From childhood until old age, men and women rely on a wide variety of cosmetics to keep their skins radiant, elastic, and blemish-free. The vast majority of these cosmetics consist of industrial chemicals, or at least contain such chemicals in addition to natural oils. It is, accordingly, unsurprising that cosmetics create as many skin conditions as they solve. The best way to acquire beautiful and healthy skin is the natural way, with the variety of natural oils and vitamins nature has on offer to us.
The Structure and Function of Skin
The skin consists of three layers. From outside to inside, these are the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis.
- The epidermis is responsible for our skin tone, for filtering out ultraviolet radiation, and for blocking watery foreign substances from entering our bodies. It also contains Langerhans cells that fight off potentially harmful substances as part of the immune system. These cells sometimes over-react to harmless substances, like soap and oil, to produce skin allergies.
- The dermis is where hair start growing, where pain is felt, and where sweat and oil are produced. The oil that moisturises the epidermis is produced and stored here. Cells in the dermis give the skin its strength and elasticity.
- The hypodermis is primarily made up of fat to protect the organs and veins that run beneath it.
Beauty is Middle Layer Skin Deep
When people think of skin health, they usually think of the colour and texture of the epidermis, because that is the part they and everyone else can touch and see. However, true skin health requires paying a lot of attention to the inner layers too. An attractive skin tone is important, so the outer layer should be cared for. But elasticity and moisture are equally important to prevent stretch marks and to keep skin cells alive. This can be achieved only by caring for the middle layer too.
The Skin Benefits of Natural Oil and Vitamins
Oil has undeservedly acquired a poor reputation in the mainstream, because many people fail to distinguish between healthy unsaturated and vitamin-rich oils that aid heart, liver, and skin health and unhealthy saturated and hydrogenated oils that clog arteries and cause obesity. If you do not distinguish between healthy and unhealthy oils, you will deprive your skin of many essential oils without which it will age faster and lose its glow.
Put the Moisture Back In
Oil can help the skin retain its elasticity to combat stretch marks and wrinkles. Dry skin tears when it is stretched, or stretches successfully but then fails to contract smoothly when the stretch is over. Moist skin stretches and falls back into place successfully. Try this with an old and a new elastic at home. The old one will either break or develop small tears when you stretch it, and will retain those tears when it falls back into place after the stretch.
Oils Work Well Alongside a Diet Rich in Vitamins and Water
Oil and vitamins can protect the skin against aging. Like all other cells in the body, skin cells must die and be replaced quite frequently to remain effective. The skin pushes out dead cells through its layers to the epidermis where you wash it off in the shower. But since our bodies become less capable of producing healthy new cells as we become older, we should slow this process as much as we can by keeping the cells alive for as long as we can. We have a varied selection of vitamins and minerals as well as our alkaline water products which you may find useful in maintaining youthful skin.
Skin Must Keep Moist to Look Beautiful
Depriving skin cells of water and oil dries them out and kills them while providing them with moisture keeps them alive for longer. Furthermore, some vitamins protect cells from damage and help the skin to produce healthy new cells to replace the old ones.
By creating a moist envelope on top of the skin, oil can prevent the skin's natural moisture, produced in the dermis, from escaping.
Pay Attention to Skin Cell Health
By maintaining the cells that create skin pigmentation in the epidermis, and by helping the skin produce healthy new cells to replace old ones, oils and vitamins can fade age spots, scars, and stretch marks. The damage of the scarring will remain, but healthy new cells and pigmentation can cover them a bit.
Oils Could Ease Eczema Type Skin Conditions
Dry skin is more likely to become itchy, be scratched, and become infected. In this way, oils ingested that moisturise the skin, can ease the symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and other itchy skin conditions.
Eczema is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune cells that are meant to prevent harmful substances from entering your body through your skin over-react to a basically harmless substance by attacking healthy skin cells. Natural oils are less likely to trigger such an autoimmune response than the chemicals in synthetic cosmetics.
Eat Your Healthy Oils
While topical oils have a place in skin care, oils that are ingested orally play an equally important, if not more important, role. Topical oils evaporate after being applied to the skin. This is why skin specialists recommend that you treat dry hands and feet by applying an oil at night and wearing gloves or socks to bed to reduce evaporation. This should not come as a surprise.
One of the main functions of the epidermis is, after all, to prevent water and other foreign substances from entering the body. It is its job to repel the oils that you apply to your skin. As ingested oils moisturises the skin from the inside, the skin does not repel it and it can actually do its job.
Skin Healthy Oils and Vitamins
Organic coconut oil can be ingested as a vegan butter substitute, a cooking oil, a chilled no-cook dessert base, and a flavouring and creamer for soup and stews. It can also be applied topically as a moisturiser and works great as a massage or bath oil. Store it in a cool cupboard to prevent it from melting, as it does at room temperature, or from becoming rock hard, as it does when chilled.
Some researchers have found that topical coconut oil can hydrate the skin, protect wounds from bacteria and aid healing, and remove dry skin and bacteria from the skin following some skin conditions. Ingested coconut oil has been found to be protective against oxidative stress, thereby helping cells to stay alive and healthy for longer.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil supplements come in several different forms, from those loaded with EPA and DHA, to those loaded with ALA, to those that lack a fishy smell and taste. Most are in capsule form and are easy to take. Some scientists believe it can relieve the symptoms of psoriasis and reduce the sunburn response by promoting cells that make the skin less sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.
Organic flaxseed oil is popular to use in salad dressings and to scoop into smoothies. It comes in oil and capsule form. Some researchers have found that it can reduce skin irritation, sensitivity, reddening, drying, and scaling for those with certain skin conditions and for those who are healthy.
Organic olive oil is delicious in salad dressing, on bread, in pasta, and as a stir-fry oil. Some researchers believe it inhibits oxidative stress, and thereby facilitate slower aging of cells in the skin as well as in the rest of the body.
Organic avocado oil can be used in salads, as a cooking oil, and as a topical moisturiser. It is popular in the natural health community as an antioxidant to help prevent cell damage and is often taken as a substitute for olive oil.
Hormones and Diet Play a Major Role in Skin Health
Since many skin conditions are caused by an over-abundance of hormones in the skin, by slow turnover of dead cells, by over-active glands that produce too much fat in the dermis, and by other non-moisture-related problems, no advice on skin health can ignore the roles that vitamins A, C, D, and E play. If you look through the ingredients of almost any face cream and soap, you will find some of these vitamins. A vitamin A shortage, for example, makes it more likely that you will develop acne and dry or scaly skin. Similarly, diets high in vitamin C are believed to result in brighter skin with fewer wrinkles and better sun resistance. If you are unsure whether your diet contains sufficient amounts of these vitamins, you can take a good vitamin supplement.
Be a Natural Skin Beauty
As well as being a beauty accessory, your skin is also responsible for keeping your body safe from bumps, toxins, and sunlight. By giving it all the help it needs to fulfil these roles, by choosing to consume only healthy oils, ensuring your diet is rich in vitamins and minerals and is free of harmful chemicals, it will reward you by looking youthful, radiant, and undamaged.