Natural Skin Care.Organic Skin Care Article
Our skin is our single largest living organ and it literally defines who we are.
Without our skin, we would be a skeleton in a puddle of blood and that would take some getting used to…I imagine. Skin is often derided for being at the surface of things and thus incorrectly labelled 'superficial' - so skin deep - but what this elastic covering achieves for our anatomical structure is more than just a tidy appearance. Skin breathes, and like a baboon's bottom, its colour and appearance indicates our state of health - it is a barometer for all to see, of our moods, our level of hydration, our age and whether we are succumbing to disease.
We look outward in our search for beauty in our lives, we are conditioned to look out and not within, to seek beauty and meaning in romantic love, Art and nature. Beauty that inspires us to love or perhaps to begin the journey to find our heart, and meaning - to find meaning in that same quest for love, or is there meaning in beauty itself? Much of our seeming obsession with appearing beautiful is, I think, the desire to be loved for who we are. As Louise Hay writes, "Our skin represents our individuality. Skin problems usually mean we feel our individuality is being threatened somehow. We feel that others have power over us." I always think of adolescence and the eruption of skin problems at this time as a great example of this.
Our skin makes us uniquely who we are and no other. To touch another's skin is an intimate act and usually the preserve of mothers and lovers. Skin to skin. The feel of your beloved's skin is very important - it must feel right to touch for things to proceed from there. How one feels inside one's own skin is another way of conveying the emotional response to one's own existence. It is funny that we describe someone as 'skinny' when they in fact have less skin than someone who is not so svelte, but perhaps we are referring to them having les fat beneath their skin. Still we call someone a fatty when they have more fat but linguistically ignore the need for the extra skin to stretch over that fat. Skinny latte for me please.
Skin is portrayed in myth as often about magical powers, like the dragon's scaly skin being impenetrable or the healing powers of the snake shedding its skin as renewed life. Skins were our first clothing in ancient times, to keep us warm and perhaps also to take on some of the properties of the slain animal - bear skins, sheep skins, fox, wolf, mink, cat, dog, buffalo, rabbit, kangaroo………..Shaman still today, wear skins of their totemic animal when performing rituals. When the beautiful white swans descend down to water, they remove their feathered skins to become frolicking naked ladies and if you can steal their skin they will follow you home and be yours forever - according to the myth that is.
The ingredients in natural skin care are safe - most are, in fact, things that we can consume - and are naturally found in our environment. And the best part ... they all have the same 'miracle' properties they've always had - they can be anti-aging, soothe dry skin or calm oily skin. The centuries-long obsession, with creating poor approximations of nature in laboratories could thankfully be coming to an end. Even the most commercial of the big brands are jumping on the bandwagon - adding natural ingredients and all feeling the pressure to cater to a public that is gaining knowledge and interest in natural personal care.
As we all know the skin is the largest organ in our body, so naturally what we put on our skin is going to eventually end up in our bodies. Many natural and organic skin care ranges were started by consumers looking for a little more out of their buys. Many have searched for remedies to skin problems they couldn't fix, alternatives for their chemical-sensitive skin or those just wanting a natural approach to complete a greener life. Some products on the market even come in greener packaging and are completely recyclable!
Ingredients: the good stuff
With properties similar to the skin's own sebrum, jojoba oil is easily absorbed for maximum moisturising. With strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, it can destroy skin bacteria and fungi making it useful in the treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. (It's also known) was nature's wrinkle fighter - as, when applied, it holds water in the skin and it even absorbs UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. It can also act as a natural preservative with its antioxidant properties.
Best renowned for its anti-aging benefits, Rosehip Oil is extracted from the fruit of the rose bush. The oil is extracted in order to get the high Essential Fatty Acids, which make it such a beneficial oil for anti-aging and regeneration of the skin. Along with the Essential Fatty Acids, Rosehip oil is also rich in Vitamin C, A, D and E and antioxidants. The Vitamin C in Rosehip Oil is responsible for producing collagen and improving skin elasticity. Used at night, it acts as a skin multi-vitamin, replacing nutrients lost during the day and repairs the skin while you sleep. Can be used for dry skins, as it can balance the skin.
Noted as one of the best ingredients for healthy hair and used in India, Coconut Oil helps to condition and repair hair and help with dandruff. The different acids and antioxidants and antibacterial properties are the reasons for its benefits. Good for cooking and the face, Coconut Oil is nourishing and moisturising without being too heavy on the face. It's great for dry, flaky skin in winter and for helping to improve those wrinkles or sagging.
Lavender Oil is best known for its fabulous smell. Used regularly in natural perfumes or aromatherapy blends, it also has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It helps to soothe sunburn and heal wounds. Combined with chamomile, Lavender oil helps with eczema treatment.
Aloe is found in many skincare products, especially products designed for oily skin. But it's also a great healer - it is absorbed into the skin tissues below the surface.
Rich in vitamins
Green TeaOrganic Green Tea(Camillia sinensis): A potent anti-oxidant known to fight free radicals, helps rejuvenate the skin and prevents sun damage. Promotes elasticity as well as being high in Vitamins including B complex.
Unrefined Shea Butter
Shea Butter is a common ingredient in body butters, lip balms and moisturisers - creamy yellow in colour; it has a lovely nutty fragrance. This unrefined version retains many of the remarkable properties for which shea butter is renowned - deeply moisturising, anti-scarring, anti-inflammatory, rich in vitamins A and E and other phytonutrients, and even provides mild UV radiation protection.
Ingredients: the bad stuff
• Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is obtained from petrochemicals and is added in numerous skin care creams and lotions as an emulsifying agent. It makes the skin look smooth; however, it speeds up aging of the skin. It also causes irritation and contact dermatitis.
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS acts as a surfactant, degreaser, and emulsifier and is used in numerous foaming personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, body wash products, face cleansers, shaving cream, etc. This detergent affects the eyes and delays their healing time. It can be absorbed by the skin surface and gets accumulated in your body organs. When used in products containing nitrogen-based raw materials, it forms carcinogenic nitrates, which are known to cause irritation to the eye and skin.
• Fragrance: Artificial fragrance can cause numerous health problems including headaches, lung problems, skin irritation and dizziness.
• Mineral Oil: Mineral oils are obtained from petroleum products and can cause skin irritations. They block skin pores, which restricts movement of nutrients and waste matter from the cells.
• Parabens (Propyl, Methyl, Butyl, or Ethyl): Parabens are used as preservatives in numerous skin care and hair care products. They are highly toxic and cause allergic and skin reactions.
• Imidazolidinyl and Diazolidinyl Urea: These are also used as preservative and are known for causing contact dermatitis.
• Synthetic Colours: Synthetic colours should be avoided as they are allergic to the skin.
• Triethanolamine (TEA): TEA is used to adjust the pH of the cosmetics. It causes various allergic reactions including eye problems, and dryness of hair and skin.
©Eco Living Magazine.