What we put on matters!!
Our skin is such a wonder, working tirelessly to protect us and regulate our temperature. It is also our most superficial part and therefore plays a huge role in how we present ourselves to the world.
There are 3 factors that affect our skin health :
3. topical – what we put on our skin
This blog focuses on the TOPICAL aspect, and the other 2 factors will be explored soon!
Topical means to put something on our skin. As our skin is the largest organ in the body, weighing around 16% of our total body weight, its vast surface means it has a lot of contact area and therefore a lot of contact with the interior of the body as well.
There are a lot of products and even more information out there about health and beauty and it can definitely get confusing. Below are some important tips which I believe are achievable, I follow myself and have used as a foundation in my skincare range ILA + AVA, and I’m hoping these can shed some light to help you on your way to clearer skin.
1. avoid cleansers
Traditional face cleansers are often soap based and using these can dry out the skin, disrupt our natural oil production and imbalance the delicate pH of our skin. Opt for high quality gentle face cloths and use them with warm water, gently rubbing the face and neck in circular motions. These are so great as they help buff off any dead skin cells, even the skin tone and remove any dirt from the skin but leave the healthy face oils in tact. When using face scrubs, masks, exfoliants or peels usually 1-2 times per week is enough. You can also try oil cleansing by rubbing 1-3 drops of your favourite face oil onto your wet skin, then rinse and pat dry. To remove makeup a little oil on a face cloth can help take off most of it to then use a cloth afterwards.
2. avoid chemicals
We hear it all the time but its worth saying again. Our skin breathes, which means it absorbs and can carry anything we put on it topically deeper into the body. Chemicals in beauty products are detrimental to our health, affecting our hormones, emotions and physical body. The chemicals used in the beauty industry also have detrimental effects on the environment and animals as they are toxic to our waterways when we wash them off in the shower or down the sink.
A good rule of thumb in most cases is if you can’t read it or it has numbers its probably not so great for you. A lot of ingredients are also derived from animals and often the toxic chemicals, and finished products are tested on animals under horrific conditions. Many companies use a loop hole whereby they use tested on products but do not test their final product so use the ‘cruelty free’ labelling. Please know that this is not monitored properly unless registered through companies like Peta.
3. choose plant botanicals
Nature has all the answers and I strongly believe there is no need for animal ingredients to be used in our beauty products. Plus its pretty off-putting to consider rubbing parts of an animal into your face. If you have found your skin is sensitive to some ‘natural’ products chances are the formulation the company has is too high in a certain ingredient or not balanced well.
I see this often with the use of essential oils. I use several essential oils in my range and they are a powerful and need to be used properly and with respect, especially on the face. There are also numerous essential oils which create sensitivities with sun exposure or during pregnancy, so please be mindful of this when choosing your skincare products.
4. minimise greasy products that sit on the surface
When using moisturisers find ones that hydrate deeply rather than greasy versions that sit on the surface. This can block the pores and prevent them from breathing which can make your face sweaty and trigger breakouts. When using oils on your face there are varying degrees of absorption as well. Some may be highly beneficial on paper but do not penetrate deeply enough and again cause the pores to be blocked and can trigger breakouts in certain areas. Cold pressed organic oils are usually best and often using pure oils like rosehip and argan just on their own can be too much for the skin. I suggest using oil blends.
5. less is more
A minimalist skin routine is key and the more we intervene with what our skin is designed to do the more we can disrupt its delicate nature and innate function. A gentle routine with some clean and organic products is a beautiful ritual, is manageable and can often help the skin the most.
I suggest keeping your face routine nice and simple. Gently cleaning, and then choosing products that hydrate, moisturise and nourish all layers of the skin from the surface to the deeper structure. You may like to start incorporating some facial massage too which can help stimulate cellular renewal, clear wastes and tone the skin to improve circulation.
If you do use makeup, opt for more water based concealors and foundations and use them sparingly, especially if you are prone to skin breakouts. Often allowing our skin to recover and repair without being regularly covered by make up can do wonders, and although it can take a little time it is worth it. Sometimes a tinted moisturiser can help give a more even skin tone in the transitioning period when reducing heavier make-ups.
Remember there are 3 factors that influence our skin and I’m excited to share the other 2 soon, which are so important: digestion and hormones!
If you have any feedback or questions, I’d love to hear from you,