Have you ever woken up to a face flared in hives, a scaly rash, white head infections bursting everywhere, or heated in a flush that feels hot to the touch? The majority of you will answer with a reluctant yes. The reasons why our skin transitions from a normal, seemingly forgettable part of our daily existence to a skincare SOS can’t be simply explained. Try as I might, there are just some things I can’t predict or over-communicate in a session to help people prepare for such a skincare predicament. The last thing I want to see in my inbox after caring for someone endlessly for 90 minutes session accompanied with an email follow up that can take up to 2 hours to research and write up, is a subject line that screams: SKINCARE SOS!
Skincare SOS; The times in which you're grateful for long hair to hide what feels like all of your vulnerabilities are showcased on your face.
These things tend to come in patterns for me where I have to really watch my responses and, more importantly, intentions behind each response. There is a delicate dance between supporting someone and also holding a mirror to some of their habits that may have led to this uncomfortable skin dilemma.
I’m going to try to walk you through a few explanations and solutions to hopefully enlighten you with some preventative and at the moment best practices.
Whether or not you realize it, we have a couple major commonalities as humans, but the one I seem to have to remind people of daily is that our skin is a live organ. It’s a crucial part of our detoxification system that is often communicating an imbalance when another organ in our detoxification needs support.
Here are a few examples:
Eczema can flare up with a change in environment, stress, or from a developed food allergy because of excess stress to the liver and/or stomach.
An intense heat flush on the cheeks can be connected to stressed lunges.
A light and uncomfortable rash or dermatitis around the eyes can correlate to both lung health and your kidneys overworking.
Small pustules all over the skin in response to a change in environment or topical care can be your barrier desperately trying to detox internal infection due to sluggish digestion caused by a food allergy, sensitivity, or even a condition like IBS or candida.
A post-facial breakout can be a result of avoiding the lymphatic work done during treatment where your skin needs the most downtime and hydration.
So as you can imagine, there is no one size fits all when it comes to the solutions that I can send over email. To make this as easy as possible I want to remind all of you that I’ve been writing this blog every week for almost 3 years now so that means, there is tons of content answering these very concerns right at the tip of your fingertips. This piece on how to recover from a facial flawlessly is a bit dated in my writing style but the general points are still valid. This list of FAQs that go out after each facial also answers the majority of the immediate questions that inevitably pull up after you’ve awakened from your blissful facial state. And lastly, this post of the difference between sensitive vs. sensitized helps you navigate the difference between the often interchangeable terminology that leads to completely different results.
What is the most important thing you can do before you start to worry about your skin potentially facing permanent damage?
You stay calm.
It’s so hard to do, I know because I freak out just as easily with my skin when it does something I wasn’t expecting. But that’s my reminder that my body is communicating what it needs and instead of thinking I can control it, I have to listen. When we think about our emotional state when our skin responds we can actually hone in on some deeper communication. I wrote about energetic organ pairs and the correlating emotions to demonstrate that every aspect of our body, mind, and spirit are connected and working as one. We think it’s just our skin reacting but really, it’s usually a response to something that has been going on for a while but somehow choses an inopportune time to present itself physically and on our largest external organ. Your body can only handle a certain amount of stress before it starts to scream at you to stop so take this skin imbalance as your final sign to take it easy. Just breathe and know that your skin is doing exactly what it needs to do.
Secondly, you want to catalog all of the factors that could be attributed to this change. Are you stressed? Are you in a different environment in which you grew up in? Are you trying different foods? Have you switched up your supplements? All of these questions can lead you to an answer to connects to your detoxification system. If you can't come up with one solid answer or you're just not sure where to start you can try the following...which mind you I advice everyone to do but people are only able to receive information when they are ready (I guess 12 years of experience isn't enough for some people to trust my expertise):
- Immediately up your water intake. This will help flush out any potential infection lingering in your lymphatic system.
- Scale back on your skincare immediately, avoiding everything with alcohols, essential oils, or any actives (vitamin c, vitamin a, acids, and enzymes especially).
- Spray your skin with a cooling mist that is an aloe water base or simple rose hydrosol as frequently as you need to feel relief. Keep the mist in the fridge so it feels cool.
- ICE THE SKIN! You don't have to directly put ice on the face but wrap it up in a soft cloth or paper towel to help you massage it without overwhelming yourself. I can't tell you how often I repeat this and clients act like this is news to them when I say it for the millionth time. I've been advocating for this since 2006, I say it to every single one of you during your treatments and follow-ups. THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL ACCEPT THAT SOMEONE HASN'T HEARD ME SAY THIS!
- Rest! The body will rest any histamine reaction, inflammatory response, or major imbalance if it has time to reset itself. Cancel your plans and go to bed early. Your skin will thank you!
You can't fight inflammation with inflamatory habits so eliminate anything from your diet, lifestyle, and skincare routine that can lead to more inflammation and activity. Let your skin restore itself by backing off and getting some much needed rest. You probably need to restore just as much as your skin is telling you it does. Your skin is only communicating what your whole body, mind, and spirit needs so listen and take it as the final sign you need to finally let out that loud sigh of relief. You will be okay, your skin will work really hard to make sure you're okay, and just be good to yourself.
Thanks for reading and until next week, take care. xo - Hayley