For those of us affected with acne the journey to healing can be long, arduous, and sometimes discouraging. One minute it’s gone and you think you’ve found a miracle product, the next it’s back. The trick with acne is that while yes, it is clogging, inflammation and infection of the hair follicles, that is really just about the surface issue. If you are treating the surface issue without dealing with the underlying health and well being, your chances of another outbreak are higher.
To be most effective you want to treat both your surface skin and your whole body. Acne can be a manifestation of emotional upsets, hormonal fluctuation, digestion issues, or a need to strengthen the immune system in general. By treating both the outside and the inside you are able to actually heal the acne and improve your overall health.
To begin you want to find a skin care system that’s right for you. What works for one person may not work for another since our bodies and skin types have individual needs, but there are some general things to look for. You want a set of products that are both natural and developed by an esthetician. Sixty percent of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, so it’s important to choose products that combine nature and the benefits of skin care professional training. Some good products for specifically acne are: BioElements Spotless Cleanser, Jan Marini Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5% Wash, Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel, and Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. Each of these lines also offer moisturizers that are oil free, light, and come with an SPF. For those of you with very oily skin Bioelements Beyond Hydration is a gel that hydrates and balances your skin without having to use a lotion.
A skin care routine that works for you gives you a foundation upon which you can now build beautiful skin. Remember that proper skin care is not all you need, but it is an essential ingredient in the recipe for healing acne. Expecting your skin care to do it all will most likely leave you disappointed and frustrated, viewing it as a vital part of your plan of action will help you see what you need next to have your skin look great.
Once you have your skin care in place you need to look at what your skin and your body need next. Acne is also a signal that your immune system needs an extra boost, especially if you have body acne as well as facial acne. Something that can boost your immune system as well as heal your acne and make it look better is essential oils. When picking an essential oil company you want to look for therapeutic grade essential oils that are steam distilled with high standards for the extraction process and quality care. The purpose of using the oils is to heal, not just to smell something nice. I personally use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils; they are one of the only companies in the United States that follows French standards for oils and they maintain a very high grade of production suitable for use in healing. There are several essential oils that can help you with acne breakouts.
Peppermint Oil: Peppermint Oil significantly reduces the inflammation associated with acne. This can help greatly with the appearance of acne, taking away the red puffy look and feel. With this your acne will look better and if your acne is painful, peppermint will also help by taking away the inflammation that causes pressure and pain.
Nutmeg Oil: Nutmeg Oil is anti-bacterial, antiseptic, improves circulation and boosts the immune system. This combination can help to eliminate active patches of acne by killing the underlying bacteria and helps your body to strengthen against further infection.
Palo Santo Oil: Palo Santo Oil is related to frankincense and as such is a very healing oil overall; it is used in certain parts of South America for spiritual ceremonies. For acne it is very good at drying up individual pimples. It can help a pimple to disappear faster, which can also help reduce the urge to pop a pimple that can lead to more outbreaks, a spread of bacteria and scarring.
Progessence Plus Oil Blend: If you are a woman with acne the chances are it most likely has something to do with your hormones. This may or may not be the only trigger for the outbreaks, but it is probably one of the causes. Progessence Plus is a blend of oils that balance the hormones and therefore is very helpful with reducing outbreaks that can flair up when your hormones naturally go up or down.
To help with acne, use Progessence in the morning and evening. The directions on the bottle say to apply it to the neck and arms, I personally find the oil to be most effective when applied to the hips and lower back twice daily. It may take a week or two for you to begin to see the results.
Lemongrass Oil: This particular oil is good for healing acne scars as it helps regenerate tissue. While it is great for healing scars, it is best not to use this oil on currently erupted or active acne areas. This oil is a spicy oil and is best to use when blended with a carrier oil. Once your acne has subsided mix a drop of lemongrass oil with grapeseed carrier oil and apply to any acne scars.
The intention of this exercise is to build a treatment plan that works for you. Start to notice if your acne flairs up during certain times of the month. This could indicate that the acne is related to your hormone cycles in which case Progessence Plus and Evening Primrose Oil will most likely make a difference. Are the outbreaks red and puffy? These are the signs of inflammation. Is the acne in more than one place on your body? In this case it is important to build the strength of your immune system, which nutmeg oil can help to do. It may be one or a mixture of these causes, but taking a closer look at what your body needs will help you to create a skin care system that keeps your skin clear and bright.
(Images Courtesy Liz Earle and Young Living)
“The ego that sees a thou is not the same ego that sees an it.” ~ Joseph Campbell
In this quote Joseph Campbell points to a truth genius in its simplicity, the ability to transform the ego through how you view the things, environment and people in your world. We are all on our journey with the ego, whether we are in it and unaware of it, embrace it as a matter of pride, or have taken up a context in which we wish to transcend it. For those of us who wish to transcend it the journey can at times become disheartening or overwhelming, the more you wish to step out of the ego the more you begin to see all the areas where the ego appears.
It can at times appear as if your ego is getting more prevalent even though you have chosen to follow a path to shed the ego. This is not in fact because the ego has gotten worse, but rather in your commitment to shed it you begin to see what you were not able to see before. Your eyes are open to a new view, you have adopted a new lens and in that lens the appearance of your ego can be glaring. The intention is not to have you feel a failure or set back in any way, but to give you the opportunity to see what you have never seen before and transform it. The question of how to transform it then becomes the issue; an issue that has been discussed, philosophized, pondered, and meditated upon by multiple religions and spiritual communities for centuries. Once you are aware that your ego exists and you have seen the benifits of letting go of it, how exactly do you do that?
It is in the quote that Joseph Campbell offers a solution, a way in which to view things that if embraced can provide a spiritual context for looking at everything that we encounter in our world. To view everything as a thou, rather than an it, is essentially to view everything as having a spirit. Not only that, but everything as having a spirit worthy of respect and sacred to the value and worth of the planet. It is to view everything as being connected to you in an intricate way, to be one with all that is. To embrace this view is to take on a view similar to nature, where everything has its proper place and its natural flow. A place where nothing is wrong but everything is taken to follow its own natural divine course. Where death, though it can be painful, provides access to birth, where there is not only a flow but a natural way of being and a connection to all that exists.
It is this connection, this freedom of ease, this ability to just be that is the opportunity of surrendering your ego. In this you are able to connect with your fellow man and woman, with nature, with the divine, and with all that is. Joseph Campbell does not offer something that is necessarily easy or the only way, but he does present an access to a way of seeing that can transform your entire experience of life and as he puts it “change your whole psychology”.
When you look at your world today ~ your friends, your family, the trees in your front yard, the sky above, and the stranger in line next to you ~ do you see an it or a thou? Who would you be if everything and everyone was a thou?
(Image ©2011 Alexandra Candler)
A journey I never wanted to end, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, is both a learning experience and a spiritual journey. In it I found my love of spirituality honored and an access to connecting with the people of a different time, the evolution of not only humanity but of the human soul. It amazed me that Herzog paid homage not only to the art historian, the archaeologist, and the scientist, but also the spiritualist.
This film is multilayered with art, how we as humans express ourselves, and our journey as a soul ~ our oneness together. In this film noted prehistorian Jean Clottes points out the paleolithic “concepts which produce a world view, fluidity and permeability”. To the paleolithic fluidity is the ability for a tree to speak, a man to become animal. This speaks not only to the spiritual concept and practice of shapeshifting, but to the multiple different cultures around the world that have used this as their spiritual context. Native American groups, for instance, have combined with animal spirits such as bear and eagle for centuries to receive spiritual guidance and become one with their surroundings and the earth. Through this is the ability to learn not only from books, but to listen and learn from the environment around us. To truly experience this the paleolithic peoples embraced the second concept of permeability, “there are no barriers between our world and the world of the spirits” (Ibid.). Clottes explains that to the paleolithic Shaman they could speak to the world of the spirits and the spirits could speak through them.
These concepts are tied back to the physical in the film team’s exploration of the only human image found in the cave, the painting of a female form combined with a bull (or Minotaur). As the film points out this is extraordinary because it means that we as humans have had a collective story of the myth of the woman and the bull for at least 28,000 years. It is further inspiring though because it points to a connection with other cultures of the worship of the goddess. This is a connection to the collective human spirit’s worship of the divine and all that provides for us.
Our spirit seeks oneness and it is oneness I found in Cave of Forgotten Dreams. From the spiritual context of the paleolithic people that ties to the modern day Aborigines to the combination of the team exploring the cave, a sense of common spirit prevailed. Watching scientist, art historians, perfumers, archaeologist, and paleontologist combining their skills to form the story of this cave and add to the journey of the human spirit moved my heart and stirred my soul.
Although parts of the film take patience for the viewer used to watching a more faced paced film scenario, it is akin to the reward found in being silent and still while watching nature unfold. Your spirit finds peace and you can hear that sometimes very quite voice calling you towards your purpose for higher good.
(Image Courtesy Bradshaw Foundation)
You may have heard of tea tree oil for acne, a little dab on a pesky pimple makes all your troubles go away. The problem with this remedy is that it dries up all the skin around the raised area and the scent is very strong. What you may not have heard of is nature’s way of healing your skin, straight from the ocean. On a recent trip to Antigua, a beautiful little island in the Caribbean, I noticed my skin becoming clearer and more beautiful by the day. Within a week my skin was glowing, a healthy radiant peach tone without a blemish in sight. What produced this gorgeous effect? Sea salt, the gift of the ocean for everything from a sore throat to cuts and scrapes.
If anyone has every told you to soak a swollen foot in Epsom salt, the reasons for this are some of the same reasons that sea salt works for acne. Salt draws out the impurities in your skin and reduces inflammation. The result is a reduction in the redness caused by pimples, the dirt clogging your pores is drawn out and your skin is naturally exfoliated.
To make this solution at home: mix two tablespoons finely ground organic sea salt with half a cup warm water in the blender (alternately, shake vigorously). Smooth this mixture on your face, rubbing lightly to exfoliate, and leave on for ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water, apply an alcohol free toner to remove any leftover residue, then moisturize. You will want to hydrate well after this treatment using a moisturizer that will not clog your pores and will leave your skin supple. Liz Earle’s Skin Repair Light is the perfect choice, it nourishes your skin beautifully without leaving any residue. If your skin is extremely oily try BioElement’s Beyond Hydration. This moisturizing gel is perfect for very oily skin since it is a gel and not a cream, it will leave your skin comfortable and light.
(Image Courtesy Ahava)