Who doesn’t love a smoothie? It is the perfect way to pack a whole variety of nutrient dense foods -that you might not eat enough of individually-into one tasty serving. Juice or water for hydration, leafy greens for fiber and chlorophyll, avocado and flax seeds for healthy fat, and some frozen fruit for a thick consistency and a boost of vitamin C!
Any one of these foods on their own would be nutritious and delicious. But choosing just one and subsisting on that alone wouldn’t make any sense for your health. All living things need to have a variety of nutrients to grow and thrive. Your skin is no exception. It needs vitamins, minerals and other skin food to look and feel it’s best.
Skin becomes dry for two reasons-exposure to the elements and physical/chemical changes that happen as the natural result of aging. The result is the loss of hydration. Using a body oil on damp skin is a great way to create a barrier to slow down the evaporation of water that naturally occurs. It also delivers nutrients, fatty acids and makes your skin feel smooth. But it isn’t complete nutrition.
Plants like aloe vera, cucumber, algae, oats, marshmallow root, flower hydrosols, and vitamins and minerals like creatine, MSM, resveratol, niacinamide and panthenol all deliver their nutrition through the element of water. While they can be applied to the skin on their own, they need that emollient element to keep evaporation from happening so that it can go about rejuvenating and healing the skin.
Applying these elements all together delivers optimal results.
As far back as the first century AD, the ancient physician, Galen, created a recipe combining rosewater, beeswax and olive oil. By heating the ingredients and whipping them until cool, water and oil were magically able to stay together, but not reliably.
When these handmade cremes and lotions moved from the kitchen to mass market things took a downward turn. Nutritious vegetable oils were replaced with mineral oil from petroleum because it had a longer shelf life and was cheaper than vegetable oils. Sodium borate (which was a common household laundry booster-but is now known to be toxic) was added to the formula to keep the emulsion stable. Other undesirable ingredients were added along the way-like paraben preservatives, emulsifying wax which depending on the variety may contain PEG, dioxane, etc. In other words, lotions and cremes got a bad reputation, and truthfully, were not very beneficial for your skin.
Science has come a long way in the last few years and small, artisan skin care companies that really care about their ingredients know that there are coconut, glycerin and olive oil based emulsifiers that while made in a lab, are plant-derived, biodegradable and non-ethoxylated. Full spectrum preservatives made from glucose that have been modified to an acid function-similarly to what bees do with enzymes they secrete to make the honey they produce long lasting or how fermented products like wine and kombucha use microorganisms to preserve and extend their life, are now keeping your body care safe from microbial growth with ingredients that are food grade and beneficial to your health.
Now that you have the full story, you don’t have to stick to body oil on damp skin “only”. You can vary your diet to include all of those nutritious hydrating ingredients as well. Be in tune with what your skin is craving and mix it up!
What are your favorite ingredients to moisturize your skin?