This post has been a long time coming. Skincare is something we get asked about A LOT. People want to know how they can improve their skin, how to achieve glowing, flawless skin, and how to prevent aging. Most people want to know what to put ON their skin-- what type of natural, non-toxic products we like. Our initial response back is not always what people want to hear...
But, it’s that we first need to understand our skin and what’s going on with it. Then we need to focus on what we are and aren’t eating in order to really make a long-lasting difference. In other words, treat your skin and prevent aging from THE INSIDE OUT, and then we can worry about some of the great topical products we like for cleansing, hydrating, and treating the skin.
The topic of skincare can be complex, and it deserves several blog posts to do it justice, so to simplify things, we’re going to start with the skinny on skin-- the science behind clogged pores, pimples, acne, and wrinkles, and what you can do to improve your skin! You can look forward to Part 2 on what and what not to eat for your skin and Part 3 on our skincare routine and favorite products next ;)
THE SKINNY ON SKIN
Your skin is an organ; The largest organ in the body. Your environment, stress levels, what you put into your body, and what you put on your body all affect your skin just like any other organ. We think about eating right for heart health, illnesses like diabetes, digestive issues, etc. We don’t always think of food when it comes to taking care of our skin, though.
There are foods we want to make sure to incorporate and foods we may want to avoid in order to do that. There’s also certain products or product ingredients we want to avoid and certain regimens and routines we want to adopt. We’ll delve into it all of that in our part 2 and part 3, but first let’s talk about what most people’s chief complaints are.
The main issues people have with their skin appearance are: acne/breakouts, pore size, and fine lines/wrinkles. It’s important to understand how and why these imperfections occur so that you can best understand what you can do about it! So, a little skin biology 101.
WHY WE GET PIMPLES/ACNE/BREAKOUTS:
Our skin is covered in openings we know as pores. Many of us obsess over those pores, because when they’re large they can create the appearance of uneven texture and tone, which isn’t what we’re goin’ for. We want flawless, not aged or bumpy.
Those pores serve as a method of excretion for our integumentary system, aka our everso-delicate- skin. Our pores excrete different forms of waste in different ways. In deeper layers of the skin (the dermis) we have glands— sebaceous and sweat glands.
Sebaceous glands are microscopic openings in the skin that secrete an oily lubricant, called sebum. We want sebum to be in balance and for our skin (and hair) to not be too oily or too dry. When a sebaceous gland becomes clogged, it can cause a bacterial infection. This clogged pore surfaces as a puss-filled bump (DISCLAIMER/WEIRD FACT ABOUT US: WE HATE THE WORD PUSS, but have to use it here for educational purposes!), aka a pimple, and the bacteria can then spread (especially when popped), causing acne and more breakouts.
The reason for sebaceous glands to over-produce or under-produce sebum, and therefore result in a breakout, can be caused due to a result of several things: hormone imbalances, diet, environment, toxins, etc. Luckily, there are things we can do to combat this, namely diet, which can also be interconnected to balancing our hormones and/or oil production and as a result, our skin. Clean diet= detoxification and balanced oil production= clean skin.
WHY WE GET FINE LINES/WRINKLES:
One obvious answer is simply the natural wear and tear as we age— sun exposure, facial expressions, touching our face, etc. over time. Your skin can also sag or be loose and lifeless looking if you’re lacking nutrients. Of course some of this is natural. As we age, we lose collagen and therefore, elasticity. In addition, the fat pockets in our face also begin to separate, which leads to long, fine lines. Nice, right?! No.
Aside from topical treatments or injectables, we can’t really stop that, but we can slow it down by including a surplus of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, collagen, amino acids, and lots of hydration to keep our skin plump, tight, bright, and smooth. And we NEED to wear SPF every single day (but, again, we’ll get more into all of that in the next blog post on this, part 2 and 3).
WHAT CAN WE DO:
PROPER NUTRITION & HYDRATION:
As you’re probably catching on to the theme here, it’s crucial to have a clean diet that minimizes things that can cause clogged pores, bacteria overgrowth, imbalanced oil production, or build up of toxins (aka sugar, dairy, red meat, and processed foods).
It’s equally important to have a surplus of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals, as well as a diet rich in amino acids and healthy fats (like lots of bright fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds). Again, there will be more details on this in part 2.
Of course, it’s also NECESSARY to hydrate, so that your body can flush toxins and your skin can be nice and plump.
A GOOD SKINCARE ROUTINE:
You want a consistent routine of proper cleansing, toning, and hydrating with clean products that work well but don’t strip your skin of natural oils. You also want to prevent aging with a daily SPF and maybe a good night cream or serum (we’ll share our routine and our favorite products in part 3).
MINIMIZE EXTERNAL FACTORS:
This one is hard, but super important. You must do your best to manage stress, minimize sun exposure, and avoid touching or pulling on your face. Exercising regularly, journaling, doing yoga, and meditating are our favorite ways to deal with stress.
When it comes to sun exposure, try not to “lay out” to get a tan. Get a spray tan or use sunless tanner (again, we’ll share our faves in part 3!). If you must be in the sun, be sure to have on some SPF and/or cover your face with a hat or visor. Luckily, cute straw visors are in right now ;)
As far as touching and pulling your face, simply be mindful of it. Be gentle when putting on products or applying make-up and always rub in an upward motion. We’re also huge fans of jade facial rollers for a cooling effect and to help de-puff with some lymphatic draininage.
SEE PART 2: FEED YOUR SKIN FLAWLESS & PART 3: OUR ROUTINE & FAVE PRODUCTS!