Your skin is not just a layer, it is an organ, and it is also a wonderful barometer of what is going on inside your body. Most skin conditions, from rashes to acne to signs of aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional ones as well as the toxicity of chemicals in your body.
The skin performs a large number of tasks, most of which go unnoticed and under-appreciated. It protects us from disease and our daily exposure to particles in the air. It cools us when we are hot, warms us when we are cold. It heals wounds inflicted on it, often without assistance from us. It absorbs sunlight and produces vitamin D, which is critical to our bones and teeth, it keeps itself moist, slows its own aging, and every day attempts to renew and restore itself.
While skin accomplishes all of this on its own, it still needs support in order to thrive, not just function. With every blemish, rash, and wrinkle, the skin is asking us to understand its nature and support its efforts at self-renewal. Unfortunately, many of us respond to changes in our skin with practices that actually damage and injure it further, consequently accelerating the aging process, whether that is visible immediately or not. Still others do nothing for their skin, but nonetheless expect it to remain clear, beautiful and youthful.
Skin is actually made up of three layers, which together are the perfect shield. The outermost layer, which is renewed each month, is the epidermis and this is the part you can see. The middle layer is the dermis, which plays a critical role in how hydrated the skin is, and below that is the foundation layer of the skin, known as the subcutaneous layer. All three layers work together to form healthy, vibrant skin.
The skincare you choose needs to help support the function and action of the skin (the organ), not suffocate or interfere with it. Plus, you want any products to be made from ingredients that don’t add to the load of the detoxification mechanism in your body. You can help decrease the synthetic chemical load in your life by considering what you put on your skin. You only have to think about how nicotine patches work to realize that your skin is a direct route to your blood supply and that your detoxification systems will have additional work to do depending on what ends up in there.
There are some beautiful skincare companies who create highly effective products that contain zero synthetic ingredients. Ideally, you want the ingredients to be certified organic or biodynamically grown. The way your skincare looks after you and your choices help look after the planet.