One of the great things about entering the world ofnatural beauty is that you can forget about all of those rules we grew up believing we had to follow when it comes to skincare. We don't have to label ourselves with having dry, oily or sensitive skin...and most importantly, we don't feel like we're stuck with those issues the rest of our lives, not to mention being stuck with certain products that will supposedly fix them.
In the world of natural beauty, we make up our own rules. Or rather, we realize our skin is ever-changing so the only rule that applies is listening and being in tune with your skin. And overall health for that matter.
I receive emails all the time from readers confused about what products will work best for their "type" of skin. From my experience, your type of skin will probably change with the seasons, the type of food you eat, if you're drinking enough water, getting enough nutrients, exercising, and limiting stress. Sounds overwhelming, huh?
Well, it's actually very simple, it just takes time to get in tune.
How to Understand Your Skin
My skin used to be extremely oily from my teenage years through my late 20s until I started washing my skin with honey. Before that, I would always buy a facial wash that was formulated for oily skin which never ever worked! It was so frustrating. A continuous cycle of unknowingly over stripping my skin and then my skin over compensating for it. The result was an oily mess (or at least, that's how I perceived my skin).
But once I started to see through the marketing of the skincare world and began to use simple natural ingredients, my skin magically balanced out. Actually, there isn't anything magical about it, it's the law of nature. But after 20+ years of problem skin, it seemed pretty magical to me.
During this time, I didn't just adjust my skincare routine to a more natural approach, I changed my whole life. I really took a look at what I was eating (six years later I'm still learning what's good for my particular body) and became more conscious of my lifestyle.
What I'm trying to say is there's no quick fix when it comes to skincare.
So getting back to understanding your skin. To truly understand your skin, you must look into other areas of your life.
Acne: For instance, if you have issues with acne that just won't go away no matter what, I would recommend looking at what you eat and how much stress you allow to affect yourself. First, dairy and sugar are particularly bad for your skin and causing acne. I'm going to throw fried foods in there as well. Reduce those tremendously, be consistent, and you'll probably notice that your acne will go away. I rarely get acne, but when I do it's usually stress related. Or if I gobble up a ton of chocolate in one sitting (which I've been known to do once in a great while).
Dry Skin: If you have dry skin, make sure you drinking enough water throughout the day. I like to take it to the next level and drink some coconut water every day to make sure I'm hydrated. Also, don't overcompensate with facial oils and creams. Just like when we strip the naturally occurring oils from our skin (to combat oily skinI) and our skin goes into overdrive to produce more oil, the opposite can occur as well. We don't want to turn off our natural facial oil production. When using facial oils, a little goes a long way. Also, let your skin breath at night to encourage natural sebum (our naturally occurring oil) production. "Less is more" most of the time in natural skincare!
Oily Skin: This was my major issue back in the day and now I can easily see why. I was eating so much fried food, fast food and junk food. Plus I was doing everything I could to strip my skin of its oils, no wonder it was freaking out! When I started eating better, the excessive oiliness started to go away. Now it's a thing of the past.
Sensitive Skin: I often get inquiries on what to do for sensitive skin or allergy prone skin. If that's the case, I would take a serious look at what you're eating, the type of environment you're in (are you around harsh chemicals?) or possibly even try doing a cleanse. You may have a build up of toxins in your system that is making your skin react easily to things. If this is the case, I would see holistic nutritionist or even start with your doctor to get tested for allergies.
If do have these sort of issues and decide to do a cleanse, I would highly recommend working with a nutritionist or health care professional to get you started. Even an Ayurvedic practictioner. Do not attempt to do this on your own unless you are already well versed in how cleanses work.
Once you start giving your body what it needs inside and start treating your body gently on the outside, you're skin will become much more balanced. However, it will still change! That's why I think the typical skin types we've grown up with become sort of irrelevant.
Even with balanced skin, there are days when my skin is on the drier side and when it's a little more oily. A lot of it has to do with the weather or seasons or stress. Sometimes I'm not staying as hydrated as I should be and the result is drier skin. So I just have to be in tune with what it needs on a daily basis.
And that's truly what it comes down to, being in tune with what your body needs on all levels. It can seem like a mystery at first, but it's so liberating once you start understanding your body.
If you're new to the world of natural skincare, I just wrote an article, Starting A Natural Skin Care Routine that will help get you started.
Disclaimer: All information on Salt and Ritual is based on my experience and is provided for educational and general informational purposes only. The topics discussed in this post may not be suitable for your particularly situation and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek professional medical advice before trying anything you read online. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and your individual results may vary.