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Skin Hydration Beyond Topicals

The Importance of Hydration:

The skin, being the body's largest organ, relies on adequate hydration to maintain its optimal function. Proper hydration supports skin elasticity, flexibility, and resilience, while also promoting a refreshed complexion.

Cells (keratinocytes) within the skin absorb water from the bloodstream through tiny blood vessels called capillaries. If there is not enough water to pull from, we can often see signs of dullness, tightness and irritation.

Nutrition for Skin Health:

Foods rich in essential nutrients is fundamental for skin hydration. Vitamins C and E, along with flavonoids, play key roles in supporting capillary strength and collagen production, essential for maintaining skin health.  

  • This can include colorful fruits, leafy green vegetables lightly cooked in unrefined fats, legumes like a spice filled dal, and water-loving seeds like chia & flax.
  • Obviously drinking water is needed but can be enhanced with vitamin and mineral rich tisanes (herbal teas). Some of our favorite herbs to include: Nettles, Oat Straw & Tops, Raspberry Leaf, Dandelion Leaf, and Marshmallow Leaf and/or Root.  Adding in Rose-hips, Citrus Peels or Hibiscus incorporate a boost of Vitamin C.

Movement & Flow:

From gentle exercise to massage, movement and blood flow is key to delivering oxygen and essential nutrients to revitalize skin cells. This increased circulation helps brighten the complexion, giving you a natural glow.

  • Movement from brisk walks to dancing in the rain (and massage) promotes lymphatic drainage, aiding in the removal of toxins and reducing puffiness and fluid retention. By encouraging the lymphatic system's detoxification process you can help combat the effects of environmental pollutants and lifestyle stressors, leaving your skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • Facial Massage in particular has the ability to relieve tension and reduce facial muscle tightness. Daily stress and repetitive facial expressions can lead to muscle stiffness. Regular massage helps relax facial muscles, softening expression lines for a more vibrant appearance.
  • By gently massaging serums and moisturizers into the skin, you improve their penetration and efficacy, maximizing their hydrating and nourishing benefits. This ensures that your skincare regimen works more effectively, delivering visible results.
  • Taking time to ground yourself in morning and evening skincare rituals, massage can help alleviate stress, promote a sense of calm, and enhance overall mental and emotional health.

Sun & Environmental Care:

Environmental factors such as UV radiation from the sun can damage capillaries and exasperate dehydration.  Protecting your skin is one of the most important topical approaches you can take to support hydration.  

Antioxidants work to protect and repair skin from sun damage primarily through their ability to neutralize harmful free radicals generated by UV radiation. Free radicals can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids within skin cells, leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, and premature aging. Antioxidants scavenge these free radicals, preventing cellular damage, enhancing DNA repair mechanisms, and reducing inflammation, ultimately promoting skin health and resilience against UV-induced damage. Additionally, antioxidants support collagen synthesis, reinforce the skin's natural defense mechanisms, and enhance the efficacy of sunscreen, providing comprehensive protection against the harmful effects of sun exposure.

  • In additional to antioxidants, ensure you are applying enough sunscreen is key.  1/4 Teaspoon or the length of 2 fingers is often enough to cover the face, neck and ears.
  • Reapply every 2 hours when you’re out in the sun for extended periods of time, especially if you have been sweating.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats and seek shade when possible on full sun days.

All in Balance:

It’s not always easy to care for ourselves, especially with so many demands on us.  Living in a modern, individualistic society often places the burden of health squarely on our shoulders without the benefit of community.

Know that whatever you are doing now is enough.

If it’s in your capacity and you feel called it could be as simple as drinking a cup of aromatic herbal tea or take an extra 30 seconds to massage the skin while cleansing your face.

Be kind to yourself and know that your value is not tied to these superficial views on what and how we should look.

Always let your body and intuition be your guide 💗

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