7 Steps To Great Skin In 2020
"A change is as good as a holiday," and who would say no thank you to that?
As 2020 gets underway, we’d like to challenge you to make some changes that will improve the outcomes for your skin (and overall health). As with anything worth doing, some of the items on the list will require staying power but some are surprisingly simple - all come with benefits well worth the effort.
Quit the cleanse. Before you cringe, there is good reason to forgo your morning cleanse in favour of a little splash with water and here’s the thinking…
The natural oils that your skin produces overnight are very expensive (metabolically) to produce so it makes sense to assume that they are important; our bodies are not up for wasting energy for no good reason. Our research has led to the discovery that these skin oils (sebum) are very useful to healthy skin microbes, the sorts of microbes you really want on your skin. By removing all these good oils, we compromise our skin microbiome and open the playing field to unwanted bacteria that cause all manner of skin concerns from acne to eczema and rosacea. Esse is all about creating a balanced skin microbiome – all our moisturisers contain prebiotics to feed good skin microbes in an attempt to keep them happy. If you stop to think about it, it’s like your skin makes its own nurturing moisturiser, so why wash it all away? Just rinse with a little water before toning and applying moisturiser. Aside from saving time and making your cleanser last longer your skin will be happier too.
Pick 1 day a week to go make-up free… no make-up means you can skip a cleanser all together that day. For compromised skin, this is probably one of the most beneficial practices you can get into. We’ve highlighted the value of your skin’s natural oil in the section above, so give your microbiome a weekend to chill out too!
Turn towards the sun. Spend 15 minutes in the sun everyday if you can – without sunscreen. Yes, that’s right! Vitamin D is essential to your health on every level, including skin health. Vitamin D is made in your skin but your body needs unprotected exposure to direct sunlight to make it. For millennia our ancestors lived and roamed the great outdoors, so there is no reason to think we are not made for it. Most of the western world is vitamin D deficient with known symptoms including auto-immune disorders, some cancers, low bone density and depression. Joining the dots, these include some of the most common ailments affecting modern day humans; perhaps the first step we should take is a step back into the sun.
Of course, if you're spending a longer time in the sun, take precautions against harmful overexposure, including covering up and using a good quality physical sunscreen.
Quit sugar and other highly processed carbs . This may be the biggest challenge we have for you. It does require a lifestyle change but just say no thank you once, twice, three times and before you know it, it will be your natural response. Our bodies are built to seek out sugar and short chain carbohydrates as they represent free, easy energy, but even a few hundred years back, these things were rare and hard to find in nature. Dealing with the large quantities of sugar that are too easily accessible these days hurts you a lot. It’s often difficult to find anything that is not processed or sweet but if you plan ahead a little and have some healthy snacking options on hand, you won’t be tempted to cheat.
Sweat and breathe. Exercise is good for you, period. It’s also great for skin health. Sweating releases toxins that build up over time and getting your heart rate up, coupled with good breathing techniques increases blood flow to your entire body, skin included. We challenge you to get moving at least twice a week for 1 hour.
Go rewild yourself! This may sound like we’re encouraging irresponsible behaviour, but there’s nothing rebellious about rewilding. Getting out into nature re-seeds your body and skin with an abundance of nature’s best medicine – good microbes. The side effects of rewilding are also great for reducing stress levels, elevating happiness and so much more. The best part is that there are so many ways to rewild that you will never tire of it:
- Plant a garden – you’ll end up with beautiful flowers or fresh veggies as a bonus
- Go for a walk in the wild – you’ll get fit and feel energized and inspired
- Play with your pets – they’re masters at rewilding and will gladly show you how
- Walk barefoot on the dirt, sit on the grass, go for a swim in the ocean
- Hang outdoors with children – they also have a knack for it
Ditch the anti-bacterials. Our one last challenge to you is for the good of the planet as well... expose yourself and your family to fewer toxins – switch to eco cleaning products. A first step would be to reduce the number of cleaning products in your cleaning cupboard; do you really need a toilet cleaner, a shower cleaner and a surface cleaner? A quick search for eco cleaning products will result in a long list of companies making this simple change so easy. Many are even incorporating bacteria to do the job better than the nasty chemicals we have come to innocently trust.