Most people unconsciously treat their skin as a high-tech fabric—silky yet waterproof, glowing yet warm, silky and sexy yet resilient. The fabric benefits from regular laundering in the shower, occasional dry cleaning in a salon, and some ironing before special occasions. Many people believe that the luxurious fabric we are born in should always be spotless and fresh, no matter what it takes. We would rather bake in a tanning booth and add a glazing of shimmery lotion to hide imperfections than scrub our assets with sea salt and self-massage with virgin olive oil. We use “mortifying” lotions when our skin gets oily, hydrating creams when our skin feels dry, and battle blemishes when they become red, swollen, and very visible.
Anything but Normal
Normal skin does not exist anymore. Cosmetic companies invented “combination oily,” “combination dry,” and “dehydrated oily” skin types that require complex regimens and dozens of bottles to make skin look healthy and normal. However, a slight dryness and shiny T-zone are perfectly normal, no matter how hard the industry tries to convince us that we need to address these issues.
Keeping Skin Moist
For most people, proper skin care starts with adequate hydration. But as shocking as it sounds, healthy skin doesn’t really need any additional moisture. Our skin is perfectly able to keep itself hydrated. Its surface is kept soft and moist by sebum and a natural moisturizing factor (NMF). Sebum, a clear waxy substance made of lipids, acts as a natural emollient and barrier. It helps protect and waterproof hair and skin and keep them from becoming dry and cracked. It can also inhibit the growth of microorganisms on the skin.
Most skin care products on the market contain hundreds of synthetic additives whose safety is based on animal, not human, studies. These studies usually analyze the action of separate ingredients applied on an animal’s skin in enormous doses for short periods of time. Granted, humans are unlikely to encounter such doses. But many of us are loyal to cosmetic products. As a result, we are exposed to small doses of the same toxic chemicals for decades.
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