Your skin is a reflection of everything that’s going on inside of your body. Do you ever wonder why you get a massive blemish right before a huge work presentation? How about that pesky friend that visits your chin once a month right before your menstrual cycle? Those, my friends, are directly linked to what’s going on internally—namely emotional stress and hormonal imbalances—which is why a holistic approach to skin care is so important.
Holistic skin care is an ancient practice that involves treating the skin in a “whole” way. It looks at the bigger picture to go beyond your external symptoms understand the root cause of skin imbalances, which means it’s a whole lot more than just cleansers and moisturizers. Your skin is your largest organ, communicating with both internal and external forces daily, and it needs to maintain the correct balance to function optimally. Holistic skin-care is the act of carefully formulating products and engaging in lifestyle practices that energetically support the mind, body, and spiritual connection to keep these systems in equilibrium.
As a holistic esthetician, the first thing I do before I even touch a client’s skin is ask them an extensive list of questions. I inquire about their diet, hormonal imbalances, stress levels, physical activity, menstrual cycles, bowel movements, and more. These questions are so important because all of these factors impact the flow of energy within the body. If someone’s energy is blocked—either from stress or even irregular bowel movements—it can hinder that flow, which in turn, can cause inflammatory responses in their skin.
While factoring all of this into a sustainable skin-care routine can seem overwhelming, a few easy tweaks to your regimen will leave you with rewarding results. Calling on the professional recommendations I use in my practice, I’ve created a simple roadmap to help guide you through treating some of the most common skin concerns using a holistic approach. Because as I tell all of my clients, skin health is whole-body health.
Consume lots of “super beauty foods”
You know that saying, “Everything you eat comes out of your pores”? Well, it’s very much true. People with a healthier gut microbiome have a better fatty acid outline, which means their skin is extremely hydrated, moisturized, and supple. On the other hand, imbalances in the gut or digestive system can lead to inflammation and sensitized skin. To encourage a healthy gut, it’s essential to eat foods loaded with antioxidants, probiotics, and phytonutrients, which reduces inflammation in the body. Load your plate with leafy greens, followed by grains and protein; and remember that H2O is your best friend. If you have a hard time drinking enough fluids per day, make sure you’re consuming plenty of water-rich foods such as cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, celery, zucchini, and peaches.
Use topical ingredients to support the skin microbiome
Nourishing your skin microbiome lays the foundation for healthy skin, which is where topical ingredients come into action. Holistic skin care is known for utilizing the finest clays, plants, and herbs to treat the skin, which greatly minimizes the chance of irritation. Choosing nourishing ingredients helps to strengthen and repair the skin barrier, preventing environmental and inflammatory imbalances like acne, rosacea, eczema, dermatitis, and premature aging. Natural ingredient superstars like chamomile, calendula, rosemary, yarrow, lavender, aloe, and honey are all personal favorites thanks to the fact that they have calming and soothing properties and work on all skin types.
Mitigate the “stress effect”
If stress isn’t properly managed, it has a way of wreaking havoc on our health. It can also manifest in ways you’d never imagine, from interrupting our digestive system to disrupting the largest organ on the human body—the skin. The longer your body experiences stress, the more it impacts the skin and can manifest in symptoms such as acne, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis. Stress may be an unavoidable part of our bustling lives, but one thing we can change is how we respond to that stress. Herbal remedies like tinctures, teas, and superfoods help the body adapt to stress and eases the nervous system. Incorporate herbs into your routine—such as chamomile and lavender, which are sedatives that eases the mind and body, along with Ashwagandha and Ginseng, which are adaptogen herbs that strengthen immunity and energy—can have a major impact when done consistently.