Health

Alternatives to apply to your skin if you are suffering with Eczema or Psoriasis

When it comes to managing eczema or psoriasis, you definitely want to be more cognisant of what is being applied to the skin. After all, the skin is the largest organ of the body and is absorbing whatever is being applied topically. If using common over the counter moisturisers, more than likely they contain toxic chemicals that are best avoided at all costs.

 The below list has been proven to be effective when searching for alternatives. These ingredients will not only aid moisture, but will also nourish and heal the skin.

Alternative moisturising agents to apply topically:

Coconut Oil

It is thought that the  lauric acid in coconut oil is the active agent which helps eczema heal. Lauric acid is a nutritious fatty acid, or lipid, also found in breast milk. It is used to develop monolaurin, which is an antimicrobial agent that can fight bacteria, fungi, yeast, viruses and other pathogens, therefore making it an antimicrobial agent that can fight yeast, fungi, viruses and bacteria.

Credit to Irene Kredenets

Credit to Irene Kredenets

Coconut oil has a natural ability to penetrate the skin quickly which will boost the hydration therefore reducing the chances of an infection.

This study also proved the ant-inflammatory benefits of coconut oil which makes it a suitable oil to apply topically for those struggling with eczema.

When using coconut oil as a moisturiser, ensure that it is cold pressed and extra virgin. This will ensure there are no additional chemicals added.

 Personally, I have found coconut oil to be very key in terms of our healing experience with eczema, however it was typically used in conjunction with another oil.

 Blackseed oil

This has to  be one of my favourite oils and is a must for any natural first aid cupboard. Blackseed oil is also known as black caraway, black cumin, kalonji, and black onion seeds and comes from the Nigella Sative plant. In an oil form it can be ingested and applied topically. This article explains the phenomenal properties of blackseed and why it so beneficial to people with eczema or psoriasis. Some of the properties of blackseed oil include:

  • Antimicrobial

    • Antibactrial

    • Antiviral

    • Anftifungal

    • Antiparasitic

  • Wound Healing

  • Anti-inflammatory

 Jojoba and Borage Oil

These oils are also seeing promising results when used as part of a moisturising regime for eczema, this is once again largely due the anti-inflammatory properties these oils possess.

 Tea tree oil

This oil is commonly used topically today to treat wounds and cuts, but is also very useful when treating eczema. One study even found it more effective than using zinc oxide or itchthammol topically. Benefits of using tea tree oil specifically for eczema include:

  • Reduces Inflammation

  • Heals wounds

  • Fights off viruses

  • Relieves itching

Credit to Cari Corbet -Owen

Credit to Cari Corbet -Owen

Aloe vera

This plant is long known for its natural moisturising properties and there is now some evidence to suggest that it could be particularly useful when dealing with eczema. The following properties of aloe vera is what makes this another great option to consider:

  • Antioxidant

  • Antimicrobial

  • Immune boosting

  • Would healing

You want to ensure you are using 100% aloe vera gel.

From personal experience, the cooling nature of this plant was also very useful to calm the itching that is typically associated with eczema or psoriasis.

 Wrapping it Up

There are a few more options, but these above are the most commonly used topical applications when it comes treating eczema or psoriasis. As you can see there are no crazy names that are impossible to pronounce and more importantly the body would actually recognise these ingredients.

Whilst dealing with eczema or psoriasis, the healing is very much an “inside” job rather than an ‘outside’ in approach. These ingredients have proven to be very effective when wanting to manage and heal eczema and psoriasis naturally.

It is important to note that what works for one, may not work for another. It is all about trial and error, even with natural approaches. At one point in our journey, I got so specific of what I knew worked for my son, that I had it custom made up, and even then, I still needed to add my own additional coconut oil.

From my experience, I’ve found a combination of coconut oil, blackseed oil and tree tree to be amazing at assisting the healing the process. It goes without saying with eczema or any skin condition, that it is all about moisture, moisture and more moisture ,so a once off application will not cut it.

If you need assistance wanting to heal eczema or psoriasis from the ‘inside out’ then email info@chantalkhoury.com.au to see which one of packages may best suit you and your family.

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Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a special interest in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums transform the health of their family’s by using Food as Medicine and transformational wellness practices to create peace, harmony and joy.

Ingredients to avoid when looking for a moisturiser for Eczema

If you want to end the struggle with ECZEMA , this really needs to be worked on from the inside and is a longer term strategy. Whilst this is under way, you still need to manage the symptoms topically and consider what you are putting onto the skin.

Straight up, let me tell you that I understand the struggle to find the “perfect” or “magical” cream when dealing with eczema.

At one point my husband looked in our cupboard and joked that I could almost open up my own chemist with the different creams I had. You know what, NONE of them worked effectively. They would provide moisture or relief for about 20 min and then I was back to square one with red, itchy, scaly skin. Hence my search for the magical cream.

This is what prompted me to ask the question why? These creams come highly regarded and marketed specifically for eczema, and yet they did not live up to their promises. So, I started doing a little more digging, aka obsessed research. It was during this time that I started to find out that the ingredients in these so called “miracle creams” over the counter and quite reasonably priced could be the issue why my son’s skin was NEVER getting better or within in 20 minutes of applying, he was itching like mad again. Don’t even start me on the hideous smell.

I found that there was a lot of ingredients in these so called “miracle” creams that were actually irritants to any skin, let alone someone suffering with highly sensitive skin, they also contained known carcinogens.

Not only that, if you read the ingredients closely, you could barely pronounce one single ingredient. To me that screamed chemical sh&t storm. As someone who favours a more natural way of living, it was not okay to put copious amounts of this stuff my precious boy’s skin.

 So what are the ingredients to avoid?

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The below list is not exhaustive, but a sample of the most common toxic ingredients found in commonly known skin moisturisers.

Sulfates

This is a chemical cleaning agent that is found in soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, laundry detergents and so much more. Sulfates ates can cause the skin to become dry itchy and irritated which seems crazy as that is exactly what you are trying to fix. Go figure! This chemical essentially strips the natural moisture and oils.

Parabens

These are very commonly added preservatives to cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. They are easily recognised by a list of names such as methylparaben, ethylparaben and many others with the ending of “paraben”.

This preservative is absorbed by the skin and remains in the tissue. Not only does it mimic the hormone estrogen, but it is also a known endocrine disrupter.

Phthalates

These are similar to parabens which are a chemical preservatives and tend to make the fragrance in cosmetics last longer. If suffering with eczema, you definitely want to avoid anything with a strong smell.

Fragrance, perfume or parfum

As mentioned above, this will be a synthetic chemical added to provide a ‘smell’ which would be highly irritating to anyone with sensitive skin.

Triclosan

This is an active ingredient that is found in just about any type of antibacterial product such as deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitisers. Studies have shown that this ingredient is absorbed by the skin and therefore interfering with the hormone function.

Siloxanes

These silicone based compounds are often found in cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten the skin. Similar to Tricolsan, studies have shown this ingredient to be toxic for humans.

PEGS

These type of products are petroleum based and are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, softeners and moisture carriers.

PEGS commonly go by the name of Oxynol, Ammonium laureth sulfate as well as all ingredients with the ending of “eth”

Petroleum

This is otherwise known as petroleum jelly and the European Union have actually classified it as a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics and therefore best as avoided at all costs.  It is commonly used as a barrier to lock in moisture.

Examples of Ingredients in commonly used over the counter moisturisers specifically for Eczema:

More than half of the ingredients can’t even be pronounced and keep in mind they are absorbed by the skin, therefore you body is needing to process these ingredients.

Ingredients 1

  • Behentrimonium, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carbomer, Ceramide EOP, CeramideAP, CeramideNP, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Cholesterol, Dimethicone,, Dipotassium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Methosulfate, Petrolatum, Phenoxyethanol, Phytosphingosine, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Water, Xanthan Gum

Ingredients 2

  • Acid Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceridestearic, Petrolatum, Sodium Hydroxypropyl, Water

Ingredients 3

  • White Soft Paraffin 14.5% w/w, Light Liquid Paraffin 12.6% w/w and Anhydrous Lanolin (Medilan™) 1% w/w as active ingredients and also Empilan Glyceryl Monostearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetostearyl Sulphate, Carbomer, Methyl Hydroxybenzoate, Propyl Hydroxybenzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid Monohydrate, Purified Water

 

So what now you ask, what do I use instead:

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Ingredients in your skincare should easily be easily recognised and should not only moisturise, but nourish and heal the skin.

I remember when I started this journey and searching for that magical “natural’ cream, the advice I was given and will pass onto you is “You need to be able to pronounce and recognise the ingredients and most should be edible so that the body can recongise them”

This article will explore alternative topical applications that will moisturise, nourish and heal the skin.

Also keep in mind that healing the skin is an inside job and you need to be very cognisant of what you are applying topically onto your skin.

 If you need help starting to heal your eczema from the inside using nutrition, then please send me a message to info@chantalkhoury.com.au and let’s get the ball rolling.

Chantal1 smaller.png

Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition & Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping time poor mums create thriving families by using Food as Medicine and transformational wellness practices.

Gut Healing Foods

Ok, ok, you get it, the health of the gut plays in a humungous role in terms of your physical and mental health.

You also get that you IF you are suffering with any sort of symptom, there is an issue with the gut, and that there is some work to do heal it. From what you’ve seen or heard, it’s all rather complex and just too hard.

The real truth of the matter is that it is not complex.

So what are the gut healing foods?

  • Whole and real food is step #1. It really cannot get much simpler than this. Cut out the crap and start eating real and wholefood. This by default will start healing the gut as the body no longer needs to deal with additives, colours and preservatives.

  • Bone Broth – this is a liquid containing stewed bones and connective tissues. An assortment of vegetables, herbs and spices can also be added to further boost the nutrient profile.

Benefits of bone broth:

  • Highly nutritious as it is rich in calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, collagen. If the bones you are using also contain marrow, then the broth will also be rich in iron, vitamins A and K, fatty acids, selenium, zinc and manganese.

  •    Protective to joints – this is due to the gelatin, which breaks down into collagen in the body

  •    May help reduce inflammation and heal the gut. This is due to the amino acid glutamine that is present within bone broth

  • Helps with a better night sleep. Once again due to the amino acid profile of the broth, in particular glycine. This alone is enough reason to have a copious supply available!

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  • Probiotic Foods – Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for you, especially your digestive system and typically referred to ‘beneficial’ bacteria. Incorporating probiotic rich into your diet it one of the easiest ways to rebalance your gut bacteria, not to mention far cheaper than probiotic supplements that can be inferior in quality.

    • Types of probiotic foods:

      • Dairy products: such as aged cheeses (cheddar, gouda and mozzarella)

      • Kefir

      • Traditional butter milk

      • Yoghurt

    • Non Dairy:

      • Non diary yoghurts

      • Kimchi

      • Kombucha

      • Miso

      • Natto (fermented soyabean)

      • Sauerkraut

      • Tempeh

      • Water or brined cured olives          

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  • Prebiotic foods – these are foods that actually feed the “beneficial” live bacteria to promote their growth. This is done via the fermentation process when it reaches the large colon.

    •         Foods rich in prebiotic fibre:

      •         Chicory root

      •         Onions and garlic

      •         Oatmeal

      •         Wheat bran

      •         Asparagras

      •         Dandelion greens

      •         Jerusalem artichoke

      •         Barley

      •         Apple with skin

      •         Foods rich in resistant starch

 

Depending on your symptoms, it may beneficial to remove a number of other foods for a short period of time to enable faster healing to occur such as:

  • Gluten

  • Grains

  • Dairy

  • Sugar

  • Nuts

  • Eggs

  • Fish

Foods containing naturally occurring chemicals such as amines, glutamines, salicylates and oxalates.

When you start removing these types of foods, you start entering the world of therapeutic nutritional protocols such as GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Fodmaps etc

These protocols are not to be entered into lightly and are best performed with specialist assistance and support.

Steps to heal the gut:

  1. Remove processed and packaged food and any known trigger foods

  2. Replace with real and wholefood

  3. Restore with plenty of broth, probiotic and prebiotic foods

 If you are feeling overwhelmed with the concept of healing the gut and unsure where is best to start, then please send me an email to info@chantalkhoury.com.au or send me a message via my contact page to see if any of my programs are fit for you and your family.

Chantal1 smaller.png

Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition and Wellness Coach with a very special interest helping mums restore the health of their family using healing nutrition and transformational wellness practices.

Foods that trigger Asthma

Asthma being a chronic inflammatory condition, food will inevitably play a part in triggering an attack or managing the condition. Do you know the list of foods that can trigger asthma?

 Let’s firstly understand how food plays a part in increasing your risk of asthma symptoms.

Food can be a trigger for your asthma symptoms because you are either allergic or intolerant to it.

  • If you are allergic to certain foods, this means that you can have an allergic reaction very quickly when you come into contact your allergenic food. The allergic reaction then triggers your asthma symptoms (coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing). The allergy is typically connected to the immune system.

  • Being intolerant to a food is different to being allergic. Typically, symptoms will manifest 30min to days after ingestion of an intolerant food. Once again, it is the intolerant symptoms such as stomach bloating, cramping or diarrhoea that can trigger the asthma symptoms.

 

The most common foods that can trigger asthma:

Although there are many foods that may cause an intolerance or allergy in someone, there are some foods types that are more common than others.

The most common foods allergens are:

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  • gluten (from wheat and cereal products),

  • cows milk

  • shellfish,

  • eggs,

  • tree nuts,

  • peanuts,

  • sesame seeds, and

  • soya.

The most common food intolerances that can trigger asthma are:

food that triggers asthma
  • Histamine – this is a naturally produced ingredient in some foods such as yogurt, mature cheese, fruits, left over food, fermented food and smoked meats.

  • Sulphites – these are used as preservatives in foods such as processed meats, pickled foods, dried fruits, sprayed onto fruit such as grapes and also found in drinks such as wine, beer and cider.

You know what your food triggers are, so where to from here?

It may seem obvious that avoidance of known food triggers is key, but this is just managing the symptoms and a band aid approach. It doesn’t stop here.

The work continues with treating the root causes so that the body can better handle the allergen or intolerant food. The root cause(s) include:

  • Nutrition and gut microbiome

  • Internal & external toxins

  • Stress and mindset

To take an holistic approach, I like to use the 4 R approach:

  1. REMOVE – all packaged and processed food in addition to any known trigger foods

  2. REPLACE – with whole & real food

  3. RESTORE – balance with healing nutrition such as bone broth and fermented foods

  4. REPLENISH – the whole person with lifestyle choices that enhance emotional wellbeing

With the 4 R approach, you can either do it step by step or simultaneously, the choice is yours.

In order to speed up your results, maintain momentum and keep you on track, it is highly recommended that you work with a specialist so that a plan can be tailored to suit your family’s unique needs.

To find out how I can assist you on this journey or if one of programs are fit for you you, email me at info@chantalkhoury.com.au or send me a message via my contact page.

 

Chantal1 smaller cropped.png

Chantal is a Certified and Accredited Nutrition Wellness Coach with a very special interest in helping stressed and overwhelmed mums transform the health of their family using healing nutrition and transformational wellness practices.