Have you ever looked at your skin and thought, hmmm…my skin is flawless, glowing and is blemish free (I can totally see you touching the side of your face out of habit :-D)!
While there are some of us that are lucky enough to have perfect skin, some of us deal with red, flaky, dry skin, particularly if you have a thyroid disease.
Raise your hand if you've noticed dry scaly patches on your skin, or dry, brittle hair (🙋🏽♀️)?
I don't know about you, but it has been a point of contention for me. I've often been embarrassed during a handshake because I felt like my hands had a crocodile-like texture. Forget about wearing black…my scalp was worse than a snow capped mountain. It didn't take me long to decide that I needed to do something about it.
I visited a dermatologist and she said "Oh this is simple, it's eczema (in my scalp though, really?! Grrrrrhhh)". She wrote a prescription for a steroid cream, but I couldn’t use it long term as my skin could thin in the applied area.
I politely took the prescription and filled it. I have been wrong about medicine before. The cream did in fact, work, but I was so freaked out about many side effects of the medication, but here are three things that bothered me the most about most steroid creams and even hair care/skincare products on the market:
- Knowing that a side effect of the medicated cream was that my skin may thin after prolonged use (another reason why you should read the patient education portion of medication labels).
- I couldn't pronounce half of the things in the medication.
- I didn't understand what the benefits were of isolating certain chemical components of things that we commonly find in vegetable/herbal oils.
After many searches, I decided to try a few oils and butters:
- Shea butter
- Mango butter
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
I continued to use these oils and my skin started to feel better. However, I still didn't understand the power of the ingredients that I was using.
Here is a short list of amazing properties of the ingredients listed above:
- Sterols: Yup...if you're thinking cholesterol, you'd be correct...the sterols found in vegetable oils are similar to the chemical structure of cholesterol. The key here is that sterols protect the skin and bind to water to lock in moisture
- Vitamin E aka Tocopherols: Humans don’t make vitamin E and we have to obtain it from plant sources (Azadmard-Damirchi et al., 2010).
- Emollient Properties: This means that it softens or smoothes the skin.
- Lauric Acid: Coconut oil in particular has a very high content of this fatty acid. Lauric acid has been found to have antimicrobial/antiinflammatory properties (Nakatsuji et al. 2009).
My skin feels so much better and I’ve incorporated the use of these oils in my soaps as well. Check out my whipped body butter or soaps to see for yourself! You can also take a listen to episode 10 on the Thyroid Warrior Podcast where I talked about my many issues with my skin!
References:Athar, M., & Nasir, S. (2005). Taxonomic perspective of plant species yielding vegetable oils used in cosmetics and skin care products. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajb/article/view/15049
Azadmard-Damirchi, Sodeif & Habibi, Fatemeh & Hesari, Javad & Nemati, Mahbob & fathi achachlouei, Bahram. (2010). Effect of pretreatment with microwaves on oxidative stability and nutraceuticals content of oil from rapeseed. Food Chemistry. 121. 1211-1215. 10.1016/j.foodchem.2010.02.006.
Nakatsuji, T., Kao, M. C., Fang, J. Y., Zouboulis, C. C., Zhang, L., Gallo, R. L., & Huang, C. M. (2009). Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 129(10), 2480–2488. https://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2009.93