Are you someone who has figured out your skin type and now you purchase products directed at fixing that said problem? You reduce the skin on your face to one of these four words: oily, dry, combination, or sensitive. And when a product doesn’t perform as advertised you think “there must be something wrong with my skin” and try a different brand. Never realizing that you are participating in a cycle of crazy skin myths that actually ruin your face. When I first grabbed hold of this information, it blew my mind! And now, I’m about to do the same to you. (are you sitting for this??) Here we go:
YOU DO NOT HAVE A SKIN TYPE!
What!?! I know, right! And I can already hear a bunch of you yelling at your device. “What are you talking about? Of course, I have a skin type. My skin is <fill in the blank> all of the time!” But bare with me. By doing lots of research on this topic, it has changed my relationship with my face. Let’s break the cycle of “one box fits all” skin types and enjoy a happy relationship with your skin.
Does Skin Have A Purpose?
I think the main reason I started hating my skin was because I had lost focus of its purpose. I focused so much on the appearance, the discoloration, the acne, and dark circles. As a result, I reduced my skin to my image, and even though that is an important part, it ISN’T the purpose of my skin. All through my 20s I thought I was an oily skin girl (even though I did question that). And when I would see a “skin problem” I would launch an assault of products. Never realizing my skin was just trying to send me a message!
So let’s connect the dots! Skin, in general, has a host of important purposes for your body. Without getting very technical & scientific, I have picked the four I think are the most important.
Protects Your Insides
Your skin shields you from outside invaders! Langerhan cells in the skin are part of the adaptive immune system response and help to keep you well.
The skin sends sensation signals to the brain (pressure, temperature, and pain) contributing to your safety.
To help regulate your body’s internal temperature, your skin can dilate or constrict it’s blood vessels. It will produce sweat to cool you off and expand your hair shafts to insulate you.
Our skin supports the body in detoxification. If our liver becomes taxed (and with the current state of our food /environment it’s more like WHEN), the skin will step in and help with the detoxification process. It can help remove foreign substances, excess hormones, and environmental toxins like pesticides, solvents, and plastic chemicals from out bodies. This purpose is crucial to helping the appearance of our skin.
I’m sure you can agree that your skin is a magnificent thing. Even though we like to look at it separately, the skin on your face is no different. It serves the same purposes as the skin on your arm or your back. What you see on your skin is the physical manifestation of what’s going on inside your body and your external living environment.[clickToTweet tweet=”Did you know that what you see on your skin is a message about what’s going on inside your body. ” quote=”What you see on your skin is the physical manifestation of what’s going on inside your body and your external living environment. “]
What Affects Skin Condition?
Now we are starting to get to the good stuff. By looking at our skin as a living breathing organ, we can start to realize that it’s not just uncooperative. There are internal and external events that can cause the skin issues we face. Good news ladies, you weren’t just born with it! Yes, you can fix it!
Here are the top 7 things that can affect your skin either positively or negatively:
- Diet! (this one is huge)
- Hydration Levels
- Hormone Balance or Lack Of Balance
- Home & Outdoor Environment
- Changing Seasons
- Pharmaceutical Medications
By looking at each of these factors, we can start to find where our skin troubles lie and work with our skin to locate the fix.
The Skin Type Myth – A Marketer’s Dream
Let’s be honest for a little bit. Even though it’s hard to hear, there is an art to selling that hits a nerve with our impulses encouraging us to buy. One of those impulses is to “satisfy a need.” We are told at an early age to figure out what our skin type is. Oily, dry, combination, or sensitive. Seriously, listen to those words. They are all problem words that require a solution! We stick a label on our skin and then “satisfy our need” by purchasing products to fix the problem. Sure they may give you some temporary results but if they fixed the problem you would have stopped buying “dry skin” products by now. And that, my friends, is why I believe companies sell the skin type myth which apparently lasts FOR LIFE!
Now I will concede that oily, dry, combination, and sensitive do exist. But to me, these words are not a skin type but rather a symptom! And symptoms have solutions. Due to the influences in our lives, our skin can be oily, dry, combination, and sensitive all within the course of one month. And no amount of products “labeled for X skin type” can fix it. We need to stop looking at our skin as a problem to fix. We should instead listen to what our skin is telling us and work with it to have glowing beauty!
Oily vs. Dry: My Version
Now, I have to tell you a little story. I was the “oily girl”! The young teen with an oily face and mild acne. I identified with oily and always perked up when I heard commercials or read a new ad claiming to help the oily problem. My mom told me I needed to watch what I was eating. Like every teen, I thought she was dumb – sorry mom! In my defense, however, I was reading tons of articles stating that the lack of products was the problems.
While I moved into my mid-20s, I started to question if my skin type was oily. Trying to find answers I would read articles explaining how to find the right skin type. Eventually, I would just stick with oily. I seemed like I had a few check marks in every box. But the majority were in the oily category so that must be it, right?
I washed my face until it felt tight. I dried out the zits the best I could. I put products on my skin to remove excess oil. This process would result in the desired matte look for about an hour. When the oil came back, I would blot it with paper and reapply powder to soak it up. I continued this cycle for about ten years.
Oily vs. Dry: My Skin’s Version
Unfortunately, my face has a different version of this story! When we are talking about oily vs. dry we are talking about the top barrier layer (stratum corneum) of the skin. This layer of skin is made of dead skin cells, water, and lipids. The barrier layer is in constant conversation with the epidermis which is responsible for repair. My face and the skin on my body were working overtime to heal my poor diet, lack of hydration (remember, I HATED water), and a hormone imbalance I didn’t even know I had. Every time I stripped away all of the oil I signaled my skin to replace it! We were like a mother trying to feed a picky toddler. Every time the mother, aka my skin, tried to nourish me I would throw a fit and remove all of the oil.
Once I finally made the connection, I started working on the list of 7 skin stimuli above and guess what. I no longer have a skin type. Seriously! My skin type is that my skin is healthy. I occasionally have a symptom come up and am prone to more oil production due to hormonal imbalances. But now I know the answers to my skincare lie beyond the surface and those pretty bottles on the shelf.
This is an affiliate link. To learn more about affiliate links click here.
Let’s Fix This
Now that you know the crazy skin myths that actually ruin your face it’s time to break the cycle. Finally get started on your healthy face by following these seven steps:
- Remove the toxins from your diet, your skincare, and your environment. They are doing more harm than you realize. If you would like to learn more about the toxins in your beauty products be sure to read Toxic Beauty Chemicals and 10 Worst Beauty Ingredients.
- Do not be afraid of plant oils! Plant oils (NOT SYNTHETIC OILS – big difference) can be quickly absorbed by the skin. They give your skin a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals and can help strengthen the cell membrane.
- Make a journal to monitor your skin symptoms. Note when & what you eat, your sleeping habits, your hormonal cycles and then start to look for patterns.
- Add beautifying foods to your diet. Fruits and vegetables heal our bodies from the inside which will manifest on your skin.
- Detox your liver!
- Consider having your hormone and food sensitivity levels checked by your doctor or a naturopath. Hormone imbalance can affect so much more than your skin, and you might not realize it. As women, we tend to push past the tired and swallow down the “I don’t know why I’m crying” tears. Checking for hormone imbalances could make a huge difference in your life. If you are also dealing with skin sensitivities, rashes, dry spots, etc. check your food sensitivity levels which can result in skin problems.
- Use a natural, healthy skin care routine that works WITH your skin and not against it!
Crazy Skin Myths That Actually Ruin Your Face
Hopefully, this has helped you realize your skin is more than just the “skin type” label. It works in close collaboration with your amazing insides and can offer insight to what your body needs. Even though you may face skin symptoms, they do not define your beautiful skin and in turn, do not define you! This fact is true for oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, sensitive skin, and the newly immerging “mature skin.” I encourage you to think about your skin differently. As a living breathing organ. And most of all start thinking outside the box when it comes to your skincare needs.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to skincare?
And what skincare symptoms do you struggle with the most? I would love to talk with you more. Be sure to leave a comment below!