Natural health with Megan Sheppard

Q: I would like to reduce the appearance of scars across the side of my neck. They are not particularly bad, but I am very self-conscious of them. I have already tried lightening creams, but they didn’t seem to make any difference. Is there anything that you could suggest to help?

Natural health with Megan Sheppard

A: One of the best natural topical treatments for light scarring and discolouration is rosehip oil.

Derived from rosehip berries, right, it can help to reduce the raised appearance as well as diminishing the darkened or reddish appearance of scars, and is useful no matter how long ago the scars were formed.

Rosehip oil is often touted as an ‘anti-ageing’ solution because it works to soften and regenerate tissue, while evening out the skin tone.

You only need to use a very thin layer, and it is a good idea to use it before bed as it can cause photosensitivity in some individuals.

Internally, you may find that a serrapeptase enzyme supplement can help.

This enzyme product was developed following research on a bacteria from silkworms, Serratia marcescens, that enable the tough cocoon to be broken down easily.

Serrapeptase will reduce any inflammation in the area and break down the scar tissue without affecting healthy tissue.

It has the added benefit of improving wound healing in general by clearing old or damaged tissue, including blood clots, mucous, cysts, arterial plaque, and fibrosis.

Serrapeptase is thought to be of benefit in treating various forms of fibrosis (cystic fibrosis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, arterial plaque, fibrocystic breast disease, adhesions, pulmonary fibrosis, kidney fibrosis, and of course keloid scarring). Other conditions that it may be useful for include chronic sinusitis, varicose veins, and tumours (both malignant and benign).

Q. Is there any natural make-up remover that really works? I have tried a few products, but find that they don’t effectively remove all of my make-up, particularly mascara. The regular products work well, but they make my skin very sensitive and dry when I use them.

A. There are a few solutions to your problem, each quite different in their approach so that there is sure to be at least one that suits your needs. My favourite products to have on hand, and especially to travel with, are the ENJO eye pads.

These little microfibre discs are amazingly effective at removing all make-up using just cold water.

All you need to do is wet the pad with cold water, then fold and gently squeeze the excess water out, and rub on your face, lips, and eyes using a circular motion with only the lightest pressure.

The fibres grab on to the make-up and hold it in the cloth without transferring it to other parts of your face. To release the make-up, you rinse the pad with warm water.

ENJO creates a wide range of cloth-cleaning products for home and personal care, but they are only available through a certified consultant, so you will need to visit to find a local supplier.

If you prefer to use a cosmetic formulation to remove your make-up, then you might like to try Kumerahou Eye Make-up Remover from Living Nature. While it is marketed as an eye make-up remover, I have found it to be gentle and effective.

Kumerahou (Pomaderris kumerahou) is a New Zealand native plant that is known for its natural surfactant properties.

You can create a lather just by rubbing the flowers and leaves together with water. Other benefits of Kumerahou extract include its ability to mix with oil and water, which makes it an ideal natural cleanser.

Kumerahou also replaces the need to use sodium lauryl sulfate, which is an irritant commonly found in foaming personal-care products from liquid soap and shampoo to toothpaste.

Pure jojoba oil is very effective at removing even the most steadfast of make-up products, including waterproof mascara and stage make-up.

This is best used at the end of the day, since any make-up applied directly after using jojoba will smudge or lift.

NOTE: The information contained in this column is not a subsitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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