Did you know that your skin is the largest organ on your body? People often think of skin in terms of what it looks or feels like-rarely giving a thought to what it actually does for you. Believe it or not, your skin is actually a protective barrier that provides the following functions:
- It is a natural pathway for one of the most important hormones, Vitamin D, to enter your body. Vitamin D is a necessity for optimal health;
- It helps to detoxify the body through perspiration;
- It prevents your internal organs from being exposed to the elements;
- It prevents viruses and bacteria from entering your body; and
- It has a high amount of receptors that communicate weather conditions to your brain (which is why you know if you are hot or cold)
These are the things that all healthy skin has in common; however, when it comes to skin types, well that’s where things begin to differ. According to dermatologists, skin can be divided into four basic types: sensitive, underactive, active, and overactive.
- Sensitive skin is generally a delicate, thin skin that is dry. It is usually a lighter color and tone; and is therefore, more prone to aging due to excessive heat, cold, wind, and ultraviolet light. Because of its thin texture, the capillaries are closer to the skin, which makes this skin easily irritated. Sensitive skin also does not do well with synthetic chemicals in skin care products, such as fragrances, colorants and preservatives. Therefore, it should be cleansed with a mild cleanser with all natural ingredients.
- Underactive Skin is similar to sensitive skin in that it is generally fair skin that burns easily. This skin type lacks elasticity and plumpness, and is prone to peeling and flaking because the sebum (natural oil) production is lacking or damaged. One of the best courses of action for this skin type is increased blood circulation through massages. Also hydrate this skin type with a rich moisturizer like squalane both morning and night.
- Active Skin is not as common as other skin types. It is normally found in pre-adolescents or health oriented adults, i.e. those adults who eat a very healthy plant based diet with very little sugar or simple carbohydrates. It most often has a firm, supple and smooth appearance, and radiates good health inside and out
- Overactive Skin is generally hereditary and is prone to high sebum production. This skin type is usually thick in texture with large pores, especially around the nose area. The appearance of the skin is usually smooth, plumper, and younger looking than underactive skin due to the excessive oil production. In adolescence, this skin is more prone to acne.
To treat all of these skin types, it is important to choose products with ingredients that are botanically based and scented with essential oils. Your skin is a living organism. Therefore, you should choose products with ingredients that are as close to food as possible so that you can provide the much needed nourishment that all living things need in order to be healthy.