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.

 

Karen’s Journey to Healthy Skin

Karen’s Journey to Healthy Skin

Hi, my name is Karen, and this is my journey to healthy skin.

I’d had acne as a teenager and in my 20’s, but things didn’t get really bad until I was about 34.

My hormonal acne was worse than anything I’d experienced before, and I set myself a mission to heal my skin and any hormonal imbalances that were contributing to my acne.

Many days I was so embarrassed by my skin with huge swollen red pimples all over my face that I didn’t even want to leave the house.

I tried everything.  I was swayed towards natural products at first but when I found that the products I tried didn’t work, I gave up on that and was prepared to try literally anything.

When I say I’ve tried everything, I really mean it.  I’ve tried the “no wash” method where you don’t touch you skin at all, not even with water, for at least 2 months.  I’ve tried the “oil cleansing” method for another couple of months.  I’ve tried lots of different natural products.  I’ve tried over the counter medicines and skin creams. I’ve been on prescription only drugs, ranging from the Pill, antibiotics (big mistake!), and Accutane – the most hardcore acne drug around, according to my doctor.

I found all of the drugs worked in varying degrees, but with in some cases huge side effects.  I had no acne, but my lips and mouth were so dry I could barely talk, my eyes were always dry and red, and basically I hadn’t found a real solution – I’d only covered up one problem and created another.

I desperately wanted clear skin and to be honest when I first heard of Atopis from a friend I wrote it off as just another natural product that probably doesn’t really work.

It was only when I started to read more about their scientific discoveries and inventions that I became interested.

My husband, who has a science background finally had a look at the scientific stuff for me and told me that the Atopis products actually used really different science to any other product I’d used – the fact that he was really impressed with the science was enough for me to take the plunge and buy some products to try.  (It takes a real scientific breakthrough or something special to impress him when it comes to that kind of thing!)

When my first product arrived, the Acne Prone Skin Cream, I put it on my skin straight away.  I could actually see a difference in my skin within the first few hours.  Even my husband commented after a couple of days that my skin was looking a lot better.

A few days after starting the Acne Prone cream, I did experience the breakouts that they talk about.  My skin did apparently need to get rid of a lot of junk that was already in there, and I got a bit disheartened after a few weeks!

I’m so thankful I decided to hang in there though.  A few more weeks later and my skin was looking better than it had for years.  I was still getting the occasional pimple but it was way better than it had been in recent memory.

At this point I got an email saying Atopis had come out with a cleanser and toner, so I decided to go all in and got the cleanser, toner, acne prone cream, and radiant balance (I even got one of their packs with an anti-aging cream and I still use this as my eye cream – it’s lasted ages!).

It wasn’t until I started to use all the products together that my skin showed a really huge improvement.

It must be true that their products work in synergy with each other because that definitely seemed to be the case for my skin.

I don’t wear any make up any more except sometimes mascara or eyeshadow – nothing to cover up my skin.

I never believed this would have been possible before trying Atopis.

Thank you so much to the Atopis team and especially Dr Iona who came up with it all – I don’t know where I’d be without you guys, probably still hiding out in my house!

Take a look at the Atopis skin care products that Karen used to get healthy skin:

Recovering A Clear & Clean Complexion: Jo’s Skincare Journey

Recovering A Clear & Clean Complexion: Jo’s Skincare Journey

Could you please give us some background on your skin and the journey you’ve been through with it? As a teenager I had great skin, I’m probably the opposite of most people! It only started to cause me problems as I got older actually, in my late 20’s really. I would constantly have a few spots that (I felt like) I needed to cover up, and my skin would occasionally flare up and get worse without a pattern. It’s always been an issue for me as I never felt like I could confidently go make-up free, and I always took concealer with me in my handbag. I ate well, drank loads of water, didn’t smoke, and did all the things you’re supposed to do to have good skin, but nothing worked.

How did you discover Atopis, and why did you decide to give it a go? I actually found it on Facebook and checked out the website, and thought it would be worth a shot as some of the success stories from their customers sounded just like me.

What product do you use? I use the Acne Prone Skin Cream.

Please describe how your skin was before Atopis and how it looks now. I always had spots around my chin as well as the occasional ones on my forehead and around my nose if I was having a really bad streak. They were always red and painful and not easy to hide, they would take days to calm down but by then I’d have more! Not fun when you’re in your mid 30’s and everyone else has finished with their acne stage. Now, I only get a spot or two occasionally but for the right reasons like if I eat badly or if I’m hormonal or even if it’s a super humid day – like ‘normal’ skin!

What changes have you noticed since you started using Atopis? My skin is clearer, and just seems generally happier if that makes sense? I have less fine lines too, which is a nice bonus, and my skin is firmer but soft at the same time.

When did you start noticing your skin changing, and how has it changed since? It took until I was halfway through my second tube to see real improvements. When using the first tube I had a solid few weeks of bad skin and I thought to myself ‘man this is just another product that doesn’t work for me’. Then I went back to read the reviews, and people were saying the same thing and said just to keep using it and it eventually improves. So I did, and it worked; they were right!

How does your skin feel? Happy!

How do you feel about your skin now compared to before? Also happy!

What is your current skincare routine? Exfoliate twice a week, wash face in the shower with goats milk/sensitive skin soap. I Moisturise my skin with the Acne Prone Skin Cream in the morning and on most nights.

What advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their skincare journey? Just keep going! The results will happen and they will be worth it!

 

Struggling with Breakouts?

Our Atopis Acne Prone Skin Cream is a 100% natural and safe way to clear pimples, enhance skin health, and help you to break out of the pimple cycle.

Getting treatment deep down into the pores is what our Acne Prone Skin Cream formula does, as it needs to break down the built-up dirt and slowly bring it to the surface so it can cleanse the pore with help from our immune system.

Once you have started with your Acne Prone Skin Cream, it may take up to two or over three weeks for the skin to restore its normal functions. The Acne Prone Skin Cream ensures that bit by bit bacteria comes to the surface, which is removed by your restored skin microflora and stops future bacteria build-up. 

It’s better to have small amounts of the bacteria release over time, so your skin microflora has time to respond and heal the skin. 

Everyone’s skin is unique, so depending on your skin type and amount of blocked pores, it will take a different amount of time.

 

Learn More About Acne Prone Skin Cream

How to Pop a Pimple the Right Way

How to Pop a Pimple the Right Way

When a pimple forms it can be painful, it can ruin our day, and we just want them to get off our face!

Even though it’s tempting – popping pimples makes the skin worse than it already was, therefore not touching our pimples is the best way to avoid worsening the situation!

Looking for a solution to your pimple popping? The Atopis Acne Prone Skin Cream goes beyond managing the signs and symptoms, and helps address the causes of Acne – for breakout-free skin.

What makes up a pimple? 

Pimples contain bacteria called Acne Propionic Bacterium. 

These bacteria are anaerobic, which means they can grow rapidly when there is a lack of air and can live on the surface of healthy skin without causing infection.

Pimples form when excess sebum oil is produced by the glands in the pores – too much sebum oil makes the acne-causing bacteria multiply out of control.

These fast-multiplying acne-causing bacteria produce enzymes that break down our skins proteins which causes the immune system to react and become inflammatory (and causes the pimple).

Because this new pimple contains acne-causing bacteria that inflames and breaks down our skins proteins, it should always be kept contained!

Have a read of our What Causes Breakouts blog to learn more about how and why acne occurs.

What happens when you squeeze a pimple?

Squeezing pimples can release these acne-causing bacteria onto the skin. 

Once released, the bacteria thrives on our skin and doubles in numbers quickly.

Our immune system is immediately disadvantaged when overrun by these acne-causing bacteria even popping just one pimple.

Doing it yourself can also cause an infection or darkening of the skin, so it’s best to just not go there!

Squeezing, poking and picking our pimples can cause the bacteria to dig deeper within the pore. This worsens the pimple and can make it stay on the skin longer than it would have – which can lead to permanent scarring.

Permanent Scarring happens when the blocked pore becomes swollen and infected, which starts stretching the pores follicular wall and causing it to break. When the skin eventually heals over, it makes too much skin tissue and which how skin scarring occurs.

Our fingers also carry a variety of bacteria, and when introducing this to the skin’s surface it can infect the pimple with new evil bacteria, causing the pimple it to become even more inflamed and bigger than before.

But what’s worse than that, is other bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus infecting the inflamed pore, aggravating the touched pimple and making new pimples form on the skin – thus the acne cycle continues!

To avoid this happening, try not to touch your face, and if you have to, wash your hands first!

How to Safely Pop A Pimple:

If you have to pop the pimple, here’s how to do it without the bacteria-party starting:

Yes – there is a proper way to do it!

You’ll need:

• Alcohol wipes or alcohol to sterilize
• A pin or needle
• A Lighter
• Tissues

Steps:

1. Wait until the white head forms on the top of the pimple. The white shows that the pus has collected under the surface.

2. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and scrub your nails to avoid spreading bacteria.

3. Get the pin or needle and use a lighter to sterilize it, then dip it in alcohol once it has cooled down.

4. Swab the area you are popping with alcohol, and apply some to your fingers.

5. Dry the fingers and apply tissue to the fingers that you will place on either side of the pimple when squeezing the pus out.

6. Gently push the pin to pierce the top and of the Whitehead.

7. Using the tissue covered fingers, gently squeeze either side of the pimple, pressing around the whitehead but avoiding contact with the whitehead.

8. If pus comes out, good! If it doesn’t, then leave it alone as it is not ready to be popped.

9. Finish by applying alcohol to the open pimple to disinfect it – be careful as it might sting!

All the best with your pimple popping endeavours! But just remember, leaving them alone and using suitable a skincare product that enhances the self-cleaning process is the best way to go.

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Struggling with Breakouts?

Our Atopis Acne Prone Skin Cream is a 100% natural and safe way to clear pimples, enhance skin health, and help you to break out of the pimple cycle.

Getting treatment deep down into the pores is what our Acne Prone Skin Cream formula does, as it needs to break down the built-up dirt and slowly bring it to the surface so it can cleanse the pore with help from our immune system.

Once you have started with your Acne Prone Skin Cream, it may take up to two or over three weeks for the skin to restore its normal functions. The Acne Prone Skin Cream ensures that bit by bit bacteria comes to the surface, which is removed by your restored skin microflora and stops future bacteria build-up. 

It’s better to have small amounts of the bacteria release over time, so your skin microflora has time to respond and heal the skin. 

Everyone’s skin is unique, so depending on your skin type and amount of blocked pores, it will take a different amount of time.

 

Learn More About Acne Prone Skin Cream

Hormonal Acne & Mature Skin Breakouts? Here’s Why.

Hormonal Acne & Mature Skin Breakouts? Here’s Why.

Both men and women are consistently asking: “Where am I going wrong?” so I decided to shed some light on the acne-creating cycle we can all get caught up in.

Once you understand what’s causing your breakouts, you can start changing your habits, and clear up your skin.

If you’re looking for a Hormonal Acne solution – we’ve created the Atopis Radiant Skin Bundle – our 4 products work in perfect synergy to give you a clear and hormonally balanced complexion.

First, What Causes Acne?

Short on time? Here’s a 30-second intro video on What Causes Acne.

 

We’ve done a whole blog post on What Causes Acne – but for now, it’s important to remember there are 3 main causes of Acne:

1. Hormones

One of the biggest culprits of acne is fluctuations in your hormones (which is what we’ll be talking about today).

Across a variety of ages, hormones and hormonal imbalances can lead to detrimental effects on our skin. Read more about how your acne can vary as you age here.

For women, acne usually appears in the later stages of the menstrual cycle, so a week before or even during your period.

It can also appear after starting a new form of birth control, hormone replacement therapy through menopause, or as a result of fluctuating hormones and conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

Androgens (male sex hormones) can fluctuate in level when compounded with stress, fatigue and lack of skin care.

Androgens are the worst perpetrators for causing bad skin because they stimulate the growth of the sebaceous glands and increase sebum levels, making skin oily and causing severe congestion (known as hyperkeratinization).

This condition means dead skin cells don’t slough off naturally and instead clog the skin’s pores.

Cue the entry of bacteria and acne appears as the star of the show.

2. Lifestyle

Though less of a factor than genetics and hormones, your lifestyle can certainly be reflected in your skin.

Poor cleansing (or over cleansing), dehydration, stress, smoking, poor diet and abrasive product use can all be detrimental to your skin.

3. Genetic Makeup

Studies suggest that you’re more likely to struggle with breakouts if your direct relatives have suffered from acne.

Skin types are passed down through your genes and play a key part in how your skin responds to your hormones and how well it deals with sebum (oil), bacteria, anti-inflammatory properties and the regeneration of skin cells.

4 Stages of Hormonal Acne Development:

1. Hormonal Changes

When increases in testosterone or estrogen occur, this increases the production of sebum (oily or waxy matter that lubricates and waterproofs the skin and hair) at the base of the hair follicle.

Over-cleaning the skin, over-exfoliation, or use of astringent cleansers can also lead to the sebum gland overproducing sebum as these actions send the wrong message to the skin that its over dry. 

Unlike teenage skin, where cells are being actively renewed causing the greasy appearance due to the increased sebum, with dry, mature skin, the sebum gland produces too much sebum to compensate for the skin’s dryness.

2. Blockage

Too much sebum results in the hair follicle becoming blocked (clogged pores).

Excessive cleaning of the blocked pores then causes the sebum gland to produce more sebum and the pores block again.

This means gentle cleaning is critical.

3. Over-cleaning

Over-cleaned skin and pores blocked with sebum unbalance your skin’s microflora (your unique mix of good and bad bacteria) as the bad bacteria is fed by the sebum.

This results in what is effectively skin infection.

4. Immune system reaction

The immune system then reacts to the bacteria imbalance and tries to counter the bad bacteria by turning on defense pathways, which can result in an allergenic response on the skin’s surface and pimples appear.

If infection worsens, then a full-blown immune system response occurs and the skin becomes inflamed, hair follicles are blocked, the site contains pus and the sebum gland produces even more sebum creating a severe outbreak.

 

Why Antibiotics Don’t Work for Hormonal Acne Long Term:

Some of you might have been prescribed antibiotics to kill the acne-creating bacteria, but this also kills the good bacteria, leaving the acne sufferer with no defense against the next bacterial attack.

On top of this, the use of alcohol-based astringents open the pores, clear the blockage but leave the skin dry and inflame pores.

This can take you frustratingly back to step one of the acne cycle.

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Break Out of the Hormonal Acne Cycle with Atopis Radiant Balance Cream:

Atopis Radiant Skin Bundle gives you 4 products, including the Acne Prone Skin Cream and The Radiant Balance Cream, that all work in synergy to balance the skin’s response to hormonal fluctuations.

These 4 products create a skincare routine that cleanses, clears, moisturizes, and tones the skin, so you can say goodbye to hormonal acne, and hello to healthy and glowing skin!

When choosing your skin care products, we highly recommend sticking to natural and non-abrasive products – rather than harsh antibiotics.

Based on award-winning international research and successful clinical trials, Dr. Iona Weir has formulated safe, natural products to help unlock the skin’s own immunity and assist self-repair.

Meanwhile, the probiotic peptides in Atopis, work to restore your skin’s friendly bacteria microbiome, just like probiotics in the gut.

Learn more about the Atopis Radiant Skin Bundle

Learn More About The Radiant Skin Bundle

How To Naturally And Effectively Restore Menopausal Skin

How To Naturally And Effectively Restore Menopausal Skin

One moment you’re enjoying a healthy and youthful complexion, the next minute, you’re breaking out in all manner of rashes, hormonal acne, dry patches, and skin coloring unevenness – distressing, to say the least.

Are you starting to notice the signs of aging? Our Atopis Anti-Aging Skin Cream has been developed to hydrate, reduce wrinkles and restore skin using 100% natural ingredients. 

How To Balance Menopausal Skin

“You don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone” rings particularly true when it comes to mature or menopausal skin. 

But it doesn’t have to be like this. If there’s a time when a little TLC is needed, it’s now.

You can’t turn back the clock on your skin’s health – however, you can take care of the present, and start treating your skin with the utmost care from now on.

Learn How To Combat Aging Skin in this video below: 

Nourish your skin with natural products

Menopause causes many changes to your skin, meaning your current skincare routine may no longer meet its changing needs.

Most standard moisturizers are plain water-based and packed with tonnes of fillers, parabens, and alcoholic substances, which dry your sensitive maturing skin even further. This damages it and strips it of its unique microflora. Our article on Always Reading The Label investigates what a majority of beauty and skincare products contain, and what they do to your skin. 

By making the switch to high-quality, all-natural products, these products will carry out the much-needed intricate repairs to your skin.

This includes; regenerating and reprogramming the epidermis at the cell, as well as at surface level, to give you the best skin possible for your stage of life. 

However, keep in mind that all skincare products are not created equal. As with any scientific breakthrough, there are an increasing number of companies that claim that their products contain ‘all natural’ ingredients. 

It’s important to remember that evidence of effectiveness and non-toxicity is very important before you part with your money and put them on your precious skin.

Think of how you’d treat a baby’s skin and what ingredients you would and wouldn’t use on it – that’s how you should treat your own skin.  

The Science Of Maturing Skin: The Plant Phenomenon

From birth, our cells are programmed to die and be replaced – it’s how we grow.

But, once we hit menopause, the replacement of cells slows down, and the texture and quality of skin is no longer that of a younger person.

In the plant world, the phenomenon of programmed cell death is called Apoptosis. In my research, I discovered that, not only was the process in plants reversible, but it could also be manipulated and used in skincare for humans, particularly for the needs of menopausal skin conditions.

In my extensive study of New Zealand and Australia’s indigenous plants, I’ve identified and isolated four main natural substances that can be extracted to work together in synergy to reprogramme and repair human skin.

These substances can help repair skin that’s suffering from the effects of menopause, as well as other conditions such as acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

Working from within

First and foremost, we use unpasteurised coconut water – a plant’s equivalent of colostrum (milk produced by mammals during birth), with its rich combination of vitamins and minerals.

Then, we add peptides from biotic reactions of bacteria and insect components in New Zealand native plants, bound with lipids from coconut oil to form the patented Peptilipids™. These have the unique ability to penetrate skin-cell plasma membranes and work from within.

Then, there’s honeydew – a bioactive anti-microbial from beech trees in the Southern Alps of New Zealand – with similar properties to Manuka honey – created by the tree’s natural efforts to defend itself against microbial attack.

Next, bee pollen, which is gently handled using enzymes to destroy all allergens.

Finally, a special combination of selected essential oils: coconut oil, with its Myristic acid to modulate the immune system, protect and heal, and Myracetin for its anti-inflammatory properties, plus kiwifruit seed oil, canola, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, sweet almond oil, safflower oil, camellia seed oil and jojoba seed oil.

Once extracted, these elements are all fused together to form the patented Myriphytase™ extract, incorporated in the Atopis™ skincare range, safe for everyday use, offering a unique solution to the trials and tribulations of menopausal skin conditions.

Key Ingredients

 

How We Can Help Restore Your Aging Skin 100% Naturally

Our Atopis Anti-Aging Cream utilizes these indigenous plant and essential oil extracts as ingredients to formulate a cream that naturally revitalizes your aging skin, restoring your healthy and youthful glow. 

The natural ingredients in our product work together to: 

1. Intensely hydrate – peptides, lipids, and antioxidants work at the cellular level to hydrate skin.

2. Repair skin – reduces redness from sun damage on face and decolletage and fades age spots, evening skin tone.

3. Plump skin & reduce wrinkles – stimulates collagen production to smooth out wrinkles and lines.

 

Learn More About Anti Aging Cream