Our skin is our largest organ, and it is therefore extra important that we take good care of it. We have asked Tina Lykkegaard from Denmark, who is a holistic skin-therapist with many years of experience, about what happens to the skin when we neglect it; her best advice for taking good care of it; and how we can get started on this.
Why is it important that we take good care of our skin?Not a lot of people think about it, but our skin is actually our largest organ. The skin absorbs everything. What we rub on it, but also what we dress it in. Within short time, the skin will reveal it if we’re not taking good care of ourselves when it comes to eating habits and lifestyle or if we expose it to mineral oils, which form a layer of resin on the skin. Mineral oils are often found in fat lotions, lip balms and ointments (also for kids), which can easily cause impure skin or make it difficult for dry skin or rashes to get better, since mineral oils cannot be absorbed by the skin to moisturise it.
What happens to the body, when we expose it to chemicals?It is proven that harmful chemicals, e.g. those that are toxic to reproduction, are absorbed by the body. It strains the body unnecessarily, since the body has a lot going on. The body needs to continuously rinse itself of waste material and toxins from the food we eat (non-organic), pollution from the air, harmful chemicals in clothes as well as in toys for the little ones. So by exposing our body to harmful chemicals through our skincare products, we give the body yet another task to deal with. If the body is working overtime, it can cause e.g. headaches, bad digestion, impure skin and a lack of energy.
Which chemicals should we avoid?I avoid e.g. mineral oils, synthetic perfume, parabens (a few are approved), MI, synthetic colour, triclosan, ureas and aluminium. A long list, but luckily these are not present in organic products. For the best organic product, it says on the package what percentage of the product is organic or natural. Here it is important to be aware of the fact that you can call a product organic if the product contains around 10-15% organic materials. I try to find products for which the percentage is 70-99% natural and preferably organic.
What is your best advice for us, who would like to take better care of our skin – but perhaps find it a little overwhelming to change all our habits?Start out slowly. Don’t think you need to do all at once. In my experience, my clients experience a better digestion by ”simply” drinking one smoothie a day. More often than not it is a matter of getting some vegetables in your body. Not just iceberg lettuce (because that is basically water), but cabbage, coarse vegetables and green lettuce such as spinach and ruccola. Also garlic, ginger and lemon are a great supplement, and the good thing is that many of the ingredients can be “hidden” in a good smoothie and your digestion will thank you for it. Get lots of healthy fat from avocados, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil, hemp seeds, nuts and other seeds. And remember to drink water! It is so simple, but gives so much. The body needs water to be able to rinse itself (and sodas, lemonade, coffee, energy drinks etc. don’t count). Preferably 1 ½ - 2 litres a day – e.g. add some cucumber, lemon or ginger to make the water tasty and to make it easier for the body to absorb. Last but not least, remember to relax. We are so busy today and run around from one thing to the next. Take a break. Enjoy nature and breath all the way into the stomach, since this gives the body a sense of calmness. Stress is a big no-go when it comes to a healthy skin.