Did you know that skin is an organ? In fact, it’s our largest organ, and covers about 22 square feet per person! Our skin serves several important functions:
- It protects our internal organs, and acts as a shield to keep out germs, UV rays, pollutants and other toxins.
- It secretes sebum, a mixture of oils that lubricate skin and help it retain elasticity. It also has thousands of pores that absorb water, oxygen and vitamins in order to provide moisture and nourishment.
- It helps regulate our body temperature by releasing moisture in the form of sweat. When it evaporates, it takes some of the heat with it, and helps us cool down.
- It enables us to feel the sensations of pressure, hot and cold, pain and pleasure.
- It is our largest detoxifying organ. Our skin releases accumulated waste materials through sweat glands and pores.
That’s a bunch of key tasks to take for granted, and we should definitely pay more attention to this part of our body. So what exactly IS the best way to take care of your skin?
Let’s start by talking about what skin needs to remain healthy. It needs both moisture to keep the skin supple and oil to help retain the moisture. Also, exfoliation is necessary to remove dead surface cells.
A good analogy is your yard. If the ground is dry, nothing can grow, you can’t get the weeds out, and it is full of lines and cracks. That’s what’s happening if your skin is dehydrated (lacking moisture). So you need to till your yard (exfoliate) to open the ground to moisture and fertilizer (lotion, serum or cream). And finally you add a layer of mulch, to hold moisture in and prevent weed growth. Oil works to hold in the lotion and provides an occlusive layer of protection.
Exfoliation can be done many different ways, and everyone should include this healthy habit in their daily routine. Dry brushing before showering removes dead skin cells, stimulates circulation and moves lymphatic fluid. Other ways to exfoliate include loofahs, textured cloths and granular scrubs. All methods are effective so it really comes down to personal preference as to which one to choose. Exfoliation should be done each time you take a shower or bath.
Once bathing is completed it is time to apply a moisturizer. Almost all of us have dehydrated skin caused by environmental conditions and not drinking enough water. While skin is still slightly damp apply a lotion or cream. Lotions are lighter weight for normal skin conditions. Drier skin types should use a heavier cream. Dry or extremely dry skin conditions need an added layer of oil after the moisturizer. This works to hold the moisture in and prevent evaporation. Note that you may need to change up your moisturizing habits as the seasons change. Use a lighter lotion in the warmer months and a heavier cream and oil during the winter.
Even if you don’t shower everyday it is still advisable to apply a lotion or moisturizer, and if applicable, oil a minimum of once per day. Morning and evening application may be necessary for very dry skin. By taking good care of your skin you can ensure that it will take care of you. As an added bonus it will look and feel better as well!
Next time you visit Sugar Spa, ask us which options would be best for your individual skin care needs and home care regimen. We offer a variety of manual exfoliators, granular scrubs and moisturizers for purchase in the spa.
We use Simple Sugars which are hand-made and all natural. Available in a variety of yummy scents, this brand is perfect for those minimalists who prefer using one product that does everything: they cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize all in one step.
Yet another option is our Full Body Sugar Scrub treatment, which provides a gentle cleansing followed by a smoothing exfoliation in the luscious scent of your choice. We use warm towels to remove the sugar, and then apply unscented body butter. We recommend a professional body scrub at least seasonally, if not more frequently.
Until next time… we look forward to taking care of you and your skin!