Beautiful skin begins on the inside and radiates outward. The thoughts you have about yourself and others profoundly affect the healthy appearance of skin. As Roald Dahl said, “If you have good thoughts they will shine out your face and you will always look lovely”.
Thinking good thoughts and having a positive attitude and outlook on life isn’t the only factor of having radiant, gorgeous skin. The skin is the largest organ in the body, consisting of the epidermis (outer portion) and the dermis (inner portion). The skin’s main purpose is to act as a protective layer between our internal organs and the world, as well as release toxins, helps regulate body temperature, and allow us to feel sensation.
Most conventional face regimens include stripping the face of oil and/or bacteria with harsh soaps and astringents, leaving the skin dry and in a hurry to replenish with more oil production. Most often these products also contain fragrance, acting as an irritant on the skin, creating inflammation. Even worse, most conventional cosmetic products contain parabens which cause hormone disruption in the body, leading to an array of health problems. Treating the skin with natural, non-stripping products allows skin to be truly healthy over the course of a lifetime. Now isn’t that something we can all get behind? Read on for skin care rules, recipes, and companies that are au naturel!
Rule 1: Work with your skin, not against it!
“The number one skin problem is over-washing,” says Kelsey Johndrow, the creator of Pure and Simple Skin (www.pureandsimpleskin.com), a company dedicated to sustainable, chemical free ingredients to care for the skin.She states, “Over-washing stresses the skin, throwing it into over production which, overtime, exhausts the skin”. She suggests using an oil cleanser to work with the skin’s natural ability to shed impurities.
The idea behind oil cleansing is to use oils which are non-comedogenic (non-clogging) by rubbing them into the skin to soften and loosen hardened oil in the pores which may contain pollutants such as dirt and cosmetics. One can purchase different oil cleansers or quickly make one in the kitchen using only a few ingredients. I suggest using 1 part castor oil, which is known to soften tissue, to 3 parts non-comedogenic oil such as argan, hemp, or sunflower oil.
Blend 1/4 cup castor oil and 3/4 cup hemp oil for 30 seconds – 1 minute in a high speed blender. Place into a glass, seal-able, container such as a glass bottle with a dropper lid.
Directions for use:
Oil cleansers are only to be used at night.
First, rinse your face with warm water. Place 10-15 drops of the non-comedogenic oil cleanser on your fingers and gently rub into the face for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Using a clean wash cloth, dampen with warm water and gently scrub the face, making small circular movements, 20 seconds-1 minute. Rinse face with warm water and pat dry. There is no need to moisturize after using a oil cleanser. If your skin tends to be very dry, or you life in an extremely dry climate, replacing hemp oil with almond, jojoba, or olive oil will give you the extra moisture your face needs.
Simple! Splash face with cold water and pat dry.
Too dry? Place 3-5 drops of a non-comedogenic oil on the face (see insert for specific oils and their functions). Wait 3-5 minutes before applying cosmetics to ensure oil has fully absorbed.
Too oily? Spritz lemon water (1 part lemon to 10 parts water) on the face. Allow to dry before applying cosmetics.
Comedogenic Rating Scale
0 – Will Not Clog Pores
1 – Low
2 – Moderately Low
3 – Moderate
4 – Fairly High
5 – High
To be considered a non-comedogenic oil an oil must be rated 2 or lower.
Non-Comedogenic Oil Chart
|Rating 1||Rating 2|
|Argan oil||Calendula oil||Almond Oil|
|Hemp seed oil||Castor oil||Avocado oil|
|Shea butter||Emu oil||Baobob oil|
|Sunflower oil||Neem oil||Borage oil|
|Pomegranate oil||Camphor oil|
|Rosehip seed oil||Evening Primrose oil|
|Sea buckthorn oil||Grape seed oil|
|Peach Kernel oil|
|Pumpkin seed oil|
|Sandalwood seed oil|
Rule 2: Bacteria is Your Friend
We know how important a healthy microbiome is for our digestive system, which allows us to breakdown food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxins (NYmag.com). This also holds true for our skin, which is also an organ used for elimination. There are a few tips Kelsey Johndrow gives when working with her clients:
- Use Honey Cleansers: Raw honey has numerous benefits for your face. it is loaded with antioxidants, enzymes, and nutrients that softly exfoliate, detox, and feed your skin. it has natural antibiotic properties that help eliminate bacteria that is harmful without damaging the good bacteria you want on your skin. when you massage it onto your face the viscous nature helps break up & remove scar tissue while simultaneously activating collagen production. you can also gently pat your face which increases the detoxing power. additionally, if you leave it on as a mask it is deeply hydrating. (From her website: www.pureandsimpleskin.com)
- Avoid parabens which are in 85% of cosmetics such as shampoos, lotions, lipsticks, and scrubs. Parabens act like estrogen in the body, which can accumulate over time and cause health problems such as cancer. Luckily there are more and more cosmetic and hygienic options for going without. Check out your local health food store to see what’s available near you.
- Don’t touch! Touching the face adds bacteria which may not belong there. It may be second nature to touch your face throughout the day, being mindful of this habit is the first step to breaking it.
- Eat lots of fermented food to support the bodies microbiome. This will help your body eliminate toxins more efficient and effectively.
A Final Thought
There are several variables which affect the skin’s health. Some may include diet, allergies, one’s genetics, products used, etc. A dermatologist will usually look at one of these areas and attempt to treat the symptoms instead of the cause. If you are suffering from unhealthy skin, beginning with these steps, as well as cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar and other highly processed foods. This will support your journey to great skin health.
Kelsey’s favorite cosmetic company (other than her own!): Mother Dirt Company
Products made by Kelsey using these principles can be found at Pure Body Bliss in Hailey, Idaho you can also contact her and view her products at www.Pureandsimpleskin.com
Resources and Credits:
Roald Dahl Quote: www.Morgandaycecil.com
Non-Comedogenic Oils for the Face: http://thebestorganicskincare.com/a-list-of-non-comedogenic-facial-oils
The Oil Cleansing Method: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/