Idealogy behind my Skincare Regime

Having tried and tested numerous skincare brands and finding ‘faults’ with most from skin reactions to not liking the ingredients I decided to make my own.

It was incredibly simple and involved Olive Oil.

Many, many moons ago, I put together a project on skincare through the ages. I went to the local library and pulled out every book I could find on skincare or make-up since the dawn of time. It wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped and there wasn’t a lot to find on the care of the skin but some on make-up, jewelery and the beauty industry in general. For instance Cleopatra and Nefertiti would make a pomade of animal fat and flower oils and put dollops of it on their head and the heat of the day would melt the oil so that it would run down their hair and faces. The reason for this was to make them smell better! However the men complained that it made their eye make-up run into a mess on their faces. Isobella in Byzantine times was incredibly youthful and simply stayed out of the sun to maintain her smooth, white complexion.
Both the Byzantines and Romans used oil to cleanse themselves with and this is what formed my skincare regime. They would plaster their bodies with oil and the Romans would scrap it off with a knife, the Byzantines with a fried Lizard!. The dirt and germs would stick to the oil and the sharp knife would peel off a shallow layer of dead skin.

Knowing what I knew about the anatomy of the skin this method made good sense to me.

Every time the skin sheds one skin cell a new one grows, so scraping off a thin layer meant that more skin cells were growing – giving a firmer, clearer look to the surface of the skin.

Glycerine, Honey, Beeswax and Salt are all humectants, which means that water binds itself to them. This is why companies like to put them in their products and the skin certainly looks moisturised and creamy. However where are the products drawing their moisture from? The air around them or from your skin? There is some thought that they are drawing moisture from the skin which is why when you cleanse your face at night removing all traces of any ingredients your skin will feel dry and uncomfortable. I used salt as a scrub at one point but it made my skin feel very sore, I wondered if this was because the salt was sloughing off skin cells exposing the vulnerable cells underneath and attracting the NMF to the salt, drying out my skin?

The actual skin cells cannot take in water when water is applied to the skin because they are dead or dying. The water is applied to stay between the dead skin cells as NMF. But it won’t stay there. What is needed is something thicker and stickier like oil. Olive oil is close to the skin’s NMF and Jojoba oil is even closer. Olive Oil is also rich in Vit E which provides the elastine the nutrients it needs to maintain its flexibility.

The skin will absorb ingredients and this is why I am fussy about what I put on my skin. If humectants can be absorbed into the skin to the bloodstream what are they doing to my body?

There is a very fine oil that was used a lot in the skincare industry because it did feel so fine and smooth when applied. It is also used in WD40 the product that unblocks locks. It is so fine it can creep into cracks and miniscule crevices degreasing and loosening the tiny mechanisms in locks. But it isn’t a natural oil. It is manufactured and is called Isopropyl Myristate. This oil when applied to the skin, creeps into the pores triggering an immune reaction as the bacteria are sent to the area to kill the invader and so a spot is formed. It can also can also collect under a layer of skin cells forming a white head or small lump that can take months to disperse.

I haven’t been able to better my very simple skincare regime. I would love to find an efficient natural product to scrap away the dead skin cells (I don’t trust myself with a knife!).

Please refer to the Skincare Regime for further ‘foods’ that are great for the skin.

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