Got Skin?

April 14, 2022
Organic Skincare

Winter in Wisconsin can be brutal to our skin. Conditions such as chapping, wind burn and even sun burn are not uncommon this time of year.  With the number of moisturizers and over the counter products for skin care cosmetic companies offer, it can get confusing as to what to use.  We have to step back and try to understand what is our skin made of and what is its purpose is so we can find the best skin care for healthy skin.

Deane Juhan, author of “Job’s Body” wrote, “On one hand, the skin is a barrier, effectively containing within its envelope everything that is ourselves and sealing out everything that is not.  On the other hand, it is an open window, through which our primary impressions of the world around us enter into our consciousness and structure of our experience.  The nature of this envelope itself provides many ways for us to feel good in our own skin.”

Skin is our largest vital organ covering 18 square feet and weighing about seven to eight pounds.  It is a protective barrier guarding against bacterial invasions and water loss.  As mentioned above, it is the envelope for everything inside and regulates body temperature by constricting blood vessels and driving blood inward in cold temperatures to preserve body heat.  In warm temperatures it produces sweat to cool the body through evaporation.

The skin is a sensory organ. It detoxifies the body, breathes in oxygen, absorbs nutrients, manufactures vitamin D and protects the body from ultra violet damage.  Our immune system is included in the structure of the skin by the rich network of lymph vessels and the Langerhan’s cells.

Wow, this is an amazing multi-purpose organ.  With so many chemically based, high fragranced skin care products on the market it gets confusing which way to go.  Many of the large national companies spend approximately 92% of their profits on fancy packaging and advertising leaving only a small amount of profits for the actual products ingredients.

There is a trend toward a more natural approach to skin care.  To quote one of my favorite natural aesthetician, Evan Healy, “Healthy skin is beautiful skin”.  In her education and products, she does not promise to make you look 20 years younger, but she does offer solutions for healthy, balanced skin that is not disrupted by harsh chemicals and fragrances.

When we look at the structure of the skin we can see why the right natural ingredients can be so beneficial to the health of the skin.

Three Main Layers of the Skin

  • Epidermis: the outer most layer and considered the protective layer.  It is covered by the acid mantle which has a ph of 4 to 5.5 to protect the skin from bacteria and water loss.
  • Dermis: the primary function of the dermis is to sustain and support the epidermis. The major cell type of the dermal layer is the fibroblast which produce and secrete procollagen and elastin.  These fibers are supported by gel-like substances made primarily of hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid attract and retains water to maintain moisture and flexibility in the skin.  Hyaluronic acid decreases as we age.  This layer also contain blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, glands and sensory nerves.
  • Subcutanea: this is the layer containing fat cells called adipose cells.  They give smoothness and contour to the skin.  The subcutanean protects vital organs, stores energy and is an effective insulator.

Jades Shutes author of Aromatic Applications for the skin, states the 10 most important factors that influence the health of skin are as follows:

  1. Excessive sun exposure: Limit sun exposure.  This is the number one cause of skin damage.  It is the number cause of aging.  Approximately 90% of aging is caused by the sun.
  2. Smoking cigarettes: Stop smoking because it is the second leading cause of skin damage due to the 4,000 chemicals re4leased when tobacco burns including cyanide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic and nicotine.
  3. Regular exercise:  Exercise improves heart and lung function, builds resistance to disease, improves mental health and reduces the effects of stress.
  4. Rest and adequate sleep: At night is when our skin rejuvenates and rebuilds so get some sleep!
  5. Quality skin care products: What you put on your skin matters!  Find products that nurture the skin and work in accordance with its physiological nature.  Natural ingredients such as herbal extracts, essential oils, plant oils and vitamins all benefit the skin.
  6. Alcoholic beverages: Limit you intake of alcohol, as it does damage to the central nervous system, weakens the immune system and depletes the body of vital nutrients as well as prematurely age the skin.
  7. A diet rich in whole, natural foods: We are the food we eat so have a diet that includes a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates.  This will keep the skin healthy and youthful.  natures beauty
  8. Deep breathing: This is a great way to relieves stress, induces relaxation and improves the vitality of the skin.  Increased oxygen in take helps maintain beautiful skin.
  9. Drink Water: Water is nature’s beauty drink of choice.  It helps to purify the body, regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, and transport nutrients.  It is an internal moisturizer for the skin.
  10. Manage stress: Be aware of your stress triggers and work to reduce stress.  There are many outlets such as meditation, massage or just a walk in the woods.  Find what works for you.

Now that we have an idea what the skin is, what it does, how important it is, and life style to support healthy skin, next month we will look at what ingredients you should be looking at for healthy natural skin care.  We will explore some essential oils known to help rejuvenate skin cells, nourish the multiple layers of the skin and keep that ever important ph balance to the skins acidic mantel.

Stay tuned for more great info on how to care for yoour skin!