Skin Functions 101
When it comes to our bodies it’s easy for us to take it for granted, especially if we don’t know exactly how each organ works. I was recently giving a facial to a friend who is also a health coach and nutritionist, she said something that stuck with me: “Most people think of their digestion just like a tube”. This resonated with me because it’s true what comes in isn’t what goes out, so why do we think that we can eat what we know to be unhealthy and our bodies won’t suffer the consequences. Now that we just wrapped up a holiday weekend full of outdoor fun and lots of sun, it became more apparent to me that most people don’t think of skin as a live protective barrier, they think of it more as a sleeve or a body suit. So today I’d like to break it down and really explain the function of skin and how to create some best skin health practices.
#1 - Skin is a filter. Now picture a filter and how it goes both way. What you put on can absorb through but it can also push things out. Keep this in mind when you choose what to put on your skin in terms of care. You wouldn’t drink chemicals so why would you put them on your skin? Choosing natural products is the best way to keep your skin healthy long term as you are infusing ingredients your skin can recognize. If you think of a plant cell and a skin cell, they are not that different. They feed off of similar things. Stagnations in this filter can also be an indicator of organ stress by showing up in inflammation on different areas of the skin. Learn to let your skin be your guide so you can continuously support any stagnations.
#2 - Protective barrier. A sun tan is the perfect example of how our skin is a protective barrier as it is visible proof that your skin was actively trying to avoid getting burned. The fact that our skin has that capability is fascinating however if you keep stressing that power it can become increasingly tired and lose some of it’s ability to bounce back from the environmental stress. In the morning you often want to grab onto more antioxidant rich foods and skincare as it will help strengthen the skin cell’s ability to fight oxidative stress from free radicals and excess UV rays. If you are on the fair side with a genetic predisposition to burn in too much sun, don’t fight it and honor your skin with a zinc shield and protective clothing.
#3 - Temperature regulator. We have sweat glands in our skin to help regulate our temperature so we can sweat excess heat and toxins out. This function is easy to get stagnant due to lack of exercise and proper breathing. This can also malfunction if we do not give our skin the proper exfoliation and circulation for it to release toxins and sweat. For those of you who are heat sensitive like me, this doesn’t mean you need to go to a hot yoga class to increase your sweat. You can simply work on your lymphatic system by moving, stretching and breathing with intention.
Now that you understand a few of the basic functions of our powerful organ, our skin, I hope you learn to love it and listen to it. When you start to tap into your body and truly listen to what it is telling you, you will feel more in charge of your health and your skin will reflect that.