The body needs an array of specific food and nutrients for life and health and our diet is first in delivering what the body and skin need for beauty and vitality. After our diet nourishes our body and skin, skin care products are supplemental for skin’s optimum health in a proper approach to skin care. The same way you supplement your diet with specific antioxidants, minerals, vitamins or additional protein, the right ingredients in topical applications will absolutely contribute to support of the bodies natural process, helping protect the skin and assist in preventing accelerated cellular damage.
There’s a lot of talk about “feeding the skin” these days, a number of natural brands market their products as “food for the skin.” This is oversimplifying and a bit reductive. The blanket like approach ’feed the skin’ just isn’t comprehensive. Even if the tag line is seen as ‘just marketing’ and not taken seriously, statements do affect what people believe about the products and the skin in subtle ways, and it eventually contributes to an understanding. ‘Food for the skin’ is largely innocuous for normal skin types but when it comes to acne, rosacea, combination, sensitive and problem skin that suffers from any number of environments, seasons and conditions - the skin must be treated with specific plant constituents in a particular order to be effective.
One of the biggest problems with conventional thinking in skin care is when, for example, a person is having skin issues and they think that they just have to find the right product to fix their skin. This huge misunderstanding spawns a disconnection from the holistic aspect to true skin health and the specific ingredients and constituents necessary to treat the skin. Consumers consistently jump from one product to the next, disconnected from skin, hoping the next product will magically fix problems that need to be addressed holistically, with a layered approach and specific actives.
The next misstep in treating problem skin is not addressing what kind of treatment, actives or constituents skin needs FIRST. Skin first has to be in a balanced state to RECEIVE nutrients and antioxidants. Skin must be balanced and healthy BEFORE it can accept nourishment and additional supplementation.
Skin that is reactive and suffering from dermatitis, acne, rosacea, or any other issues, is sensitized, compromised by bacteria, oil or hormone imbalance or an autoimmune response can be occurring. Treatments for each condition vary and anti inflammatories are a group of compounds that address the bodies inflammation response.
Inflammation is always a root cause when it appears in the skin and it’s not always specific to the skin - it can be other systems or organs, emotional and mental as well.
Anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial herbal constituents must be administered to assist the body in healing through its “self defense” of inflammation. The skins inflammation response must be calmed and soothed and once balanced is regained, healthy skin function can reinstate and nourishment and antioxidant activity can be administered to support further health and protection.
Nourishing does considerably impact the skin but it’s not nearly as effective until other treatment steps have been implemented first. Detoxification is a step if skipped can inhibit effective nourishment and antioxidant protection. The skin cannot fully utilize vital nourishment and antioxidant support if there is an overload of micro toxins present in the pores along with acute or chronic inflammation present. Pollution, dirt, dead skin cells and blood are toxins that inhibit proper circulation and distribution of nutrients and antioxidant actives.
Skin protection and how it relates to hydration and moisturizing is a vital aspect to maintaining healthy skin and slowing skin decline as well. I will be addressing this upcoming Skin Care Philosophy segments.
Understanding each step to skin treatment, the differences and how they all correspond is imperative to understanding what products really work, what to use and helps us manage our expectations of the results. Here’s to knowing a more educated, aware consumer can help lead the beauty industry beyond exaggerated claims and fantasy expectations and for brands, hopefully this perspective can help guide the way you formulate, all for the better.