili powder, and curry powder) and see if your symptoms resolve. If you do not experience any GI issues, fatigue, or joint pain after successfully removing nightshades from your diet, then you probably have a nightshade sensitivity.

So does that mean you can never eat salsa again? Not at all! The next phase of the elimination diet is the reintroduction phase. One at a time, you will begin to reintroduce each food you removed to test how your body reacts to it.

I suggest waiting two weeks before re-adding. Some people have only a very minor intolerance to nightshades, which means you may be able to tolerate some foods in the nightshade family depending on the amount of glycoalkaloids they contain

That’s it! Whether you sense a sensitivity, brain fog, digestive issues - or not, removing nightshades may be an interesting exploration.

Next I’ll dial in on how nightshades may be causing skin issues of all kinds.

I have to acknowledge just how frustrating it is to figure out triggers that confuse our inner health and outer skin issues.

Though nightshades can be an issue for people with chronic inflammatory conditions, the reason it affects skin isn’t so clear cut.

I’ll cover that in my next dialog with you.


Thanks for informing yourself, beaute! Questions? Contact me at hello@evoqbeauty.com.

Love n’ Light,

Kassandra



How Your Lifestyle Accelerates Aging & Affects Skin Health [tips + science inside]

In my previous article, I noted that our body’s biological system is influenced by our genetics. In fact - science proves that 80% of our health state is from the daily choices and our direct environment. The other 20% is hard coded. This should come a a great relief (and a little pressure of course).

Why does our skin ages and what we can do about it?

Aging occurs because of two different factors: intrinsic and extrinsic. You don't have much control over intrinsic factors, which are influenced by your genes, ethnicity, and certain medical conditions. But there is a major upside because you can have a huge impact on your extrinsic factors like UV exposure, stress, smoking, nutrition and lifestyle choices, which are major contributors to the aging process.

How do these extrinsic factors contribute to aging? All of them can generate the trifecta of reactions that create fines lines, wrinkles, and skin sag: oxidation, inflammation, and glycation. When you combine these three things, you hit the jackpot for premature aging.

Below we get one to one on terminology, how it affects our fundamental biology, and how to integrate lifestyle and nutritional habits to assist healthy aging and brighter skin.

Screen Shot 2019-04-06 at 12.05.27 PM.png

Oxidation

394143_IGStories_Set2_Oxidation_032019.jpg

Mitochondria are tiny "organelles," thousands of them in each cell, that are the power plants for our metabolisms. Their waste products include oxygen in a form that is super-reactive and therefore toxic. The cell has an effective mechanism for quenching these ROS (reactive oxygen species).


Insulin chemistry

394143_IGStories_Set2_Insulin_032019.jpg


The body gradually loses its ability to respond to insulin, and poisons itself with excess blood sugar.

All the food you eat gets converted into glucose, which is the simplest form of sugar that your body can use for energy. Foods containing more sugar—think packaged cereal, crackers, sauces as well as foods that are more readily converted into sugar like refined carbohydrates—can flood your system with glucose.


Glycation (cross-linking of proteins and sugars)

394143_IGStories_Set2_Glycation_032019.jpg

Skin + Glycation

When sugar combines with protein or fat in the bloodstream, the result is the formation of harmful compounds called advanced glycation end products (also knowns as AGEs). AGEs can be formed spontaneously in the body or they can be formed in foods like fried foods and highly processed products like red meat, margarine, nuts, and butter. Cooking methods using high temperatures—like frying, grilling, and toasting—can also contribute to AGEs formation.

In your skin, AGEs are formed with collagen and elastin causing these fibers, which are integral to a supple and youthful appearance, to become stiff, inflexible, and prone to breakage. Translation: Your skin becomes less elastic, wrinkled, saggy, and more vulnerable to sun damage.


Inflammation

394143_IGStories_Set2_Inflammation_032019.jpg

An important tool for fighting infection, but it becomes over-reactive in old age, and the body begins attacking itself. Excessive inflammation plays a central role in cardio disease and in arthritis, and a lesser role in Alzheimer's disease

Skin +Inflammation: Your body is on a roller coaster of high and low blood sugar spikes and labile insulin levels, which can lead to skin sag, inflammation, and chronic disease. Chronic inflammation is at the root of chronic disease systemwide and your skin is no exception. Inflammation can worsen rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema and can also weaken the collagen and elastin in your skin over time, leading to skin laxity, poor wound healing, and uneven tone and texture.


Apoptosis

394143_IGStories_Set2_Apoptosis_032019.jpg

A term for programmed cell suicide. Cells are programmed to die when they are unhealthy or when they become cancerous.

But there is evidence that in old age, healthy cells undergo apoptosis as part of the body's self-destruction program.



Telomeres & Replicative Senescence

394143_IGStories_Set2_Telemoeres_032019.jpg

All cells have built-in counters called telomeres tacked on to the end of each chromosome. With each time the cell reproduces, the telomere becomes shorter, and eventually the cell to stop reproducing.

Longer telomeres have longer life spans.


De-methylation

394143_IGStories_Set2_DeMethylation_032019.jpg

With age, DNA loses methyl groups that control gene expression, and as a result genes are expressed in the wrong place at the wrong time.





Let’s recap with some final tips!

Addressing Cellular Health by Eating for a Youthful Glow ….

So in closing, there are a lot of things in our food supply and environment that threaten our skin health, cellular health and our overall mood and appearance. Focusing on certain foods can make a huge ( all the ) difference.

1. Antioxidant-rich foods

Eating foods rich in antioxidants like tomatoes (lycopene), berries (polyphenols), dark leafy greens (Vitamin E), and spinach (carotenoids) can limit damage caused by free radicals and AGEs. Pair your meal with a few cups of green tea (catechins) and coffee (caffeic acid) for an added boost.

2. Anti-inflammatory foods

Adding in foods rich in carotenoid plant compounds like lycopene (tomatoes, watermelon, and guava), lutein (pumpkin, pistachio, dark leafy greens), and zeaxanthin (parsley, kale, egg yolk) will give you an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant jolt. Foods rich in zinc, selenium, and copper like lentils, eggs, dark chocolate and almonds are also vital to the formation of collagen and elastin and help decrease inflammation.

3. Anti-glycation foods

Foods that limit rapid, sharp spikes in blood sugar can help limit AGE formation. So can utilizing cooking methods using low temperatures and water-based moisture like steaming, poaching, and stewing.

Apples, asparagus, figs, celery, green peppers, cauliflower, and onions have been shown to combat the process of glycation as they are rich in phytonutrients, beneficial compounds, including rutin, quercetin, and luteolin.

Adding in high fiber vegetables like artichokes and broccoli, as well as herbs and spices including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, garlic, sage, thyme, and fenugreek can help keep blood sugar levels steady and block collagen-damaging AGEs.

The best part of all of this is that these foods can be used in so many delicious recipes. Protecting your skin doesn't mean only eating bland, boring food. So bon appetit and cheers to long-term skin health.

Hippocrates is famously quoted for saying, "Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food," but I would argue that food can be the fountain of youth, too.

Love n Light - Kassandra

Choosing the Right Type of Vitamin C is Critical For Brighter Skin Results

Hola, and welcome SPRING!

Spring’s a great time to support yourself in the renewal taking place in and around you. It's time for letting go of what is not working for you or bogging you down. 

The lymphatic system and your skin are working hard to slough off the layers of winter; a professional facial is a great way to deeply release and replenish that your beautiful working organ.

I hear your brain right now  ... " I don't have time to book a facial. " 

If that's the case, then let's chat real quick about the best two part skin ritual to add right now as we transition seasons.

I know, in a new age of beauty, women like you want to know what's in the bottle and that it meets the standards of being solution based and effective. 

Like you, I love the science of skin care ingredients, and today I'm briefing VITAMIN C - and what to look for. 

Face it, research studies find it's helpful in some ways, but also VERY
OVER-HYPED in other ways.

Here we GLOW >>>

IMG-0880.JPG

Vitamin C - The debrief.


First thing first.Before you reach for any product, make sure you're getting the BIG C in your diet!

Our body and skin have certain enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. These protective systems also include plenty of antioxidants, including vitamins C and E.

As these antioxidants are constantly being used up, they're also constantly needing replenishment: the foods that you eat provide a consistent supply of these important chemicals.  (That's why the antioxidants in your food are so critical to healthy skin.)


These foods make their way from your digestive system, to your blood supply, and from there to the tiny blood vessels that supply your skin. They then diffuse into the epidermis and dermis, where they protect your skin from free radicals.

That's the "inside-out" approach, now here's the critical part to know when applying vitamin C to the outer.

The Proper Vit C Formulation Is Critical
Just because it contains vitamin C, doesn't mean that it will be effective.  Vitamin C is a water-soluble molecule, and your skin barrier is meant to repel water.

This is why I invest in cell deep LIPOSOMAL Vitamin C Ester in each Evoq formula.  These are fatty acids that are bioavailable to enter your cellular matrix for high efficacy and performance.

Why Fatty? 

Great question!Vitamin C is a sure bet to quickly oxidize.   

In the presence of light, heat, and even oxygen, vitamin C quickly starts to destabilize, turning your high price investment into something far less effective.

IN FACT, some researchers are even concerned that an unstable vitamin C molecule can actually create MORE skin damage.

So, how do you protect your invested Vit-C?  
Opt in for lipid based vitamin C.  Next, make sure the product is protected from light, heat, and oxygen.

Get naturally BRIGHTER in just TWO STEPS  
Exfoliate and Renew with Evoq's

Sea Pearl 3-in-1 Micro-Polish


Unlike most exfoliation products on the market, Evoq's Sea Pearl Polish will not damage delicate capillaries and pores and is completely safe to use on a daily basis if needed.  I took rich sea pearls and incorporated them into a blend of isotonic sea water, food grade algae  and aloe vera gel to help soothe and protect the skin. 


FYI: Abrasive walnut and apricot exfoliators tear the skin, leaving your barrier leaking it's hydration and damaged over time.

Simply mask for 5-10 minutes, then gently scrub with your fingertips in a circular motion and to let the rich algae base do the work – in other words, no need to exert a lot of pressure. RINSE!


Brighten and Glow with Evoq’s
O2 & Vit C Serum


With just a few drops, restore firmness and reveal glowing skin with Vitamin C Esters that repair cells, brighten dullness, and eliminate dark spots.

High Performance Ingredients

Botanical Stem Cells of Narcissus and Madonna Lily- Reduce skin discoloration by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes, which can create dark spots.

Vitamin C Esters- Gently brighten skin to reduce dark spots and scars, and regulates oil production.

Liquid Oxygen(Perfluorodecalin)- Decreases the look of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing skin’s volume.


HOW EVOQ SKINCARE IS DIFFERENT

ORGANIC + BIOAVAILABLE  + BIOMIMETIC


Due to the mineral content and weight being identical to the human skin and blood - algae is amongst the most compatible ingredients, allowing all layers of the dermis to readily absorb high concentrations of magnesium, potassium, calcium and essential protein chains to plump and boost collagen and firm and prevent wrinkles.  Be proactive and preventative - It’s worth every drop - your skin will be left fresh, dewy, and renewed.

5 Surprising Skincare Slip-Ups Causing Complexion Damage

Hey there! Little rituals, how we take the time to put intention into our routines, can make a big difference, over time. Here are a few tips!

The quality and condition of your skin will ultimately determine how youthful you look and can affect your overall appearance. Unfortunately, many people have slip-ups that cause complexion damage over time.

If you want to avoid harming your skin, there are a few common mistakes to avoid making.

Over-Exfoliating

Most people are aware that exfoliating is an important part of caring for your skin to remove dead skin cells and prompt regrowth to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can be easy to over-exfoliate and buff away the top skin layer, which can mean removing the protective skin layer. The Skin Nerd explains that many chemical exfoliation products use acids to break down the skin and overuse of these can cause serious complications. If your skin isn't protected, it can increase your risk of sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins, which leads to aging. Experts recommend only exfoliating two to three times each week.

Drug Abuse

No one is going to say that drug use and abuse are good things, but very rarely do we talk about the serious damage drug use can have on every part of our bodies. The Recovery Village explains that methamphetamine causes acne, sores, and a substantial drop in your skin's elasticity, which can lead to premature aging. The blood vessels constrict with drug use, which can affect proper blood flow to the skin and can make it difficult for the body to repair any damage that has occurred. Your complexion will begin to lack a healthy glow and can start to sag, form wrinkles, and age rapidly.

Improper Cleansing

Improper cleansing of the skin also leads to damage to the complexion due to clogged pores that can lead to breakouts. It's important to cleanse your skin with a product that has the right ingredients, which includes witch hazel, which is a natural astringent. Salicylic acid is necessary for cleansing the pores and antioxidants should also be an added ingredient to offer protection. Acne, a leathery skin texture, and an increase in sores are common, which can add an extra decade to the individual's appearance.

Improper Treatment of Acne

Blemishes need proper treatment to ensure that they heal correctly and don't lead to scarring on the skin. Avoid pushing the infection to the surface of the skin and give it a few days to work itself up naturally. Rise and Shine recommends to avoid applying a drying treatment, which can cause it to become trapped underneath the skin. Dry and flaky skin can actually cause more pimples so using gentle oil-free moisturizer can help. With cysts, avoid picking the pimple because they'll never reach the surface. Opt for applying an anti-cyst product that will dissolve the infection.

Not Enough Vitamins

Hum Nutrition explains that vitamins affect skin health and are necessary to slow down the effects of aging. It's important to get enough omega-3 fatty acids to ensure that cells can hold enough water to reduce the risk of wrinkles. Vitamin B1 and B6 are also responsible for strengthening the skin and preventing stress from having a harmful effect. CBD oil can also be used with vitamins and can be applied topically treat eczema, reduce acne, and encourage abnormal cell death.

Skincare slip-ups are common but should be avoided if you want to improve the quality of your skin as you age. With the right care provided, you can feel proud to show off your skin and allow it to look youthful.

Having professional beauty services done can greatly improve your chances of avoiding these mistakes and slip ups! Let Beauty Ecology help you have the best skin you can possibly have!

How Your Skin’s Endocannabinoid System’s Changing the Game & Your Genes for Good

Inflammation no mo!

How CBD is Changing the Skincare Game & Your Genes for Good

333213_CBDSkinRemake2_IG2_120418.jpg

Whether it's fighting free radicals, treating blemishes,  or reducing inflammation, the power of cannabinoids (CBD) are proving to be a key for treating a variety of skin concerns.

Researcher and buyer beware, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation out there because of all the red tape  and the plethora of unregulated “me too CBD companies.”

In a previous editorial, we explored the body’s endocannabinoid system which is often referred to as ECS. We discovered the key roles your ECS plays in your overall wellness and outlined how CBD engages to bring equilibrium to your brain and body.

Next, we move onto the ECS and your skin!

Skin's Endocannabinoids System

Being in the skin industry for over two decades, the new re-discoveries around our skin’s very own endocannabinoid system and its own receptor ecosystem findings is beyond exciting. It put me into re-formulation mode (watch for our relaunch 2019).

When out of balance, the skin’s endocannabinoid system results in pathological skin conditions such as: acne, accelerated aging, dermatitis, psoriasis and seborrhea to name but a few.

The Gut Connection to our Skin’s Immunity

It is well-documented that the gastrointestinal tract, which, like the skin, is one of the primary physical barriers of the immune system, has abundant cannabinoid receptor sites.

Now, research has shown that the skin also has an endocannabinoid system of its own, which helps to regulate the production of various hormones and proteins, including cytokine causes the skin to spike into inflammation), which is also involved in the immune response.

The skin’s endocannabinoid system also helps to regulate various cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis or cell death. Thus, imbalance of this system is responsible for the occurrence of chronic skin conditions such as advanced aging, psoriasis and eczema, and developing targeted cannabinoid therapies may help to control the root of optimal skin health.

Many skin conditions are inflammatory in nature and the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoids on skin cells have been demonstrated. Both THC and CBD show anti-inflammatory effects.

What’s happening below the surface.  

Skin flare ups are common whether it’s acne, psoriasis or eczema because hormones like cortisol tell the glands in your skin to make oil, suppress your immune system and can cause an inflammatory response in the skin.  

Applying CBD topically is an effective method for introducing cannabinoids to the skin’s ECS for immediate absorption, and faster results.

Topical Application of CBD

332154_CBDSkinRemake_Blog3_120418.jpg

Topical applications of Cannabidiol can penetrate as deep as one inch from the surface.  Imagine what our Evoq Nano infused CBD can influence at 1 billionth of the size! Topicals containing higher amounts of CBD (5 mg per application) can offer relief from physical pain, arthritis and rheumatism.

Communicating the Connection Points

Skin's Endocannabinoids System

Human tissues have at least two types of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, each coupled with a protein. CB1 receptors are expressed predominantly at nerve terminals where they mediate inhibition of neurotransmitter release.

CB2 receptors are found mainly on immune cells, one of their roles being to modulate cytokine release.

Endogenous ligands for these receptors, endocannabinoids, also exist, and examples include the molecule anandamide. These discoveries have led to the development of CB1- and CB2-selective agonists and antagonists and of bioassays for characterizing such ligands. So in the future we can have much more targeted cannabinoid therapies.

Human skin cells or keratinocytes are part of the peripheral endocannabinoid system and showed a unique signaling mechanism of CB1 receptors, which may have important implications in epidermal differentiation and skin development.

How About Scalp and Hair Health?


Cannabinoid receptors have been found in even the smallest nerve fibers controlling hair follicles, and keratinocytes have also been shown to bind and metabolize anandamide, the most abundant endocannabinoid.  Plant cannabinoids Δ-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol, cannabinol and cannabigerol (CBG) for their ability to inhibit the proliferation of a hyper-proliferating human keratinocyte cell line and for any involvement of cannabinoid receptors for ultimate hair health.  

In other research, published in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal, it was shown that cannabinoids produce lipids that can regulate skin conditions such as acne vulgaris, seborrhea and dry skin. They suggested further exploration of cannabinoids as “novel therapeutic tools" to treat dry scalp.   

In summary, we have many studies documenting the contributory nature of cannabinoids, their receptors, and the skin’s endocannabinoid system in the metabolism of psoriasis and eczema and other inflammatory diseases, of which aging of the skin is considered one.

In the coming years there is great hope for the use of targeted cannabinoid therapies to better control our overall skin health.    

233839_CBDoilad1_052418.jpg

Our topical formulations were developed with the well-being of your skin in mind by enhancing your powerful forces of nature with the highest quality of NANO CBD enhanced formulas soon to be offered in 2019!

Stay tuned, and in the meantime, check out our internal tinctures or One Hit Wonder-ment Skin Oil to get you started here!

All the best, to you and to your skin’s best health. - Kassandra


References:

M.Pucci, C. Rapino,A. Di Francesco, E. Dainese, C. D’Addario, and M. Maccarone, “Epigenetic Control of Skin Differentiation Genes by Phytocannabinoids,” British Journal of Pharmacology 170, no.3 (2013): 581.doi:10.1111/bph.12309

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4240254/

https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/beauty/cannabinoids-hemp-beauty-skin-health


Addiction + Collagen’s Worst Enemy [must read]

Hello there!
Q: Noticing wrinkles, some deep lines or sagging in your skin?

vg.jpg

Sugar may be one of the culprits.

Yes, sugar is classified as America’s top addiction, but you may not realize you have MORE POWER THAN YOU THINK when it' comes to taking control of advanced aging skin.

Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 9.16.09 AM.png

What Happens When You Eat Sugar?

Regular cellular hits of all kinds of sugar can trigger a cascade of physiological events that may ultimately cause inflammation, AGE factors from glycation and flare up issues.

Collagen’s Natural Enemy | AGE

Wrinkles and sagging skin are a partial byproduct of the process known as glycation, in which excess sugar molecules attach themselves to collagen fibers and ultimately cause them to lose their strength and flexibility (we call these bondings AGEs, or advanced glycosylation end products).

The result? Skin becomes less elastic and more vulnerable to sun damage, fine lines and sagging.

Sneaky Sugars are found in high-glycemic carbohydrates such as breads, starches, potatoes, baked goods, pastas, desserts and soda, are rapidly converted to glucose in your bloodstream.

The Effects Are More Than Just Skin Deep

While wrinkled skin is one of the visible signs of AGEs, most degenerative diseases are affected one way or another by disease-producing glycation reactions.

In fact, AGEs lie at the very heart of the aging process—from the skin to the brain—and can be responsible for wrinkles, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and more, including age-related memory loss and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Simply put, the formation of AGEs is responsible for both internal and external damage to the body…and sugar is the primary culprit.

Untitled design (9).png

With a few nutrition changes, you can get beautiful skin in no time!

INFLAMMATION

Sugar ruins your skin by causing inflammation in the body. Sugar causes blood sugar levels to surge and plummet, which leads to inflammation. All sugars such as white and brown sugar, agave syrup, molasses, maple syrup, and honey, are to be looked for.

Opt in for fresh fruit or the natural sweetener Stevia instead.

Untitled design (10).png

WRINKLES

Sugar’s inflammatory properties also lead to wrinkles. Collagen is what keeps your skin looking young and wrinkle-free but sugar attacks collagen, eating it on a cellular level. This dehydrates your skin and makes it look dull. And, of course, dehydration also leads to premature wrinkles.

BLOOD SUGAR IMBALANCE

Whenever you eat foods with a high sugar content, your blood sugar rises rapidly and falls rapidly. When you experience this sugar crash, you often feel hungry, shaky, and moody. Every time this happens, your body experiences internal stress, which often leads to breakouts.

Stabilize your blood sugar levels, eat meals that contain plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

FREE RADICALS

Free radicals cause inflammation and disease in the body. Studies have linked high-sugar foods and high-sugar diets with creating free radicals in the body. Antioxidants are important fighters in the war against free radicals, and foods with natural sugars, such as fruits and vegetables, are excellent sources.

Avoiding foods with added sweeteners, to boost your antioxidant levels and help your body win its fight against free radicals. H2 water is incredible to squash free radicals.

REDNESS AND RASHES

The inflammatory properties of sugar also cause red, irritated skin. Many people who suffer from rashes or are prone to yeast imbalances can blame their issues on a diet loaded with sugar.

Clear it up by removing refined and added sugars and focus on cruciferous green veggies and fiber-rich foods.

DEHYDRATION

Sugar sucks the water from your body’s cells, leading to dry, puffy skin and those terrible under-eye circles that we all hate.

Invest in H2 rich water to instantly oxygenate your skin.

DIGESTION PROBLEMS

Sugar is very hard on your digestive tract and creates inflammation and flora imbalances in the gut, and any time food doesn’t digest well, it shows in your skin.

Reducing sugar leads to a better functioning digestive tract, fewer food cravings, and better skin.

So there ya go! If you have any questions about how to set up your skin for success, contact us - and our SKIN PRO’s will help you align a inflammation free skin care regime + matched with your new awareness on sugar and it’s impact on our skin! Email: Hello@beautyecology.com

Leaky Face? Setting Healthy Skin Boundaries.


At some point in time, as women and natural care givers, we’ve struggled with knowing the extent of our own boundaries - right? Many times we don’t even know we’re venturing outside of our boundaries, later we find ourselves tired, agitated and often times just plain ANGRY.

With this same unconscious when it comes to protecting our soul - it’s the same when it comes to our SKIN. That’s right, the boundaries of your skin - that create the ultimate protective barrier - for happy, healthy and joyous skin.

* Don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom for my #1 Suggestion! *


Addressing Boundaries + Barriers - in our skin.

The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes). This layer is composed of 15–20 layers of flattened cells and skin sebum. Shingles on a house - in which protects and keeps damage out of its interior is a great visual as it pertains to the stratum corneum and dermal relationship.

Sebum, skin cells and lipids represent the food source that makes up our natural healthy bacteria, which gives the skin it’s homeostasis. 

The Skin’s Microbiome + Leaky Gut and [FACE]

Think of bacteria as your daily “professional skin aesthetician.”


The microbes micromanage our skin’s fundamental health by which stimulate secretion and cell turnover which stimulates our pores to keep our skin supple. Just like watching a “leaky face,” we cannot look past the possibility of a leaky gut which are commonly the cause blackheads, psoriasis and can be further damaged by rancid oils that are clogging oils, increase acne prone skin. 


LISTEN UP

 

Here’s a quick explainer video and detailed context below to further understand how to keep the biome and skin barrier optimized, plump and luminous.

skin layers

The Skin’s Natural ECOSYSTEM knows how to tend for itself. 

Again, our outer barrier protects the body from the external environment and is designed to hold water in and keep bacteria, microbes, and other external invaders out.

The strength and integrity of this barrier not only keeps our skin looking healthy and moisturized, it also plays a role in its clarity.

The Structure of The Stratum Corneum

Untitled design.png

The dead skin cells “bricks” and the intercellular matrix (the lipids and fatty acids – aka sebum) make up the mortar. These waterproofing lipids are what keep skin hydrated, soft, and firm in appearance by preventing the evaporation of the water it absorbs from the environment and the deeper layers of the skin. It holds the water in and keeps bacteria (including acne bacteria!) and other impurities out.

What if holes and cracks occur?
Obviously water evaporates and escapes. This is when the skin becomes compromised and barrier repair is needed in order to prevent dehydration and bacteria from getting into the cracks.

Your Re-birthing Process
Using its own natural exfoliation process known as desquamation, fresh skin cells migrate from the bottom layer of the epidermis to the outer most layer of the skin. This process is wholly dependent on adequate hydration, so when this process gets disrupted, the skin becomes rough, scaly, and dry in appearance.

Unclogging Pores
If the outer most barrier isn’t repaired, the skin becomes dehydrated (even if you have oily skin), tightens and holds onto dead skin cells. Say “hello to clogged pores!” Bacteria is added to the concoction and makes a perfect soup for your body to react and attack those bacteria in which cascades quickly into inflammation.

** Therefore, even if you’ve cleaned up your lifestyle and still have acne, chances are you have a damaged outer most skin barrier.

The Outward Signs and Symptoms of a Barrier Damage

Many skin conditions can be exacerbated by a damaged stratum corneum. These include:

• Acne
• Dermatitis
• Dry skin
• Eczema
• Flaky skin
• Inflammation
• Itchiness
• Premature aging
• Psoriasis
• Redness
• Rosacea
• Scaly skin
• Sensitive skin
• Tightness

It is thought that over 70% of people who suffer from acne have some degree of damage to their outer most barrier.

Even those with oily skin can have dehydrated skin, so don’t be fooled by oily skin and hydration levels! ANY skin type can become dehydrated because the outer most barrier has been altered causing it to lose its ability to retain moisture.


So, What Causes a Damaged Barrier to Begin With?

There are several reasons why your outer most barrier may begin to deteriorate:

1. Constantly stripping away sebum
2. Cumulative damage that has affected the skin cell renewal cycle
3. Environmental conditions like dry, cold or hot weather, and wind
4. Not enough physical exercise
5. Not enough sleep
6. Nutritional deficiencies
7. Over-exfoliation
8. Over-washing your face
9. Poor diet high in processed foods and sugar
10. Stress
11. Sun damage
12. Unprotected winter skin
13. Using harsh products on your skin
14. Using hot water when washing and rinsing your1 face
15. Using too many chemicals on your skin

Experiencing any of the above for too long can start to alter the structures within the skin that are responsible for moisture retention and balance.


THE RECIPE FOR RE-HYDRATION

All this information tells us that we need to achieve balanced hydration within our skin cells in order to repair the outer most skin barrier.

The first steps you want to take are things like lowering stress, getting quality sleep, exercising regularly, drinking enough water daily, and eating a clean healthy diet.

Cleansing:
While improving those aspects of your life, you should begin taking steps towards improving your skincare routine like using cooler water to wash and rinse, switching to a gentle cleanser, avoiding harsh exfoliants or over exfoliating, and allowing your skin to recover its hydration levels.

Water Content + Temperature
The worst thing you can do is use hot water or steam on your face, washing too often, stripping your skin’s oils, or scrubbing your skin too often. All this will do is dry out, strip, and damage the outer most barrier making it harder for your skin to hold onto water.

100% Non-toxic
Harsh chemicals in your face/beauty products can weaken and strip the skin and cause irritation and deterioration of the lipid layer.

Tearing Down Your Protective Barrier
”Even if your skin pro says it’s A-OK,” beware of the motives. Using harsh exfoliants and over-doing micro-needling and peels can actually scratch open the skin (microscopically) and allow water to evaporate.

UV Protect!
Wear your daily sunscreen if you plan on being out in the sun. 20 Minutes of raw sun is fab for natural Vitamin D needs, but anything over this is detrimental short and long term.


Up-level Your Skin Hydration

Aside from the above, here are a few tips to quickly repair your barrier:

1. Barrier restoring ingredients
Lipids are excellent ingredients to use as they tend to mimic those found in the stratum corneum. The best ones to use are those that contain ceramides and are rich in linoleic acid such as baobab, evening primrose, rose hip seed oil, safflower oil (high linoleic acid), shea butter, and sunflower oil (high linoleic acid). Most, if not all Evoq Skin products contain ceramide rich nutrients.

2. Humectants
Humectants are essential for repairing the outer most barrier as they attract water from deep below the epidermis as well as from humidity in our environment. This moisture is drawn into the stratum corneum where it holds in moisture and repairs the skin.

Some of the best humectants include glycerin and hyaluronic acid. These are found in all of our Booster Serums.

Avoid synthetic humectants like:

• Polyethylene glycol (PEGs) – a petroleum byproduct that dries out the skin over time
• Propylene glycol – the synthetic version of glycerin, also a petroleum byproduct known to irritate the skin
• Urea – a preservative that releases formaldehyde; a known carcinogen that can cause dermatitis (there is naturally occurring urea in the skin which is part of the natural moisturizing factor of the skin or NMF)

3. Skin identical ingredients
Using ingredients like peptides, sea algae and omegas will help restore the acid mantle and balance the skin’s natural moisturizing factor.

4. Skin protectants – aka “occlusives.”
Ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, sunflower oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, squalene, evening primrose oil, and baobab oil are all wonderful emollients and are rich in phytosterols that heal and buffer the skin against dehydration.

Learn more about our TOP ceramide-rich skin protectant will help keep your skin soft, supple, and firm in appearance.

-SOLUTION-

Our Youth Renew Oil is superior for repairing your lipid barrier - not allowing hydration to leak and keeping your skin bright, plump and luminous. 

** Cold­pressed, organic fruit seed oils rank high in omegas and naturally derived antioxidants that create the “power of 10” anti­-aging benefits. Infuses your skin with omega fatty acids that protect and improve your skin from sensitivities, skin allergies, and environmental aging while enhancing cellular metabolic functions.


XO
Thanks for joining me on yet another skin lesson! Let me know if you have any questions on setting healthy barriers in your skin + life! E: Kassandra@beautyecology.com XO MUCH LOVE!

Thank you, Holistic Health Herbalist

// User Icon Setting (may be set to BLACK, WHITE or NONE):