skin care

How seeing a naturopath can better your health.

As a naturopath, we often see patients that have suffered years of ongoing, unresolved complaints and have been searching for answers without any luck. You may have a feeling that 'something more can be done', looking for a natural approach or are sick of getting prescribed antibiotics for the common cold. What about a desire to understand your body or wanting to have optimal, thriving heath and not feeling like you are just surviving? Does any of that sound familiar? If so, naturopathy may be for you. 

Naturopath's have the exciting, complex and rewarding job of looking and treating you as a whole person. What does this actually mean? This means that when you come in with a concern, for example you feel tired all the time, we will look beyond how much sleep you are getting. We will also consider your personal health history, family history, blood tests, medications, stress levels, physical examination, diet, allergies and so much more. We do this because we want to understand your unique situation as we appreciate the many causes that contribute to you feeling this way. An understanding of who you are is so important in giving you the best treatment.

The beauty of naturopathy is that the therapies we use are well tolerated and can actually be a support to conventional medicine. Although our remedies have traditional beginnings, many of them have substantial scientific evidence that support there use and efficacy. Naturopathy is also wonderful and unique in that there is no 'one fix' approach to a problem. It has a broad scope of treatment and can use the following remedy options according to your circumstance. 

  • Herbal medicine as liquids, tablets and teas
  • Dietary advice to promote food as medicine and nutritional supplements
  • Lifestyle and environmental advice to promote mindfulness and wellbeing
  • Flower essences have an energetic basis and can enhance the emotional aspects of healing.   

Using the example above, if your 'feeling tired all the time' was caused by high levels of stress we could look at using one or a combination of diet modification, herbal medicine, nutrient supplementation and mindfulness techniques. Interestingly this means that if your friend were to need help because they also felt tired all the time due to stress, we may actually consider completely different herbs, nutrients and dietary advice because we would consider their unique circumstances.  

In essence, naturopathy is based on the principle that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself. We follow these six philosophies when treating you:  

  1. The healing power of nature  (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
  2. Identify and treat the cause (Tolle Causum) 
  3. Treat the whole person (Tolle Totum)
  4. Do not harm (Primum Non Nocere)
  5. Doctor as teacher (Docere)
  6. Prevention (Preventare)
Herbal Medicine in melbourne

At Narayani Wellness, your naturopathic experience is truly unique as we have a supportive community of passionate naturopaths and integrative doctors working together. We believe more can be achieved by having these two approaches as it has greater potency and efficacy than doing things separately. Our approach to patient care embraces the combination of traditional philosophy with functional testing, and we find we get better results with our patients with the addition of functional testing. Functional testing allows us to look at the finer processes that occur within our bodies. This includes looking at how our cells function, our energy production pathways, how we clear toxins, how we make our brain chemicals, hormone profiles and how we can achieve healthy bowel functions. Our focus is to put you first and we realise the best relationship is one built on trust. All of this keeps us on our toes which motivates us to do professional development and stay current with research to continually benefit you.

We realise that Spring is a time we focus on our health and 'recover' from Winter woes. For some, this means the annual struggle of hay fever or a time to address old health issues that flared up from a change in your diet and exercise. With Spring well and truly here and the excitement of warmer days coming, maybe this is the right time for you to see a naturopath and regain your health. 

The top beauty must-haves to clean up your bathroom cabinet

We are so happy to share with you our favourite skin, hair and beauty products. As discussed in our previous blog, we are exposed to an average of 515 synthetic chemicals everyday from our bathroom and beauty routine(1). Luckily, you can minimise this toxin exposure by choosing different products. The brands we would like to share with you are low or free of hidden toxins, so you can feel a little bit better about your bathroom routine. Make the swap to these safer alternative products when you can, as every little bit helps.

At Narayani Wellness, we are so passionate about healthy holistic skin care that we have made the switch to dermaviduals. Have you heard of it? dermaviduals follows corneotherapy principles by offering individually formulated products for your personal needs, using all natural ingredients and none of the nasty stuff. Their range covers face and body washes, moisturises, anti-aging products, personalised colour match foundation, eye liner and so much more! We now stock this amazing nourishing brand and offer holistic skin naturopathy consultations and delicious facials

Read the label and know what you are buying. 

  • The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham is a brilliant guide to help decipher the numbers and names on your product's ingredient list. This way you know what you are buying and their effect on your health.

Wash time.

Looking for soft, smooth skin?

  • For sunscreen that offers protection without the unnecessary chemicals we like Wotnot, Soléo Organics and of course dermaviduals
  • We love the certified organic body lotions and moisturisers from Vanessa Megan and Mukti. They use luxurious and nourishing ingredients to help hydrate your skin.
  • If you want your skin to have a beautiful natural looking golden glow, especially as we come into the warmer months, we love EcoTan.  
  • For babies, Wotnot have an affordable range and Weleda does a beautiful cream for baby bums.

Make-up must haves.

  • Zuii Organic and Inika are certified organic brands and Ere Perez is toxin free. These three brands have got all of your face and eye needs covered. We are talking foundations, bronzers, concealers, eyeshadows and mascara! Of course we have to mention dermaviduals as they colour match your foundation. 
  • After a brand that specialises in eye make-up? We love Eye of Horus Cosmetics as they offer the most amazing colours.
  • Take care of those luscious lips with Hurraw lip balms. This brand has used organic ingredients to come up with range to suits your personal lip needs. Give your lips a pop of colour with Dusk by Adele and Dr Hauschka

Smell great, ditch the perfume!

Nailed it.

We are so lucky to have some healthier options these days - what brands and products are your favourites? What new, ethical and chemical free alternatives can you tell us about? 

Healthy skin from the inside out and the outside in

Helping patients with skin concerns has always been a passion of mine. I have had my own skin-healing journey including dealing with eczema as a child and acne as an adult. Frustratingly, there is often no easy fix and healing the skin requires investigations and treatment both internally and externally. I find this work incredibly rewarding as correcting skin problems can have such a positive impact on how people feel.

The internal stuff

There are so many factors that can affect how our skin looks and feels. Our skin is our largest organ and often a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies. Firstly I address gut health - an unhappy tum will lead to unhappy skin. This often involves stool testing and correcting any dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bugs) and treating parasites. Other big factors include hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, food intolerances, nutrient deficiencies and methylation issues.

The external stuff

I’m very excited to be working with the only corneotherapeutic skin care range, dermaviduals, at Narayani Wellness. dermaviduals has changed my skin and after researching cosmetic chemistry I won’t ever use anything else.

dermaviduals uses only pure ingredients and is completely free of fragrances, preservatives, emulsifiers, colours, mineral oils, silicones and amines. Suited to all skin types, dermaviduals can be used to improve acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, peri-oral dermatitis, sensitive and aging skin. We even have solutions for bubs with cradle cap and nappy rash.

The range is completely customisable which means I can blend both in clinic treatments and home skin care products to suit each of my client’s skin types, and adapt their regime to suit their current skin concerns. Some of my favourite topical actives include grape seed and kigelia liposomes and vitamin A and Boswellia nanoparticles for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

dermaviduals also have a wonderful Deco range including custom colour match make up that is actually good for the skin!

Healthy skin

Some of my top tips for luminous skin

The basics:

1. Eat real food. It’s true; sugar, alcohol and processed foods are crap for our guts and our skin. A diet full of vegetables, healthy fats (can’t emphasise this enough) and protein is the way to go. These foods are choc full of skin loving essential oils, amino acids, vitamins and minerals to help feed and heal the skin. In clinic I will often supplement a few of the skin essentials and can even apply these topically.

2. Water!! Hydration and detoxification are so important for skin health, and so simple. Aim to drink about 2-3 litres of filtered water daily (tip: your weight in kg x 0.03 = water in litres you should aim for daily, add more if you’re getting sweaty at the gym or the beach).

3. Stress less and sleep well. These are big ones that are often neglected. We live in a crazy hectic world and it can wreak havoc with our hormones – hello pimples. Breathe some deep belly breaths daily and find something you love to help calm you down. My favourites are acupuncture, massage, yoga and meditation.

4. Ditch the toxic skin products. Anything that disrupts the skins natural barrier can impair the function and ability of your skin to HEAL. Even so called “natural” products can be laden with toxins that don’t even need to be listed as ingredients!

5. Get moving in nature. Our lymphatic system needs movement to function. Fresh air and sunshine is great for your skin (do take care in direct sunlight) and getting sweaty is great for detoxification

If you have the basics covered and you’re still not happy with your skin, there’s likely something going on the needs to be investigated. Come and see us in clinic and we can point you in the right direction.

Abi Walker

BHSC Naturopathy, PGDIP Dietetics, BSC Human Nutrition

About Abi

Abi Walker is a warm and empathetic naturopath who combines her passion for skin care with her naturopathic expertise to deliver effective treatments unique to your needs. Her goal is to nurture, heal and transform your skin by treating the cause of your concerns and addressing external and internal factors. Abi has undergone dermaviduals training to provide you with a personalised skin assessment and and treatment plan. She is driven to help you achieve nourished and lustrous skin. Abi’s love for dermadividuals extends beyond a respect for its unique product formulation, but from personal experience from using these products herself.