Why are there so many people with itchy skin?
Itchy skin can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes it can be signs of an allergy, side effects of medication, hormonal changes, overheating, infection, parasites, it can also be a sign of thyroid and kidney problems, stress, nervous system problems, or other underlying illness etc...Then there's the more obvious visual conditions like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, shingles, chicken pox. It is of course always important to get it checked out with your doctor. My doctor didn't have any answers to why I was so itchy all the time, towards the end of my illness. So after nine months on anti histamines in the last throws of my many years of being bed bound I eventually become well enough to make my own natural remedies, and also was able to research to see if there was anything that could be happening internally, that could be changed to offer relief.
I felt my itchiness was partly to do with hormonal changes as my endocrine system was all over the place, but I also had the feeling that there was something I was using too. It was when I was researching about things that could be effecting my son's skin (he had severe eczema at that time) that I came across chemicals called sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate. Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) is a synthetic detergent and surfactant. Not only can it be very irritating for the skin but this cheap surfactant is very drying. Surfactant means it makes bubbles. It's used in a wide range of personal care products such as soaps, shampoos and toothpastes. Then there’s washing up liquids etc... SLS is also an ingredient in industrial products such as car wash soaps, engine degreasers and floor cleaners. It is known to be an irritant for some people. So if you think about how many products you could be using throughout a day with this in it, it can fairly mount up.
That's when I started looking up all the ingredients in the products I was using which was mind boggling. The ones I had previously used were advertised with packaging like 'natural botanicals' 'ideal for sensitive skin' 'only the purest natural ingredients.' I then realised with such disappointment that whilst these very well known trusted companies (which shall remain nameless for obvious reasons) were promoting the use of natural ingredients as a selling point, they actually only had to have 1% natural ingredients to state this! And that much of the rest of the ingredients had been reported to be irritants, endocrine disrupters and in some cases carcinogenic. Not only that but that the plastic packaging could also leech into the product which could further affect the endocrine system. And whilst there may have been a 1% or so natural oil, they were also many synthetic colours and other ingredients that I didn't want to put on my face, body, nails or in my hair, bearing in mind that around 60% of what you put on your skin ends up in your blood stream.
Another thing to watch out for is your laundry powder or liquid, check out my detox mind body and environment post here for natural non toxic laundry alternatives.
In consideration of the people who may be reading this that have M.E and struggle to read at times, and also may find that a lot of information on things can affect anxiety levels on occasions, I highlight the main points and provide blue links so that you click on them and read more if/when you feel more able to. When I was really bad with the EMS symptoms (dizziness, nausea, heart abnormalities, changes in vision, cognitive problems, sharp pains in body) from the electromagnetic radiation from being on computers or phones I just used to print them out and read them at a better time.
Anyway the solution to my itchy skin was to go back to basics with all my products. It took a while to cut out all of these things and be able to afford to make or buy alternatives. Luckily I am extremely creative and I have always loved alchemy, collecting from the land and making up concoctions for myself and others. Then after many beautiful days of research, planning, gathering and combining 'Butterflybees organic skincare,' was born which is 100% NATURAL and made with ooodles of LOVE!
Have a warm bath with a cup of my organic gluten free oatmeal flour added to it. Wash with my organic Manuka honey, oat and aloe vera soap which also helps to calm things down.
Rub on my Manuka honey oat and aloe butter, it really does work wonders and it smells Devine! I do it in three sizes for your convenience, and a little goes a long way. I don't get itchy skin at all now except when I have been swimming as the chlorine affects me, so until I build my seawater or ultra violet system swimming pool, I use the soap and nurture butter after my swim and it's brilliant for taking the itch away.
Work on eliminating toxic skincare, personal care products and anything that could pass into your bloodstream and affect your histamine reaction internally.
Wear cotton, silk, linen, cashmere or anything with natural fibres rather than synthetic. I remember buying these lovely lacy pants, which I realised later were partly made with polyamide, three hours after wearing them I was covered in blisters, not nice anywhere but even less nice down there! 😣
As always, do stress relieving techniques. Drink camomile tea, it's best to buy the organic loose flowers as the bags may have been bleached with chlorine, another chemical people with M.E etc can be sensitive to. If you have itchy or dry eyes you can use cucumber slices placed over eyelids, or fill an unbleached teabags with camomile flowers brew your tea and then pop the teabags in the fridge, when they are nice and cold place them over your eyelids.
Ingredients and therapeutic values of Butterflybees organic Manuka honey, oat and aloe nurture butter
This beautiful soothing nurture butter is made with a wonderful variety of healing and soothing herbs, oils and butters. It is particularly helpful in soothing dry itchy
The oat oil provides softening and calming properties for itchy skin.
The Manuka honey is a potent superfood for your skin, it helps with repairing wounds and is antibacterial. Manuka honey works wonders for blemished skin because of its aforementioned natural antibacterial properties. It is also a potent anti-inflammatory, so soothes inflamed skin while healing blemishes. It also helps balance the skin’s pH and contains amino acids which slough away dead skin cells, helping to keep pores clear. Manuka honey has been shown to increase collagen cross-linking, promoting the structural growth of collagen in skin cells. And since amino acids are the building blacks of collagen, they also protect collagen. Healthy collagen means healthy, firm, youthful-looking skin. Helps skin retain moisture as Manuka honey is a natural humectant, drawing moisture into the skin. This hydration helps to further enhance the skin’s elasticity and cell regeneration, as well as promote healing.
Beeswax is an amazing way to moisturize the skin and is commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics. It can help protect and repair rough, dry or chapped skin because it has the ability to lock in moisture, it’s protective and healing. The wax has rich vitamin A content and emollient properties, which soften and rehydrate the skin as well as aiding in the healthy development of cellular reconstruction. It also has pain relieving abilities.
Aloe is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations, blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more rapidly. Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants including, beta carotene, is rich in Vitamins A, C, E, B, Choline, B12, Folic Acid. Can help improve the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. Aloe is skin rejuvenating, it is known to assist with wound healing & is also anti-inflammatory.
I infuse the organic cold pressed sunflower oil with organic chickweed, camomile and calendula petals.
Chickweed is excellent for the skin externally as an emollient. It has a cooling and drying effect on wounds and skin eruptions. Minor burns respond nicely to chickweed’s care. The medicinal properties of this common garden weed combined with its nutritional properties make it a popular ingredient in salves and lotions.
Chamomile is one of the best skincare herbs available and is particularly useful for skin conditions such as contact dermatitis (eczema). This apple-scented herb comes in several different forms, but thankfully they all offer natural beauty benefits. Chamomile is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It is also considered to be hypoallergenic with the ability to neutralise skin.
One of the best reasons to apply calendula flower oil to your minor cuts, scrapes, bruises, and insect bites, you can quickly speed the healing process, partially due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil, in addition to the unique antioxidant compounds found in this miraculous plant. By protecting against infections, it keeps minor wounds and scrapes safe, allowing them to rapidly heal. Aside from stimulating healing, calendula oil can significantly boost the appearance of your skin. It can affect blood flow to the skin cells, provide antioxidant protection that reduces the appearance of wrinkles and ages spots, and even the visibility of scars.
Cacao is a superfood for your skin as it's full of antioxidants and is known to help smooth out scars.
Coconut oil is packed full of antioxidants and is used in many of my natural beauty products, and for good reason: It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal, coconut oil for skin is an excellent moisturiser, it can penetrate better than other oils, and, well, it smells like cookies.
The organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil I use is full of antioxidants including the skin enhancing vitamin E.
Rosehip oil comes from the seeds of a specific variety of rose, Rosa affrubiginosa or Rosa moschata, which is the fruit left behind after a rose has flowered and dropped its petals. Rosehip oil is harvested from the seeds of rose bushes predominately grown in Chile. Rosehip oil is full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that are known to correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin, all while reducing scars and fine lines.
By using a cold-press extraction process, the oil is separated from the hips and seeds. For facial skin care, rosehip oil offers several benefits when applied externally. It protects the skin and increases cell turnover because it contains vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D and B-carotene, a form of vitamin A, and which are all antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
This luxurious nurture butter is packed full of potent antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that help to smooth out wrinkles, scars and leave the skin feeling luscious and silky soft, whilst giving it that all natural radiant healthy glow. And to top it all, a little goes a long long way, you only need to use approximately a quarter of what you would a normal moisturiser. Really good for stretch marks.
You can buy the full set of these sensitive skin products with a saving here.