How to Nourish the Skin From the Outside-In
What you put on your skin is important, but that’s not the only thing that affects its health. According to Ayurveda, to truly heal and nourish your skin, you must work from the outside-in, and consider how your system is processing toxins.
Ayurveda is the healing system of medicine from India, and is the sister-science of yoga. It is over 5,000 years old and is considered the “mother of healing systems” because it contains the roots of all other healing systems. The essence of Ayurveda is that, when we live in harmony with nature, we will have optimal health and a vibrant life. When we live, work, eat and rest according to the daily rhythms of nature, and according to its seasonal cycles, we can stay in balance and minimize illness.
In addition, by processing everything that comes into the human system from every aspect of life, we can keep our digestion strong, and this is the key to health according to Ayurveda. We must digest everything that comes in through all 5 of our senses. Whether it’s the food we eat, the sights we see, the sounds we hear, what we smell, or what we absorb through our skin; if we don’t digest all of these things - from all aspects of our lives including lifestyle/routines, our diet, our environment, our work/interests and our relationships - then they begin to accumulate as toxins, which will then show up as symptoms, illness and disease. The strength of our digestion, and digestive fire, is a metaphor for how well we process everything which directly affects our healing.
Logically, you are probably asking, “what can I do to digest the toxins that affect my skin?” Don’t worry, I’ve got you, try my 3-step “in & out formula”. Let’s go through it step by step:
Consider what’s coming directly “into” your system through your skin. It is THE largest organ of the body and, biologically, it’s our first line of defense, through which things are absorbed and eliminated. Remember that anything you put onto your skin, WILL be absorbed by it, and end up inside your body. In addition, clean pores allow for more efficient elimination of toxins. Ask yourself if the products you use on your face and body are natural, organic and toxin-free. If not, it may be time to consider a change, because the skin is the main path for both the absorption and the elimination of toxins that can either take us down a path of health or illness.
I have been using Kat Burki -
Vitamin C Nourishing Cleansing Balm
Consider what’s coming “into” your system through your mouth. The skin regenerates itself every 27 days, and there are hundreds of steps involved in the cycle of skin renewal, of which the foods you eat are key components. It is constantly under construction, and uses vitamins and nutrients from food, to repair and rebuild. So, what you eat has a direct effect on the repair and renewal of your skin. Ask yourself if you’re eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, with minimal processed foods. If not, you might be eating “toxins” that are affecting, not only the health of your skin, but also your overall health.
Consider what’s coming “into” your system through your mind via the thoughts you think. When the body is threatened, the sympathetic nervous system, or “flight-fight” acute stress response is activated. When the threat is gone, the parasympathetic nervous system takes over and creates the “rest-digest”, or relaxation response. The fascinating thing is that the nervous system activates the body the same way, regardless of where the threat is coming from. It could be physically present eg. a lion chasing you, or one that your mind perceives to be threatening, like a deadline at work, a conversation with a loved one, or a social event with friends. In any of these instances, the nervous system will activate the body through a cascade of hormones that then activates the physical body.
So, how you respond to stress, and the thoughts you think, can also affect your skin. Stress has been linked to many skin concerns and conditions, ranging from acne and rashes, to psoriasis and eczema. Ask yourself if you have adequate tools to manage your stress, because your thoughts could be creating toxins that you must eliminate, to prevent going down the path to illness.
To review, my 3-step “in & out formula” to heal and “nourish your skin”:
Step 1: consider what’s coming directly “into” your system through your skin, via the skincare products you’re using on the face and body.
Step 2: consider what’s coming “into” your system through your mouth, via the food you eat.
Step 3: consider what’s coming “into” your system through your mind, via the thoughts you think.