Skin Care 101: 3 Steps to Healthy Skin

Recently I stumbled upon an interesting human anatomy fact, that the largest organ in a human body is not our small intestines, kidneys or brain. In fact the largest organ of our body is not located internally, rather it is located externally. The largest organ of our body is our skin! Being an external organ it serves various purposes, like protecting our internal organs, if you are looking for the ultimate waterproof material, you cant find one better than your own skin! Our skin helps to regulate the body temperature and also eliminates waste.

Being such a versatile organ, performing so many tasks, the skin depending on where on the body can be either very well cared for or highly neglected. After enduring these long and harsh winter months, its time to start pampering our skin to step into spring.

Here are 3 steps to nurture it back to being soft,supple and nourished in no time!

1) Exfoliate: Our skin is constantly changing regenerating itself. On an average we shed over a million skin cells every 24 hours , thats about 1.5 lbs a year. By exfoliating your skin atleast once a week, helps clear any dead skin cells stuck on the surface. This in turn helps ensure no dirt gets caught between the pores of the skin and dead skin cells, which may lead to acne or breakouts.

Make your own exfoliator:

1 tbs Natural granulated sugar (white for a gentle exfoliation, brown or turbinado for more coarse exfoliation)

1 tsp of honey

1/2 tbs Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and use in the shower with a loofah for best results. It is safe to use on your face, lips, arms, legs, heels, elbows and back. However try a small patch of skin first to ensure the coarseness works for your skin type. Please exercise caution after rinsing as the olive oil can make the shower surface slick and slippery!

2) Soak: One of the most overlooked personal care ritual is soaking yourself in a nice warm scented bath. It is not a luxury fit for the royalty, there are several health benefits to taking a bath like

- It helps reduce stress

- It helps to detox your body

- It decreases muscle tension

The use of a combination of essential oils when added to your bath can elevate your bath experience while doing wonders for your skin. Depending on your skin type you may chose the following essential oils to add to your next bath:

Oily skin- Orange, Lime, Lemon, Cypress, Bergamot

Dry skin- Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Chamomile, Geranium

Aging skin- Ylang ylang, Frankinsence, Rose, Lavender, Tangerine, Patchouli

Combination skin- Bergamot, Patchouli, Lavender, Orange

While you can mix and match these essential oils to suit your olfactory, I personally prefer using one essential oil at a time. Add 5-6 drops of the essential oil in your bath along with 2 tbs of epsom salt to warm water bath (avoid using hot water as it will dehydrate the skin) and enjoy a soak for about 30 minutes twice a month and your skin will thank you!

3) Moisturize: Our skin is constantly subjected to various temperatures and ambience's throughout the day thus causing our skin to lose its natural moisture quickly. Other diet and lifestyle choices like caffeine intake, lack of water intake, junk food (both salty and sugary treats), lack of sleep, change in skin pH levels etc. also affect our skins hydration. In order to maintain the moisture balance of your skin, it is imperative to consume to at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, eat fruits rich in antioxidants like blueberries, raw vegetables like lettuce and celery are diuretics, full of water content.

In addition to eating healthy it is important to apply a moisturizer based on your skin type to help seal the natural moisture into the skin.

Choose to use Argan Oil (suitable for all skin types, also vegan!) after a shower all over before towel drying . It is an excellent emollient and unlike coconut oil is non comedogenic (will not block your pores). Alternatively you can choose to use Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter to moisturize your skin if you have extremely dry or chapped skin. Both these butters contain high levels of omega fatty acids which is an essential building block of out skin. Bonus points to Cocoa Butter, it helps visibly reduce the appearance of stretch marks!

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead give these steps a try and tell us how you feel! Until next month Happy Pampering!!

Have any skin care related questions? feel free to email me at kosha.shah@yjp.jaina.org

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