Sunflowers & Dry Skin

Now is the time to really look after your skin like never before. I know this comes across as a really strong statement, but advisedly so. Here’s the thinking: the weather is gorgeous; hot sun, a cloudless, flawless blue to the skies and every opportunity we’re out there, basking and soaking it up, tilting our heads to the sky like sunflowers in a meadow. Our bodies are clever and doing their part too; all that wonderful vitamin D is topping up and the feel-good factor is off the scale, we feel happy! I’m taking it as ‘read’ we’ve all remembered our sunscreen, so what else is left to say? It’s all good?

Well, those sunflowers that today tilt and turn their shiny buttery petals to the sun’s ripening rays will cast a different scene next month when Van Gogh calls to paint them. With brown and curling edges, petals dried and stems weakening, all moisture drained, their sunny faces aged and spent, where has their youthful sappy colour gone?

“To me, fair friend, you never can be old, for as you were when first your eye I eyed, such seems your beauty still.”

From one of Shakespeare’s sonnets 1609

It’s a simple illustration but our skin is no less delicate and we should keep in mind how wonderful and special it is, how very important to our health and wellbeing. Perhaps we think because our skin is on the outside it can somehow fend for itself, it’s good to toughen it up perhaps? Not so. The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and functions as our first line of defence against infection, acting as a barrier against microbes. It performs other vital functions too of course; skin helps regulate our body temperature, keeps the ‘outside’ elements out, and enables us to feel sensations such as touch, heat and cold.

Musing, as you lie relaxing in the sun, consider the relentless barrage of attack your skin endures and not just in the past 18 months from COVID. With so many soaps and moisturisers containing harsh chemicals, cleaning fluids that can be worse still, hand sanitisers drying out the skin, hot and cold weather flinging itself at us, hard labour and sometimes inadequate diet, that huge organ has a hard time keeping itself in tip top condition. Perhaps it’s time we gave some thought to helping it out? It is after all on our side.

If our skin could talk to us what do you think it would say? Well, the rather wonderful and funny thing is, it does talk to us, it’s just that we don’t always listen or understand very well.

Every outbreak of eczema, psoriasis, or bubbly, pimply skin is trying to tell us something and instead of seeing these outward signatures of skin language as ‘the enemy’ we should try to see them as our lovely skin talking to us, trying to let us know that something isn’t right, something is lacking, out of balance, irritating, or drying out.

In our sophisticated western world, we have a way of perceiving any malfunction in our bodies as an invasion, a negative occurrence, something bad to be cured and got rid of immediately. In a certain sense this is totally understandable and logical, but sometimes in taking this view we alienate ourselves from our bodies and miss the clues and the information we are being sent.

Love your skin; communicate with your skin and if it’s talking to you, on your hands perhaps, showing red and itchy patches of eczema that really hurt when you bathe, try not to disassociate your sense of self from these hurt and sore hands. If you can, try to love them more, re embrace them, take them into yourself where they belong and search your mind for what they are telling you.

"What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god"

Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2 William Shakespeare

Sadly, there are no quick fixes when our skin becomes inflamed or irritated but with patience we can work to strengthen and rehabilitate, enabling the layers to repair and so better withstand the irritants and microbes skin encounters.

COVID has taught us more about hygiene and we should extend that to embracing a greater awareness of skincare, skin care, cherishing our skin, proactively caring for the enormous organ called skin.

We know we should eat fresh food, minimise convenience and sugary foods and treat our gut and our bodies with respect. Our skin responds in the same way. If we avoid products that contain parabens, fragrance, harmful formaldehyde-based preservatives, colours, plastics, sulphates and in fact a list too long to enumerate here, we will show respect for our skin. It is in fact far easier to talk about what we should be putting on our skins: natural, botanical ingredients. This means plant based active extracts that have been selected by the formulator to bring benefits to your skin without causing irritation.

Here at ANNWYN Botanicals we formulate and supply a range of natural skincare products all designed to moisturise, nourish and strengthen even the most sensitive skin. We use amazing active ingredients such as Borage seed oil which is readily absorbed, and ideal for hydrating and maintaining moisture levels in dry skin. It is also soothing for conditions such as eczema, due to its high GLA content.

Rosehip seed oil is another of our favourites, known to hydrate, moisturise and reduce pigmentation, it is also used in our formulations to reduce inflammation and boost collagen production. The list is long and reads like a walk through a botanical garden, too long a walk to explore here but how much nicer, more wholesome is it to be applying these active plant-based ingredients to your skin than wallowing in a tank of petrochemical by products?

There are lots of natural botanical skincare producers, ANNWYN Botanicals is just one of them; our mission is to reconnect you to your skin, and through your skin, make that connection back to The Earth.

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