Milia – Those Bumps aren’t Acne!
If you haven’t heard of Milia it looks like small bumps that commonly form around sensitive skin places such as the eyes. It is not rare to develop a singular milium or a crop of Milia at some stage in our life, but the appearance of them can affect our self-esteem at times.
They do disappear eventually but generally, we want to speed this process up. So, it is key to recognize when you have Milia and what to do.
Our solution to protecting your skin against the build-up of Milia is our Radiant Balance Cream. Our cream unclogs the skin’s pores and reduces the build-up of sebum and dead skin.
Find out more information about Milia, its causes, and it’s cures below!
What are they then?
Milia, plural or Milium singular, form as a tiny bump just below the surface of the skin and present where the skin is thinnest, which is typically around the eyes. The milium bump can look whitish in colour and is a keratin-filled cyst. These cysts are benign thankfully!
After the sebum and dead skin cells become trapped in the skin they turn into keratin, which over time solidifies. Keratin is a fibrous protein that forms to make the main structure of hair, nails and the outer layer of the skin.
Typically keratin does its job at protecting the skin, (just like it does for our nails and hair!) but in the case of Milia it hardens up under the skin forming the tiny bumps.
Milia are also referred to as closed comedones, where the follicle is blocked. Comedones are the skin-coloured bumps that are mostly found around the forehead and chin of people who suffer from acne.
Blackheads, however, are called open comedones, which are exposed to the air turning the dead skin and oil black.
Who gets it?
Statistically, half of all newborn babies will likely get Milia around the cheeks, nose, and eyes. Adults can get Milia on the face, arms, and hands.
It is more often than not to develop on the hands in mature people after years of sun-exposure turned sun-damage. See our Sun Exposure and Your Skin blog to learn more about the effects of exposure on your complexion.
Generally, some people are just more prone than others to Milia. It can be genetic causes, a skin condition or a number of other reasons as to why Milia can suddenly develop.
An interesting cause of Milia
Over applying thick moisturizers and creams, notably eye creams, have been linked with triggering Milia, especially in those that are already susceptible to it.
The skin also has a natural exfoliation process, when this malfunctions dead skin cells begin to build up under the skin’s surface and if they stay too long like this the build-up hardens into keratin.
This keratin-filled bump won’t get red or sore – instead, it’ll just sit under a thin layer of skin.
Unlike acne, Milia do not form in the pores, instead, it forms as a cyst. So knowing this means the treatment of Milia is a different approach. It can last on the skin from a few weeks to a few months.
Milia goes away on its own eventually, but the appearance of it can affect self-esteem and confidence. More than often we want to get rid of it as soon as we can. Below are a few tips to treat Milia – the key is patience however, as it can still take up to a few months of treating Milia from home for it to clear up:
Due to the skin’s exfoliation process malfunctioning, choosing a targeted exfoliator is important.
One that contains salicylic acid to dissolve the bump can be used daily if it is gentle on the skin and does not cause irritation or drying out the skin.
Products containing glycolic acid are effective in exfoliators for Milia as well.
To avoid triggering Milia ensure you use a thin layer of skin cream. If the cream is too thick it can block the skin causing it to essentially suffocate and Milia can erupt.
Make sure to choose a moisturizing cream that won’t block your skin’s pores and that will allow the skin to still feel hydrated.
Is Your Skin Showing Signs of Milia?
Atopis Radiant Balance Cream has been formulated using essential oils that do not plug up the pores.
Our patented process of making Atopis converts some of the essential oils to fatty acids which are critical to maintaining the health of the epithelium (skin).
Using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, Atopis has been scientifically proven to restore the skin back to a normal function using all-natural and safe ingredients.
Learn More About Radiant Balance Cream
We carry around a vast array of microbes in our gut that are completely unique to us, and these dictate how we digest food, maintain weight, and fight off disease among the many other jobs the microbes have. Our skin is triggered when the gut is at an imbalance and this can show on the skin depending on the skin condition you have.
What is the gut microbiome?
Think of the gut’s microbiome as an inner universe in our gut – it has billions of microbes that all have their own functions to play.
When we are in the womb we receive our gut microbiome from our mother. As we age bacteria in the gut can come and go but the profile will always remain the same.
In the first years after birth, our gut is introduced to new kinds of bacteria that join the diversity in the gut, and studies show this plays an enormous part in how our immune system matures.
When this goes wrong and the immune system does not mature correctly, immune conditions such as food allergies and eczema develop in childhood.
In adult life, if the balance between the immune system and microbiome is destabilized such as through infection, stress or change in diet then this can act as a trigger for immune-associated conditions such as IBS, acne, eczema and food allergies.
This is known as gut dysbiosis and if the imbalance continues then a vicious cycle of gut and skin issues becomes established.
It is very important to understand that there must be an underlying genetic tendency to the skin condition and that the gut dysbiosis is a trigger instead of a cause.
Why is gut health important for acne prone skin?
If your gut microbiome is unbalanced this impacts the skin microbiome, which is why we see the effects of the gut on our skin. The health of our gut affects more than our skin, it also has a direct link to our brain.
Our gut microbiome has also been linked to behavior including anxiety, stress, depression and mood swings. This is because it has an impact on our hormones.
When we feel anxious or stressed, our gut feels it and reacts to the elevated hormone – cortisol – causing excess sebum oil production, excessive gut motility (cramps and diarrhea), and gas.
Anxiety produces the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn plays havoc with all your other hormones. Cortisol encourages your skin to release sebum oil, which can result in inflammation and then finally, dreaded breakouts.
Inflammation occurs when the pore is blocked with excess oils, dead skin and bacteria and this combination form a pimple. Keeping anxiety and stress under control can benefit the skin greatly.
How does gut health influence other skin conditions?
The immune system is regulated by pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. When gut health is poor the gut produces pro-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are made by the immune system to ward off infection.
However, if too many are present it inflames the gut. This throws you into a vicious cycle of gut imbalance, hormonal fluctuations, skin issues, weight gain or loss and underlying inflammation.
The inflamed response in the gut shows on the skin dependent on what skin condition you are living with.
Hormonal fluctuations show on the skin as acne and rosacea. Immune conditions show as lupus, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Various environmental factors, such as stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, diet, and pollutants, will affect the composition within the gut but also the skin microbiome.
Scientific research has found that the gut microbiome in early life is associated with age of onset, severity, remission, flares, and even types of conditions such as eczema, acne, food allergies and rosacea.
Building scientific evidence is indicating that the development of these immune skin and gut conditions appears to be a combination of the microbiome diversity, the immune system and the harmony between the gut and the body.
The Role of Genetics
It is important to appreciate that this microbiome imbalance is not the cause of the development of skin conditions, but instead maybe the trigger or aggravator of the condition. Every skin condition has either an underlying genetic or microbial infection cause.
How can gut health be restored?
Our microbiome is as unique as our fingerprints so what diet or treatment may work for someone does not necessarily mean it will work for you and your unique gut. Keeping a diary on your bowel habits, skin condition, daily wellbeing and what you have eaten will help to determine what is triggering your skin.
Probiotics are essentially us adding foreign bacteria into the gut system, which is a great way to enrich gut health.
It is important to note however that a probiotic that works for one person may not always work for another due to the uniqueness of the bacteria in the gut. An overactive immune system can decide the bacteria are the enemy and attack. It pays to try different probiotics but also to use diet and prebiotics (food for good bacteria) to restore your own natural gut microflora and stabilise your gut immune balance.
It is also important to listen to your body to find out what your body needs and what it does not like. Do not be pressured into thinking you have to give up chocolate, wine or dairy. We are all unique and so is your gut microbiome and immune system. Work out what your gut does and does not like while it is inflamed and remember this will also change with a maturing gut.
How to Enrich Your Gut Health
There’s no denying the gut is interlinked with our skin, brain, and mood. Treating skin conditions requires time and effort to determine the cause and triggers and then find the most suitable plan for yourself.
Here’s some easy tips to start you on the journey to sustainably clear skin and a healthy gut:
Eat an array of plants – a great excuse to try something new, head to the supermarket grab some wholefoods and mix things up! The more plant diversity you’re exposed to, the larger your internal variation of beneficial bacteria will be.
• Fibre is Key
Fibre is prebiotic ‘fuel’ for your friendly bacteria, helping it to flourish and multiply. Whole-grains are rich in fibre.
• Fermented Foods and Drinks
They are an easy way to add probiotics to your diet. Unlike prebiotics, which help pre-existing bacteria and microorganisms within you, probiotic foods actually contain live microorganisms that are able to be added to the gut.
Poor sleep can affect your gut, and bad gut health can affect your sleep. Studies show that a normal gut flora aids in a natural sleeping pattern (being tired at night and feeling awake during the day). For a good night’s sleep it is essential to take care of your gut, and if you want to boost your gut health then a solid night’s sleep will help. How great is that?!
Exercise has the power to alter the gut bacteria composition for the better. Exercise appears to generate butyrate which is known for reducing inflammation. Recent studies have found that those who have higher levels of fitness tend to be more likely to have a more diverse microbiome than the more ‘stationary variety’ of humans.
Atopis – Skin Care That Balances Your Skin From Inside-Out
Enhancing your gut doesn’t just work from the inside out. Since your skin is your biggest organ, it’s important to restore your skin’s natural function with natural skincare products and a routine designed to work in synergy with one another, offering layers of protection and benefits.
The Atopis range is scientifically designed to enhance and strengthen the body’s immune responses, reverse skin damage and promote skin cell repair on a surface and cellular level. Atopis manages and calms the skins’ reaction to environmental triggers, stress, and hormones rebalance and restore your skin’s microflora.
Learn About The Atopis Products Here
Exploring the needs of different skin conditions
We’re on a mission to help everyone achieve beautiful, healthy skin.
Education is key to gaining control of your skin condition – if you are equipped with the correct knowledge on what’s behind your skin condition, you’re more likely to be able to manage it. That’s why we’re sharing our skinsider and CEO Dr Iona Weir’s knowledge on how to manage common skin conditions. Read more about our story, or explore our other articles.
The first step in the journey to sustainably healthy skin is figuring out your skin’s needs, and selecting the right products that fit these unique needs. In this article we unpack common skin conditions, and recommend products that fit the needs of your skin.
If you’re already clued up on your skin needs, learn more about different skin conditions by clicking the below links:
Different Skin Types, Conditions & How To Manage Your Skin
Dry Itchy Skin
There are many different types of dry itchy skin conditions, but the most common is atopic dermatitis – the most common form of eczema. The first step towards effectively managing your skin condition is identifying what specific condition you are dealing with. Learn more about the seven types of eczema.
It’s also important to have a solid understanding of the root cause of your skin condition and what may be triggering flare ups. Learn more about the causes, triggers, and treatment options of eczema skin.
Essentially, treating eczema is about protecting the damaged skin barrier to stop the skin reacting to allergens.
Repair dry, itchy skin with an all-natural product that calms inflammation, restores the skin’s microflora, and protects the skin barrier.
Atopis product – Dry Itchy Skin Cream
For calm, clear and fortified skin, use Atopis Dry Itchy Skin Cream. The all-natural, steroid-free skin balm has been clinically proven to relieve itching and irritation and reduce redness and scaling of eczema prone skin.
Care for normal skin with products that protect from everyday stressors and lock in your skin’s natural moisture.
Sudden temperature changes, sun and wind exposure, air conditioning, pollution and extreme temperatures can leave your skin dry, and even damaged.
Keep your skin protected and hydrated with a product that locks in your skin’s natural moisture.
- Protection from everyday environmental stressors
- Maintain clear, healthy skin
Atopis product – Radiant Balance, Cleanser & Toner
Use our cleanser & toner to gently clean the skin and lock in moisture, and Radiant Balance to heal and protect for beautifully healthy skin.
Acne Prone Skin
When choosing products to help combat acne, it’s important to avoid abrasive products that strip the skin of its natural microflora – the naturally occuring bacteria on your skin.
By stripping your skin of both the good and bad bacteria, the products actually keep you stuck in the acne-creating cycle. Balancing the naturally occurring bacteria on your skin is a huge step to achieving sustainably clear, healthy skin.
Also important is avoiding over-cleansing the skin. Over-cleaning, over-exfoliation, or using cleansers with harsh chemicals can also lead to the sebum gland overproducing sebum. This is because the message sent to the sebum gland is that the skin is too dry, so it ramps up sebum oil production – keeping you stuck in the acne-creation cycle.
Use a gentle, natural cleanser that removes dirt and dead cells without stripping the skin’s natural bacteria. Look for products saying non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, oil-free, won’t clog pores, and suitable for oily skin.
Atopis Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser is designed to gently remove dirt and toxins from the skin, unblocking pores without stripping the skin of its natural oils or microflora. Natural ingredients with antimicrobial properties reduce the bad bacteria, while promoting the good.
Young Adult Acne
For those dealing with acne in their teens and early 20’s, it’s essential to choose a product that regulates the skin’s sebum oil production. The fluctuating hormone levels – particularly androgen – mean that sebum levels increase, making the skin oily. This causes severe congestion as dead skin cells don’t slough off naturally and instead clog the skin’s pores.
- Hydration without making the skin oilier
- Regulation of sebum oil production
- Balance the skin’s microflora
Atopis product – Acne Prone Skin Cream, Cleanser & Toner
Atopis Acne Prone Skin Cream helps dissolve and regulate skin oils and sebum to support clearer, softer, and smoother skin. For best results, use in conjunction with Atopis Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser and Revitalising Toner. The products have been scientifically formulated to work in synergy to treat the skin.
Suggested routine – cleanse and tone skin, then apply a thin layer on affected areas twice daily.
With teenage skin, the combination of skin cells being constantly renewed and an increase of sebum oil means that it’s important to use an acne treatment product that regulates sebum production. With dry, mature skin, the sebum gland produces too much sebum to compensate for the skin dryness, resulting in acne. This means that moisturising the skin is part of beating acne for good.
- Regulation of sebum oil production
- Balance the skin’s microflora
Atopis product – Acne Prone Skin Cream & Radiant Balance
Atopis Acne Prone Skin Cream moisturises without making the skin oily. The potent natural therapy cream has been scientifically formulated to regulate sebum production, meaning you can finally address the cause of acne, and break out of the acne-creating cycle for good!
Suggested routine – cleanse and tone skin, then apply a thin layer of acne cream on affected areas, then Radiant Balance on top morning and night.
If you tend to break out around your time of the month, it’s highly likely your acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations. When hormonal changes occur, sebum oil production increases and can cause breakouts.
- Balance the skin’s reaction to hormonal fluctuations
- Regulate sebum oil production
- Balance microflora
Atopis product – Radiant Balance, Cleanser & Toner
Atopis Radiant Balance soothes and nourishes skin for a soft clear complexion. The all-natural therapy cream balances the skin’s response to hormonal fluctuations to reduce hormonal breakouts.
Suggested routine – gently clean skin with Thoroughly Gentle Cleanser, protect and lock in natural moisture with Revitalising Toner, then moisturise with Radiant Balance.
Acne scars are the result of a pimple forming and causing the pore to become inflamed and blocked. The pore is blocked with excess oils, dead skin and bacteria, and if it stays inflamed in this condition this causes it to swell and eventually tear the follicular wall -breaking the skin.
It is when the skin repairs this damage that it can overcompensate and actually produce too much collagen causing scar tissue.
It’s important to prevent scarring by using products that reduce acne-causing bacteria and inflammation to lessen the pimple becoming more severe. Scarring can still occur, despite attempts to prevent them,, so using a product aimed at minimizing their appearance can speed up the time it takes for them to fade.
- Reduce the appearance of acne scars
- Improve skin texture
- Nourish and heal
Atopis product – Radiant Balance, Cleanser & Toner
Atopis Radiant Balance has properties that repair the skin which softens scarring, especially acne scarring. Atopis has been clinically shown to improve skin texture. Using our cleanser and toner in conjunction with Radiant Balance will make the therapy cream more effective, as they are designed to work in synergy to heal and protect the skin.
Suggested routine: cleanse and tone the skin, apply Radiant Balance twice daily.
Rosacea Prone Skin
Rosacea is caused by a malformed protein (cathelicidin) which is responsible for regulating blood flow and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria on the skin. This means blood vessels expand, causing the intense redness of rosacea skin. Learn more about rosacea causes, symptoms, triggers, and treatment options.
The intense redness can be reduced by using a product that reduces inflammation and restores bacterial balance.
- Reduce redness
- Improve skin texture
- Reduce the skin’s overreactions to environmental triggers
- Balance the skin’s microflora
Atopis products – Acne Prone Skin Cream, Radiant Balance
Our acne cream treats the underlying symptoms of the inflammation, redness and bacterial imbalance. Having dealt with rosacea herself, Dr Iona Weir developed Radiant Balance to help other women break out of the rosacea cycle. The therapy cream mimics the normal functioning cathelicidin protein to treat the symptoms of rosacea. Read more
Suggested routine – apply Acne Prone Skin Cream as a serum to problem areas, and Radiant Balance as a moisturiser over top. Note Radiant Balance is not suitable for males, due to the female hormone balancing properties of the cream.
Caring for mature skin is a case of finding a product that nourishes your skin, restores collagen production, and provides intense hydration.
Many moisturisers are water-based and packed with tons of fillers, parabens and alcohol, which dry your skin even further. As we age, it’s important to use good quality, all-natural products that nourish your maturing skin and enhance your natural beauty. Read more about caring for mature and menopausal skin.
Dry, Dull Mature Skin
As we age, our hormone levels change. This results in a decrease of collagen production – the protein that keeps skin firm and plump. Often you’ll hear people say that they’ve lost their youthful glow – they’re just not using a product that boosts collagen production!
- Intense hydration
- Restores collagen production
- Promotes cell renewal
- Protects from environmental damage
Atopis product – Anti-Aging Cream
Stimulates cell renewal, promotes skin repair and restores collagen, helping to bring back your radiant, youthful glow!
Suggested routine – cleanse, tone, and apply Anti-Aging Cream twice daily.
Mature Skin With The Occasional Breakout
Sometimes you still get the odd pimple – often around your time of the month. You may be going through menopause and the hormone fluctuations are wreaking havoc on your skin. It could even be as simple as the products you’re using – you tend to break out if you use an intense moisturiser.
- Intense hydration without clogging pores
- Restored collagen production
- Cell renewal
- Protection from environmental damage
Atopis product – Cleanser & Toner, Radiant Balance, Anti-Aging Cream
Radiant Balance and Anti-Aging are the perfect pair for your skin. Radiant Balance is a great day cream, protecting from environmental damage while reducing the skin’s response to hormonal fluctuations – beating those pesky breakouts. Anti-Aging provides intense moisture and works to repair and restore your healthy, youthful glow.
Suggested routine – gently cleanse and tone the skin before applying your Atopis moisturiser. Use Radiant Balance in the morning, and Anti-Aging at night.
When summer rolls around, there is nothing better than hitting the beach and soaking up the sun to get that Instagram-worthy golden tan. When you’re young, it’s easy to forget about skin-protection, and sunburn just seems like temporary damage.
However, the consequences of not considering the effects of too much sun exposure to the skin can cause permanent skin damage and premature aging, also known as photoaging.
Are you noticing the effects of sun exposure causing wrinkles, lines, and discoloration on your skin?
Our Atopis Anti-Aging Cream has been designed for skin that has lived, including over-exposure to the elements over time. Using 100% natural ingredients, our cream stimulates collagen production to plump your skin, reduce wrinkles, and restore your youthful glow.
How Does The Sun Affect My Skin?
Sun exposure is responsible for up 90% of the visible changes attributed to aging (WHO report) that we generally consider as a normal part of aging. This process is known as ‘photoaging’.
Signs of Photoaging include:
• Fine lines and wrinkles – around the eyes and mouth.
• Skin dryness – flaking of the skin in patches.
• Skin laxity – loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin.
• Pigmentation – discoloration of parts of the skin in the sun-exposed areas.
• Vascular abnormalities – such as spider veins on the nose, cheeks, and neck.
But there are far more sinister aspects to photoaging than just the appearance aspects.
Melanin and Skin Pigmentation
UV exposure causes skin cells to produce melanin, which results in the “beautiful” golden tan, but this is essentially the skin trying to protect itself from damage.
Melanin is actually the end byproduct of oxidative stress within the cell. It is the same chemical process as when an apple or banana goes brown, so getting a tan is not healthy, but rather a sign of your skin suffering high levels of oxidative stress.
Unfortunately, UV does not just cause melanin production, it also causes DNA damage which if not repaired will in later life result in actinic keratosis or worse, melanoma.
Oxidative stress caused by UV Rays
As far as prematurely aging your skin, UV rays cause intense oxidative stress within your skin cells.
As well as the DNA in your nucleus being damaged, UV ray exposure can also result in mitochondrial impairment.
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of your cells, and their job is to fight free radicals to control the level of oxidation in a cell and to produce cellular energy.
Any damage your mitochondria results in your cells destroying your antioxidation system and energy supply.
This causes an increase in free radicals within the cell and a decline in cellular energy production. If left unchecked, this build-up of free radicals can also damage the DNA within the mitochondria – potentially resulting in skin cancer.
Unfortunately, by damaging your cells mitochondria powerhouse, you impair energy production.
This creates a long-term potential for large-scale cellular damage across the body which can cascade into changes in your metabolic state, leading to potential weight gain, diabetes, and fatigue.
So it is absolutely critical to protect your mitochondria from UV and oxidative stress to avoid potential longer-term negative effects.
Can our skin rust?
Nuclear ferritin (iron) in your cells protects your DNA from free radicals.
UV exposure results in the release of ferritin, and its oxidation means that your defense systems are damaged, your iron levels are reduced, and your DNA is now at risk of being damaged.
Although this is the same chemical process as what occurs with metals and rusting, your skin cells do not technically rust, but your cellular iron does oxidize in the same way.
Unfortunately, UV damage does not stop there, it changes the three-dimensional structure of vital proteins including collagen so that they lose their “bounce” and become flattened.
This results in wrinkles and thinning of the skin. Nothing will prematurely age you more than UV exposure.
It takes the skin two years to “recover” from sunburn on the surface, the cellular damage, however, can remain with you for life.
Make sure you use a high SPF sunscreen that meets US standards, as these are the highest in the world. Apply regularly and make sure you cover up your skin.
Prevent Photo-Aging With Atopis
If you are looking for a product to reduce sun damage, Our Atopis Anti-Aging Cream has been scientifically formulated to work below the skin to balance hormones, which will give you visible results on the appearance of your skin.
Our Anti Aging Cream uses 100% natural ingredients that stimulate collagen production which plumps the skin, reduces wrinkles, and restores your youthful and healthy glow!
Using sunscreen initially is the best way to make sure your skin is protected. However, if the damage is done, using a cream packed with antioxidants for your skin body will give your mitochondria the help they need to function properly. Remember oxidative stress anywhere in your body will show on your skin.
Learn More About Atopis Anti-Aging Cream
What are Fillers?
A filler is used as a bulking agent or carrier to fill out a capsule or bulk up a skin cream or food item. Fillers are like the dietary supplement equivalent of candy – they fill you up but have no health benefits.
A cheaply priced dietary supplement generally means the supplement contains the minimum amount to make a claim that it has a health benefit, but otherwise contains fillers. Regulators put a minimum amount for well-known ingredients, e.g. omega 3 oils, in order to make a claim. But the filler ratio can vary from 10% to 90%.
Fillers are basically known in the industry as excipients – all products need them so that the essential ingredients remain in suspension until they reach your gut (where they need to separate to be absorbed). However, by increasing the amount of excipient from say 3% to 30% a company can save a lot of money on the expensive item – the plant bioactive. The consumer needs to carefully read the label to find out how much per capsule and do the maths, you want to buy as pure as possible.
What happens to excipients when you ingest them?
Too much excipient holds the bioactive component in suspension not only in the capsule but also all the way through your gut and into the toilet bowl, resulting in no benefit at all for you. For skincare, by adding lots of filler such as glycerin, the cream will feel soft on the skin and spread easily but will have minimal benefit to the cells below. Thus your skin will not change, and you will over time need to use more and more as your skin dehydrates.
Remember when you were young and did not have dry feeling skin, but then you needed to use moisturizers and the more you used the more you needed? This is because the natural barrier function of your skin becomes smothered by the fillers and damaged by over cleansing.
How to optimize your dietary supplements
For more cost effective benefit from dietary supplements, you are better to buy the quality products but use less of them. For instance, a quality probiotic you only need to take 1 every second day to get the benefit, whilst for a probiotic packed with fillers you could take 10 a day and have minimal effect (the fillers though are a great laxative). The same applies to skin creams, less is more.
Think of muesli bars, if you buy the cheap version packed with fillers you will need to eat several to obtain the same amount of nutrients as a quality bar, but you will also have consumed a large amount of sugar and other unnecessary ingredients which have blocked the absorption in your gut of any beneficial nutrients and interfere with your metabolism.
Dietary Supplements – Are they worth it?
Did you know that all pharmaceutical drugs originate from plants or microbes.
For example, aspirin comes from Willow bark.
Not all Supplements are created equal – here’s why?
Quality dietary supplements can be very effective in helping with issues such as arthritis, digestive health, hormonal balancing, immune support, aging and cognitive function.
But make sure you do your homework first before you buy. Check out how and where they are made and are there clinical trials behind the product.
A product that says scientifically tested means it was tested in the lab and the results extrapolated – So there is a big difference between scientifically tested and clinically trialed.
To do a clinical trial a company must first prove to an independent ethics committee the safety and good quality manufacturing of the product, so this alone already means the product has been properly reviewed by independent professionals.
Timing and compatibility – How to make supplements work for you
Following is a classic example of how supplements can be damaging to each other.
When you take and how you take a dietary supplement is critical to their efficacy. For instance, if you take Phloe (kiwifruit digestive enzymes) and Kyolic (garlic) together they inhibit (obstruct) each other.
This is because garlic contains Allicin a protease (digests proteins) inhibitor, which blocks viral replication but also inhibits digestive enzymes (proteases).
So for them both to work, you need to take Phloe or any digestive enzyme before a meal and take Kyolic or garlic during or after a meal.
Getting the most from your supplements – What to check for
Always check for the synergistic benefits (as well as for any potential interference) to get the most from your supplements.
Supplements can truly complement each other – here’s how.
Take an antioxidant such as grape seed extract with an omega 3 and it increases the bioavailability and potency of the grape seed extract.
Why MORE is not necessarily better
Vitamins and minerals can be beneficial at times of stress such as pregnancy and illness, but generally, they should not be required on a long-term basis if you are consuming a healthy diet.
Your body only needs a certain amount of vitamins every day, so if you take more than you need all that happens is that the vitamins end up being excreted from your body never used.
Damage control – Vitamins can also be toxic if the recommended dose is exceeded, for example, Vitamin A at high doses can cause liver damage. So the continuous use of vitamins means that your body adapts, and no longer uses the vitamins optimally.
So always stick to the recommended dose of vitamins, and preferably use food as your main source of vitamins and minerals.
How do I know that my dietary supplement or my skincare is working?
To be approved as a drug a pharmaceutical drug generally needs to have a clinical benefit within 24 hours, preferably sooner.
But dietary supplements, when you have clinically tested them, take 3 weeks for the full benefits to be seen. This is because dietary supplements work on issues that are not based on a single chemical reaction, but rather complex issues such as the gut microflora, cellular damage due to oxidative stress, premature aging of cells, cognitive function.
It’s the same with skin – Similarly, with the skin, it takes 3 weeks for the new skin cells to come through.
So if you want to know whether your dietary supplement or plant-based skincare is truly benefitting you, check after three weeks. It will also take three weeks for the benefits to wear off.
A balance of supplements and diet – Now you know the tricks for best value
So supplements do work and can be beneficial to your health when taken correctly, but for general well-being, nothing beats a healthy well-balanced diet packed with fruits and vegetables.
One more trick – the reason why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy is that the olive oil, with a dash of garlic, works in synergy with the flavonoids and lycopenes in the tomatoes to increase bioavailability (absorption) and potency.