What is Holistic Skin Care
At Colorado Aromatics, we promote holistic skin care and have been working with local esthetic schools to teach holistic skin care. But it is not just for in the spa, you can practice holistic skin care at home. The term holistic comes from the Greek word “holos”, meaning whole. Because of this, some people will spell it ‘Wholistic’. A holistic approach means that care of the skin care is not separated from the rest of the body. It simply means looking at and treating something as part of a whole. Because of this it can be much more effective for the user as well as better on the environment.
To treat the skin holistically means to look at how body, mind and spirit all affect the skin. Overall health and well being is reflected in the skin. And we look not only at these parts that make up the whole person, but where does a person them self fit in the larger frame of belonging? Individuals are part of a community and ecosystem. These too need to be considered when looking at holistic health. Let’s look at some of the components, or pillars of Holistic Skin Care.
Diet & Nutrition – Eating for Healthy Skin
Your skin gets nutrients delivered to it from the capillaries that are found in the dermis. Eating so called ‘Beauty Foods’ is important for the health of the skin. Your skin needs healthy fats for development of the stratum corneum. This outer layer of skin plays a role in the skin barrier function. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are necessary for the skin to build its own proteins, among them collagen, elastin and various enzymes. The skin also needs vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, minerals, fatty acids, and flavonoids.
Overall, this means eating whole foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and well as quality oils and proteins. And as much of this food that you can obtain locally from farms, the better. We’ve talked about nutrition before in this blog. You can learn more hereabout Eating for Good Skin as well as get a recipe for butternut squash soup.
Drinking water is also an important part of diet and nutrition as well as eat water rich foods; salads, soups, and fruits.
We experience stress through a number of avenues; work, health, relationships, and what is going on in the world. Stress affects the immune system, digestive system as well as the skin (integumentary system). Stress can cause inflammation, increase water loss from the skin, compromise the barrier function, increase acne as well as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Different people experience stress differently and handle stress differently. It is important to find a healthy way that you can handle stress. Herbal teas can help such as lemon balm, lavender, hops or chamomile. Sometimes the routine of making a cup of tea can be as helpful as the tea itself. Adaptogenic herbs including tulsi are also helpful.
Meditation, prayer, mindfulness, gratitude and more have been reported to help control stress. Find what works for you. We have previously written about stress here.
Exercise is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps increase blood circulation which delivers nutrients and oxygen to the skin. Second, exercise has been shown to help control stress levels. I recommend exercising outdoors and in nature. This helps us feel more connected to the world and to something bigger than ourselves. In the summer this means walks and hikes, in the winter maybe even snowshoeing. This ties in the the spiritual aspect of holistic health. Of course it is important to protect your skin with the proper UV protection when being outdoors as well.
Of course skin care products used for holistic skin care should be natural and based on botanicals such as herbs. This again, helps connect us to the earth and helps us contribute more to a sustainable environment. While some people think of natural, botanical skin care as simple ‘do it yourself’ products, natural skin care can also be high potency and high quality. This is what you should look for.
Primarily a high quality skin care line should be carefully formulated not just to moisturize the skin, but to protect the skin barrier system. This means it should contain antioxidant rich and anti-inflammatory rich herbs and nutrients. At Colorado Aromatics we source our herbs directly from our own farm. We feel that the beauty of the herbs comes through and affects the users skin.
Skin care should help hold water in the skin and protect skin proteins. We’ve written about the skin barrier function here.
It’s good to find a skin care professional (esthetician) who practices holistic skin care and can be an advisor to help you achieve better skin. Let your esthetician know you are interested in holistic skin care and Colorado Aromatics products.