SKIN | Environmentally Affected

photo by @estokcreative

photo by @estokcreative

As the summer starts slowly coming to a close we are finding ourselves reminiscing on our what's been on our mind this season. Our topics of choice over the last few weeks have ranged from sun care, sustainability, hydration all the way to last week water quality post. We briefly touched upon how all of these factors can make a huge impact on your skin, digestion and overall well being. Which leads us to one of our favorite topics and one of our SFT categories of skin which is environmentally affected. At some point or another you have most likely experienced a skin response due to an environmental change. Examples include everything from how our skin shifts during the different seasons, how we always feel dry after a flight and how testing water pressure is a must when apartment hunting. Our system is affected by the elements around us and our body will respond in different ways based on what atmosphere we are most used to. But what about the individuals who experience chronic inflammation in the skin like rashes, hives, eczema or even rosacea. Instead of avoiding the outdoors we want to give you some basic tools to help you understand what's truly going on and give you some basic tools. 

Since we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface with this topic we wanted to ground back down and start from the beginning. Your skin’s environmental exposure begins with your heritage and where you were born or spent most of your time growing up in. Where your ancestors are from can play a huge role in how your skin tolerates heat, sun, seasonal changes as well as how adaptable you are to different environments. Have you ever noticed that when visiting your old neighborhood your skin and hair sort of goes back to what it was life growing up? Whether that’s a good thing or not, those are not just coincidences. Your body has a great memory for previous environments during your development when you are in your earliest stages of development. It will then communicate its needs when those elements shift since it is part of your skin’s most important functions to self regulate. So let’s say you grew up in the Northeast with predictable seasons shifts and you happen to have a blend of eastern European heritage in your DNA, if you were to visit a sunnier and warmer climate your skin will have to work that much harder to balance out the difference.

Now that you have an understanding of how your background plays a huge role in your skin’s environmental responses, why do some people seem to have more difficulty regulating their skin? This is when your detoxification organs are compromised. Your detoxification system includes your liver, kidney, digestive organs, lungs and - you guessed it - your skin. The detoxification organs can be compromised in many ways but mostly if you experience a symptom on your skin it’s time to recognize what is really going on. If your skin starts to feel inflamed in any way it’s important to calm the inflammation before any other step. The skin may feel heated, itchy or sensitive to the touch however it may also look as though the skin is breaking out. Instead of attacking the skin with topical care that are meant to resurface you have to remember that your protective barrier is compromised. Any topical meant to treat a breakout will only prolong the issue and potentially cause more harm. Treat your skin like you would treat an upset stomach instead which means simplify and scale back on the ingredients to allow it to calm down on it’s own. Here are the top three environmentally affected skin must haves:

A cooling ice roller - This will reduce inflammation and calm any heated or itchy sensation in the skin. This will also help you stay away from picking at the skin. This one from Amazon is $12 and all you have to place it in the freezer to keep it cold. Pro tip: To save money try making chamomile tea ice cubes. Once they are frozen wrap up the ice cubes in a soft cloth and massage on the skin.

A hydrating mist - An aloe or rose based hydrating mist is a must have to spray throughout the day. We love carrying these with us on flights, day trips, post workouts and when the unexpected flare occurs. Two of our favorites include Heritage Rose Water (avoid the Glycerin) and Odacite Hydrating Aloe and Immortelle mist. Avoid any fragrance, witch hazel and alcohol in this step of your routine. Pro tip: Place your mist in the fridge for a cooling burst of hydration.

Omega Rich barrier oil - Whether it’s Avocado oil, Olive oil or Coconut oil, these single sourced oils can help repair and heal the skin by rebuilding your barrier. We love the Squalene Oil from Indie Lee and Conscious Coconut depending on how oily or dry your skin type is.

The internal support, which we will discuss in next week's journal post, is going to create the biggest difference long term and help prevent future skin irritations. So once you understand how to calm the external balance you can feel free to explore your new environment with ease and grace. Just keep in mind that if an imbalance does happen it is simply your body communicating it's needs with you. Don't ignore it or get upset, listen up and take care of yourself. Thank you for reading and stay tuned to learn more about how to balance an environmentally affected system next week. Also stay tuned for our programs for each SFT category of health coming soon. These programs will be an in-depth look at what our signature talk dives into with a plan to help you get back on track with your health and well being.