Your skin is your largest organ and deserves the royal treatment with this massive job as the Big Kahuna of your body! Yet so often we abuse our skin and are ashamed to reveal what we did to it in our younger years. With three young daughters I try to get this point across often but it falls on deaf ears. Sigh.
Your skin is the gateway to your health. The birds eye view into your overall well-being. The canvas to your inside wellness. It reveals so much about your past and your present in terms of your diet and lifestyle.
It tells your story of teenage sunbathing sans sunscreen, acne popping, smoking one too many cigarettes, all night partying and drinking one too many vodka and Red Bull. Oh maybe I am giving away some of my secrets of my youth, but god I hope my face doesn't ever reveal these signs of abuse!
So when making the decision on which skincare regime is best for you, I beg you, actually I implore you to not make these rash decisions based on what's on sale at your local drugstore or the free handsoap you got at a hotel but to rather make a decision based on these 5 important questions.
1. What is your skin type and your age? Your skincare regime should reflect whether you have dry, oily or combo skin and also whether you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. We don't all have the same needs or challenges with our skin as a universal rule. We all have unique issues and need to treat our face depending on our own challenges. One size does not fit all.
2. What does the skincare product tell you it will do for you? When you are in your 20s you are likely focused on getting rid of acne and having a clean, fresh face; 30s or 40s you are likely focused on wrinkle prevention, treatment and regaining your youth; 50s you are focused on minimizing the look of wrinkles and preventing any more from coming your way! Make sure the products you select are focused on the same goals you have for your age.
3. What are the ingredients in the products you are buying? Make sure you can pronounce the ingredients and that they are simple. Canadian cosmetic packaging laws state that companies must list the botanical or INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) name of the ingredient (i.e. Coconut Oil is listed as Cocos Nuciferas). Have you looked into them to see if they are synthetic, chemically produced or natural? Have you searched the Environment Working Group (www.ewg.org/skindeep/) Skin Deep Guide to Cosmetics to see if any of the ingredients are rated high on the danger scale?
4. What are the products scented with - artificial fragrances or high quality essential oils? What you need to know is that many artificial fragrances have been linked to critical illnesses and cancers, not to mention everyday health challenges such as asthma, headaches and other allergies. Many mainstream cosmetic companies are making a claim that their products are "natural" but they still contain many synthetic ingredients including fragrances (this is called "Green Washing" btw). Your best bet is to look for products that use therapeutic grade essential oils to scent their skincare products. Not only will you get the benefit of the lovely scent but these essential oils also have many health benefits (i.e. lavender oil is great to use for rashes, burns, acne and much more due to its anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antioxidant properties).
5. Is there sunscreen protection in the face products you are using? This goes back to the earlier comment about past abuses of our skin from our youth so please don't tell me you are still running around town without an SPF protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays! Some ingredients you can check for in your natural face products which contain natural sunscreen for additional protection are Red Raspberry Oil (SPF 25-50), Carrot Seed Oil (SPF 35-40), Zinc Oxide (SPF 2-20) to name a few. I would not recommend however that you rely on these alone. The best bet is to find face products that contain these ingredients but to also supplement with a natural broad spectrum sunscreen too.
The bottom line is this: You are what you eat. Your skin reflects how you treat it both inside and out.
Treat it kindly in terms of what you put ON it and also INSIDE your body and your gorgeousness will shine through and thank you.