The External Side of Skin Health

I always talk about internal skin health and how skin conditions come from within, but what about the external side of skin? When it comes to external products, it’s important to understand 2 things:

1. The Acid Mantle

We have a really delicate protective barrier on the surface of our skin called the acid mantle. This acid mantle is made of our skins natural oil, sweat and dead skin cells. It helps keep water in the skin (hello dewy skin) and keeps invaders out of the skin, like pathogens, bacteria, viruses and even parasites. The pH balance of our acid mantle is 5.5. When we use ingredients that are either too high or too low of a pH level, it strips the acid mantle, allowing water to escape, and all those invaders mentioned above to get into the skin and body. Extremely sensitive and dry skin, acne, and severe dermatitis and rosacea are often found on skin that is compromised and has been stripped of its acid mantle. It’s not just products that can strip the acid mantle, but they’re one of the main factors. The acid mantle takes 12 hours to rebuild itself, so for people who are using harsh, imbalanced products on their skin morning and night, their skin is never able to rebuild its own very vital, very delicate protection. It’s just one of the many reasons why using chemicals and artificial ingredients on the skin is not a good idea for the longevity of skin health.

2. The Importance of Natural Ingredients

We have to remember that the skin is our largest organ. Just like how chemically processed foods are not good for our heart, kidneys or liver (aka organs), chemical-filled, synthetic ingredients are not good for our skin either. When ingredients are applied to the skin or put into the body that it does not recognize, the body calls on the immune system to attack these “foreign invaders”. This is one of the reasons why processed food is so bad for us. It’s not benefiting the body whatsoever and the body doesn’t see it as nourishment, but rather an invader. The same goes for synthetic ingredients applied to the skin.

Skin health comes from within, so we want to cleanse and nourish the skin with completely natural ingredients and think of our topical care as vitamins. The other 90% of our skin health comes from within via food, water and our daily lifestyle habits (that impact our nervous system, lymphatic system and digestive system – make sure you know the foods to avoid for healthy skin).

How to Have Healthy Skin

The Root Cause of Skin Conditions

When it comes to skin conditions or early signs of aging, we must target the root cause of the skin issue so that we can heal that root cause and relieve the problem, rather than looking for a band-aid solution, like what most medications do.

My dad takes high blood pressure medication and I’m always telling him that if he would figure out what it is in his lifestyle that’s causing his high blood pressure, he could treat that root cause and hopefully be able to go without the medication. The medication simply masks the problem, but doesn’t heal it. The same can go for skin care. We want to heal the root cause so we have healthy skin, naturally. Our skin, just like every organ and process in the body, is very, very intelligent and can actually cleanse, nourish and moisturize itself if we’d simply allow it to. The problem is, the beauty industry has created so many unnatural products that we’ve used for years, that most people’s skin is no longer able to function on its own in this way.

That’s where the purpose of my skin care line and face massage come in. It’s the reason why I’ve done so much training in holistic modalities and nutrition – to learn how to help you to train your skin to function on its own again so that we don’t need to do so much to it. The true meaning of holistic skin care is a whole body approach that involves healing and supporting the skin’s natural processes and then simply just nourishing it and balancing it externally. When we make small changes to our lifestyle, we heal the body, improve the skin, and will age gracefully.

About Rachel Devine

Rachel Devine is a multi award-winning holistic aesthetician and the founder and skin care formulator of R Devine Organic Skin Care.