Your skin is your largest organ. It eats, drinks, breathes, and absorbs anything it comes into contact with. What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put into our bodies since our skin will absorb everything it comes into contact with. Our favorite skincare products therefore are also absorbed directly into our bloodstream, circulating whatever is in them through our entire body and indirectly affecting our organs- and our health.
Have you ever looked at the ingredient labels on your beauty products, lotions, shampoos, and such? Do you know what all of those ingredients are, or what they do inside of your body? Would you consider those ingredients as food? Do you know if your body is eliminating them? Sometimes our body doesn’t recognize lab made chemicals and it doesn’t know what to do with them. They get stored as toxins, mostly in our fat [which is why your body has a hard time releasing excess fat if it is accumulating toxins,] but sometimes in our organs, causing imbalances and making us sick.
My idea is that anything you put onto your skin should be something you are willing to eat or drink. Look at your favorite products and ask yourself if you would eat them- and if you wouldn’t, then I want you to reconsider using them.
Wellness should be simple, and so should your ingredients.
Your insides show on your oustides. It’s that simple. If your internal environment is clean, balanced, healthy and well nourished, your skin will glow! Proper nutrition is KEY for skin health, but how you nourish your skin on the outside is important. The inside affects the outside, and the outside affects the inside.
What, then, is safe enough to go onto our skin as well as into our body, yet effective enough to give us the glow we are looking for?
I have a ONE ingredient fix for safe skincare that will give the glow we are all after, and it can be found in the same place you go to address your health- the kitchen.
My skincare solution is Oil.
All cells have a lipid bi-layer [fat] that protects them and keeps the integrity of their cell structure. This layer is plumpy, fatty and bendy, who’s job it is to maintain structure, communicate with other cells, stick to it’s neighbors, protect its organelles and keep the good stuff in while keeping the bad stuff out. Since oil is a fat, our skin understands its chemical composition and absorbs it quickly. It has the capacity not only to soak into all of our layers, deeply hydrating and nourishing us, but on a more profound spiritual level as well.
Daily oil massage, called Abhyanga, is a meditative practice that grounds you and brings you back into the present moment. It gives you a space to pay attention to yourself with full consciousness, which does wonders for self esteem, self reflexion, self love, calming the mind, and bringing you back to yourself.
Daily oil massage also:
introduces healing ingredients directly into your largest organ, your skin,
heightens your senses,
improves your vision,
strengthens the body,
tones the muscles,
creates energetic grounding,
helps to melt away feelings of anxiety, stress, and ADD,
calms the mind,
promotes deep, sound sleep,
protects against the sun and heals sun burns,
helps the body heal faster in general,
nourishes the skin organically and naturally,
and prevents the disruption of hormones by avoiding the parabens as well as the chemicals, sulfites, and other additives in traditional moisturizers.
You can also use it as a mask to help your hair grow, use it as a face cleanser at nighttime to wipe away the day, use it as a rinse to whiten your teeth and improve your oral hygiene, known as oil puling.
The extra benefit lies in that because cells replicate and copy each other, hydrating from the outside allows for our new up and coming layers to show up with renewed hydration and elasticity. Using oil or fat to nourish restores our skin’s integrity, strength and natural dewiness gives us supple, plump, rejuvenated and glowing results. Regular use of oil/fat will promote a healthier looking, younger, rejuvenated complexion because it fortifies the very cell structure that makes up your skin. It also will ensure your body stays cleaner and healthier since oil comes from the plants and seeds of nature. Daily oil massage will keep your underlying energies aligned and is guaranteed to help you feel more balanced, contributing to your overall sense of well being.
Oil is an incredible skin detoxifier as well because it will pull out unwanted pollutants from your skin in a way no other product can. Your cells understand oil and use it as a carrier to release anything they have been holding and unable to release. When cells don’t understand something external, they toughen up to protect themselves, so nothing will really get in or out, yet using a friendly oil allows the gates to open back up. If you are getting amazing results using chemicals, consider what is happening underneath what you can see. If something gets inside of your cells that is unnatural, that means the product is really, really harsh!
To use, start with a spoonful of pure organic unrefined oil and massage it lightly over your skin just as you would a moisturizer. Allowing oil to set in for 20-30 minutes before a shower is Ayurveda’s recommended skin detox and it is so efficient that you wouldn’t even need soap to cleanse your skin afterwards. You also wouldn’t even really need to use a moisturizing lotion afterwards because your skin would already be hydrated. If you don’t have the time to sit in your daily oil massage before a bath, using your oil in place of your lotions works perfectly after you bath too, as does a light massage first thing in the morning or during your night time ritual before bed.
I recommend Organic Unrefined Sesame Oil for dry skin types or for those that become cold easily, tend to anxiety, fears or stress, or those with a Vata body type.
Organic Coconut Oil or 100x Washed Ghee for the face is great for those with sensitive skin or skin problems such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, acne, hives or general skin irritations, or those who experience a lot of heat in their system, tend to be competitive, angry, irritable or those with a general Pitta body type.
Organic Sunflower oil is a light oil ideal for naturally hydrated or dewy skin types who don’t need a lot of extra moisture, those who may experience congestion, natural oiliness, tend to stagnation or those with a Kapha body type.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a neutral oil that can be used for all body types. It is amazing for healing the skin, clearing scars, improving skin tone, hydrating sun burns and overall skin balance. It is my oil of choice for using as a face cleanser.
Medicinal oils are a great way to add the benefits that herbs offer to your daily oil massage too, and are a simple way to get more support for whatever you may be experiencing. There are beautiful oils available out there (always read the ingredients!) and you are certainly welcome to visit my Wellness By Helen Shop for my own specialized oils and formulations if you’d like a little extra oomph to your abhyanga.
There you have it! Using oil is inexpensive, easy and super nourishing. You will feel incredible without doing very much differently, and your skin will thank you!
Helen Magnani is an Ayurvedic Medicine and Holistic Health Practitioner. She bases her practice on the concept that “Wellness should be Simple” and makes organic natural skincare and medicinal products with consciousness, integrity, and great love.
Peek through our line of natural beauty products at the BuddhiBoxes shop