Repair Skin Damage, Five Ways to do it

Repair Skin Damage

This article was originally posted on Higher Dose, and adapted for use as a guest post here on Loreeebee…

You might not wear your heart on your sleeve, but you definitely have an organ that is outward-facing. *Drum roll* Your skin.

As your body’s largest organ, your skin requires a lot of attention because it’s literally the body’s barrier, protecting you from external factors. Even though your skin is your body’s protector, external factors such as sun damage, stress, free radicals, poor nutrition, lack of sleep, pollutants, and the natural aging process all put wear and tear on our skin.

Even though our skin endures a lot every day, there are many ways to both repair and prevent further damage.

Here are our favorite ways to give your skin a healthy DOSE of TLC.

Self-Care to Repair Skin Damage

Multi-step self-care routines can seem daunting and unnecessary, but what if we told you they were actually essential for your skin’s health? With one-third of your body’s toxins being excreted through the skin, your skin is constantly working to help transport toxins out of your body to keep your system refreshed. Skin impurities like acne, rough texture, and poor complexion can be a result of buildup on your skin, so taking some extra time to detoxify your skin will help keep things popped, snatched, and glowing.

Step 1 | Detoxify

Detoxifying your skin starts with stimulating your lymphatic system and then pushing out toxins with a DOSE of infrared. A lymphatic facial helps to drain waste from the lymph system, promoting better circulation and less water retention. Following up a lymphatic drainage massage with an infrared sweat is the ultimate cleanse, clearing out buildup and increasing blood flow for a fresh face.

Step 2 | Fight Inflammation

When you apply heat to the skin, cold must follow. Therefore, post-sweat, opt for cold therapy to get the heat out of the skin and quell inflammation. Cryo facials are an excellent way to tone and tighten the skin while shrinking pores and strengthening your body’s immune response. If you don’t have access to a cryo facial, spend up to three minutes in a cold shower, or consider an ice roller that you keep in the freezer.

Step 3 | Nourish

Once the skin has detoxed, it’s time for restoration, rejuvenation, and recovery. Follow up any treatment with proper hydration and nourishment in the form of serums, creams, and oils that lock in moisture and keep inflammation down. Clean products that are high in antioxidants like vitamin C help support the skin’s recovery process, fight and prevent oxidative stress, and encourage collagen production.

Chill out with a Cryo Facial

Cryo facial is a type of cryotherapy that focuses on soothing, stimulating, and refreshing your complexion using cold temperatures to enliven the skin.

Rather than using exfoliating creams or chemical peels that can irritate the skin, a cryo wand is used to blow cold air on your face in concentrated, circulated motions. The freezing temps and vaporized liquid nitrogen instantly shrink enlarged, oily pores and increase circulation to your face, leaving you with a fresh-faced, cool glow. These facials also encourage collagen regrowth and cell repair — giving you long-term anti-aging protection.

Get a Face-full of LED

Immerse your skin in the benefits of blue, red, and near-infrared LED light energy.

The sun emits a full spectrum of light to help our bodies function throughout the day. While blue light signals cortisol production to help us be more productive, red and infrared light suppress cortisol and increase melatonin to promote better restoration and recovery.

However, because most of our jobs keep us indoors and exposed to artificial blue light from our screens AM to PM, our bodies stay in a prolonged state of stress. More stress means less melatonin, which means worse sleep and inflamed skin.

This mood-enhancing, skin-restoring treatment provides the skin with healing light sources, taking no longer than 30 minutes. Near-infrared LED light energy stimulates cells to regenerate and heal, leaving you with an even skin tone, a clearer complexion, and fewer wrinkles. Plus, it’s a great way to de-stress by stepping away from your screens to give those frown lines a break!

Repair Skin Damage with a Microcurrent Facial

Your body isn’t the only thing that needs a workout.

Microcurrent technology, which is touted as the ultimate non-invasive facelift, can be used from head to toe to tone and tighten skin from the inside out.

Using low-voltage current, microcurrent sends frequency deep to stimulate the muscle as well as promote cell growth in the skin. Similar to physical exercise, this facial / body workout activates the lymphatic system, encouraging proper drainage aka no facial puffiness or water retention. Microcurrent, which is virtually painless, also oxygenates the skin, invigorating the proteins that signal repair and ease inflammation.

Not only are results immediate but long-term treatment can undo fine lines and wrinkles and keep the skin smooth without paralyzing the muscle (like Botox and other injectables).

Read the labels

There are many, many beauty products out there that claim to prevent and reverse skin damage. How do you know which ones work?

Always look for clean ( with no endocrine-disrupting ingredients) beauty products like:

  • Niacinamide to minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
  • Azelaic acid to lighten dark spots from acne and repair sun damage.
  • Topical retinoids like Vitamin A in these products reduces fine lines and improves skin texture.
  • Vitamin C to improve collagen production and boosts skin firmness.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to reduce hyperpigmentation

And, of course, drink lots of water, wear a long-lasting (natural) SPF, and eat lots of antioxidant-rich whole foods. Your skin will thank you.

Show us what you’re doing to take care of your skin by tagging us on Instagram @higherdose.

This article was originally posted on

Poison Ivy and Oak, Sumac, and Hogweed

Apparently, this summer of 2013 has seen an increase in dangerous plants in the Ottawa area. I don’t know the reason for this, perhaps it is because of all the rain we have had. These plants are cropping up along nature trails, golf courses, and even in small residential gardens, creating misery for anyone that comes into contact with them. Learn how to identify poison ivy, poison oak, sumac, and hogweed so you can stay clear of them.

What Poison Ivy and Oak, Sumac, and Hogweed Look Like

The first picture shows you what poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants look like.   The next three pictures are of giant hogweed; flower, leaves and stem/stalk.    Hogweed looks something like Queen Anne’s Lace, a common wildflower found along Ontario roadways, except Hogweed flowers are rounder and larger.  This plant can grow up to 15 feet tall with the leaves reaching up to 5 feet in size.  The stems are green with purple spots and white hairs.

Poison ivy and oak can grow as a plant, shrub, or vine.  Poison sumac only grows as a shrub.  

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac all Contain Urushiol

They all have an oil called urushiol on all parts of the plants, including the roots.  The urushiol is easily transferred to objects that come into contact with the plants, including skin, gardening tools, pets, camping equipment, golf clubs etc.  An allergic reaction to the urushiol causes a skin rash that can develop anywhere from hours to days later.  The rash then develops into oozing blisters with streaks or patches where contact with the oil occurred.   This reaction usually lasts from five to 12 days but can extend to thirty days in a severe case.  The rash is not contagious, as the blisters do not contain the urushiol.  You can, however, continue to be exposed if the object the oil contacted is not cleaned well.  You can also inhale the oil from the smoke if the plant parts are burned, causing severe reactions in the throat, nose, and lungs.

Hogweed Reactions are more Severe

Hogweed causes a much more severe reaction, but the reaction is not caused by simply brushing against the plant as with poison ivy, oak, or sumac.  The stems, leaves and roots of hogweed contain a clear, liquid sap which leaks from the plant parts only when they are broken.  When the sap comes into contact with skin and the skin is exposed to sun, a reaction occurs, causing a painful, burning, blistering rash with purple/black scars.  This reaction can last for years.

Please make sure you know how to identify poison ivy, oak, sumac, and hogweed so you can steer clear of them!