Cravings before your period? Here’s Why

Cravings before your period? Here’s Why

In the week before your menstrual cycle begins, the hormonal activity begins to fluctuate causing intense food cravings, breakouts, and mood swings. 

When we experience food cravings, it is actually a sign that the body is telling you it needs nutrients. During the hormones fluctuating these food cravings spike due to a hormonal imbalance occurring. Progesterone and Estrogen levels decrease, and this increases hunger. 

So why is it that most women get a craving for chocolate?

 

We crave chocolate just before our periods because at this time our bodies want zinc, and the easiest source of zinc is chocolate.

Of course, you can get zinc from fresh vegetables and especially lettuce, but it’s actually easier for our bodies to get it from chocolate.  If you add some salads to your diet a couple of days before period is due, this will help provide the extra zinc your body needs.

Or just eat chocolate!

Chocolate itself is a prebiotic and promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria in your gut way better than any lettuce leaf ever will.

Moderation is the key and darker, low sugar chocolates contain the most health benefits.

Our hormone levels change throughout the month, and just before our period is when our “feel-good” hormone, serotonin, takes a sudden dip, whilst our stress hormone, cortisol, spikes.

Higher stress levels caused by the cortisol spike in our bodies can be soothed by reaching for chocolate, making the start of the menstrual cycle feel more comfortable.

 

However, while the stress level cortisol is high, this starts affecting the skin’s oil glands.

Cortisol essentially affects the sebum gland, which is responsible for maintaining oil levels on the skin. The rise in cortisol leads to an increase in oil production which is why just before, or during your period the skin can breakout. For most women, pimples can appear a week before or during your period.

There are some foods which can have an almost immediate affect on skin.  These include probiotics and greasy foods.  If you eat either of these right now, within 2 hours your skin will feel the effects.

Probiotics give your skin a healthy glow and greasy foods can lead to breakouts.

For other foods, it’s all about balance.  Soy and green tea are good examples of this.

Soy can actually help your hormones if you eat a little most days.  Soy boosts our estrogen levels, meaning that a little at a time can make us feel great and keep our hormones and skin balanced and healthy.

On the contrary eating no soy for weeks and then indulging in a feast of soy protein in one meal can throw our hormones wildly out of balance.

Drinking green tea regularly is really good for your skin. But if you’re not a regular drinker, and then sit down to a full teapot, the green tea will draw out toxins from your body into your skin, resulting in breakouts.

The key thing is keeping the ratio of your hormones in balance.

Dairy products can affect hormones as they boost estrogen.  This can throw the whole estrogen progesterone ratio out, resulting in mood swings, pimples, and inflamed skin.

Anything containing sugar can alter your hormonal balance and your skin health.

The worst thing you could do is to not have eaten any soy, then go to a restaurant and eat soy, drink green tea or sugary drinks.  This then stresses out your hormones and results in hormonal acne.

 

Your skin responds to and shows what you eat; include lots of fresh vegetables in your diet and keep a diary of what you eat and how your skin responds to really get to know which foods show in your skin the most.

Where possible avoid foods detrimental to skin health – sugars, processed foods and alcohol. These are all inflammatory foods, that work against your skin health as well as your gut.

 

Your skin is a living organism with its own unique microflora, so to support the health of it you can help it out by drinking plenty of water, eating fermented foods like kefir, exercising the lymph system, and cleansing, toning and moisturizing properly morning and night. 

 

If you have a genetic pre-disposition to acne or eczema, having a healthy diet will help but will not ever solve the problem. Don’t beat yourself up if you eat something that causes your skin condition to flare up – we’re all human.

Including prebiotics such as yoghurts, kombucha or chocolate in your diet is great for gut and skin health.

Your skincare routine is also really important for managing skin conditions – choose products that calm and soothe and are suitable for your individual skin type.

 

Learn more about our skin care products here.

 

Fighting Cellular Ageing with Pine Bark

Fighting Cellular Ageing with Pine Bark

Pinus Radiata, or pine bark is a powerful antioxidant that heals and repairs sun-damaged skin and fades age spots.

Antioxidants are critical in neutralising free radicals to prevent cellular damage. Antioxidants are potent anti-inflammatories, and reduce redness associated with eczema, rosacea and sunburn.

Free radicals are the cause of premature aging, as they nick DNA causing mutations, impair mitochondrial cellular respiration and induce inflammation due to release of nitric oxide.

Sources of free radicals are UV, pollution, smoking, excess sugar in diet and stress.

When free radicals are in excess this results in skin cell damage, wrinkles, age spots as well as being associated with rosacea, acne, lupus and psoriasis.

New Zealand pine bark is a more potent plant extract than other plant flavonoid extracts from the rest of the world, because here our pine has had to adapt to the intense UV exposure in New Zealand. That means that the plant has developed enhanced UV bioactive components to protect its own DNA and mitochondria.

Chances are that simply by living in New Zealand or Australia your skin has been subjected to a fair bit of UV damage. Pine bark is a potent cellular protectant against sun damage and promotes cell renewal to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.

Our Atopis pine bark is even more powerful. Almost 30 years of scientific research has shown our proprietary plant compounds can actually protect your skin cells against UV, pollutant & DNA damage, oxidative stress, inflammation & even promote wound healing. The pine bark that we gather is treated through our patented process to enhance all of its natural defense mechanisms, thus making it far more potent and effective on the skin.

We have demonstrated using in vitro lab testing that the Atopis pine bark promotes optimal mitochondria respiration and free radical scavenging within skin cells.

Mitochondria are the energy source of our cells. Basically, they protect our cells from incurring damage and re-energize them. If the mitochondria become tired, your skin gets tired. Skin appears lifeless, cell renewal slows down, and your skin doesn’t refresh itself as it naturally should. When your cell mitochondria are working optimally, your skin promotes a healthy glow.

We recommend you always use sun protection, and add antioxidants to your diet and skincare for optimal skin health.

 

Give your skin the gift of Atopis pine bark:

Learn more about our Intense Radiance Pack to get the benefits of Atopis pine bark.

A Digital Attack on the Face?

A Digital Attack on the Face?

The following information may come as a shock. Who would have thought that the screens on our phones/laptops/tablets were causing our skin some serious damage!?

It takes a person 15 minutes on average before they check their phone in the morning not to mention the hours through-out the day we will eventually spend in front of a screen.

As it turns out, the blue light from screens is being recognised as damaging for the skin. Studies are being done as to what extent the blue light is affecting our skin. It is enough that it has encouraged beauty-brands to start creating products with blue light-fighting properties. Dermatologist and clinical assistant professor at New York University, Shari Marchbein, told Allure: “Visible light, especially in the blue wavelength, has become a hot topic in skin care, as there is mounting evidence that supports its contribution to photo-aging, including wrinkles, worsening skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.”

 

According to Dermatologist, Dr Sweta Rai, the blue light that our screens emit can cause brown spots on the face and a “falsely aged appearance”. Although more common to affect the pigmentation in darker skinned people, the blue light is still penetrating deeper into our skin than UV light does. 

 

The main source of blue light we get daily comes from the sun (different to UVA and UVB rays) but a large amount of this exposure to blue light is coming from our screens.

 

A small peer-reviewed study was done on the effects of blue light on the skin and published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2010. This study proved that exposing skin to the amount of blue light we get from the sun caused more pigment, redness, and swelling than when the same person’s skin was exposed to comparable levels of UVA rays. This was evident in dark skin and the pigmentation lasted longer because the light stimulated the skin to overproduce pigment. This appears as brown spots on what would have been a clear complexion. 

 

We should all beware though and try going hands-free when talking on your cell phone can save the exposure directly to your face. It is also good to avoid face contact with the cell phone if you are prone to acne or blemishes because phones can hold a lot of bacteria already. 

 

So, there is no definite conclusion telling us to do anything about blue light yet, however the evidence already suggests that blue light exposure is harming our skin in more ways than one. 

 

What can we do about this?

Use night-mode when going on a screen for a long period of time, call hands-free, and reduce the time you spend staring at your screens. 

Atopis skincare contains flavanoids (plant’s UV defense compounds) that are useful in protecting against blue light exposure and has been scientifically proven to protect against the sun’s blue light on the skin. Alas, it is never too late to repair, Atopis can help alleviate drooping and sagging skin which is also a cause of the dreaded blue light!

Learn more about our flavanoid rich ingredients!

All Atopis skin care products contain flavanoids to help protect against blue light exposure.

The two products which contain the most effective blue light protection are our Anti-Aging Cream and Radiant Balance Cream.  Click below to learn more.

Three-phase Therapy for your Skin

Three-phase Therapy for your Skin

 

When we say we are natural, we are. We ensure that the plants we source are not changed but keep the original state as they were in the New Zealand forest.

Instead of using solvents, or traditional extraction methods, we use nature’s own processes to fuse bioactives together in synergy.

We dive into the unique process that brings prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics together on the skin.

 

Prebiotic

Just like our gut health requires good bacteria, our skin does too!

In 2006, Dr. Iona Weir patented a technology for a gut health prebiotic from kiwifruit that promoted the growth of good bacteria, whilst inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria.

What sets this science apart is that traditional prebiotics can only promote the growth of all bacteria.

This means that not only does the good bacteria grow, but also the bad bacteria is being kept alive too. When this process (in the gut) goes wrong it results in bloating. Dr Weir’s patented kiwifruit prebiotic successfully reduced IBS symptoms in clinical trials.

For Atopis, Dr. Weir took this concept further, and created another patented prebiotic that promotes the growth of the good bacteria on the skin, whilst killing the bad bacteria such as acne propionic and staphylococcus bacteria. Thus, only good bacteria can thrive.

 

Probiotic

It gets better; Dr. Weir encapsulated probiotic bacteria within the prebiotic so that the interior would remain dormant and stable within the cream until being applied to the skin.

The Atopis probiotic bacteria only becomes active when rubbed onto the skin, which releases them and allows them to grow and populate on the skin leaving no room for the unhealthy bacteria to stay.

This is especially vital when it comes to the health of the skin.

 

Postbiotic

Postbiotics were developed by testing numerous plant extracts, fermenting them and identifying their skin benefits.

They were then synergistically fused together with the prebiotic encapsulated probiotics.

Only the best postbiotics for skin repair were selected after intensive testing. Atopis postbiotics have potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties.

 

Atopis brings prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics together giving your skin our ultra three-phase therapy.  Learn more about our ingredients.

 

Explore our range of skin care products containing patented prebiotic, probiotic and postbiotic treatments for your skin: