Unsurprisingly, I get a lot of questions about skin care. How do I wash my face? What do I use as a moisturizer? How often do I wash my face? What about make up? I often hear, "Your skin is so nice! What do you do?" Honestly, I have no idea. :)
I shared this photo on my personal FB page and started hearing a lot about my skin. Really? I never really though much about my skin...it's just... my skin. So, I thought it must have just been a lucky picture. Nice lighting, flattering colors and such.
So I took another picture of myself during an evening walk just for comparison. (below) I guess I have an even skin tone, healthy glow, no acne or scars. Is it so unusually that people should comment?
But then I started thinking and here's the thing... it's not really about skin care... it's health care. It's a lifestyle. And that lifestyle is noticeable in your skin. So, I will give you a run down of what I think is important for your skin as far as lifestyle, nutrition, and actual skin care.
It's all about nutrition. No pop/soda. Water and herbal tea. Limited sugar. I eat clean (most of the time!). Lots of fresh, local, organic fruits and veggies. Grassfed meat. An abundance of healthy fats (nuts and seeds). Not much dairy. The only wheat I eat prepared with traditional sourdough starter and that's once a week at most. Frequent herbal infusions (Nettle is my favorite! It's a mild diuretic so it's helpful in keeping your kidneys flushed and happy, it's a nutritional powerhouse, fights allergies, and it perfect for balancing out 'womens issues'). I certainly splurge! Enchiladas, homemade pizza, ice cream, birthday parties, yum.
Water, water, water. Staying hydrated is important for a lot of reasons, but lack of hydration is noticeable in your skin.
Get movin'! I walk/run (intervals. I'm not a 'runner'. I don't train for races. I just like to keep moving). I generally walk 2-3 miles each day. This is unimpressive as far as it goes, but I'm getting stronger and faster. I also do yoga a few times a week. If you only have a few minutes to do one exercise, do squats. You'll be working major muscle groups. Good circulation gets blood and oxygen to tissues (like your skin) and keeps them healthy.
Bare face I very rarely wear makeup. I like lip gloss and wear it when I leave the house. Sometimes I wear mascara or minimal eye makeup. This is just my personal preference. I am, however, very conscious regarding what makeup and ingredients I am willing to put on my face. Since I wear very minimal makeup (usually just to church) it works within our budget for me to purchase high quality, chemical free cosmetics. I wear 100% Pure cosmetics made from fruit pigments.
Washing Everyone asks me what soap I use on my face. I am a soapmaker, after all. Yeah, well. I don't wash my face with soap. Your facial skin is incredibly sensitive and most soaps (all commercial skin 'cleansers') are too harsh, stripping away the natural oils. I use raw honey from our bees. (in the picture from my walk, I'm actually standing right next to our bee hives!) Raw honey keeps your skin balanced, moisturizing and cleansing without over-drying. Aloe is something else you can try. There are also some great herbal facial steams that would be beneficial.
Moisturizing Since I do not use soaps or cleansers and do not strip away the natural oils of my skin I very rarely moisturize. On occasion, I'll use plain sweet almond oil (jojoba is also a good choice) or my Mom's Salve. I had a friend who was a baker from New York City and she used straight olive oil! Coconut oil is a popular choice, but not the best choice. The other oils I listed are non-comedogenic meaning they won't clog your pores or cause breakouts. Coconut oil is comedogenic - pore clogging - and can lead to more breakouts. That's probably not what you're hoping!
So, the saying "Beauty comes from within" is even true in this sense. Beautiful skin is a result of what you put in your body just as much (or more!) as what you put on your body. All these little decisions add up.
I hope this little rundown was helpful and makes you think.
Thanks for putting up with my silly pictures! If you have any other questions regarding skin care, please comment here or on the FB page. Thanks!