My chosen profession, skincare, is a billion-dollar industry.
But I’m ashamed to say it’s one that is clocked in deception.
Advertising in the skincare industry has been selling false promises and a negative perception of beauty to women for years.
Many companies feed off people’s insecurities, which is extremely frustrating – and believe me, I’d be the first to tell you there’s a fountain of youth in a bottle, or a fast-track method to getting healthy, beautiful skin.
And some might say beauty is skin-deep, but I believe the importance of skin goes a lot deeper.
Instead as a company, we prefer to focus on preventative measures and transparency in beauty instead.
Our core philosophy, is consumer empowerment, maintaining that connection with our “modern skincare customers”, who are proactive and seek information and validation before making a purchase.
To that end, I aim to redefine beauty from an educational standpoint, acquainting you with the procedures, tips, and tools that will help you attain your healthy skincare goals.
This article looks at what I believe is involved when achieving healthy, beautiful skin; it’s a broad subject. So here is a glossary if you will, of all our best bits to help you navigate.
Healthy, beautiful skin starts here
I believe you have to have a four-pronged approach
- what you take internally – in terms of diet and supplements
- well being – your mental and emotional state
- what you apply topically
- physiology and exercise
Hydration hydration hydration
This is at the top of our list.
The reason? If your skin lacks moisture, it becomes exposed to a whole host of skin conditions, such as inflammation and premature ageing this I discuss in greater detail in the article dehydrated skin under the microscope.
If you’re concerned about dehydrated skin, H2O pure hyaluronic complex is the key. Carefully formulated with water-loving hyaluronic and potent urea, this formula visibly plumps and softens a dehydrated, depleted skin. Need an additional moisture boost? Consider layering over H20 with Quench ultra-hydrating gel.
Buff your way to beautiful skin
Exfoliation equals complexion perfection – in small doses, that is.
Did you know your outer layer of skin, the stratum corneum, is made up of non-living yet functional cells referred to as corneocytes? They are tightly stacked, plate-like cells that are a vital component of your skin; forming a tough barrier which faces free radical attack from the external environment daily.
Healthy skin has a normal physiological balance between the production of new cells and the shedding of old ones, whilst mature or impaired skin requires regular encouragement.
Removal of these cells is central to maintaining your skin’s health, and the critical balance of ingredients that make up your barrier. This is why occasional, gentle exfoliation is recommended.
In saying that, if your skin is impaired, I recommend avoid exfoliating until your skin has healed, because you need to address the inflammation first. This is because there is always a delicate balance between basal cell proliferation and the shedding of corneocytes (desquamation) when it comes to maintaining the constant thickness of your epidermis.
A Note on Desmosomes:
No discussion on healthy skin and exfoliation should be complete without mentioning desmosomes – tiny protein bridges that bind your cells together. Desquamation is a process in your skin by which these protein bridges are enzymatically dissolved – this allows for the natural shedding of the most superficial cells, the corneocytes.
The ENZYMES responsible for dissolving these bridges will only FUNCTION in a well HYDRATED environment – remember how I discussed earlier that hydration was the holy grail of healthy skin?
When the water content in your skin’s outer layer decreases, these enzymes become ineffective and can’t dissolve, the tiny protein bridges easily, preventing cells from being shed; this is important because the retention of these superficial cells will make your skin look dry, dehydrated, and scaly.
On a final note, as you mature, natural desquamation slows down in the skin, so our skin does require encouragement.
As discussed above, gentle manual exfoliation will help to keep your skin cells turning over; creating a youthful, even glow. Only use spherical round beads and nothing too harsh that may cause tiny micro-tears in your skin.
Delicate microflora of your acid mantle keeps your skin glowing.
The existence of your acid mantle depends on the survival of essential bacteria, which are beneficial in keeping your skin healthy. I would go as far as saying their survival literally depends on the condition your skin is in.
When these beneficial and friendly organisms are present, your outer layer of skin is in a happy state of equilibrium. However, the slightest disturbance in your skin’s condition will easily endanger their population, and once diminished, your skin becomes vulnerable to harmful bacteria.
It’s a vicious cycle; the friendly bacteria have less and less chance of survival, and the invading harmful bacteria win and take over. So, what’s the solution? Ideally, you want to make friendly organisms stronger against important changes in the skin balance. This they will do in the presence of a probiotic; the friendly bacteria can recover and grow faster, even when the natural balance is disturbed. The probiotic helps to recover the friendly bacteria and essentially kill off the pathogens.
So, over-cleansing, exfoliating, or stripping your skin is a big no in my book, because you’re interfering with the acid mantle and its delicate micro-flora that is there as protection for your skin.
Your skins first line of defence is the barrier function
- your skin’s defence system is down, which produces even more harmful bacteria that penetrate the skin cells
- this destruction of healthy skin cells leads to a breakdown of the lipid barrier
- when the skin’s barrier is undermined, penetration of foreign substances easily occurs
- this excess of oxidizing substances also destroys healthy skin cells, leading to redness, itching, irritation, and eczema
- the short-term effect is infection and inflammation
- the long-term effect is the premature formation of wrinkles
Once the skin’s barrier is undermined, the consequences are significant.
It is the harmful bacteria that are determining your skin conditions (or increase in pH), because all the oxidizing components that are there, to kill the harmful bacteria, have been depleted.
So, the first rule is to prevent the disturbance in this barrier.
It is impossible to prevent this all the TIME; the reality is that the causes which disturb this delicate balance are always present.
This is especially the case for people with acne inflammation or sensitive skin, where their barrier function has been knocked out of balance.
Home care routine
If it’s beautiful skin you are after, then a good skincare routine is key.
Well thought out products containing quality skin-identical ingredients, including ceramides, lipids, vitamins, and humectants, will visibly improve the appearance of your skin.
For instance, humectants such as hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and urea will all help to increase the water content of your skin significantly, thus increasing the activity of the enzymes that break the protein bridge connections between corneocytes, creating skin that feels softer and more pliable.
So, to recap, these are my top tips for maintaining healthy, beautiful skin:
- Hydration is paramount for healthy skin.
- Regularly exfoliate for that healthy glow – but don’t over-exfoliate.
- Protect your delicate micro-flora, that makes up the acid mantle.
- Ensure you have a good homecare routine, with products containing skin-identical ingredients because the protective ingredients naturally found in our skin deplete as we age.
- Avoid the sun and use low chemical sunscreen; high SPF has too many chemicals.
- Think internal not just topical! Linoleic acid is so important for restoring a healthy barrier, and so are Zinc, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.
- Fragrance in products is one of the most frequent causes of contact allergic reactions; therefore, fragrance-free skincare products are recommended.
We already have an amazing, direct, and efficient delivery system built into our skin. Still, It’s up to you to tap into that – helping your skin to naturally restore balance, with ingredients that have optimum skin health in mind and support both inner and outer beauty.
If you are keen to learn more about skin health, the article a holistic approach to healthy skin, you might find a useful resource.