Do you have a skin resolution for 2019?
New Year is the perfect time to regain control of you skin, which I’ve been neglecting a little too much during the festive period.
I’ve decided to pick three resolutions to hopefully help my skin throughout 2019!
As always, speak to your GP or counsellor before trying any new medications, treatments or products to ensure they are correct for your skin and mental health. I am not a doctor or counsellor (just someone with psoriasis!) see disclaimer.
It’s January, it’s cold and my skin is definitely showing the effects of the last few weeks of overindulgence – too much prosecco, too much chocolate and a lot of laziness with skincare! All the small dots that have been appearing spontaneously on my skin are now joining forces and combining into large patches of very dry, very flakey skin. Not to mention the new dots that have started appearing in previously clear areas of skin – happy New Year to me!
This year, one of my resolutions is to really focus on improving my quality of life and confidence, whilst keeping my skin as healthy as it can be. I’m now into my third year with psoriasis and the mourning period for my skin needs to end. It’s not about having beautiful or clear skin, it’s about being more comfortable and able to do the things I want to do, without having to worry about my skin – all whilst improving my overall health.
Having the blog is a great way to keep track of my progress, as well as sharing any hints or tips I learn along the way. So here are a few skincare resolutions that I hope to work towards this year.
Investigate the relationship between my psoriasis and food
This is one of the aspects of psoriasis that I really struggle with. Anyone involved with the psoriasis community on Instagram will be aware of the sheer amount of accounts claiming that psoriasis is, despite medical advice, connected to what you eat. If you follow Hannah Sillitoe, author of ‘Radiant’ and advocate for the effectiveness of plant-based recipes, you’ll be used to being bombarded with ‘before and after’ photos. These are pics showing some of the worst cases of psoriasis and other skin conditions that I’ve ever seen, followed by improved or sometimes completely clear skin pics. To me, it all seems too good to be true – but that’s probably because I really, really don’t want to give up cheese.
Last year, I won a competition ran by Pskin Store on Instagram, and received ‘Healing Psoriasis: The Natural Alternative’, a book written by Dr Pagano which looks at psoriasis from the inside out. His view is that skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, originate in the intestinal tract. Again, throughout the book you are shown amazing patient transformations through following a very strict diet. We’re talking no red meat, no white potatoes, no chocolate, eggs, yeast, processed food, alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits, fried foods, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc.)…the list goes on. Avoiding this huge list of food is overwhelming – it basically means never being able to go out for dinner again! I’m also not a huge fan of cooking and living by a strict Pagano diet would mean I need to cook nearly everything from scratch.
Therefore, my resolution with regards to food is to cut down on, not cut out completely, some of the potential psoriasis trigger foods. I am going to look into getting some vegan and plant-based recipe books, including Radiant, and find some psoriasis-friendly dishes that are easy to cook and tasty. Hopefully by improving my diet, this will also boost my overall energy levels and health, even if my skin doesn’t show any signs of improvement.
Keep an eye out for my Food Diary posts!
Motivating yourself to exercise more can be an uphill battle but motivating yourself to exercise with skin that cracks when you move – now that’s near-impossible. However, I’m a total advocate that exercise is excellent for mental health, something that having psoriasis can take its toll on.
Having painful skin is a massive deterrent for me when it comes to exercise. I have previously signed up for a gym so I could go swimming but was too self-conscious about wearing a costume and too wary of how drying the chlorine in the water would be, so I never used my membership. When I come home from a day of work with aching and flakey skin, all I want to do is smother myself in moisturiser and put on my pyjamas.
A couple of tips I have for encouraging yourself to exercise:
- Find a sport or activity that you really enjoy and works with your health. There’s so much more to do than just go to the gym; why not try an exercise class, a team sport or something more gently like yoga? I got involved with my local dodgeball team and it’s super flexible – if I can’t make a training session, there’s no pressure, so if my skin is really bad, I can have a rest.
- Exercise with people who know about your skin. This is a big one for me. I am very self-conscious in a gym but one of my best friends is a Personal Trainer so I’m getting her help to work on my fitness. She’ll be aware of my skin when it’s sore and can take this into account when she’s planning my routines. She also works in a private gym, so I am more comfortable exercising.
- Exercise with friends! Exercising with your friends is the best way to feel comfortable in your skin. They’re not going to care if you’re flakey or sore and this makes me feel more confident about baring my skin in gym gear!
Take better care of my skin
I’m finally accepting that I have a disease that requires me to look after myself a lot more. If I moisturise my skin regularly, my life will be easier and I’ll be happier. It’s really that simple.
No matter how bad my psoriasis gets, I know certain products like aloe vera and moisturisers do make my skin feel better, so there is no excuse to not be strict with how much I look after my skin.
Part of this involves making sure I make skincare a priority in my morning routine, even if that means getting up earlier! Moisturising constantly can be a chore but your skin will thank you!
Another part of this is to continue my research into products that I really like to use. Having a selection of creams that I love and know will help my skin is a great incentive to actually using them…
To sum up, my psoriasis goals for 2019:
- Eat more psoriasis-friendly foods
- Exercise more
- Take care of my skin
A lot of my posts for 2019 will be around these topics – so keep your eyes peeled!