If you are interested in lowering the toxic burden on your body, it’s worth considering that managing what you put into your body by way of diet is your number one best strategy. But, what you put on your body by way of skin/body care runs a close second.
Let’s take moisturizer as an example. Because they are sold to add moisture to dry skin, they are made primarily with water - and chemicals - many of which have been shown to disrupt hormonal balance, which is already enough of a challenge in today’s world without additional interference. That said, simple reduction steps can go a long way in helping your body heal, stay strong and maintain balance.
Behind all the skincare marketing and hype trying to convince you that you need fancy and expensive serums, creams and “breakthrough complexes,” (which again are mostly water and chemicals) in order to have good skin, there is a much simpler truth.
First, the difference between oil and lubrication, and water and moisture, is important. Dry skin needs lubrication. Dehydrated skin needs hydration.
Second, lubrication comes in the form of oil and hydration comes in the form of water. But you can’t just add water to the skin. It evaporates. So you need oil to trap it.
Third, hydration comes from the inside while lubrication is supplemented from the outside.
So, it follows then, if you have oily skin, you don’t need moisturizer. It’s the abundance of natural sebum that creates an effective barrier to keep moisture from evaporating. You may need powders and blotting, but you don’t need moisturizer. Plus, many of the moisturizers on the market made for oily skin have chemicals that strip the skin’s surface layer making it dry. This then sets up a perfect storm for acne because the dry skin forms a layer of dead skin cells that adhere to the oil, which leads to more clogged pores because the skin isn't breathing or sloughing naturally.
I learned all of this the hard way. Having worked in the beauty industry, I had tried every conceivable product from the best companies made for oily skin. My skin was so oily I eventually took Accutane, and only over time did I realize that all the skincare products were not helping. In fact, they were making it worse.
If, on the other hand, your skin is dry, you need oil and lubricity, which then helps seal in the moisture. The best way to maintain healthy moisture levels is to make sure you are sufficiently hydrating with plenty of water. (Reminder: alcohol is very dehydrating, so double up on water when drinks are involved.) Then, when you add lubricant (oil) to the surface, it helps create the barrier necessary to retain that moisture and help ensure overall better, more supple, comfortable skin.
Finally, if you’re like most people, degrees of dryness will ebb and flow with the weather. What you need in the summer is very likely different from what you will need in the winter, depending on how variable your seasonal climate is. Also, most likely, if you have dry skin, you have dry skin everywhere, so the same principles apply to body and face.
Calloused skin is another story and requires a little extra TLC. But, the point is, that whatever you use on your face should work just as well on your body, so you don’t need both, (that's all marketing.) unless you want to luxuriate in different textures and scents. We get that.
In sum, the best, and most natural way, to care for your skin is an easy 3-prong approach.
1. Drink plenty of water for hydration.
2. Lubricate the skin on the surface (which will help keep moisture in).
3. Keep the toxic chemicals off your skin. They can have a deteriorative affect rather than the opposite benefits they claim. And, they can make your skin drier.
Here is how I make my own moisturizer (which I love!) We will be adding this to our line this fall! But, in the meantime, if you’re feeling creative, and in the mood to do some experimenting, you can make it yourself with just 4 natural ingredients.
Seed or nut oil
Witch Hazel (a little bit)
Essential oil. This will be heavily influenced by the way the oil/fat smells. It may take a few attempts to find a good match.)
Just throw it all in a bowl and start mixing. Like salting to taste, keep testing until it is the texture and scent that feels and smells the way you like it.
P.S. You can also add a few drops of glycerin which attracts moisture from the air to give the water:oil relationship a little boost. 😊
You may also enjoy reading, The Chemicals Used In Lubes.