>> Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tomogram of skin - Image via Wikipedia"Being a guy" I never really cared too much about keeping my skin healthy when I was growing up. I look back and realize that I should have, of course. It just goes to show how disconnected I was from my body at that time. Your body talks back to you in more ways than just feeling pain when you're sick. Whether it's acid indigestion telling you that you just ate a whole bunch of stuff your body really hates, or just dry skin as a result of the wrong kind or not enough oils throughout the day, you should try to listen to what it's saying.
My father, grandfather, and men perhaps further up my family tree have rather fair skin. This means we burn easily and, although I can't say for certain about previous generations, we've all fought off dandruff for most of our lives. I actually consider myself lucky for all of this despite the fact that I was oblivious to the message most of my life; having sensitive skin is a great way for your body to talk to you, because changes in its makeup happen relatively quickly. When my skin condition started getting worse - to the point where small red splotches appeared on my eyebrows and cheeks, I started panicking, imagining how bad something like that could get.
I started trying whatever I could find to help. For a while, I went so far as to try off-the-shelf hydro-cortisone cream despite the fact that I knew it was a hormone cream very bad for your health. For a while I even though that worked, but my face would break out again and again, making me wonder what else I could be doing wrong.
I believe now that I've discovered what it all is. First, although I can't combat this very easily, I think I'm surrounded by too many chemicals. We have a relatively-new house, and those are built almost entirely with unhealthy materials. That certainly doesn't help anything. We filter our water, and open our windows as much as we can. We're going to replace the memory-foam mattress we have with an organic alternative as soon as we can afford it. We've banished almost all cleaning chemicals from our house. We're working at it.
Image via WikipediaThankfully, I've found the nutrients my body needs to combat the deterioration in coconut oil. I read The Coconut Oil Miracle to really understand how this helps, but it really does make your skin more youthful and healthy. Just prior to finding that coconut oil works, I had thought that another combination of oils was the ultimate solution: jojoba oil mixed with lavender oil. That definitely seems to have helped, but it wasn't until I began using coconut oil that really I kept the skin irritation away. Coconut oil helps with the removal of dead skin on the surface, and it strengthens the tissues underneath1.
This also happily healed my hands as I used it, without my realizing it had done so. Previously, I would find little brown spots on my fingers which would turn into red cracks - obviously uncomfortable. Ever since making coconut oil a part of my daily routine (heh, I have a routine, now :) I haven't seen that condition come back at all.
If you're using any kind of "modern" skin care product, I suggest you stop right now. These kinds of products are usually based on polyunsaturated oils which are already rancid before you even get to them, and this promotes free-radical damage to your system2. They're also loaded with unhealthy chemicals, artificial fragrances, and sometimes even preservatives - and salt. Treat your skin like the living organism it is, and only put something on it that you could see yourself eating as well. When things are absorbed into your skin, they don't just disappear - they can sometimes enter your bloodstream.
Moisturizers and body lotions, in particular, come with ingredient lists that are often 40 or 50 chemicals long, and although most of those ingredients aren’t particularly worrisome, some are—like BHA, an immune system and organ toxicant (and possible carcinogen), and aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, a neurotoxin that could come contaminated with heavy metals like lead or arsenic. - GoodGuide on MoisturizersI can't really imagine why companies would want to go to such lengths as to add vicious chemicals into products that are advertised as making someone healthy, but then it's been done since before anyone remembers. Maybe it's laziness, or greed. Maybe they get a good deal on some waste products from refineries or something. But they're not helping YOU, they're helping themselves. Nature already provides everything you need to keep your body well-oiled and running smooth.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday - find out more about what real food does to your body!