Hello Star Seed readers! Emilie here from Star Seed - your friend of the Earth, here to help us all reach healthy happy skin.
As a co-founder of Star Seed, my own journey into skincare really started when I experienced how life in the city was getting the better of my skin's health. The many environmental stressors - air pollution, chemicals in the office from cleaning products, and even from foods and drinks, gave me rashes & hives that drove me nuts. In a pursuit of soothing, anti-inflammatory skincare so pure that your skin (and thereby you) can happily eat it and actually gain nutrients, vitamins and minerals from it, I cofounded Star Seed with Ed.
We were seeking purely botanical products for ultra-sensitive skin and we wanted to support land regeneration. So here we are in 2023 - with a small independent brand, offering a simple, minimalist range (inspired by my up-bringing in Scandinavia and background as an Architect). 10% of our profits go to regrowing indigenous forests in growing areas along coastal Kenya with The LEAF.
To start with the basics, here is a little guide and inside into skin.
The skin is our largest organ, covering every outer surface of the body. As our largest organ, it really should be our top priority to keep it healthy, happy and nourished. It has so many functions and controls so much of our health. Oh, and before we go any further, I would like to thank the co-author, Sauda Siddique from The University of Oxford.
The skin can be divided into 3 main layers - the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Simply known as the outer, middle and bottom layers. Each layer consist of many different minerals, proteins, fats & glands, performing their own function whilst also working together. We’ll talk about the role some of these substances and proteins play and how we can control the levels of certain compounds in our skin to have healthy skin and live happier lives. While everyone is different and everyone’s skin is unique, the skin can be broadly categorised into 5 category types.
Normal - "regular" texture
Sensitive - more reactive to changes in the environment and tends to get irritated more
Dry - produces less natural oils than normal skin, appears rough, scaly and flaky
Oily - produces excess oil and sebum, making skin appear shiny and greasy
Combination - areas of both dry and oily
To achieve healthy skin, you should aim to balance the level of oil and moisture in your skin.
You can have Normal or Sensitive skin in combination with dry, oily or both.
Step 1: Know Your Skin
First step is to know what kind of skin you have. It is usually easy to know whether you have sensitive or normal skin but distinguishing between dry, oily and combination can be a little more difficult. To do this, simply use a gentle and natural cleanser to wash your face, wait 30 minutes and then dab your face with a tissue. If the tissue absorbs a lot of oil then you are likely to have oily skin. If the tissue has very little to no oil you most likely have dry skin. If the tissue has oil in specific areas, usually the T-zone (nose, forehead and chin) then you might have combination skin.
Step 2: Protect Your Skin
There can also be any number of environmental factors causing your skin to become drier or oilier. Weather is a major factor when it comes to how your skin looks and feels, and especially in changing seasons like now -moving from summer to Autumn (Sensommer), our skin can start acting up. Low humidity conditions, such as cold, windy climates can cause more water loss in the skin and lead to dry skin. In humid climates or in summer, you sweat more, so your skin responds by increasing its oil production.
Another source of damage to the skin is excessive sun exposure. UV rays from the sun are known to break down collagen and elastin in your skin, accelerating the formation of wrinkles, fine lines and can also lead to dark spots, and redness. It is also thought to be the biggest cause of skin cancer. Taking care when in the sun, applying the correct levels of sunscreen (all-year-round), wearing sun hats and sitting in the shade are all good practices when enjoying the sun.
Step 3: Feed Your Skin a Nourishing diet
Diet also plays a big part in holistic health, affecting your weight, digestion, overall mood and your skin. Certain foods are known to trigger increased or decreased oil production in your skin. Generally, foods with added sugars, high in fats and super spicy foods can trigger inflammation. Alcohol is also known to dehydrate the body, making the skin dryer and for some people your skin may respond by increasing oil production, leading to oily skin.
Start looking for foods that contain vitamins A (Carrots, Sweet Potatoes & Sea Buckthorn Berries) and vitamin E (Spinach, Broccoli), and omega fatty acids (chia seeds), known to be nourishing and moisturising for the skin.
And of course, feed you skin nutrients directly with Star Seed's ultra nourishing products.
Step 4: A Regenerative Routine
Washing your face daily or maybe even twice a day is highly recommended, no matter what type of skin you have. Just make sure to use lukewarm/room temperature water on your face, as hot water dries out your skin, and super cold water can trigger redness and rosacea. If you are using a cleanser, pick a gentle, allergen-free, fragrance-free one. Make sure to apply cleansers with very gentle motions as well, avoiding rubbing or scratching your skin.
Applying a pH-balanced toner, after washing/cleansing is also an important step. While we here at Star Seed are working on an exiting new botanical toner formulation, we encourage you to use up what you have in you cupboard to avoid waste - of course given your product isn't harmful ti you or the environment. The pH-value of tap water significantly impacts our skin, especially when it deviates from the normal range that supports healthy skin. Our skin's natural pH hovers around a slightly acidic 5.5, playing a crucial role in maintaining its protective barrier and overall well-being. However, when the pH of tap water differs greatly from our skin's ideal pH, it can lead to a range of skin issues. In the UK and especially in big cities like London, tap water is reported to have a pH between 6.5-8.5. The function of the toning liquid/mist is to rebalance the skin's pH, priming it for ultimate hydration and absorption of the products you apply afterwards.
For both oily and dry skin, moisturising is an important step in any skincare routine. Moisturisers seal water into your skin, preventing your skin from drying out and thereby also preventing your skin from overproducing sebum.
Star Seed’s Forest Day Cream is an ultra-nourishing moisturiser, specially crafted using only natural botanical ingredients. The absence of water, alcohol, and chemical preservatives ensures your natural skin barrier is maintained and restored. Our star ingredients, Sea moss, Moringa and Neem naturally contain vitamin C and Niacinamide which help balance the oil production on your skin, leaving you glowing and feeling rejuvenated. The Forest Cream is anti-inflammatory, scent-free and designed for rosacea, eczema & irritated skin.
Night creams are often recommended to facilitate the natural repair process of our body while we sleep. These creams often differ from day creams as they contain ingredients that work better after the sun has set. Star Seed’s Moon Cream, is a luxurious night cream, formulated with the finest botanical ingredients, to slow down the ageing process and revitalise your skin. Black Seed Oil, one of our Star ingredients, is shown to reduce the appearance of sunspots and brighten the skin complexion.
Our Star Serum is a glow elixir of youthful happy skin. It is designed to prevent premature ageing and repair your skin barrier from within, resulting in a smoother, plumper and glowing complexion.
Step 5: Make it Enjoyable
The skin is one of the only organs in which its activity is very linked to your emotions. For example, when you get embarrassed you start blushing, when you are stressed you start sweating etc. Mood and mental health are important holistically, and affect how your skin looks and feels.
Stress is also linked to various skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea and acne. The hormone cortisol is released when we feel stressed and is designed to give us a rush of energy when in a stressful situation, however it can have unwanted side effects. Cortisol can induce inflammation and suppress the immune system, which is often what triggers rosacea and eczema flare ups. Another stress hormone, Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH), is associated with causing oil glands to release more sebum, which can lead to breakouts and acne.
Self-love & self-care have shown to really help with overall happiness. We recommend doing your own facial massages with your hands - you can use a few drops of Star Serum for this self-love ritual. 5 minutes per day either morning or evening can become lovely little addition to a busy day, that you will never forget.
Be kind to yourself and your body. With laughter, joy & exercise we release endorphins that manifest in positive physical results. Sleep plays a critical role in holistic health as well, affecting your mood, energy, and the appearance of your skin. During sleep, many different hormones, many of which work to regenerate the skin barrier, balance the skin’s pH, and release antioxidants to prevent damage to the skin.
Taking care of your skin is much easier than it seems. Knowing your skin type and the elements that affect how your skin looks and feels is the first step in maintaining healthy skin. Considering your diet, your mood and even the way you dress can go a long way in helping your skin to thrive. A easy and enjoyable skincare routine is essential to improving and nourishing your skin, and that is exactly what we offer.
Lots of love,