Skin

Things to know about skin health and skin problems

Hello sunshine!

As the season changes from winter to spring and then summer, we find ourselves spending more time outdoors enjoying the warm rays of the sun. Hibernation is over, even for the skin. Therefore, it is now important to adapt the protection and care of the skin to the sunny conditions in order to be equipped with an intact skin barrier against long-term sun damage and sun-induced skin aging. Especially during the change of seasons, we advise preventive and regenerative care through and with natural sunscreen. In the following blog article, we provide 4 tips on how to properly prepare your skin for summer while effectively protecting yourself from harmful UV rays.

1. natural sunscreen

Sun worshippers take note: Tanning the skin is allowed and even desired – and without chemical or mineral sunscreen. Because in order to get our vitamin D household going again, it is important to treat yourself and your skin to regular sun again after the often sun-deprived winter – without a sun protection factor. We recommend being in the sun for only a few minutes at first, depending on your skin type. The sun time can then be extended further and further – without overdoing it.

The result: The tan naturally built up by our melanocytes protects against light sunburns up to severe sun damage, as the skin’s own protection time is extended and our body can thus additionally intercept harmful UV rays itself.

2. light protection factor

In addition to or between the phases of tanning, it is important to apply a sunscreen. Even if it does not always seem necessary in moderate spring temperatures, a sun protection factor (SPF) should not be dispensed with as soon as the sun becomes more intense and shines for longer. For this reason, using a skin care product with light sun protection is extremely important, especially in the spring and summer months. Carotenoids, which are found for example in care products with sea buckthorn or astaxanthin, can provide natural light protection. In our store you can find some natural products with sea buckthorn, for example our face serum No.3 and our body oil No.1 or care products with astaxanthin, like our eye essence No.4 or our face serum No.4.

Natural carotenoids in a skin care product
Natural carotenoids in skin care

3. reinforced sunshade

Sun protection can and should be additionally absorbed from the inside. Again, it is carotenoids that provide protection from the sun. But foods with antioxidants also have a positive effect against harmful UV rays. If you eat a lot of citrus fruits, berries, nuts, tomatoes or cocoa, you can strengthen the inner sun protection. The dietary supplement with the greatest antioxidant effect is astaxanthin. The carotenoid from the green algae Haematococcus pluvialis reduces the negative effects of excessive UV radiation and can counteract skin-damaging sunburn.

Since the amplification of UV protection via food or dietary supplements only acts as a booster, conventional sun protection should not be dispensed with under any circumstances during long stays in the sun. In this case, we recommend applying a mineral sunscreen after the skin’s own protection time has expired, which immediately blocks the effects of the sun’s rays on the skin.
Caution: The sun-blocker effect also stops the synthesis of vitamin D!

Mineral sunscreen
Mineral sunscreen blocks UV rays, but also vitamin D production in the body immediately

4.effective after sun care

Last but not least, in spring and summer, attention should be paid not only to effective prevention, but also to a valuable follow-up of the skin. After sunbathing, rich and natural care products help to regenerate the skin in the evening. Skin care products with antioxidant ingredients are recommended. A product that also cools the skin slightly, such as our Body Oil No.2, is particularly suitable for after-sun care. As antioxidants help the skin to recover extensively, regenerative care overnight can be used to start a new, sunny day refreshed.

Want to know more about antioxidant superfoods in natural skin care products or as nutritional supplements? Take a look at our Pinterest account.

Astaxanthin in skin care

Our skin should be beautiful, firm and healthy. But weather influences, stress and natural aging can damage the skin and leave visible traces. To keep the skin fresh and intact for as long as possible, antioxidants can help beautify the skin’s appearance and keep it healthy. An extremely proven and versatile wonder drug in skin care is astaxanthin. What the natural substance from algae promises and how it can help as an ingredient in natural cosmetics to a smooth skin appearance, we reveal in this blog article.

What is astaxanthin and what can it do?

Astaxanthin is the most powerful natural antioxidant currently known. Research data show that the antioxidant effect of astaxanthin is 10 times stronger than that of beta-carotene and even up to 500 times higher than that of vitamin E. Moreover, it is one of the few antioxidants that cannot have a pro-oxidant effect, i.e. it does not form free radicals itself. It is therefore no wonder that astaxanthin enjoys great popularity.

Unlike other beta-carotenes, it acts as an effective free radical scavenger in intercellular spaces, inside the cell, and throughout the cell membrane. Astaxanthin is therefore not only used in skin care. The natural antioxidant is also very popular for inflammatory diseases, for strengthening the immune system, vision or brain function, and for physical (athletic) endurance (Fig.1).

Positive effects of natural astaxanthin
Fig.1: Positive effects of natural astaxanthin. © BDI-BioLife Science

How is astaxanthin produced?

Astaxanthin is a red pigment found in microalgae and is absorbed through the food chain by crustaceans and fish. It is the reason for the reddish coloration of crustaceans and salmon. Astaxanthin is produced from algae, especially green algae. For human use, astaxanthin is mostly extracted from the blood rain algae(Haematococcus pluvialis), which is known for its high astaxanthin content (Fig.2). Although there is also astaxanthin from synthetic production, the natural astaxanthin from algae is up to 55 times more potent.

Cultivation steps of astaxanthin
Fig.2: Cultivation steps of Haematococcus pluvialis. Phase 1: Growth phase. Phase 2: Formation of astaxanthin under the influence of light, CO2 & nutrients. Final product: dried biomass. © BDI-BioLife Science

Astaxanthin and its effect on the skin

The naturally derived substance brings significant benefits in natural skin care. The best known is the effect of astaxanthin as UV protection and as a natural miracle cure for wrinkles. Thanks to its special molecular structure, it contains both hydrophilic (water-loving) and lipophilic (fat-loving) parts. Due to this fact, astaxanthin is highly fat-soluble and can be used especially well in creams or oils on the skin.

Astaxanthin as natural UV protection – inside and outside

Sun protection is becoming increasingly important these days, because it is now known that there is hardly anything more damaging to the skin than too much UV radiation or even sunburn. Due to its strong antioxidant effect, astaxanthin can be used as a natural sunscreen. While astaxanthin cannot replace the UV filter, it can increase the effectiveness of applied sunscreen products. In addition, astaxanthin reduces the negative effects of excessive UV radiation, helps against the irritation of sensitive skin and soothes the inflammation of the skin caused by sunburn. This protective effect of astaxanthin against damage caused by solar radiation has already been proven by many studies. Astaxanthin thus helps to slow down the development of skin damage and aging of the skin due to UV exposure or to prevent this process.
Of course, the following still applies: only let the sun touch your skin in moderation.

The bottom line is that with the support of astaxanthin – from the inside as well as the outside – your skin won’t be as damaged by the sun and will stay healthier longer.

Laughing woman in the sun on the beach
Astaxanthin as natural UV protection – from inside and outside

Astaxanthin as a natural anti-aging agent

Wrinkles are mainly caused by oxidative damage to the skin. These can result from weather influences, such as excessive sunbathing, but also from natural aging or, for example, from smoking or a nutrient-poor, one-sided diet. As a result, the collagen framework in our skin becomes thinner and more fragile, losing the ability to keep our skin elastic and firm. In addition, our body’s ability to produce antioxidants, which it could actually produce itself, decreases with age.

Astaxanthin can prevent this process because it improves the function of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing power centers of our cells, and additionally has a good protective effect on fibroblasts, which are enormously important for the firmness and density of the skin. Thus, astaxanthin can not only protect skin cells from free radicals, but also maintain the natural collagen layer. As a result, astaxanthin has been shown to tighten and smooth the skin for a rejuvenated appearance.

Our tip: Since astaxanthin protects the cell membrane in a way that no other antioxidant can, it shows promising anti-wrinkle effects when taken as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient in applied cosmetics.

Astaxanthin – immune boost for skin and body

Our conclusion: Astaxanthin has not only been proven to increase the moisture content of the skin, but also provides improved skin elasticity. This can reduce fine lines and wrinkles. But the super active ingredient should not be reduced to its contribution to skin health: Astaxanthin is not only a natural UV protector and an effective means against the development of wrinkles, but as a versatile immune boost it is always helpful where our skin or our body needs the support of valuable antioxidants.

You will find astaxanthin in these PHYSTINE products:


References:

Kindlund, PJ. Astaxanthin. Nutrafoods 10, 27-31 (2011). doi: 10.1007/BF03223352

Ahn E, Siebel M. Vital substances; apr2020, vol. 10 Issue 1, p31-35, 5p

Murray M. 2018

Skin care for neurodermatitis

It itches and burns. Most of all, you want to scratch all the time. Red rashes are mixed with severe itching and cracked skin. Neurodermatitis, also called atopic dermatitis (AD), is a very common, non-contagious skin condition. The first signs of atopic dermatitis-prone skin can be contained with natural care products to reduce or even prevent any unpleasant atopic dermatitis flare-ups.

Which indications speak for the chronic skin disease, where it comes from and how you can counteract it (preventively) with a natural skin care, you will learn in this article.

What is neurodermatitis?

Neurodermatitis is a chronic skin disease that can affect all age groups. However, while only 1.5-2% of adults suffer from it, atopic dermatitis is seen in 10-15% of children up to the age of 7. At the onset of the disease, the skin is inflamed – sometimes over a large area – and red, scaly and itchy eczema develops in these areas. Since atopic dermatitis occurs in episodes, sufferers usually also have symptom-free phases. Even if the skin is prone to neurodermatitis, you can counteract the disease with certain means and methods.

Eczema on the cheek of a child
Eczema on the cheek of a child

How to recognize neurodermatitis?

Neurodermatitis has a number of symptoms. Externally, a change in the outer layer of the skin (= epidermis) is the most visible feature of the skin disease. Affected persons mainly suffer from very dry, cracked and inflamed skin areas, which are reddened and sometimes also crusted with blood. The rashes can develop at any age and all over the body. The damaged skin barrier is usually accompanied by severe itching, which often leads to destruction of the skin structure by scratching. A vicious circle for the skin begins.

Atopic dermatitis can lead to a number of concomitant diseases, which are not only externally apparent. Internally, for example, neurodermatitis can promote allergies up to allergic asthma and also psychological stress.

Neurodermatitis hand – adult

Triggers and causes of neurodermatitis

Human skin has a natural protective layer, called epidermis, which acts as a barrier against fat and water loss and at the same time prevents the penetration of unwanted germs. An intact skin barrier is overgrown by a healthy combination of bacteria and fungi.

In neurodermatitis patients, the skin barrier is damaged and the protective function is no longer adequate due to a lack of protective skin lipids. Therefore, there is a greater susceptibility to infection and the skin becomes inflamed. Allergens, dust mite particles, microbes or other pests can more easily enter the human body through the skin and promote allergic sensitization. The result is disturbing allergies. In addition, the functions of blood circulation, perspiration and temperature regulation are often no longer intact in skin affected with neurodermatitis.

The lack of protective skin lipids is promoted primarily by three complex factors: Genetics, immune system and environmental factors or external influences.

While little can be done about a family history, the other two factors for atopic dermatitis can certainly be influenced. There are a number of trigger points that can be crucial for the onset of atopic dermatitis. For example, habitat, diet and personal hygiene have a major effect on genetically predisposed skin.

(Natural) habitat

Dry climates or low UV light exposure can promote the skin disease. Life in the city can also be the skin’s undoing. In turn, salt water has a good effect on neurodermatitis. But attention should also be paid to the substances in the immediate environment. Aggressive acids, bleaches and solvents can hide in detergents, cleaning agents or other items and cause long-term damage to the skin barrier. Pay attention to a healthy living environment and products that are free of harmful substances and skin-friendly.

(Healthy) diet

For skin prone to atopic dermatitis, a healthy and proper diet is often a good approach to alleviate the clinical picture. Thus, sugar and unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to promote various inflammations in the body. The renunciation of these and also of allergy-causing foods could represent an essential starting point for the prevention of the chronic skin disease.

Supplementing powerful natural free radical scavengers such as astaxanthin, a natural carotenoid found in plants and other sources, can also have a positive effect on inflammatory processes in the body and on the skin.

(Proper) skin care

Skin care is a key factor in the prevention and treatment of atopic dermatitis. Since many conventional care products contain water as the main component as well as chemical substances, the skin is permanently dried out and the protective barrier is damaged.

Surfactants in cosmetic and hygiene products can not only irritate the skin, but also promote its dehydration, as they dissolve the natural oils from the skin. This, in turn, can promote atopic dermatitis and associated flare-ups.

Customer example, Nov. 2021:
Dry, red, itchy hand
Child, 2 years – day 0
Customer example, Nov. 2021:
Day 2 after the start of application
with the PHYSTINE care set

Natural skin care for atopic dermatitis prone skin

If the skin is prone to neurodermatitis, appropriate (preventive) skin care is particularly important. The already irritated and dry skin should be treated with water-free and selected care products. In order to keep the skin barrier healthy or regenerate it and at the same time protect it from dehydration, care products should be chosen specifically for the current skin needs.

PHYSTINE products are not only free of chemical and skin-irritating ingredients, but contain only natural plant oils, extracts and waxes. The natural purity of PHYSTINE products ensures the best bioavailability (= absorption) of the natural active ingredients into the skin and body.

For skin prone to atopic dermatitis, PHYSTINE recommends different care products or product combinations depending on the current condition of your skin.

Get expert information with biomedical background knowledge.
Book a free, one-on-one consultation with Lara, the PHYSTINE product developer, here.
An individual care concept is created for you. Risk-free testing of the products through the money-back guarantee included.

Lara’s product recommendations for atopic dermatitis prone skin

References:

Avena-Woods C. Atopic dermatitis: focusing on the patient care strategy in the managed care setting, 2017 Jun;23(8 Suppl):S115-S123.

Kim B E , Leung D YM. Significance of Skin Barrier Dysfunction in Atopic Dermatitis, Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018 May;10(3):207-215.

Kim J, Kim B E, Leung D YM. Pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis: clinical implications, Allergy Asthma Proc 40:84 -92, 2019.

Torres T, et al. Update on atopic dermatitis, Acta Med Port 2019 Sep;32(9):606-613.