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  1. nsey-benajah-P-0xj_CW86Y-unsplash
    Alexandra’s April focus: Redefining ‘normal’

    The meaning of the word normal has been redefined in many areas recently, namely gender, but what does it mean for skin?

    Irrespective of gender or biological sex, there has never been a clear definition of normal skin and that is most probably because it does not exist. What is “normal” for one person may not be “normal” for another. Having touched thousands of people’s skins I know how one person’s skin may be naturally soft and delicate whilst another may be naturally firm and resilient, I consider both normal. 

    “Normal” skin to me is essentially healthy skin, and we can certainly define healthy skin in a way that applies to everyone. Healthy skin has its metabolic functions in good order; this means that it can look after itself with minimal care. All its layers and components are doing what they have been designed to do, and its barrier consists of a strong microbiome, ready to defend against invading pathogens and keep the skin supple and balanced.

    Here are some signs that your skin is healthy: 

    • Does not feel dry/tight/flaky without moisturiser or oil.
    • May be naturally oily but not prone to acne.
    • Does not generally react to good quality natural skincare products.
    • Is not too sensitive to temperature changes.
    • Does not feel itchy.
    • Can be massaged without breaking out.

    With the increasing trend towards removing skin layers and accelerating cell division, all in the name of ‘perfection’, healthy skin is on the decline. For long term healthy skin that will defend us against pathogens, free-radicals, and stress, the very best thing we can do is to stop attacking it. Instead learn how to support and nourish it. The skin is a living organ – it knows what to do to protect us.

    So, what does healthy skin need in terms of skincare?

    Healthy skin does not need a lot of care per se; maintenance is the name of the game to ensuring its prolonged health.

    For those wishing to go a step further:

    Healthy skin is the perfect foundation from which to slow the effects of ageing. This can be achieved with a dedicated daily massage, drainage, and skincare regime that includes ‘feeding’ the skin in a way that supports all its metabolic functions, just like professional athletes invest in training and nutritional plans to increase performance.

    I designed my range with this in mind, every step is there to support and encourage the skin to regenerate in a healthy way, making it more resilient, and ensuring there is nothing for it to worry about – other than just regenerate and be happy!

    With every boxed Soveral product we offer an information leaflet with instructions on how to do a daily face massage and a full skincare maintenance routine designed to also improve its performance.

    Top Tip: Get your pH right

    Check the pH of your skin to ensure it is well balanced by doing the following simple steps:

    Cleanse the skin efficiently, then wait 10 minutes.

    Spray Floral Rain and allow to dry naturally.

    How does it feel? If the skin feels tight or tingly, it is likely that it is out of balance.

    If you are looking to understand your skin better, or to create a bespoke regime for your healthiest skin, book in for a consultation or a treatment and we will talk you through the perfect steps for your skin.

    Brushes 4

  2. Omage oils web image

    We cover this briefly in our March Soveral Monthly (scroll down to sign up) but here we delve into Alexandra’s knowledge of all things omega…

    Omega in Greek refers to end or tail. In oil chemistry it refers the end of the molecular structure of an oil. The number is determined by counting how far along in this structure there is a double bond. For example, in omega-3 the double bond is repeated after three carbons in the chain. It is this that gives each oil its unique profile.

    The higher the number, such as Omega-9, the heavier the oil is as it has longer carbon chains. These fatty acids are excellent lubricants to help the skin stay pliable and are part of the skin’s barrier. The skin naturally makes lots of these high omegas as they make up roughly 30% of the skin’s fatty acids.

    Over-production of Omega 9 gives way to oily skin and sometimes acne breakouts. When the skin is lacking the lower Omegas, which it cannot produce (it gets it from diet) it compensates by overproducing Omega-9, often resulting in blocked pores. Therefore, using oils with Omega 6 and 3 is a way to help the skin to find balance.

    Under-production of Omega 9 gives way to dry skin that is often flaky. This happens with ageing and becomes more pronounced with the menopause. This together with the decline in collagen is a great contributor to accelerated ageing. In this case, using oils rich in Omega 9 is of great benefit for the skin.

    The lower the number, such as Omega 6 and 3 the lighter and more easily absorbed the oil is. This is great because the skin cannot readily make these omegas, we are dependent on getting them from our diet, or topically, and our skin needs them for its healthy functions. When massaged on the skin, these small omegas, especially Omega 3 can penetrate deep into the skin, offering it its regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

    It sounds wonderful… but there’s a hitch. These short chain fatty acids can easily oxidise, and once they do, it means rancid oil, which feeds the bad bacteria – not a good thing for acne prone skin or skin that becomes easily inflamed, such as eczema or psoriasis. To avoid this from happening, we run a natural and organic antioxidant from rosemary through our oils to preserve their wonderful properties.

    Each product is perfectly balanced, offering the skin a readily bioavailable source of fatty acids to deeply nourish it as well as offering it protection by helping it reinforce its natural barrier. Sunflower seed oil is the base of many of my formulations, but this is not just any sunflower oil, it is an organic oil that is very high in omega 6 in linoleic acid, which often the skin is deprived of.

    Find out which oils your skin likes and you will know which omegas your skin needs.
    Avocado – High in omega 9
    Apricot Kernel – Blend of Omega 9 and 6
    Sunflower – High in Omega 6 and 3

    Each are available as organic base oils for you to blend at home – shop our vegetable oils

    Omegas in our products:
    For high omegas: Angel Balm.
    For feeding the skin a balanced Omega ratio: Midnight and Forever Young oils.
    For the low omegas: Spotless Gel, Bespoke Oils.

    Don’t miss out on the next insights in the Soveral Monthly – sign up to the mailing list and get inspired.

  3. Super Hero & Pomegranate2v1

     Pomegranate, grapefruit, Siberian ginseng and . . .bio-fermented leaves?

    Not quite the ingredients you would imagine for a super smoothie bowl to put pep in your step in the morning, but exactly what you need in your skincare.

    We could go on, and on about our Super Hero potion and gauze masks until the bio-fermented leaves blow in – but what do you really need to know about this vegan beauty?

    First up, we have Siberian ginseng to stimulate and energise your skin. Ginseng helps to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This all works towards helping negate the appearance of fatigue and stress, and giving the skin a much needed wakeup call when you’re still trying to peel your eyes open in the morning.

    Numero dos, pomegranate extract. This provides an amazing shot of vitamin C in a bioavailable form. The vitamin C will aid with brightening your skin, and being naturally high in antioxidants, will protect against free radicals. But what is a “bioavailable form” I hear you cry?! What that really means is, it is ready to go, much like chomping down in to an actual pomegranate, your body recognises what it is, what is in it and knows exactly how to extract the good stuff to nourish your body. Your body does not need to convert the ingredients in to a more “user friendly” ingredient before helping it along to get where it needs to go.

    Third up, grapefruit. If you can eat this straight without pulling a face I salute you – however I find it easier to get the super antioxidant (I’m not just throwing adjectives around, it is classed as a super antioxidant) and anti-pollutant from the Super Hero potion. Living in London, I’ve been of the opinion that the more barriers I can put between my skin and the free radicals in the environment, the better. It is easy to think “if I put more on, surely it must be doing more?” Not necessarily.  The more anti-oxidant’s, the harder your skin works to mop up any free radical interlopers. Doing a thorough sweep will get the job done, however your skin, doing its best Usain Bolt with a broom  impression, will just exhaust itself and could possibly lead to an increase in signs of aging. Our grapefruit extract is perfectly balanced to provide all of the support your skin needs for an antioxidant and anti-pollutant boost, without sending it into overdrive, when coupled with the pomegranate extract.

    Fourthly, we use food grade inulin, derived from bio-fermentation, to create the best growing conditions for the good bacteria in the microflora on your skin; much like you should support the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Think bananas, but for your face. This works towards making sure that your skin is balanced, and isn’t being overrun with the bad bacteria that can cause breakouts and inflammation on the skins surface.

    Last, but by no means least, is everyone’s favourite friend – hyaluronic acid. Molecularly speaking hyaluronic acid can hold a thousand times its weight in water, and works on the epidermal layer of the skin ensuring that your skin does not dehydrate, and appears plumper. Our hyaluronic acid is completely vegan and derived from the bio-fermentation of leaves, helping to make your skin baby soft and bouncy.

    Super Hero truly offers full skin support, helping nourish, protect and hydrate.

    Now, possibly the most important thing – how to use it.
    You know the old adage – all good things in moderation. Super Hero should be applied after an oil massage so that your pores are open and more receptive to absorb the potion – if you find that your skin does not respond well to oil the Super Hero can be used after cleansing thoroughly and spraying with Floral Rain mist. Bear in mind, the more you use the Siberian ginseng, the more your skin recognises it, and the less effective it will be. For best results use Super Hero Potion in the morning every day for 7 days with 21 days break, or use in the morning 2-3 times a week continuously. Super Hero gauze masks can be used at your discretion as a boost to your skin but we would recommend using it for an event or as a self-care pick me up.
    by Kristina