Did you know? You have wonderful skin.
Sensitive skin, or not, you were born with this amazing life cover which works hard for you every single day:
- Your skin protects you by acting as a barrier to contaminants,
- And it naturally retains water, enabling your organs to perform as they need to without drying out.
We all worry about the effects of aging on the skin, and whether having a skincare routine (and what routine) will make any real difference. In reality, moisturising, and how you nourish your skin, has as much of an effect as drinking enough water, sleeping enough, and eating well. It is all temporary.
A skincare routine is really a holistic approach to health, a habit & lifestyle – not one single act towards healthy skin. Everything you do to care for your health, mind & body, will affect your skin. Your skin will reflect your life & lifestyle.
The true purpose of moisturising is to simply protect this natural barrier: its health and its ability to do what it needs to do to protect you for as long as you live.
Moisturisers need to help stop water evaporating from the skin, and help protect against UV rays. Moisturising is not a replacement for a healthy skin, and its effect is temporary and limited to your skin’s ability to take in and use the nourishment you provide it. Your skin is still doing all the hard work.
By picking the right time to moisturise, your skin makes the most of the nourishment you give it so I’ve sought to find out when the best times are and why. Here’s the list:
Right after a bath or shower
After a bath or shower, your body is warm and wet, and contact with the air evaporates all the moisture. That’s why in summer, for example, you’ll feel nice and cool after a shower! What this means as well, is that unless you moisturise immediately after a shower or bath, what is evaporating isn’t just the excess water on our skin but some of the hydration from your skin as well. Seal the moisture in.
You may not realise it, but in a hot bath you are sweating. It’s important to re-hydrate afterward as well.
Best tip: Pick a moisturiser that will not clog your pores! For the body, organic, unrefined, raw Shea Butter is non-comedogenic (it does not clog your pores), anti-inflammatory, has an SPF of 6 and contains vitamin E. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
After shaving or exfoliating
You are removing more than just hair when you shave. Shaving and exfoliating with scrubs, an accessory such as our ramie shower puffs, or with chemical exfoliators all remove skin cells. Here again, shea butter is my best recommendation for most of the body.
Before going out in the sun, even when it’s not sunny
Pollution and UV rays and other irritants are not your friends. We can’t always see them (the fact that we sometimes can see pollution is disturbing), but our skin is fending them off every time we head out for a walk or a run.
Mostly it is the face and neck area that suffer from overexposure. The best solution is to apply a little argan oil to the area. Argan oil has an SPF of 30, a similar consistency to your skin’s natural sebum so it’s won’t feel greasy, and contains Vitamin E.
Going further, the best way to apply moisturising to the face is to use the oil cleansing method. Oil cleansing means that you do not use detergent to clean your face as this area is too sensitive for it. I do not use any detergent or harsh physical exfoliators on my face! I clean it with water, use oil and use naturally exfoliating ingredients like glycolic acids combined with amino acids. Beware however that using chemical exfoliators means you need to use SPF. Argan oil comes back to save the day.
Before going to sleep
Our bodies are hard at work while we sleep! It works to repair damage, hormones kicking in to regenerate cells, and you lose water in the process as your body gets warmer. This means your skin is more prone to drying out and can benefit from moisturising.
The evening is the time to first drink plenty of water so you will sleep better, but also apply a cream that is rich in antioxidants. Also, to keep hydrated, it’s best not to be too warm as your body will warm up anyway naturally.
I like to use a cream which not only moisturises but provides aromatherapy benefits before sleep.
After washing your hands
Your skin has sebaceous glands nearly all over, except the palms of your hands and feet. These glands secrete natural oil which keeps the skin conditioned. The part of our bodies we most wash, often with harsh detergents and commonly with products that attack the skin barrier, is our hands! That is why your hands are most prone to feeling dry.
The best option for hands is a light cream you won’t have to rub in for too long. Thankfully the palm of your hands don’t get clogged pores (the other more pleasant side of not having sebaceous glands), so I recommend going all out with naturally deliciously scented coconut oil. Coconut oil is comedogenic, so I don’t recommend it elsewhere, but for the hands, I absolutely recommend it. Pick it to be organic, virgin coconut oil and it will retain it’s amazing smells and natural properties.
For your lips: protecting from the cold & the sun
Make-up, cold, sun exposure, kissing… your lips are so delicate they tend to dry out! If your lips are dry, apply a litle pure-salt water solution (himalayan pink salt is amazing) then moisturise with a little coconut oil.
Don’t forget your hair: When applying heat
I’m guilty of trying to tame my frizzy hair with very hot hair straighteners. Wonder why smoke comes out sometimes when it’s not actually burning? That’s the moisture evaporating. Spritz a little argan oil and brush it in before applying heat. It will protect your hair.
Here’s to your skin!