The term holistic comes from the Greek word “holos”, meaning whole. A holistic health approach simply means looking at and treating something as a whole, and not just parts of it. The underlying philosophy is that these parts are interrelated and interdependent, and therefore health can only be achieved if all the parts are working properly.
In this context, a holistic approach to skincare implies treating the whole body using only natural and organic products to keep your skin nourished and hydrated. However, it is not enough to treat your skin from the outside only. You have to nurture it from the inside as well. The way our skin looks depends on many factors - from the ingredients we use, through our lifestyles choices such as diet and exercise, the levels of stress we are exposed to, as well as our emotional and mental wellbeing.
5 MAIN ELEMENTS OF A HOLISTIC SKIN CARE ROUTINE
1. Nourish your skin with only natural, organic ingredients.
Your skin needs ingredients to nurture and keep it hydrated. You can try a good cleanser, a natural toner and a vitamin-rich moisturiser. Stay away from harsh, stripping products and avoid parabens, SLS, synthetic fragrances or colours, which can be harmful to our skin and health.
Establish a daily skin care routine to give it the care it deserves.
2. Eat wholesome foods for beautiful skin
The foods we eat are probably just as important when it comes to skincare as what we put onto our skin. A healthy, balanced diet will show on your face.
- There are several studies that link dairy to acne so if it affects your skin you can try to limit your intake accordingly.
- Sugar, white bread, pasta and processed foods can cause inflammation and can spike the blood sugar, resulting in increased sebum production and worsening acne. A way to keep a balanced sugar level is by eating “real foods” such as whole grains, vegetables, beans or nuts.
- Pay attention to your vitamin intake, especially vitamin D in the winter, and try to get most of your vitamins from natural sources, such as raw fruits and vegetables. An excellent way of getting all the vitamins is by incorporating a daily vegetable juice into your routine: think carrots, apples, blueberries, beetroot, celery…. This is by far the best way to get healthy, nourished, glowing skin.
- Antioxidant-rich food, such as dark green and leafy vegetables, can help neutralize free radicals that wreak havoc with healthy cells and should be consumed weekly.
- Healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and flaxseed help to lower cholesterol and boost our immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish are necessary to keep skin supple and moisturised.
- Alcohol dehydrates skin and the added sugar can increase inflammation. Heavy alcohol consumption will cause face puffiness, redness and broken capillaries.
Everybody knows exercise promotes health. It powerfully boosts immune function, stimulates your lymphatic system and brings oxygen and nutrients to your cells. Sweating also helps remove toxins.
Exercise reduces stress and anxiety and promotes better sleep which brings us back to better skin.
4. Beauty Sleep
As is name indicates we need sleep, and lots of it, to stay healthy and beautiful. It is the time when our body and skin have the chance to rejuvenate, renew and regenerate.
Sleep deprivation results in dark circles and grey, saggy skin but it also results in elevated levels of cortisol and stress hormones that can lead to more inflammation and the worsening of conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
5. Reduce Stress
In small amounts, stress can be invigorating and uplifting, especially if it is related to a happy event but living with long-term, negative stress can take a toll on our health and our skin.
Stress suppresses our immune system and is one of the biggest culprits for our current diseases. Stress also shows on our skin: it can lead to acne flare-ups, hives, rashes, hair loss and worsen existing skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.
There are beneficial stress-reduction strategies to counter balance the effects of stress and some of our favourite ones are: Nightly hot bath, yoga, deep breathing, meditation and aromatherapy.