Natural SKIN CARE 101

 

Why Natural Skin Care

Most of us use several (women up to 15 and men up to 6) skin and body care products on a daily basis.  And up to 60% of what we put on our skin ends up being absorbed in the body.  A quick scan of the ingredients in your favourite store-bought product shows a myriad of harmful additives and preservatives such as: parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and petrochemicals that are known endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and carcinogens.   The easiest way to take the best care of yourself, your body and your skin is to try to avoid these toxic substances and adopt a more natural approach to body and skin care.

With the growing selection of “Natural” products out there it can be somewhat challenging to find ones that are truly natural and actually work with your skin.  Not all have been formulated with the health of the consumer in mind so it’s important to know what your skin needs and trust the product (s) your are applying to it.  In the end, natural body and skin care can help you to look better, feel better and even smell better!

To give you an introduction into the basics of natural skin care, we have compiled a simple guideline to help you keep your skin nourished, radiant and healthy.

  1. Know your skin.  Oily, normal/combination, dry, mature and acne prone are the basic skin types.  Knowing your skin and understanding how it functions and changes will go a long way to finding the best routine to keep it clean, properly moisturized and give it a healthy glow.  For example: oily, acne prone and normal/combination skin will all require less moisturizing, whereas dry or mature skin may need a more hydrating cleanser and toner.    Choose health-promoting skin care products that are synergistically combined with pure, clean ingredients to create an overall more effective result.

  2. The main steps.  Cleanse, tone, moisturize and periodically exfoliate.

    • Cleansing. Regardless of your skin type it is important to cleanse daily using a gentle cleanser. Soaps are just too drying and can create an imbalance in the natural pH of the skin, so we recommend cream cleansers that are formulated for your skin type. They can effectively remove oil and dirt without drying out the skin. Also, the oil-cleansing method is has become more popular in recent years and tends to work quite well for some skin types.

    • Toning. Natural toners are a necessary step in any skin care regimen. They help to remove any residual dirt or cleanser left behind, restore natural pH, stimulate circulation, close pores and prepare the face for better moisturizer absorption. Always use natural, alcohol-free toners formulated for your skin type to avoid drying out the skin and to prevent irritation.

    • Moisturizing. Everyone needs a moisturizer to help keep the skin, of the face and body soft, supple and hydrated. Regular moisturizing can give firmness and elasticity to your skin, help to even out skin tone and balance the issues with problematic skin. Once again, it’s best to use one that works with your particular skin type.

    • Periodic Exfoliation. For both the face and body, gentle scrubs (such as oatmeal, sugar and salt) help to slough off the dead layer of skin and reveal the smooth, supple layer underneath. This is a fabulous method that gives a fresh, renewed look to tired skin. However, it is important to not over-exfoliate (no more than 2x’s per week) to avoid over-drying and irritation. With exfoliation, there is no need for vigorous rubbing. Just apply scrub in a circular motion, using a light touch, then rinse.

  3. Trust in the product. Choosing natural skin care is choosing healthier skincare. And to be able make an informed decision about what you want on your skin, transparency is essential. It’s important to know what the ingredients are, why they are in the products, how those products are made, that a long shelf life is not necessarily a good thing (fresher means more nutritive) and that long lists of ingredients generally means only a small amount of each. Choosing products that are made up of only fresh, pure and relevant ingredients is the best approach to natural skin care, inspiring confidence and certainty in the quality and effectiveness of the line you are using.

  4. Skincare is a lifestyle. Making sure your skin care products are the very best for your skin is the way to take care of it on the outside, but what about inside? What about the holistic approach to ensuring radiant, glowing skin? A simple shift in how we nourish ourselves, as a whole, can have a dramatic impact on the condition and appearance of our skin.

  • Hydrate. The fact is, skin is an organ and needs to stay hydrated to remain healthy and function properly. Water helps move the toxins through and nourish the cells. How much water to drink each day is completely individual, based on body type and activity levels, but the recommended amount is around 8 glasses per day.

  • Diet. Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants, healthy fats and lean proteins is the best way to give our body (and skin) the tools it needs to repair itself. Plenty of bright-coloured vegetables, greens, berries, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, lean meats and fish will ensure you are receiving skin-nourishing vitamins and minerals.

  • Exercise and breathe. Aside from reducing stress and re-energizing your body, exercise promotes blood flow and healthy circulation keeping cells nourished and vital. Conscious breathing accomplishes much the same thing, so it’s important to find moments throughout the day to take a few deep breaths to relax and re-ground.

  • Sleep. When we sleep our skin promotes cell turnover and renews itself by repairing, restoring and rebalancing. Sleep deprivation inhibits this process leaving skin dry, tired and prematurely saggy. A necessary step in a healthy-skin lifestyle is to make a concerted effort to get enough good-quality sleep. Maintaining a regular bedtime, getting 7-8 hours per night, avoiding late-day caffeine, keeping your bedroom dark and cool and turning off electronics one hour before bed are just a few suggestions to help promote healthier sleep cycles.

  • The smaller things. Remember the smaller things? You know, the things that make you laugh, relax, breathe, feel joy, live in the moment, and the things that inspire confidence and raise self-esteem? These things are all essential elements in the skincare-lifestyle regimen and can indirectly help to improve the condition of the body and skin. Experiencing more pleasure in life helps to reduce stress and its known negative effects. So, find what feeds your passion, pay it forward, smile often, watch funny movies, enjoy nature and spend time with friends & family.