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Simple dietary recommendations that can make a huge difference to how your skin ages. Foods that boost collagen levels, scavenge free radicals and calm inflammation.

Our skincare plays an important role in how our skin ages but did you know that your diet is just as important? The head honcho responsible for keeping skin plump and looking youthful is collagen. Our bodies make it for us but this starts to decline with age and with a poor diet. Here is the low down on collagen and my top tips for boosting your collagen levels naturally.

What is collagen & where can I get some?

Collagen is a protein found throughout the human body and is naturally produced by all mammals and fish. This means that if I had to name the top 5 collagen rich foods, I would be naming parts of animals or meat-based dishes which are rich in collagen – tripe, bone broth, pigs trotters, animal skin (e.g. chicken skin, fish skin) etc. (note: actual collagen content varies dramatically according to age and size of the animal).

Can we absorb collagen from the food we eat?

Collagen is a large protein made up of several amino acids (Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline and Arginine). So when we eat collagen, our body breaks it down into the individual amino acids and utilises those amino acids as it sees fit. So yes we can absorb collagen from food, but whether our body utilises it to boost the collagen levels in our skin is a complete unknown.

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Our hormones are hugely powerful chemicals that surge through our system constantly. They all have different jobs and some dominate at certain times in our lives. But how do they affect our skin?

Over 3 weeks I’ll be taking a look at different life stages, what hormones are most active at these times, how they affect our skin and what skin issues thrive in these conditions.

 

Part 3 Pregnancy & Menopause

Although these two stages of life can be far removed from one another, they both herald a time when hormones are significantly changed from the norm.

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Our hormones are hugely powerful chemicals that surge through our system constantly. They all have different jobs and some dominate at certain times in our lives. But how do they affect our skin?

Over 3 weeks I’ll be taking a look at different life stages, what hormones are most active at these times, how they affect our skin and what skin issues thrive in these conditions.

 

Part 2 The Menstrual Cycle & Hormone Irregularities

After navigating our way through puberty (see Part 1 Puberty & Acne), we end up as young adults and our sex hormones start to balance out. Sometimes, however, they get out of whack for one reason or another and this can affect menstruation and the female reproductive system in general. When hormones are unbalanced, it has a flow on effect to other areas of the body. In this blog post we’re delving into the menstrual cycle, common female reproductive disorders and how they affect our skin.

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Our hormones are hugely powerful chemicals that surge through our system constantly. They all have different jobs and some dominate at certain times in our lives. But how do they affect our skin?

Over the next 3 weeks I’ll be taking a look at different life stages, what hormones are most active at these times, how they affect our skin and what skin issues thrive in these conditions.

 

Part 1 Puberty & Acne

(Yes that is me as a teenager!)

Our hormones gradually increase as we grow from infancy, through childhood. Once we hit puberty, which can occur any time after 10, our hormones take a big leap in production, particularly our growth hormones and sex hormones, which includes both oestrogen and androgens. Whilst oestrogen does play a role in keeping skin healthy, it’s the androgens that have a direct affect on the amount of sebum produced by our skin. An increase in androgen production can lead to excessive sebum production, known as seborrhoea, a common cause of acne. But it’s not just the androgens that cause acne. The makeup of our sebum plays a role here too.

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Since exhibiting at the Beauty Expo in Sydney a few weeks’ ago, I’ve been approached by many beauty salons using modern skin treatments (e.g. microdermabrasion, laser) wondering whether our products are suitable for simultaneous use. They most certainly are! In fact in most situations they will only improve on treatment results.

Whilst I have not partaken in these treatments myself (yet), I spent time talking to existing salon clients, as well as customers, family and friends, to hear their experiences and which products they found worked best with which treatment.

Here is a break-down on the 4 most common at-home and salon treatments going around (from least invasive to most) and which Clémence Organics products to combine for best effect.

 

Crystal Facial Rollers

What is it?

These are the rollers you’re seeing ALL over the internet at the moment. Generally made from either polished jade or quartz, they’re comprised of a broad crystal at one end (for large areas like your cheeks and forehead) and a small round crystal at the other (for tighter spots like under the nose and near the eyes).

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When I was mulling over topics to discuss in this week’s blog, I got to thinking about scars. I started pondering the different scars that I have had to deal with in my 37 years.

I developed my first keloid scar when I was 10, and acne and stretch marks in my teens, the latter of which made me prepped for pregnancy in my 30s. So given that I’ve been dealing with scars for 27 years, and over that period of time have tried a whole bunch of treatments, I thought I could share what has helped (and a few things that haven’t).

Acne scars
I don’t know about you but I was definitely a picker when it came to pimples in my teens. I had friends who resisted and would come to school with zits gleaming white and untouched. I’m sorry to say that I just couldn’t bear it. I squeezed to my heart’s content and to the detriment of my skin. I know better now but years of bad habits have left their mark. It was rosehip that I turned to to help repair my acne scars. Studies have shown that rosehip oil significantly promotes wound healing and effectively improves scars. So for the past 10 years now I have been applying what is now my Repair Face Serum (pictured). I have found that this combination of rosehip, calendula, jojoba and other organic oils, really help reduce my scarring and discourage further acne from occurring. I also use the 2 in 1 Face Scrub + Mask 2-3 times weekly to increase skin cell turnover.

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I’m often being asked what brands I love and use in my life (other than my own – obviously you need more than just great skincare products to get by). Given that spring is the perfect time to start switching out old for new and bad for good, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite natural and organic bathroom-cabinet brands, and why I love them so.

Sunscreen – We all need a good sunscreen, especially as the weather warms and we spend more time outdoors, and I have had a clear favourite for years. The Soleo Organics Sunscreen is my pick because it’s 100% natural and organic, and is not as thick and ‘zincy’ as some of the other natural ones.

Cosmetics – Whilst I don’t wear makeup every day, I have a few brands that I use consistently. My foundation is Inika, my compact powder is Gemma Vendetta and my eyeliner and eyebrow pencil are Ere Perez. LOVE all three of these brands for their natural and organic ingredients.

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Rosacea is a skin condition caused by excessive inflammation and vascular dysfunction. This means that the capillaries on the face become enlarged and cause frequent blushing and redness, particularly on the cheeks, nose and forehead.

It causes a feeling of burning or stinging, and is likened to having sun or wind burn ALL THE TIME. But there are things you can do (and not do) to reduce your symptoms and keep rosacea under control.

Don’t put chemicals on or next to your skin. As rosacea can be easily aggravated by chemicals and synthetic ingredients, it is particularly important to choose natural and organic skincare products. Also avoid the use of fragranced items including fragranced cosmetics, perfumes and laundry detergent.

Do apply skincare products rich in antioxidants and organic oils. Not only do the antioxidant-rich ingredients help protect your skin from UV damage but organic oils such as jojoba have been shown to provide natural SPF factor (jojoba sits at around SPF 4). Our Repair Face Serum is my pick here (see customer story below).

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Did you watch the most recent episodes of the War on Waste on the ABC? This series is opening our eyes to the issues we face surrounding our waste. I love it because it leaves me feeling educated and aware. At the same time I’m left drowning in guilt. Is it just me?

I start questioning some of my purchases (e.g. organic spinach which only comes wrapped in plastic) and I worry that what I’m going to great lengths to recycle is going to landfill anyway. I’m left asking, am I doing the right thing? If not, what could I be doing better?

The same goes with my business. In my opinion you can’t have an organic skincare brand and package it all in plastic. It’s like having a hamburger and washing it down with diet coke. It just doesn’t make sense.

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As you may know we’re currently running a giveaway with the stunning Byron-based organic cotton lingerie brand Eco Intimates (pictured). It got me thinking about the benefits of supporting small brands who work on a small scale and create their products ethically and consciously (a bit like ourselves).

In case you don’t know Eco Intimates is owned by a very talented woman called Madonna Bain who is based in Byron Bay. Each piece is hand crafted using GOTS certified organic cotton and remnant fabrics. And boy are they beautiful! Madonna says “My designs are carefully considered to deliver style, fit and comfort for every woman and create a garment with the quality to last and be worn many times.” Styles that Madonna is unable to produce in Australia she has made in Bali by seamstresses in their own homes, in their own time. Madonna says “This is not the cheapest way to produce, nor a way to produce large quantities. There are bigger factories there that can make clothing for much cheaper but that is not how I want to produce my emphasis is sustainability and quality.”

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