What is a holistic approach to skin care?
To treat your skin holistically means to take a purposeful multidimensional approach to activities and habits that support skin health.
It goes beyond treating skin symptoms with skincare products. It’s about seeking to understand and address the root cause of skin challenges which are so often tied to emotional or dietary imbalances.
The relationship between your skin and mind
Our emotional well-being and skin are closely linked. Psychodermatology studies the complexities of this relationship. A growing body of research suggests skin disorders in some people - including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea - can be exacerbated by stress.
Skin cells are in constant and rapid dialogue with the brain. The brain - and nervous system - communicate with the skin through various receptors and chemical messengers.
When we’re stressed the brain releases hormones, including cortisol, to trigger numerous physiological and behavioral changes to help the body cope under pressure.
The release and activity of these hormones influence the skin’s inflammation responses, wound healing and skin barrier function. Chronic stress can also speed up the signs of premature aging.
Exploring the emotional roots of skin issues and learning to manage stress and anxiety are part of holistic skin care. We look closer at decompression techniques and self care further along.
5 steps for treating your skin with a holistic perspective
Beautify your skin and enhance your overall health. These steps also help bolster your immune system, increase energy levels, and improve well-being.
Skincare: Build a well-considered, supportive skin care routine based on your specific needs. Overall, products should be gentle and respect the skin barrier - no matter your skin type and concerns.
An effective routine is built on 4 core products:
-Gentle Cleanser - We suggest Gentle Matter
-Antioxidant Serum - We suggest Symmetry Fluid
-Daily Moisturizer - Oils over water based treatments or Creams
-Mineral based broad spectrum - SPF-30+
Once you discover the core products that work for you to deliver healthier, calmer skin you can expand from there.
A quality minimalist regime supportive of your skin concerns and applied consistently can deliver excellent long term results.
Diet: Eat to promote good gut health
Your diet and gut health greatly impacts how moisturized, hydrated and resilient your skin is.
Nurture your gut microbiome include a wide variety of foods in your diet to provide your body with a spectrum of phytonutrients.
The best foods for gut health include:
Fruits and vegetables.
Fiber rich foods:sources of fiber include, chickpeas, lentils, kidney and pinto beans, and whole grains.
Fermented foods: Including sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha.
Prebiotic foods: Chicory root, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, leeks, bananas, apples, and oats, to name just a few.
A growing body of research links the flare up inflammatory skin concerns like acne rosacea and psoriasis with dietary triggers. Foods that can exacerbate these conditions aren always most obvious for example spices or hot beverages trigger a flare.
If you are dealing with an inflammatory condition, keep track of what you’re eating. Look for patterns in flare ups linked with particular foods and make dietary adjustments.
Gentle Movement: Do exercises you enjoy
When your heart rate increases your blood vessels begin to expand and carry more blood - with oxygen and nutrients - to your skin. Exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital.
Move your body in a way that feels good for you. Exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous to be beneficial. Walking, yoga, pilates, and even stretching can all raise your heart rate. Move for pleasure and you’ll look forward to exercising.
Sleep Patterns: Cultivate a quality evening routine
The effects of poor sleep are quick to show up in your skin.
Melatonin and human growth hormone (HGH) are your skin’s greatest natural alleys during sleep. Both rise while we sleep and their elevation is crucial for optimal skin repair.
Losing sleep due to racing thoughts, anxiety or broken sleep patterns means missing out on the maximum benefits of these hormones.
Rest is free self care and skin care. Focus on building rituals into your evening routine that prepare your body to fall asleep.
Simple examples include:
-Sipping calming, de-caffeinated and sugar-free herbal teas
-Using soothing aromatherapy oils
-Switching off devices an hour before bed
-Try not eating large meals before 4 hours before bedtime
-Cool and dark rooms are most conducive to quality sleep. You can read more about sleep, skin and evening skincare routines in A Nocturnal Guide to Skin.
Self-care Methods: manage emotional health and stress levels
Help mitigate stress, anxiety and racing thoughts by practicing self-care and emotional awareness.
A hectic schedule will keep you, and your skin, in a cycle of stress. Consider what activities you could do less of or stop entirely.
-Talk it out
Talking with a trusted friend or professional about what is on your mind can help reduce stress and even strengthen your immune system.
Conscious breathwork is an effective relaxation technique that helps to calm, distress, and recenter our mind-body connection.
Take full-deep and intentional breaths, drop your shoulders inhale through the nose, and exhale out of your mouth; focus on releasing tension in from the jaw.
This brief pause forces you to slow down for a few minutes a day to honor your health and physical existence through breathing.
Embrace small acts of daily self-care
Spend time each day doing something you enjoy to lift your spirits and nurture your emotional health. A few simple ideas include meditating, sipping tea, reading a good book, gardening, disconnecting from social media, decluttering a small area of your home, applying your skincare mindfully, or taking a long bath. Whatever small act brings you great joy!
Each area builds on and complements the others. Focusing on one or two won’t deliver optimal results. You can get plenty of quality sleep but if you’re not eating well, your skin won’t improve. Likewise, you may exercise regularly but if your skincare products aren’t suited, it can exacerbate the issue.
You might read through this list and feel overwhelmed but you don’t need to be. Even a simple, positive change in each area can lead to healthier, more resilient skin. Start with small incremental shifts, and keep track of your slow growth. Tracking your progress will help motivate you to commit to your new lifestyle changes.
Our skin is incredible and intelligent. It is the only organ that works to protect and defend us against the external stressors of the outside world and we shouldn’t take this for granted.
Nurturing your skin with an holistic approach helps form a deeper connection to the inner rhythms of your body, emotions, and spirit. It’s a process that will step you towards not only healthier skin but becoming more complete versions of yourself.
Copyright 2021 Klur Botanics LLC