As the body’s largest organ, weighing in at ~16% of body weight and boasting a total area of 16-22 square feet, the skin is a significant contributor to the maintenance of our overall health and wellness.
Apart from the obvious function of literally holding our body together, this fleshy covering performs several critical roles:
As you can see from its diverse resume, understanding your skin is an essential component of healthy living and critical for developing a self-care routine. Directly impacted by our skin care choices are three distinct layers of skin. The outermost layer, or Epidermis, is predominantly made up of dead cells that provide a barrier between our body and the environment while waiting to be sloughed off to make room for new cells developing below. Beneath this external layer rests the Dermis, where collagen (protein fibers that give our skin shape) and elasticin (protein fibers that support our skin’s elasticity) are created, and where blood vessels reside. The Dermis, specifically the presence of a rich lipid matrix within this layer, is drastically affected by our skin care choices as it is from here that external ‘intruders’ are transported through capillaries, veins and arteries to the rest of our body. The final and innermost layer of our skin is known as the Hypodermis or Subcutaneous Layer. Comprised mainly of fat, nerves, and blood vessels, this layer’s main purpose is to insulate the body.
Although this broad overview merely scratches the surface of the wealth of information known about this complex organ, it does provide a base for developing a skin care routine specific to individual skin types and conditions. For example, now that we know the general components and importance of the Dermis layer, we can appreciate how conditions such as dry skin, acne, and sensitive skin often stem from damage or imbalance in our lipid matrix. Dry skin, for instance, may result from a lack of essential fatty acids and vitamins and, therefore, can be improved by ‘feeding’ the lipid matrix with products containing these ingredients. Similarly, sensitive or reactive skin often equates to excess inflammation and can be relieved with cleansers that offer anti-inflammatory components and masks that contain soothing minerals such as those found in naturally occurring clay.
When exploring skin care alternatives, the vast number of choices available to us can be daunting. Countless products claim to address specific skin types and conditions, but how do we know which ones to trust? And whether their ingredients will truly support our overall health? In addition to understanding your skin, developing an understanding of the components that make up skin care products is vital to answering these questions. To further our education, let’s take a look at specific ingredientspresent in three products handcrafted at Back to Earth.
The Earth’s healing powers are highlighted in this multipurpose product with the inclusion of Kaolin White Clay, Bentonite Clay, and Canadian Kisameet™ Glacial Clay. These naturally occurring ingredients draw toxins out of the skin, absorb excess oils, support exfoliation on the Epidermis layer, and infuse the Dermis with key nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and potassium. Ideal for treating dry, sensitive, or acne prone skin, the inclusion of clay also aids in circulation, the reduction of inflammation and the removal of harmful bacteria.
Let’s narrow in on two components of this natural purifier: Saponified Olive Oil and Jojoba Seed Oil. The inclusion of Olive Oil (saponification is simply the process of turning an unsaturated oil into soap) provides the body with Vitamins A, D, E and K, and supports our skin through its antioxidant, wound healing, moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, Jojoba Seed Oil offers Vitamin E and B complexes, boosts our skins immunity, and balances pH levels. Particularly good for oily skin, this antibacterial and antioxidant also provides moisture and soothes irritations.
Hand sanitizer is an essential component for any skin care routine, but options that simultaneously moisturize are limited. The presence of three key ingredients, St. John’s Wort, Colloidal Silver and Canadian Kisameet™ Glacial Clay, infuse BTE’s unique product with powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties that concurrently permeate the skin with hydration and soothe irritations with natural minerals.
By understanding your skin and the ingredients that make up skin care products, you will become empowered to choose alternatives and routines that promote your overall health and inner balance. To learn more about skin care, or to experience the vast benefits of Canadian Kisameet™ Glacial Clay, stop in at Back to Earth’s storefrontin the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Written By: Zoë Tomichich