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Is It Time We Took Skin Issues More Seriously?

skin issues

Even if you count yourself lucky and rarely have to worry red patches on your cheeks or an ever-growing sun spot above your left brow, we’ve all woken up with a corker of a blemish that captures the gaze of anyone you encounter for the next three days. Those who have waged a war against skin issues, including rosacea and acne will be only too aware of the mental impact these can have over time. 

This week, the British Skin Foundation shared a survey that revealed that nine in 10 dermatologists believe that not enough importance is placed on the psychological impact skin conditions can have on us. “This survey demonstrates that dermatologists recognise some patients experience psychological distress associated with their skin condition,” says Dr Andrew Thompson, Reader in Clinical Psychology and Practitioner Clinical Psychologist, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust.

“It also indicates that whilst dermatology is making great advances in treating the medical aspects of skin disease, perhaps not enough is being done to address the accompanying psychological effects,” says Dr Thompson. In a world where we can disguise skin concerns with make-up or add a filter to a selfie some might assume that battling with a skin concern is less of an issue than it used to be. However, in the last few months, two writers have shared their experiences with rosacea and psoriasis and how they have impacted their confidence and mental health.

While Rose Gallagher might appear to be confident on her Instagram stories, she revealed that her rosacea still affects her mental health: “It still impacts how attractive I feel in myself, especially when it flares up.” On the other hand, Sophie Cullen struggled to have her psoriasis diagnosed.

This is not uncommon as Consultant Psychologist Dr Alexandra Mizara explains, “Skin patients often experience that they are not listened to or understood by their healthcare providers. The occasions that they are listened to and understood are rare and extraordinary.”

So, how can you seek out support, or help someone you know? “If you suffer with a skin condition that has impacted adversely on your life, talk openly about it to your doctor and ask them to refer you to see a psychologist,” says Dr Mizara. If you don’t get far with this, it is also worth seeking out skin disease wellbeing services in your area or talk-based therapies to help tackle any low mood or anxiety. Dr Mizara also recommends looking up charities and support groups.

For those looking for a natural remedy to help ease their skin issues, Clear Skin Complex by Viridian contains probiotics, zinc, selenium and burdock root to help soothe a range of conditions, including acne, eczema and psoriasis. While it won’t fix these concerns overnight, it does help support your body and ease inflammatory skin conditions. Shabir has written extensively about the supplement, here.

Skip Care Is The New Self Care

skipcare

Over the past two years, the term self care has been associated with pretty much everything and if the wellness gurus are right, it’s an essential component for your mental and emotional wellbeing. From the nourishing oil you use to relieve tight, achy limbs to the journal you use to jot down your thoughts at the end of the day, the health and beauty industry is sprinkling self-care everywhere. 

Yet, there is something quite stressful about trying to find that extra half an hour in your week to tap into this wellness trend. You might even go as far as to say it’s just another thing that we’re expected to tick off the list, along with eating healthily, going to the gym, excelling at work and catching up with friends. Self care could be adding stress rather than helping reduce it.

In terms of your skincare regimen, the  relentless cleansing, massaging and layering can add an extra 10 minutes onto your evening routine – and that’s a polite estimate. If this is something you’ve struggled to get on board with you might welcome the new approach: skip care.

What is skip care?

Well, it might surprise you but it’s another Korean export. But unlike the 11 step routines that drove you, and most likely your skin, crazy, skip care is about honing in on the ingredients that really work for your skin and skipping the ones that don’t deliver the results you want. 

How can you embrace skip care?

The fundamental steps of cleanse, treat and protect still apply, but rather than piling on lots of individual products for brightening, exfoliating, hydrating et cetera, look for well formulated lotions and potions that multitask. 

For example, GoW Neurophroline Serum helps reduce the stress in your skin and hydrate. Whether you want to soothe rosacea, get a grip on acne breakouts or give dull, lacklustre complexions a boost, Neurophroline can help and pretty much everyone should be using it.

Likewise Nuori’s Supreme Moisture Mask is the perfect night cream treat for skin now that the weather is starting to turn. The lipid packed formula is surprisingly light and leaves skin feeling softer, smoother and plumper by the time you wake up.

The trick to making skip care work for you is to understand your skin and what it needs. Start with only the essential steps and embrace all the extra time you’ll now have.

Do We All Need To Be More Extrovert?

ambivert

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Since the dawn of time, or at least since the psychologist Carl Jung created the two camps in the 1920s, you’ve either been one or the other. Extroverts are typically deemed as outgoing and very sociable, while introverts are seen as shy and reticent. The former are often touted as more successful and the ‘better’ camp. A new study revealed last week added weight to this assumption.  Read More…

Why You Should Become A Tea Drinker

Tea

How many times has someone offered to make you a cup of tea when it feels like your world is coming crashing down? In the UK, a warm cuppa is seen as the answer to many of life’s perils and there is plenty of research to back up this assumption. Over the years studies have revealed that tea can help to not just improve our mood, but also support our heart and our mental health. Recent research by the National University of Singapore has found that drinking tea regularly could also help protect against cognitive decline as we age. Read More…

Being Optimistic Has Some Serious Health Benefits

Optimism

You’re either a glass half full or half empty kind of person. Few of us want to be grouped with the latter – there are few things less warming than someone who can’t see the bright side in anything. Aside from being more pleasant to be around, being an optimist has some impressive health benefits. 

Back in 2009, a study by the University of Pittsburgh found that optimists were less likely to get ill, while in 2013 researchers at Concordia University found that those with a positive approach were better at dealing with stressful situations. “On days where they experience higher than average stress, that’s when we see that the pessimists’ stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down. Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances,” Joelle Jobin, the co-author of the study told Science Daily at the time.

A more recent study by Boston University went one step further and found that an optimistic outlook can improve your chances of living longer. The study surveyed 69,744 women over 10 years and 1,429 men over 30 years to measure their levels of optimism, as well as their overall health and lifestyle habits, including whether their smoked or drank alcohol.

“Previous studies reported that more optimistic individuals are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases and die prematurely,” says Lewina O. Lee, clinical research psychologist at Boston University. “Our results further suggest that optimism is specifically related to 11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond.”

How can you be more optimistic?

Keep a journal: In a world where few of us have a minute to collect our thoughts, the idea of writing them down feels like a luxury. However, taking five minutes out before you go to bed to write down a couple of things you’re most grateful for in that moment can help reset your mind, and it can also help you sleep. 

Search for solutions: The office pessimist is never more obvious than when you’re in a crisis meeting looking for a way around the issue. Stewing on a problem often makes it feel bigger than it is and can exacerbate negative feelings. Where and when possible it is good to switch from being problem-focused to solution-focused. 

Focus on the improvement: It’s easy to set ambitious goals and lose enthusiasm halfway through when you haven’t reached them. However, there is that popular saying: ‘your speed doesn’t matter – forward is forward’. Try focusing on how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Making small mindset tweaks can ultimately change your overall approach.

Look after your gut: Plenty of studies have linked our gut with our nervous systems. Making sure the bacteria in your gut is well-balanced and thriving can have a surprising impact on your mood. Life Extension noted this and formulated Florassist Mood, a probiotic that contains the two strains of bacteria that help improve our mood, Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum. 

Build up a sweat: Whether it’s a run in the park or a brisk walk, it’s worth getting your heart rate up as when we exercise our body releases endorphins, which help boost our mood. Recent research has also suggested that those who spend more time surrounded by nature also tend to be happier and more positive, so perhaps it’s time we all started or ended the day with a stroll in the park?

We’re Hitting Peak Age Later Than You Think

peak-age

Even if you’re not a tennis fan it’s likely you will have heard about the men’s final match at Wimbledon this year. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic battled it out for the men’s title and made history not only for the length of the match – it lasted for almost five hours and is the longest men’s final in Wimbledon’s history – but also as it was the first time a tiebreak at 12-12 had happened. While Djokovic won the match and took the title at Wimbledon for the fifth time, Federer received a lot of attention and praise for his stamina. Read More…