Not long ago, I ventured to Glenn Ivy Hot springs to enjoy the pleasures of water, mud, heat, and the total purging experience I have each time. This last visit was the most memorable as I “fully” tried the mud grotto. I mean, I went mud crazy. I put some in my hair, all over my body where I could, and even the bottoms of my feet. The experience was life changing for me and my therapy beliefs. I dried in the mid morning sun, and exfoliated with a towel. I laughed with my girlfriend too and that added to the delight of the treatment. As I scrubbed the dried mask off, my whole body tingled. A buzzing feeling that I had never felt before, came over me and It was as if I could feel my blood circulating in a vavissimo manner, and I loved it! I could feel the healing powers in that moment and I could feel my body literally absorb the nutrients like a parched, wilted flower drinking water. I was coming back to life.
The skin is the largest, most absorbent, the only exposed, and quickest healing organ of our body. Daily our skin sheds toxins and dry skin cells.
The Diagram to the left, shows an internal view of the skins layers. The best way to release toxins is through forced sweating, water cleansing, and ex foliation. Our lymph vessel, oil glands, and sweat glands all have an access port to the epidermis layer. In return, the the epidermis continually transmits elements back into the same portals through the products and element we expose our skin to in the environment.
There are five basic skin care types: Oily, combination, sensitive, dry and sun-damaged. Your skin type is determined by how much — or how little — oil your skin produces. Genes, diet, stress level, medication and even your skincare regimen all determine how much oil your skin produces.
It is very important that we consider the products and environmental exposure our skin receives as it plays a vital role in the overall health of our bodies. This article part 1 of our 2 part series of skin purging, will teach you how to know your skin type and then ways to treat, and reach your goals of balanced skin care customized for your personal needs.
Step 1. Know Your Skin Type
Rona Berg, in her book, “Beauty the New Basics,” details the five different skin types. Here’s how to tell what skin type you have.
Berg suggests you take the “skin test.” Wash your face, pat it dry, then take a few pieces of rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn’t stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin. About 70 percent of women have combination skin.
Here are the five different skin types and their characteristics.
- Type 1: Oily Oily skin tends to be shiny with enlarged pores and is prone to blackheads and blemishes. You might experience some tightness.
- Type 2: Combination/normal This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone. |
- Type 3: Sensitive Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rashy.
- Type 4: Dry Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women of color, skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin buildup.
- Type 5: Aging or sun-damaged This skin also feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone — especially around the cheeks and jawline — with leathery texture and broken capillaries.
Once you know your skin type for the face you can assume that it will apply to the whole body. For example, your calves and feet can be really dry and flaky, but you have a smooth and even textured back. That would be considered combination skin and there are ways to heal the dry feet and calves, while cleansing and nourishing the back all at the same time. Our bodies have a wonderful way of absorbing and using what it needs and discarding the excess out.
A holistic approach to skin care will benefit you in many ways. Your skin is also an organ which happens to cover and protect your entire body. In order to have truly healthy skin you must care for the skin on your entire body.Caring for the skin on your entire body isn’t much different than caring for the skin on your face. Your skin, no matter which part of the body it happens to be connected to, requires the same basic care. If you want beautiful, healthy skin, you must cleanse it, exfoliate it, moisturize it, and protect it. These are the same principles you have probably already employed to care for your face. Though different skin types may require some variation in the frequency of certain steps or the type of products used to care for the skin, all skin types should perform all aspects of skin care
Step 2. Basic Skin Care in 4-steps:
1. Cleanse- Cleansing daily your skin needs to be with the best suited cleanser for your skin type. A person with dry skin may do best with the moisturizing skin cleanser but a person with oily skin will clog pores and may create acne with moisturizing cream cleansers. Sensitive skin types are difficult to find a product that will not irritate the skin. Once you find a product that works stick with it for a season and notice the differences.
2. Moisturize- Moisturizing the skin on your entire body will keep your skin soft and smooth. Dry skin should be moisturized as often as possible. Choosing rich creamy products will be much more beneficial than lighter moisturizers. Apply the moisturizer immediately after bathing. It will penetrate and absorb better. Sensitive and oily skin should be moisturized, but with caution. Use natural products and avoid heavy creams. Only moisturize as needed. Avoid baby oil or petroleum oil as they can clog pores.
3. Exfoliate- (done once or more times per week per skin type) Exfoliating your skin is necessary for all skin types. The process removes dead skin cells and helps renew the skin. Your skin will appear more radiant and the tone will be more even. Use a gentle exfoliate so as not to damage the skin. Oily skin may require a scrub several times a week over the entire body.
4. Protect- The most important step of all in any skin care regiment is protection. Your skin protects your body from all hazards. Isn’t it only fair to reciprocate by protecting your skin? The sun’s rays are skin kryptonite. The damaging rays wreak havoc on your skin and all of the functions this organ performs. Sun block should be applied religiously. Every morning, apply a product containing sun block to your face and body. Do this every single day of the year. You should also use a chapstick or lip balm which contains sun block to protect the thin and vulnerable skin on your lips from the sun.
In Part 2 of Skin Purge the Whole Body I will discuss:
- Seasonal self care
- Body wraps for total body hydration
2. Williams, Ann, BFA Spa Bodywork: A guide for massage therapists/Anne WilliamsShare