When it comes to holistic skincare, many don’t understand the essence of it. It is often misrepresented as interchangeable for organic skincare. So we have products in the market that are promoted with the promise of an organic and free from all chemicals skincare solutions defined as 100% natural. However, nothing can be further from the truth.
In the case of skincare, holistic does not mean applying an expensive organic moisturizers or skin creams on your face. It only treats the outer layer of the skin, completely ignoring what is inside.
The holistic approach concerns with nurturing the skin from the inside. It understands that the health of our skin depends on several other factors such as lifestyle choices, diet, emotional, mental and environmental stress.
The Following are Factors That Cause Skin Damage:
- Toxins: Toxins, that are almost everywhere around you, when coming in contact with your skin can cause a lot of irritation, inflammation and skin damage
- Radiation: The Ultra Violet rays of the sun can damage your skin at a DNA level *if exposed for prolonged periods of time* and are also a leading cause of skin cancer.
- Chronic Inflammation: Eating an unhealthy diet, or leading a sedentary lifestyle can all cause chronic inflammation in the body, the symptoms of which are reflected by your skin.
- Stagnation: The shedding of old skin layers by our epidermis is crucial in healing pimples, scars, and other issues. One of the major reasons stagnation occurs is due to the liquid plastic found in most skincare products. Yes! The ones that promise to take care of your skin, however, do anything but what they claim.
Understanding these causes allows us to create a skincare routine that offers a permanent solution to all of our skin-related issues.
The Principles of A Holistic Skin Care Routine
1. Using the Right Ingredients for Skin Nourishment
It is vital to understand that skincare is a long term game. No anti-aging cream will miraculously reduce aging, and no spot healer will reduce dark spots overnight.
The ingredients we choose to apply to our skin need to nourish the skin inside and out. Refrain from using oil- stripping cleansers, which strip the skin of necessary oils like Sebum. Sebum is crucial in giving the skin its blemish-free glow.
Using oil cleansers like Jojoba oil can help protect the vital barrier function of the skin. Use vitamins, anti-oxidants, and SPF creams to protect the skin better.
2. Eating for Your Skin
What one eats will show on their faces. What we eat is just as crucial to the skin as what we apply on it.
Food That Damage Skin
- Soft Drinks
- Vegetable Oils
- Trans Fats
- Fried Foods
- Conventional Dairy
Eating food with proper fiber and proteins help in improving gut health. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in the gut, thus aid in digestion and balancing blood sugar levels. Foods like beans, lentils, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, etc. are all rich sources of fiber.
Taking Vitamins from natural sources like raw vegetables and fruits is also vital in taking care of the skin.
Antioxidant-rich food like dark green vegetables, tomato, berries, beans, apple, pecan, grapes, nuts, etc. are useful for improving the health of cells. They help neutralize free radicals that harm healthy cells.
Eating healthy fats like avocado, flaxseeds, walnuts, etc. can help make the skin more strong and elastic. Foods that spike blood sugar levels, on the other hand, can increase sebum production and cause acne.
Foods like cookies, white bread, pastries, soda, pasta, etc. should be avoided at all costs to maintain the health of the skin. Salty foods should also be avoided as they can make skin look puffy and bloated.
Focusing on a wholesome, nutritious diet can change the way our skin appears.
Water is really the nectar of heavens. Water is the end-all solution to all of the issues the body suffers from, which also includes unhealthy skin.
Lack of water in the body becomes apparent in a skin marred with dark spots and sagginess. It is advisable to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to rid the skin of all its toxins. Many people have reported that drinking sufficient water can give the skin a radiant glow.
Exercise is critical in relieving stress and releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins. By doing so, our body succeeds in regulating the stress hormone cortisol responsible for acne and inflammation.
When someone sweats while exercising, it can help to clear out the skin. Exercise also helps in the smooth circulation of blood, which allows essential nutrients to be conveniently transported to the skin. It also helps one sleep better.
Unhealthy skin is probably no more apparent than it is in people who don’t sleep well — not getting enough sleep results in dark circles, as well as saggy and grey skin.
Our body takes the time during rest to detox, rejuvenate, and accumulate dead cells. With no sleep, these functions cannot be carried out, thus having adverse effects on the skin.
6. Safe Exfoliation
Exfoliation is an essential part of skincare. Massages to the skin can increase blood circulation and also ease muscle tension. Exfoliation masks can provide the skin with all the vital ingredients needed to smooth and nurture the skin.
Pampering ourselves with such exfoliation masks, and massages is also a great stress reliever. When our body gets the time to relax, it also gets the time to heal itself. Raw honey can be a great exfoliator for dry winter skin. Add 2 cups of honey to a bath and soak for 15 minutes. Add one cup of baking soda for the final minutes.
Similarly, Lemon (citrus), Apple cider vinegar, oats, etc. are great natural skin exfoliators that show unbelievable results in a short span.
7. Protection against Sun Exposure
Although the sun can damage our skin, it is an essential source of Vitamin D. It is important to receive direct sunlight to the skin for 10-30 minutes per day, preferably around noon when the sun is highest. However, prolonged exposure to the skin can accelerate the process of aging. It is important to take precautionary measures to protect the skin if you will be exposed for longer than half an hour.
Sun exposure can also have severe consequences like melanoma and skin cancer. Both UVA and UVB rays are responsible for cell damage. So, the challenge then is to safely expose our skin to the sun while managing the harmful UVA radiations.
Sunscreen lotions help in providing the skin with the umbrella it needs to walk safely under the sun. Avoid sunscreens with Titanium di-oxide as titanium is a well-known carcinogen
Please note, do not deprive your skin of some much needed good sun exposure. If you follow the above precautions diligently so you can enjoy a good sunny day while nurturing for your skin.
Paying Attention to the Issues
As mentioned, what happens inside is often displayed outside. Unhealthy skin is a way for our body to alert us that something is wrong. Merely rushing to the cosmetics aisle to get rid of the dark spots or acne on the skin can only offer temporary relief before the issue resurfaces with a vengeance.
Analyzing one’s lifestyle and diet can help significantly in your skin and exude the energy of a healthy body.