In holistic skincare, we don't usually focus on specific skin problems or try to fix them one by one. Instead, when you go see a holistic practitioner for skin diseases, he/she often points you at ways to rebalance internally because that specific manifestation on the skin can simply represents something going on inside. Skin typing, which is the process of choosing products and routines based on your skin type, is an important method that's easy to follow when taking care of the skin. Holistic skincare especially has a simplified version of this method because of the wholeness philosophy.
Skin Type Factors
Here we will use Dr. Leslie Baumann's system as the foundation of our skin typing. The first factor we are going to look at is -
SKIN HYDRATION: Oily VS. Dry
This is the most important factor of all in holistic skincare. Oil production from sebaceous glands underneath the surface of the skin and skin barrier function together to decide whether the skin is oily or dry. This skin condition changes as the body condition changes over all.
With oily skin, you'll often notice that the face gets shiny in just a few hours after a thorough cleansing. When you touch the face, you can feel an obvious layer of lipid. You'll prefer light products and refreshing cleansers with better abilities to get rid of extra oils. Oily skin is more susceptible to acne and breakouts, so you need to pay more attention to cleansing and oil control. And of course, in the holistic approach, keep a balanced diet and lifestyle seem to be especially important. Stay away from heating food such as deep-dried meat and vegetables, coffee, high-sugar-content food, etc.. Manage emotions and avoid feeling stressed out.
With dry skin, most often insufficient lipids are secreted so the skin feels dry and rough and looks dull. You may always try to put on something that contains a higher percentage of lipids and you might also benefit from a mild cleanser. You don't typically need to worry about breakouts but you might feel annoyed by seeing fine lines in certain areas. You are absolutely right in searching for products that are rich enough to protect the skin from losing any more moisture. And while you are not typically bothered skin issues such as acne, dryness can result in sensitivity because of a deficient barrier, which can therefore allow the entry of outside irritants.
SKIN SENSITIVITY: Sensitive VS. Resistant
Resistant skin has a solid skin barrier whilst sensitive skin has a weaker one. Over 40 percent of people reportedly have sensitive skin, which means these people are more vulnerable to inflammation caused by impaired barrier function, such as allergic reaction, stinging, acne, rosacea.
SKIN PIGMENTATION: Pigmented VS. Non-pigmented
While in some cultures, dark spots, such as freckles are considered "cute", what we are focusing here are unwanted "age spots". These dark spots are either caused by hormones (melasma) or sun exposure (solar lentigos). And of course, count in freckles if these are also unwanted for you.
Pigmentation isn't just unwanted for appearance reasons, it also contributes to risks of getting skin cancer, which makes sunscreen an essential part of skin care.
SKIN TEXTURE: Wrinkled VS. Tight
While we cannot stop or turn back the biological clock inside of us to cure aging, there is plenty that we can do that is within our power to prevent premature aging. We can eat well, rest well, stay properly hydrated, avoid additive habits such as smoking and drinking, avoid excessive sun exposure and polluted air, etc..
Holistic skincare doesn't really look at each "skin problem". The most important factor in holistic skincare typing is skin hydration - oily or dry. In most cases, these "problems" are simply considered as part of the body constitution. Knowing if your skin is oily or dry is enough guidance for choosing the proper "food" for your skin. Wrinkles, spots, sensitization will all go away when you are well taken care of, both inside and out.
When we experience body imbalance, we first treat the imbalance and then make adjustments to our physical and emotional lifestyle to further prevent sickness. It's the same with caring for skin. When our skin is imbalanced, we treat the imbalance holistically (meaning not just treating the skin, but the whole body, mind and spirit) then adjust for a balanced lifestyle. We feed our skin with high quality, nourishing skin food to maintain health for as long as we can.
I believe this is great news for you because it is a much simpler principle to remember than what we’ve been hearing on the market. And staying healthy shouldn’t be that complicated or cost so much. It should make us feel good, let us be ourselves.
Cheers to holistic living!
"The Skin Type Solution" by Leslie Baumann, M.D.