The Truth About the Therapeutic Effects and Side Effects of Skin Care

Written by Anne C. Willis, L.E., C.M.E., founder of De La Terre Skincare

When clients try a skin care product for the first time, they often either feel as if their skin has never looked or felt healthier or they experience breakouts and redness. Skin care professionals spend a great deal of their time with the public, reassuring them that the complex skin responses experienced from a product or treatment are considered a normal response. With skin care formulations becoming more aggressive, the chance that the skin will have an undesirable response is on the rise.

The decline in overall health, overuse of prescription drugs with a plethora of side effects, and mismanagement of stress has brought about a decline in skin health, causing the skin to react more readily.

What, then, is the difference between a side effect and a therapeutic effect? Side effects occur as an adverse response to something the body comes in contact with that forces the body to have a negative reaction. The symptoms of a side effect may be long-lasting. Therapeutic effects occur when the body adjusts during a healing phase and is, therefore, considered a healing response with symptoms that are generally short lived, depending on the overall health of the individual.

Bodily Reactions
When an individual goes on a cleansing diet to improve their overall health, the body will go through adjustments in order to heal. These adjustments may include bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, esophageal burning, irritable bowels, abdominal pain, depression, irritability, fatigue, weakness, and dry skin. These symptoms are a healing response as the body attempts to rebuild. However, if an individual goes on a diet by restricting nutritional foods while taking diet pills, the body will experience side effects or adverse reactions.

It is quite the same when the skin goes through adjustments in order to heal. Consider the treatment of acne. If an individual with acne changes their skin care regimen to include therapies to reduce inflammation and rebuild the skin's surface ecosystem, the skin will adjust in order to heal. These adjustments may include follicular agitation, increased erythema, closed comedones or milia, lymphatic stagnation, and an elevated immune response. However, if an individual with acne uses products to reduce bacteria, control oil, and reduce scarring, the skin will experience side effects or adverse reactions.

Therapeutic effects are a natural response to healing and recovery and should not be considered adverse or negative. It is far better to allow the body to go through a natural healing phase and support the process of healing than it is to introduce it to elements that cause it to react and become reliant.

The Role of Plants
Some plant extracts have the ability to scavenge free radicals, protect the skin's matrix through the inhibition of enzymatic degradation, and promote collagen synthesis. These plants do not irritate the skin in order to get a response; they support, tone, and restore function so the skin can become healthy. The skin will always respond as it adjusts to becoming healthy again.

In order to get a therapeutic effect, it is never a good idea to irritate the organism to get it to function differently. Inducing stress to the body when it is already struggling to heal and repair itself would oppose nature. The goal is to support, tone, and restore the body and skin as it naturally unburdens itself from the damage caused by a modern lifestyle.

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