Immature Skin: Holistic Self-Care for Teens

The teenage years can be hard enough without having to deal with the over-active oil glands and metabolic rollercoaster that lead to pimples and stress and more pimples…that lead to more stress. We realize deep inside that the body is doing this because it loves you and wants to eliminate metabolic wastes from the body while kicking into full reproductive-hormone producing gear…but we want to stop it anyway. 

We look at pimples as simply compounded stress bumps: the initial bump is your body acting in its natural capacity as an organ of elimination and the glands (sometimes eccrine, sometimes sebaceous) excrete either oil or sweat. When the skin is not functioning well, usually due to dietary depletion or the use of harsh topical products, the immune system may have an over-active response (or even a proper response…but we don’t LIKE immune responses: itchy histamine action, inflammation, formation of pus) and we try to “take control” of the situation and be proactive about showing the skin who is boss.

This sets us up for years and years of harsh treatments that work for a while and then stop working, causing us to try harsher and harsher punishments to whip the skin back into shape. But control just leads to more control and eventually, nothing works anymore. 

It is far easier to just give the skin what it needs so that it can deal with the turmoil of the teenagers years with less battles. I’m also going to go one step too far and insinuate that this will make you a better parent because they will learn a few good life lessons along the way by the natural consequences of neglecting their authentic self-care and dispels the idea that if you just pay enough you can find a magic pill that fixes all ailments. (What? You never learned that lesson?)

Supportive Skin Care: A Holistic Topical Solution

Topically, simple and gentle will be the most effective. Cleanse at night, give the skin some topical minerals, and allow the skin to renew without a moisturizer while you sleep (preferably on an unbleached, un dyed silk pillowcase that stays clean longer and repels the malicious microorganisms responsible for pus.) In the morning, use plain water or an herbal tea as a facial bath/splash. Water is necessary to clear out irritating substances in the sweat glands that the body has been producing all night! Then follow with some more mist and moisturizer. LOMAH (our Double Cleansing Lotion) has been specially formulated to be used as a cleanser at night and a moisturizer in the morning to make it easy to give the skin exactly what it needs to function well.

Your Simple But Effective Regimen

Morning: Wash face by splashing with warm, then cool water and pat dry. Mist 2-4 pumps of your chosen Mineral Mist onto your skin. Apply a dime-sized amount of LOMAH to moisturize entire face, including problem areas.

Before Bed: Apply a quarter-sized amount of LOMAH over wet or dry skin, massage with fingertips (especially into congested areas) and remove with a warm, wet textured washcloth-no poly fibers please, they don’t wash out well enough. Follow with 5 sprays of Mineral Mist. If you experience a lot of hardened congestion or are wearing make-up, use NO EVIL as a pre-cleansing oil before cleansing with LOMAH. No need to moisturize after.

Once a week, Clear Complexion Clay Mask is appropriate—but remember it will stain towels!

Spot treat any open skin or scabs with 1 drop of Cow Fart Juice for all of the spots.

Holistic Self Care For Hormonal Shifts

Adequate self-care (simply getting the body’s basic needs met) is necessary for healthy skin. In addition, to truly GROW out of condition or symptom, the body needs to get its basic needs met so that it can function well and resolve the problem on its own.

Nourishment, Not Punishment

There is no limited diet that is healthy. If we deny ourselves sources of nutrition (especially whole food groups) it is reasonable to expect to have health and growth problems. Fasting and restrictions may be appropriate for once the body has been nourished, lived well, procreated (if desired) and is ready to stand back, leaving more nourishment for the younger generations, but is not wise for the health of our youth who have yet to grow and thrive.

Here are some places we tend to go astray:

Fat: The growing brain needs cholesterol, which is also used for the production of hormones. If the body doesn’t get it from food, it will create its own (inferior, and labelled “bad cholesterol) forms to keep the body running. Remember, hormones are the messages that the body makes in the glands to tell the body what to do and how to do it. Unfortunately, when the oil glands start using the lesser (think vegetable oil) forms of fat the we give it, that’s what it uses to make the oil that comes out on the skin. This oil is highly susceptible to oxidization and burning—at the same time, malicious microorganisms seem to thrive on it.

Energy: The body gets energy from carbohydrates and fats—not lean protein and vegetables (although they are also important). If you (no matter your age, mom and dad) are not getting enough energy sources, you are going to be exhausted and not able to function well. Simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest (such as rice, sourdough white bread, potatoes, real pasta) have been utilized by the cultures around the world (especially in the Blue Zones) for thousands of years to provide great energy and there is no reason to eschew them simply because some American dudes called them empty calories in the 1900s. Calories are simply a measurement of the amount of energy in the raw material when it is burned—doesn’t mean any thing to a wise woman!

Minerals: It is really hard for our bodies to get the vitamins and minerals out of vegetables when they are consumed raw. Humans don’t have the digestive power of goats. Blending food is not enough—the cell walls need to be broken down. Luckily, there are many easy and delicious ways to do this: Cooking (especially with an acid like vinegar or citrus juice), fermenting (pickling), tossing with a dressing such as oil and vinegar, freezing, soaking and dehydrating are all methods of properly preparing our foods to get the most nutrition out of them. Start cooking your salads and watch inflammation disappear.

There are nutrients that can’t be made by our own bodies—we need to get these things from our food. When the body is not getting enough Heme (and it doesn’t need much), the first place that is will show up in is skin. Heme combines in the body to form hemoglobin. When the body is not getting an adequate amount of heme, core tissues are supplied with nutrition, but peripheral tissues are NOT supplied with the nutrition. Red meat contains Heme—its what makes the blood red. Moderate, reasonable, amounts of red meat (no need to go all caveman on us) may be helpful to bring nourishment to the outer tissues again.

Self Care for Itchy Welty Bumps

Much of the time, those itchy underground bumps are related to metabolic dis-harmony (when your body is making the wrong hormones at the wrong times). Eating 5-6 times a day can put anyone on a metabolic rollercoaster. Whenever you eat, your body needs to pause from it’s other metabolic work and make insulin and enzymes with the same raw materials. At the same time, balanced meals with plenty of energy sources are necessary, otherwise the body won’t be able to digest, utilize nutrients, or eliminate properly.

Think about what you would need to do to get to a place of 3 (or even 4 if necessary!) meals a day with no food at all between them and 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Do your meals have to be bigger and contain more fat? Do you have to pack some herbal tea and come up with an energizing “break routine” that does not involve food? I know that a lot of “gurus” and “experts” push for keeping your blood sugar up and grazing with little meals all day long, but clinical experience within our herbalist practice leads to the conclusion that it just leads to itchy, welt-y, bumps and feeling tired all. the. time. 

Supportive Self-Care for Hormonal Shifts

Herbal Infusions

Between You & The Moon (by Brooklyn Herborium) defines Herbal Infusions as plant material that has been properly prepared in water. Some herbal blends have the intention of providing the body with what it needs to function well (Nourishing Herbal Infusions) and can be used as much as feels good. If one of these teas doesn’t taste good to you, it probably isn’t something that you need right now. (Or you let it sit out for too long…)

It is hard to pinpoint exactly where the hormones need to be balanced when they are constantly all over the place—perhaps they just need to be brought into harmony! Inner Strength Tea and the Stress Bump Tea that most closely describes where stress bumps are occurring may be helpful.

Herbal Infusion: Inner Strength

Supports Cellular Communication

Functional Herbal Infusion: Stress Bump Tea Chin

Supports Elimination Function, primarily lower endocrine gland hormones

Functional Herbal Infusion: Stress Bump Tea Cheek

Supports Elimination Function, primarily endocrine organ hormones

Functional Herbal Infusion: Stress Bump Tea Forehead

Supports Elimination Function, primarily upper endocrine gland hormones

Facial Point Stimulation For Hormonal Shifts

Facial Point Stimulation is a healing therapy similar to reflexology or acupressure. In this practice, specific areas or points on the face are gently stimulated using fingers, our Facial Point Stimulation Wands (pictured in the video above and available to purchase at our workshops) and precious stones such as jade, rose quartz and amethyst.

By stimulating specific areas on the face, we also increase blood flow to the many points that pass through our face that have a connection with each of the organs and glands of the body. Many of these points and zones coincide with Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic teachings, and energy meridians. Regular sessions (you can do it yourself!) can result in improved circulation, enhanced body system functioning and a more relaxed nervous system.

Though there are many points that we use, there are two “sets” that are particularly useful to those who experience the uncomfortable symptoms of metabolic dis-harmony. They are the Parasympathetic Nervous System Set and the Metabolic Harmony sets. You can use this technique at home to relax your body’s nervous system and remind your body to work in harmony.

After you have applied your Moisture Duo and massaged it in, press and stimulate each point with your knuckle (fingertip could work too), one of our unique wands or a precious stone for 3-6 seconds and release. Follow the charts and directions for each set below:

Figure 1: Active Parasympathetic Nervous System Starting at the arrows on the forehead and working your way down, use your knuckle to gently glide back and forth over each area in long strokes 5-10 times. Then pause at each side of the arrow to make a gentle spiral at the spot for 3-6 seconds.  Save the arrows in front of the ears for last.
Figure 2: Support Metabolic Harmony Make gentle pinches and strokes all along the perimeter of the face to entice all of the body’s glands to “step up their game” and get in sync with each other.

Special Considerations: If You Are Coming off of Controlling Medications

If you or your teen has been on and off the control teeter-totter, it can take up to one month to release and resolve every year of suppressive therapies, once the control is let got of. This means that in addition to taking care of the current symptoms, there will still be small little bumps (we call them the Ghosts of Pimples Past) that will come back to haunt you until ample time for an uncontrolled resolution has been met. These do not look like itchy, welty bumps, but tiny little mounds that hang out in clusters and easily release their debris in a coil (like squeezing toothpaste from a tube).

Luckily for teenagers, they haven’t been using controlling medications for long periods of time. If you or your teen has been on the cycle of controlling or suppressive methods, it is not a good idea to simply stop using them. Instead, add nourishing products and improve self-care before slowly weaning off the drugstore stuff. In the case of prescription medications, please consult with your prescriber before discontinuing anything.

Links to other articles we have written on this topic are at the end.

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A good method might be to start slow, like this:

AM: 3x per week use medicated product

  • Other days, splash with water and moisturize instead
  • Spot treat any open skin or scabs with 1 drop of Cow Fart Juice for all of the spots.

PM: 3x a week: wash with LOMAH

  • Take off with a warm, wet washcloth
  • Follow with medicated PM cream only if necessary

Other nights

  • Oil Cleanse with Cow Fart Juice or use a medicated cleanser
  • No medication or moisturizer
  • Spot treat any open skin or scabs with 1 drop of Cow Fart Juice for all of the spots.

Once a week, Clear Complexion Clay Mask is appropriate—but remember it will stain towels!

Then, after you are seeing smoother, happier skin (even between the breakouts) THINK: Less controlling, more nourishing!

In addition, they will need to do all the nourishing and building-up so that they won’t have the same symptoms again once the suppression has been released!

These are just some ideas to get you thinking in a holistic, supportive direction. It can be difficult to sort it all out for yourself or your family, so we offer holistic skin care and holistic self-care consultations both face-to-face and remotely. 

Products Mentioned In This Article

LOMAH
Mineral Mists
Clear Complexion Clay
Cow Fart Juice
Wash Cloths

Further Resources

Diet for Incredibly Good Skin
Do You Suppress or Support Your Skin

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