Unlearning what the beauty industry has taught us is one of the most important things we can do in order to understand how to effectively heal the skin in the long term. We really need to let go of the behaviours and belief systems that we have obtained when it comes to what the beauty industry has taught us. One of the many, MANY areas where the beauty industry really misleads people is with the idea that more is better in skin care, like those seven or nine step skincare routines that people are told to do morning and night every single day in order to have “healthy skin”. This type of routine is completely unnecessary and can even be detrimental.
Since moving to the holistic side of skincare, I continuously learned that educating clients on how their skin really functions is vital because I cannot count the number of times that I worked with acne clients who keep coming back asking me for more topical products.
I can teach them about the real root cause of acne, which let me say here, is not related to our gut health or imbalanced hormones… those issues are not root causes, they are also symptoms. I can educate them on everything that I teach, yet they often ignore those suggestions and every couple of weeks, I get an email from them saying, “I’m still getting breakouts, what other products can I buy to get rid of them?”.
The beauty industry has taught society that skin health is external. So, according to them, external products are supposed to heal breakouts. When the skin care products don’t work, add in more products. And that’s what people think, they try something and still get breakouts, so rather than looking within, they want more products. The main issue with this is that the more products we use, the more we risk aggravating the skin. It becomes a really viscous cycle that perpetuates until we finally get to a point where we realize the need to go within.
I want to help you skip this entire stage, and just get you straight to the knowledge of understanding what’s really happening with your breakouts.
Why Do We Trust the Body but Not the Face?
Imagine that you have a cut on your leg. What would you do to get rid of it?
- Would you constantly pick at it?
- Would you exfoliate it or scrub it with abrasive products?
- Would you stare at it in the mirror while telling yourself how much you don’t like your skin?
Probably not because you know that all of those things are going to really irritate it or prevent it from healing. So, why do we do this to our face? When most people get a breakout, they immediately start attacking it, making their skin worse. We trust our body to heal a cut without constantly needing to touch it, because we know the body is capable of healing itself. Yet for some reason, most people have completely lost their trust in their faces ability to do the same. The skin on the face in reality is really no different than the skin on the rest of the body. Why do we trust the body to heal but not the face?
The more that we do to the skin, the more we are going to aggravate and irritate the skin and perpetuate the problem.
If you believe that a multi-step skin care routine is necessary to heal your skin, I want you to begin asking yourself these types of questions:
Where does the belief that my skin needs more products in order to heal come from?
Well, I’d say that all of the sales and marketing campaigns that we see within the beauty industry, misleads people into believing that more is better. This idea comes from marketing, not biology.
Do these old conventional beliefs support the long term health of my skin as an organ?
Well, based on what you’ll be learning about the skin you’re going to know that the answer to that is no. More is not better when it comes to skin health. Our skin is an organ. If our liver, or our heart or kidneys are out of balance we’re not reaching into the body and scrubbing them and aggravating them. In most cases, when people have issues with their heart, they change their diet and start taking better care of themselves. They reduce their stress levels and start nurturing themselves. They make conscious choices to take better care of themselves. The same goes for the liver and kidneys, so the same should apply to the skin. It should be no different for the skin. Even though the skin is an external organ, we still have to go within in order to heal it.
Are these skin care routines supporting my skin and the root causes of this issue that are causing the skin conditions?
Well, all skin conditions are caused by a biological adaptation within the body. The human body is ancient. While our lifestyles have dramatically changed, aside from some evolution (like the shape of our jaws), the human body is still made the same. We are hard-wired for survival. Every action that our skin and body take, is made to keep us alive. The body adapts to our external environment and our emotional experiences and creates biological programs within the body to adapt to our environment and keep us protected. The development of skin conditions is no exception to this. I go a lot deeper into this in my skin coaching sessions. No matter what anyone else tells you, topical products cannot and will not heal and resolve what’s going on within the body. You can believe me when I say that because I have my own skin care line, but I would never, ever sell my products with empty promises of healing. That’s not the purpose of our topical products.
Your skin’s ability to self regulate goes far beyond what the skincare industry will ever tell you. and because of this it is really vital that we support the skin rather then treat it like it has no idea what its doing by trying to take over its innate capabilities. The purpose of our skincare routine should be to support the skin’s natural processes. Skin care products should never be used to force the skin to act in any unnatural ways, ever! The focus in topical skin health should be on resetting the skin’s natural, biological processes, while encouraging your delicate skin to function on its own as it’s meant to. This means a really minimalist skin care routine that helps to maintain your skin’s pH balance, protect your skin’s microbiome and respects the skin’s acid mantle and protective barrier.
What Do I Mean by Minimalist Routine?
Using just a few products and that’s it! Cleansing to remove makeup and environmental toxins at night, and then hydrating and moisturizing in a way that supports the skin’s natural ability to hydrate itself.
When it comes to topical skin care, we are not trying to force the skin. We’re not trying to erase our “flaws”. We are simply just supporting the skin and nurturing ourselves through self care.
The more we do to the skin, the more we risk disrupting it causing irritation and even breakouts.
The less we do to the skin the more the skin is going to be able to balance itself and function on its own as it’s meant to.
We want to support the skin with plant oils and other plant ingredients that support the skin without ever trying to hijack the skin’s functions.
In order to achieve optimal skin health, we must approach the skin from a holistic whole body approach, respecting the skin and respecting the body both internally and externally. I know it’s tempting to want more products when your skin might not be looking optimal, but it’s important to really take a step back, take a few deep breaths in and out and ask ourselves,
- Does my skin that is inflamed and irritated right now really need more or does it actually need me to just back off and give it less so that it can take over and do its own thing?
- How can I support my skin rather than, how do I fix my skin?
- How can you love and nurture yourself more?
So, just like that quote from the beginning of this post, we really need more education and a better understanding of how the skin and the body function, so that we can feel more confident doing a whole lot less to it.