How to spare your winter blushes, flushes and facial veins.

Its that time of the year when the cold weather puts the rosy into your cheeks but for some that’s a thorny issue.

Blushes – Blushing and flushing can be a reaction to weather extremes in winter and to temperatures changes between outside and inside or a symptom of puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Otherwise it generally occurs when blood rushes to the face, ears, neck of a person experiencing a strong emotion, such as embarrassment, anger or excitement. The blush dissipates when the rush of blood dissipates.

Some people experience socially debilitating blushing and cognitive therapy works, some people may have accompanied sweats with the flushes and if not menopause related may be a sign of hyperhidrosis which requires medical intervention. If menopause related, sage and parsley have phytoestrogens that limit reactions. Continual flush is not a blush at all but a skin condition; several skin conditions can redden the face.

Facial spider veins-  are generally caused by capillary frailty and the backup of blood left as capillaries cannot return to normalcy after a flush of blood – triggered by extreme cold/heat or exertion. They can also be caused by hormone changes. I recommend Gingko tea –for peripheral venous health and beneficial antioxidants – see Facial telangiectasia for extra supports.

Facial telangiectasias aka thread veins or flush blush – manifests as thin red or blue ‘thread veins’ – your capillaries become visible just below the skin’s surface – it is a condition where the capillaries can flush with blood but are slow to release that blood after exercise, a hot cup of tea, a cold brisk walk etc. Gardener’s alfresco cuppa-soups in mid-winter or excess sun exposure at other times of the year can hasten the appearance.  That said facial telangiectasia can also be triggered by aging, by pregnancy, oestrogen surges and some hereditary factors. It is also possible for thyroid disorders to cause spider veins in the legs and thread veins in the face so a note for a check-up to rule that out might be worth a space on the fridge.

Facial telangiectasia can manifest as what I call a flush blush, those rosy cheeks that may last a few hours or a few weeks post trigger exposure. Avoid cold or hot water face washing and do moisturize post garden to minimise flush and strengthen skin. .

Opting for more natural cures  (for all of the above) –  Edible seeds are a great way of nutritionally availing of linoleic acid and vitamin E, which can improve the disorder of peripheral vascular complaints including facial telangiectasia and couperose skin. But there is also a topical role for these seeds – why not pestle and mortar some seeds in a little olive oil and make a facial treatment too.

Seeds with linoleic acid and helpful oils include black currant and other ribes seed, also pumpkin, melon, watermelon, sunflower, grape, rose, evening primrose, cape gooseberry, nigella and borage. Many of theses are also available in supplement form for your local health store.

Eating more fruit, veg and salad crops is a great way to improve capillary strength and lessen red face issues. An old folk remedy for flush blush and other complexion issues, now a part of the Hollywood jet set beauty treatments is the internal and external utilization of apple cider vinegar – one with the ‘mother’ intact, that’s  basically the presence of cloudy particles or strings in the bottom of the bottle – that residue is full of pectin, malic acid, numerous beneficial enzymes and trace minerals – all great for digestive functioning, internal toxin elimination and external pH and sebum balance.

A drop of ACV  in your morning orange juice and/or a few splashes on the cheeks may address some of the contributing factors to facial telangiectasia, couperose, rosacea, pityriasis rosea and tinea versicolor. Always shake the bottle before using – to distribute the mother – whether you’re feeling gangster or not.

 The spill on Apple cider face cleanser  –  Topically applied apple cider vinegar (ACV) is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal but it has the bonus of removing excess oil and balancing pH levels of skin. As a fruit product apple cider vinegar naturally contains alpha hydroxy acids which will contribute to the exfoliation of dead skin cells and pore residue (dirt and bacteria). It kind of makes the perfect cleanser – always patch test a new treatment first. Sensitive skin may need to dilute more.

Method: This is a treatment in increments as it can sting first few times, especially if there is a shaving nick or an acne breakout. So for the first few times make 1:4 ration of ACV to warm water. Tablespoon quantities will supply enough to dab over surface of face – and in small batches, the freshness of the active ingredients is not lost in the dilution. As you progress or giving a little time for your skin to acclimatize to the ACV regime – you can adjust ratio a 1 to 2 or even a 1 to 1.

Application: once the diluted ACV mix is made, simply dip a clean cotton wool pad or ball into it and apply to the face with gentle upward strokes. You can utilize as you would any commercial cleanser – moisturizing afterwards or washing the face with warm water post treatment. It is ok to let the dilution sit on the face for a few minutes or to dab-treat specific areas.

About The Holistic Gardener

author of wellness books, columnist, keynote speaker.
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