Distressed skin- what does it mean?
Are you weakening your body’s protective barrier?
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it plays a vital role in overall protection.
When harsh products and habits are used externally, it is not just the skin that suffers.
When the skins protective barrier is compromised, the body's first line of defence is down- meaning both our skin and internal environment becomes vulnerable, especially to infection.
TEWL stands for transepidermal water loss, which describes a quantity of water that has been able to pass through the layers of the skin, out into the external environment.
This is a natural process that allows oxygen to enter the skin. However, losing large amounts of water through evaporation can cause the skin to become dry, scaly and irritated.
The cells within the epidermis are surrounded and protected by lipids- they fill in the 'cracks' between skin cells.
The epidermal lipid layer protects the skin and body by creating a barrier that keeps water in for hydration and healthy functioning, and keeps foreign materials out to protect the body from damage and infection.
The lipid barrier can be damaged due to various factors such as harsh products/skincare practices, harsh weather, dehydration, poor nutrition and so on. When the lipid layer isn’t functioning properly, water loss occurs at a higher rate and dehydrated, inflamed, dry and blemished skin is often the result.
If you are experiencing any or a combination of these skin conditions, it is time to let your skin heal.
If you suspect that you have damaged your skins delicate and complex barrier, allow the body heal itself and take a more minimalist approach when it comes to your skincare routine.
When it comes to barrier repair- less is more.
Simplify your products and routine and give your skin time and space to restore balance.
Over-using skincare products can be harmful to your health, always be gentle, and always be mindful.
How to heal inflamed, dry, sensitive and distressed skin
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀- Learn how to properly hydrate your skin⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Use a nourishing and protective face oil during the day⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Cleanse at night only with oil, just rinse in the morning⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Use a calming hydrosol mist, especially when exposed to heating/air conditioning⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Drink plenty of water and infused water (e.g. lemon, mint or cucumber)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Eat nutritious foods, especially greens and healthy fats⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Wash your face with cool/warm water only⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Massage your face gently or have regular facials⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Trust that your skin is intelligent and will restore balance overtime ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Use raw honey as a face mask
- Treat your skin as if it were the skin of a baby- kind, nurturing and gentle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Have long, hot showers (or at least apply oil before doing so).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Consume large amounts of sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and caffeine.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Exfoliate more than once per week (or at all depending on how inflamed the skin is).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Use harsh/oil-stripping cleansers, products and pure clay masks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Forget to moisturise properly.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Try to overtake natural processes with loads of product, less is more.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Be impatient and frustrated...embrace the lessons
The skin can be an amazing teacher if we choose to listen.
It is a wise organ- so if you're hastily trying to change something you don't like, just remember that it could be a warning sign of a deeper and more serious health issue.
My skin started to heal when I started treating it with the respect it deserves.
With kindness and compassion I learnt (still learning) to love my skin no matter what.
With acceptance and gratitude I have learnt more about the health of my mind, body and spirit than I ever thought I would, more than I even thought was possible.
I am so thankful for all the redness, dryness, pimples, dullness, worry, low self esteem and frustration that I experienced. Without these challenges and lessons I would not be where I am today- well and truly on my way to being holistically healthy.
Knowing what I know and having experienced what I did- I wouldn't change a thing.
It all starts with self love