Our skin is our largest organ, therefore it is even more important for us to take good care of it. We asked Tina Lykkegaard from Denmark, who is an experienced holistic skin-therapist, what happens to our skin when we neglect it, what her best advice is for taking care of our skin, and how we can start doing this.
Why is it important to take good care of our skin?Not many people think about it, but our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we rub on it, and also from the clothes we wear. Before too long, our skin will make it clear if we are not taking good care of ourselves, whether it be our eating habits and lifestyle, or the mineral oils we expose it to. Mineral oils form a layer of resin on our skin and are often found in fat lotions, lip balms, and ointments, which can cause impure skin and make it difficult for dry skin or rashes to resolve. This is because mineral oils cannot be absorbed by the skin to moisturise it.
What happens to the body when we expose it to chemicals?It has been proven that harmful chemicals, such as those that are toxic to reproduction, can be absorbed by the body, causing unnecessary strain. Our body already works to rinse itself of waste materials and toxins from foods, pollution from the air, and harmful chemicals in clothes; we don’t need to give it even more work from the harmful chemicals it is exposed to in our skincare products. If our body is forced to work extra hard, this is when we experience headaches, poor digestion, skin break-outs, and feel lethargic.
Which chemicals should we avoid?The things I avoid are, mineral oils, synthetic perfumes, parabens (a few are approved), MI, synthetic colours, triclosan, urea’s, and aluminium. The list is long, but luckily none of these are present in organic products. On the packaging of most organic products, it says what percentage of it is organic or natural. This is important to be aware of, as a product can call itself organic if it contains only 10-15% organic materials. I try to find products that are 70-99% natural and ideally organic.
What is your best advice to people like us, who would like to take better care of their skin, but find it overwhelming to change all their habits?Do it gradually. You don’t need to change all your habits at once. From experience, many of my clients can fix their digestive issues by “simply” drinking one smoothie a day. Quite frequently it is a matter of getting more vegetables in your body, and not just iceberg lettuce (as it is basically just water), but cabbage, coarse vegetables, and darker lettuce such as spinach. Garlic, ginger, and lemon are also great supplements, and the good thing is that many of the ingredients can be hidden in a smoothie.
Also remember to drink plenty of water, preferably 1.5-2 litres a day, it helps a lot. Our body’s need water to be able to cleanse itself (this doesn’t include fizzy drinks, coffee, or energy drinks). You can even add things such as lemon or cucumber to make it tastier and easier for the body to absorb.
Last but not least, remember to relax. We are extremely busy every day and run from one thing to the next. Let yourself take a break, enjoy nature, and breathe deeply, as these will help create a sense of calmness. Stress is not conducive to healthy skin!