I’ve always had skin I’d rather hide. From a young age, I was buying foundation and concealer, wishing I didn’t have to go to school and dreaming of invisible pores.
Changing my diet to one fit for a living being helped immensely. So did growing up and dropping some of the shallow ideas I had about beauty.
Now I work outside daily. I’m tough on my skin. So much so that I was given the opportunity to have a series of facial treatments just to see what would happen.
Here is what I have learned:
Most of us are too hard on our skin.
When I asked Christy Williams of Skin Deep Studio in Waycross, Georgia what mistake she sees most frequently, she responded that most of us are more aggressive than we need to be to get the results we want. This can lead to other damage.
Just because you have some acne doesn’t mean you need to buy harsh chemicals and abuse your face. I’ve resorted to unspeakable sins against skin in my more vain years (think antibacterial hand soap on my face, rubbing alcohol etc), all in the name of fighting breakouts. It turns out, I was probably making my skin much worse.
Conversely, many of us aren’t getting our face as clean as we should.
I am absolutely filthy several days a week. I work outside in the soil, I sweat like crazy and I have no scruples. I’ve always been this way. I can’t be bothered with getting all shined back up until the job is done. And that only lasts until I start the next project. On top of it, I usually wear some kind of make up when I go to town a couple of times a week. I was not shocked to hear that I might not be getting my face as clean as I should, despite brutal scrubbing in the shower.
There are a lot of ingredients in most skin care products that are working against you.
Now, before you start thinking all facials are the same, let me assure you, they are not. Christy is holistically driven. While I was there she used loose herbal tea as a compress and explained that she helps her clients achieve healthy skin instead of just suppressing issues with harsh treatments that can do more harm than good. “I’ve taken this route because of the frustration I have toward our industry’s obsession with invasive practices and medical spas. I have decided to dig deeper and I have found a way to improve skin health in a non-invasive way by using pure and natural ingredients from the earth,” she explained. Her outlook shapes her methods and choices in products. I noticed immediately that what she was using on my face had no chemical smell and no fake fragrances. In fact, it all smelled vaguely familiar to this gardener.
When I inquired, Christy told me about Laurel whole plant, organic products. Without synthetic additives, these products offer plant compounds in gentle but effective combinations that your body can recognise and use. I’ve found no higher quality. Now, I’m hooked on pure, plant derived skincare.
Does it really matter, you ask?
There is a reason some medications can be administered through the skin. Your skin, your largest organ, is permeable and lets things right into your body. This is called percutaneous absorption. So, there is something to be said for the idea that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. Now go read the labels on your skin care products. I’ll wait.
Since you likely didn’t go look, I’ll help you: you have no idea what most of that is. In fact, much of it is banned in other countries.
If you are paying attention, you’ll see this issue finally getting some media coverage. No one wants to believe that items we can all buy over the counter and use as intended make us sick but that is what is being found. From formaldehyde to SLS to triclosan, the number of toxic ingredients in personal care is staggering.
What is a body to do?
This is where it is time to do some homework.
Check ewg.org for the database of products that have been rated for safety and go consult a professional, like Christy, who understands the importance of quality products and can guide you to the right skin care for your skin.
What you eat (and drink) matters.
Christy told me she could tell I eat well and get plenty of water because I had no inflammation. I totally took it as a compliment. I think it is the closest I have ever come to a compliment about my skin so I was pretty excited about it and went on to research the subject more.
Your skin, as your largest organ, thrives on the same things the rest of your body needs for optimal function: lots of produce, plenty of water, lots of good fat and as few toxins with which to deal as possible.
In fact, the skin is a part of your integumentary system. Its functions include temperature regulation, protection, vitamin D synthesis and excretion of waste.(link)
That’s right, your skin helps get rid of waste from your body. So loading up on sugar and other toxins creates stress you can see on more than just your waistline.
Dairy makes me break out as sure as the sunrise.
Why go find a great esthetician and spend the money?
First, this experience let me know how I was doing and what I can do to improve how I care for my skin. I don’t want to look back in another couple decades and wish I had known this stuff in time to stop further damage. We’ve all seen people who have smoked for decades or spent way too much time in the sun for the quality of their diet. That damage doesn’t happen overnight. Changing one thing now adds up down the road.
Second, it is such a calming experience. Getting professional facial care is serene and your skin will never feel so clean and fresh. It relaxes me on a level that can’t happen at home. If you find that hard to believe, go get a good facial and then spend 5 minutes in my home. I had no idea how tense my face was until it wasn’t. The services offered at Skin Deep make amazing gifts for just that reason.
Wishing you healthy skin, Katy
Thank you to Christy Williams at Skin Deep Studio in Waycross, Georgia for this experience.