Our skin is our largest organ, with our outermost layer covering approximately 1.8m2, and well frankly, it is these important layers of membrane that separate us from the outside environment.
As with other aspects of our body, we can tell a great deal by the appearance and health of our skin. Dermatologists devote their careers to the science of the skin. Functional and integrative medicine practitioners routinely assess skin condition among other indicators of various health conditions.
While many factors influence the health of our skin such as our general health, our genetics and a myriad of environmental factors, there are some common tips to include in your routine that will help all skin types, – and feel great too!
- CLEANSING: Ensure the soaps, washes, etc. that you use on your skin are free of all chemicals and artificially derived colours and fragrances. Your skin is permeable, and just like a fine sieve, everything is absorbed. Even if your body manages to detoxify the kiwifruit smelling chemicals or bright blue colours, think about how much it needs to process in the everyday – why overburden our body? Ditto for haircare products and cosmetics.
- DRY SKIN BRUSHING: Using a soft, dry skin brush or paddle, lightly brush your skin from the upper extremities (hands, arms) towards the heart and the lower extremities (feet, legs) towards the groin. This helps to stimulate blood and lymph flow, removes the dead skin cells our body is rapidly replacing, allows your skin to breathe and it feels great! This is very easy to incorporate into your routine when you strip off to your beautiful bare bod just before you step in the shower. After skin brushing and cleansing, SEAL your skin with a gentle, all natural moisturiser or oil. Beware marketing labels of ‘natural’. We’ve spent hours looking through the ‘natural’ branded/marketed products in stores – not too many actually are. Reading & understanding ingredient lists is the way you can take charge of what’s going on your body. Often, a simple, fresh and organic oil is the best way to go. TIP: Read up on ingredients/additives and what to avoid in personal care products. Look out for our upcoming article on oil matching for further guidance on recommended oils for various skin types. Remember, we want to focus on SKIN FOOD – and should only be looking to use food grade products on or in our bodies – and BTW, not all food products/ingredients are beneficial to our bodies!
- NOURISH: Most important to the health of our skin is feeding it from the inside out. A diet and lifestyle of clean, whole food that supports your body will reflect in the health of your skin
- PROTECT your skin from the harsh elements. While exposure to sunlight is vital for so many important body functions, (see ME&VITD) it is so important to choose the time and frequency of our skin’s attention to the sun to avoid acute and chronic skin damage. Try avoiding the hottest part of the day when the sun is harshest, or cover your skin well and make sure the sunscreen you are using is on the SAFE list with EWG without known toxins and carcinogens.
- REST & REPAIR: It is when your body is at rest that potential for healing and repair is greatest. Very, very important.
- EXERCISE: Regular exercise improves blood flow and circulation is important for your body, including your skin. Sweating regularly helps release toxins from your body
- HYDRATE well. Your body, including your skin, needs to be well hydrated. Clean water – free from toxins and pollutants is your best weapon to flush out any bad stuff picked up along the way, and is vital for all bodily functions – easily reflected in your skin’s appearance.
- TUNE IN to the internal condition of your body: Our skin is a direct reflection of what’s going on underneath and irregularities can be an indication of auto immune issues, allergies, inflammation and hormone imbalances. If you have specific concerns, consult your health care provider. Of course, the better you nourish your body, the healthier and more glowing your skin will become.
While there are many things we can do to promote healing of our skin, it really is better to be operating from a position of prevention rather than cure.
Dry skin brushing is an age old practice that stimulates blood flow and helps to alleviate lymph congestion as well as removing dead skin cells from our skin surface.
Such an easy and pleasurable few minutes to have just before you shower; it’s a simple and quick health and beauty routine that you’ll look forward to everyday!
- Always brush from your hands towards your heart, and your feet towards your groin. Brush from your back towards your heart and/or groin.
- Dry brushing in the shower allows you to remove any dead skin material that can easily be washed away when you start your shower and rinse out your brush. The water will have a better chance of encouraging blood flow and of hydrating your skin as your pores will be clear and open.
Whollygrail’s range of personal care products have all been formulated with simple, clean and whole ingredients to nourish your body.