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An Integrative Approach to Skin Care

Skin care is important. 

Skincare, unfortunately, went from being a normal part of our daily self-care routine to an over-marketed industry, flooded with products and misinformation. Many men and women feel overwhelmed with skincare and the 12+ step, twice-a-day routine that comes with it. However, skincare very is important – integrative skincare – and here are some reasons why: 

Your skin is the first defense and largest barrier that you have against infection. Your skin is also your largest detoxification organ. The skin is a vital part of overall health and wellness. Taking care of it should be a daily routine. With all the misinformation and lure of products, it can be a stressful task to craft an integrative skin care routine that ACTUALLY takes care of your skin. 

From an integrative approach, skincare begins with understanding your skin.


Skin is composed of layers with each layer providing a necessary function.The health and surface appearance are determined by environmental factors as well as properly functioning components that comprise the layers below. To keep the layers of skin functioning rightly, it is important to keep the cells healthy. 

To keep the cells of the skin healthy, we take into consideration environmental factors and daily health. Environmentally, your skin is probably exposed to dirt, toxins, and pollution on a daily basis – this is why we wash our face. For daily health, we consider diet, stress, fitness, and hydration. 

Diet

Your diet is where your skin gets the nutrients it needs to function properly and produce a healthy glow. Filling our diet with colorful, bright produce is a great way to ensure we are giving our skin the necessary nutrients it needs. 

Stress

Stress is a predominant culprit of bad skin. When the body is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system enters what is known as the “fight or flight” response. The body shifts its energy and resources toward fighting off a threat, or fleeing from an enemy. This chemical response makes skin more sensitive and reactive. To keep your stress levels low, integrate stress-relieving practices such as yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques – and make sure you allow your body to get plenty of rest! 

Fitness

Exercise is important for overall health, including the skin! Engaging in aerobic exercises such as cycling, swimming, running, dancing, and jumping rope are a great way to increase blood circulation. Increased blood circulation provides the skin with more oxygen and nutrients! Sweat during exercise also helps flush out the dirt and toxins our bodies are exposed to daily. Increased circulation and sweat are a wonderful combination for healthier skin.

Hydration

Of course, your skin needs proper hydration just as much as the rest of your body. Lack of hydration can make your skin look dry, flaky, and tight. Not only does keeping skin moisturized help it appear more plump and supple, but it also helps address surface dullness by combating the buildup of dead skin cells and rid your skin of toxins.

Building Your Integrative Skin Care Routine

Identify Your Skin Type

This can often be the hardest part of your skin care routine because your skin type will subtly change with your environment and age. Before building your skin care routine, examine your skin. Is it dry, oily, light or dark, wrinkled or smooth, or somewhere in between? The function of each skin care product you choose should be tailored to meet the needs of your skin type. Personalization is key.

Cleanse

No matter your skin type, you will likely only need to wash your face in the morning and before bed. Because your skin can lose its natural lubrication when over-washed, your best bet is to keep extra washing to a minimum. 

Treat

After cleansing, your skin care routine should tailor to the specific skin conditions that affect you. At the end of the day, it really comes down to this: take the time to experiment. Finding a product that is tailored to your skincare concerns can greatly improve the appearance of your skin, but there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

Moisturize

Moisturizers, which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in the water, are one of the best ways to treat dry skin. Pick a moisturizer that best suits your skin type. If your skin is oily, you may only need a light moisturizer or no moisturizer at all. If your skin is severely dry, you may need a heavier moisturizer such as an oil. Because oil moisturizers contain no water, they are best used while the skin is still damp from bathing, to seal in the moisture. 

Prevent

Taking the proper steps to promote both short and long-term skin health is just as important as washing your face. Using products that contain antioxidants is an easy way to help promote healthy-looking skin by combating the visible signs of aging. 

Taking care of your skin should not cause more stress in your life, nor should it break your bank!

 

Remember to keep it personal, functional, and simple.

 

The ultimate goal is to have healthy, hydrated skin that works for you, not against you. 

360 Living Integrative Tools for Healthy Skin

     

References:

Bazin RFanchon CEquivalence of face and volar forearm for the testing of moisturizing and firming effect of cosmetics in hydration and biomechanical studiesInt J Cosmet Sci 200628453– 61.

O H Mills and A M Kligman, Semin. Dermatol., 1982, 1, 233

Palma ML, Monteiro C, Tavares L, Julia M, Rodrigues LM. Relationship between the dietary intake of water and skin hydration. Biomed Biopharm Res. 2012;9:173–181. []

 

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