Surrounded by a group of beautiful women, I was asked at one event - “You have a beautiful skin. Do you have any secrets or natural skin care tips for us behind your sleeve?” Oh boy, where should I begin? How deep into the rabbit hole do you want me to go? I thought.
In my opinion, it is very important (not to mention fascinating) to first understand how your skin operates on a foundational level. When you know how your skin works, you can start understanding how to care for your complexion to make it healthier, happier and ultimately more beautiful. You will know why it reacts the way it does to things such as the sun, infections, what we eat, how well we sleep and what we put on.
As you may know, your skin has two primary functions: psychological and physiological. On a psychological level, our skin can paint an instant picture of who we are. It is like a reflection of our unique identity. While on physiological level, our skin is as important in its functions as most of our other organs, such as our heart. The most important part that the skin plays is to protect you from harsh and dangerous environments.
Your Skin Cares About Your Well Being
Your skin is your shield. Your body is constantly under attack form outside forces, and your skin is its greatest defender. It functions like a shield or body armor that protects us from wind, temperature extremes, ultraviolet rays, microorganisms and chemical exposures. It's a two-way barrier that retains water in the body, as well as acting as a water-resistant coat against too much water coming in. Also, it is our best shield against injury (like cuts and bruises) and infection.
Your skin is your inner thermostat. The skin keeps our body in balance by regulating temperature and providing insulation from heat and cold. Imagine a very hot day outside where you feel like a piece of toast and suddenly you walk into the air-conditioned building that seems to be like a refrigerator… your skin temperature after a very short period of time gets regulated and adjusted.
That is because your skin acts to cool the body when it gets too hot and helps to warm it when it gets too cold in order to maintain a temperature of around (under) 98.6F (37.0C). When it is hot, in order for you not to overheat, your skin produces sweat that evaporates from your body and cools you down.
Also, your skin moderates your body temperature through blood vessels. To eliminate heat from the body, it will urge the blood vessels to dilate, which allows more blood to flow to the surface of the skin where heat is given off. When it is cold outside, the same vessels contract, keeping more blood away from the surface of the skin to prevent the heat loss. Fascinating, isn’t it? Besides, there are these tiny muscles in the skin that make your goosebumps (hairs) stand up, which creates a layer of insulation against cold.
Your skin is your sensor mechanism. It will let you know if a fly landed on your naked shoulder or if your tea is too hot. Your skin has millions of receptors (nerve endings) that enable your sense of touch, which helps you to respond to your environment better.
Did you know that there are different receptors to perceive various types of stimuli? It is touch, vibration, temperature and pain. The nerve endings in your skin transmit information along your nerves through your spinal cord and up to your brain, all within a fraction of a second. This protective mechanism is in place, all of it is there so that you can respond to any danger very quickly or simply experience the pleasure of another person’s touch.
Your skin is your Vitamin D production plant. It generates Vitamin D through direct sun light. Ultraviolet light penetrates through the outermost layer of the skin where it converts this energy into this important vitamin. Why is it important? Vitamin D helps you to form healthy bones, fight a group of diseases (such as depression and multiple sclerosis) and strengthen your immune system to fight cancers.
Your body is constantly under attack from outside forces, and the skin is your greatest defender. This incredible packaging contains us and keeps the body protected and balanced. So now, the question is, how much do you do for your skin? How much do you help the skin to be more effective in order to be your better shield, health and beauty agent?
Anti Aging Skin Care Tips
Here are a few great tips mentioned in the video below. Find out if some of your skin care beliefs were false.
Some Basic, But Important, Natural Beauty Tips:
- Appreciate and nurture your skin by assessing its condition at least weekly. The three areas you want to pay extra attention to are: your face, your hands (including arms), and your legs. If your skin is dry and flaky, moisturize it right away! It’s the best thing you can do for it. It will help to improve your overall skin’s texture, elasticity and keep it from forming early lines or wrinkles. It is never too early to start using a moisturizer (our natural skin care tips and recommendations). Especially, during the winter season, when you are exposed to the sharp wind, cold temperatures or heated houses; they all dehydrate the skin. In some situations, they cause dermatitis or eczema, which makes the skin red, itchy, dry and inflamed. Moisturizing your skin will protect it from such elements. Keep this formula in mind - hydrated skin equals happy skin… and… happy skin equals vibrant skin.
- Expose your skin to the sun daily, if possible. All it needs is 3-5 minutes. It can be your arms, legs, face or your back. It doesn’t matter. Those few minutes will help you to obtain just enough sunlight to meet your vitamin D needs.
- Don’t be afraid to sweat. Working out does magic for your skin. Haven’t you noticed how your skin glows after a workout? Sweating is important for cleansing. When you sweat, your body releases various toxins. It eliminates small amounts of waste, such as urea, lactic acid and salts. When those toxins leave your pours, the skin gets refreshed and stimulated all over again. But always keep in mind that it is important to wash and cleanse your face and body after a sweaty workout.
What do you do to keep your skin healthy and vibrant?