Today, more than any other time in history, we’re able to access technology and scientific research to make more informed lifestyle choices. Never before has our health depended upon that knowledge, especially with regard to the products we choose to enhance our beauty and wellness, two areas that are intrinsically linked.
We now understand that beauty is not just skin deep. Diet, exercise and even our behaviour all impact our inner state of being, the symptoms of which can be reflected through our skin. Looking good has become an holistic and organic conversation, one that scrutinises the depths of nature and science so that we can look and feel better about ourselves and the skin we’re in.
It is therefore imperative that we have a basic understanding about our skin and its function in order to make informed choices about the products we choose to protect and care for our skin.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is the meeting place between the inner and outer world, reflecting our internal state of health. It consists of two main layers, the top layer is the epidermis, the lower is the dermis, wherein lie sweat glands, oil secreting glands and blood vessels. Imagine the pores of your skin as little mouths with their own digestive system, what would you feed them?
The dermis contains collagen which gives the skin its elasticity. It is within the skin’s lower layers that new cells form and migrate to the epidermis, replacing dead and worn out cells. It is our responsibility to assist the skin in this natural function by keeping the skin clean and nourished. The epidermis acts as protection and shelter to the more vulnerable lower tissue. It protects against bacteria entering the body and from overexposure to the sun.
To maintain optimum condition of our skin we should cleanse and nourish it daily (try using certified organic foaming cleanser and certified organic moisturiser). Dead cells, sweat, dirt and bacteria must be removed – regular exfoliation is essential (every fourth day or once a week for sensitive skin).
The skin must also be fed using organic food and fluids and protected against the external environment using certified organic vitamin-rich skin and body care products.
It has been proven that an inclusive, holistic approach works best; starting with the face (including the throat chest and breast area), extending to the hands and finishing with the feet – and including everything in between.
Start with avoiding all products that have perfume or fragrance added – many upmarket ‘natural’ brands have this in their ingredients list. There is substantial evidence indicating that if we remove synthetic fragrance from our skincare products we would see a massive reduction in allergic reactions and skin sensitivities. Synthetic perfume or fragrance is not allowed in certified organic skin care products, so always check the labels and buy products that are certified organic.