Our skin speaks as to who we are. Much discussion occurs over skin pigmentation and what it’s supposed to mean, while very few understand what skin actually is. Scientifically speaking, skin is an organ– like the heart, liver and kidneys. Skin is the main part of the integumentary system, which regulates our temperature, while resisting heat, cold & moisture, so other organs & their systems can function.
Skin is also our first impression, and anyone interested in beauty understands the value of its care. It doesn’t matter whether the ancestry is European, Asian, African, Native American or Aborigine; without proper skin management, the sun and other elements will damage and wear it out, making it’s owner look older. They key for beautiful & youthful skin is to retain the body’s essential oils, while removing as much dirt, grime & other toxins as possible.
The face is most vulnerable, as the skin there is more oily and most-exposed to harmful UV-rays. Sunblock before outdoor sports and a broad-rimmed hat for strolls are essential. Women’s soccer star Mia Hamm (pictured below) has now revealed she has significant retinal damage from years of intense outdoor-light exposure. Sunglasses are now an essential eye-health tool.
Our skin is actually more than just us, it contains a microbiome of mites, bacteria, viruses, and other organic matter as it’s outer-most layer. The germaphobic response to this science (like everything else) was to create hysteria about it, then attack it. This has led to a rash of diseases, which are the result of the skin being dried out and stripped of its natural, protective microbiome layer. Many of these psoriasis, eczema, itchy/allergic skin conditions occur because of too much air conditioning & showering; especially in climates like Florida where the outdoor heat is extreme, and people haven’t properly adjusted themselves.
Climatizing yourself was discussed briefly in an earlier piece . It is critical for good health, wherever you are, to climatize yourself to the outdoor temperature. Obviously, stay indoors when temperatures get too extreme, which is below 0 and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit; but with that said there is no way for skin (or any other bodily organ) to function properly, if it’s a shock for the body to step outside. This is now a common mistake, as many Americans are addicted to this lifestyle, and it’s a huge part of the current obesity epidemic.
By constantly and artificially moderating the indoor living temperature, an individual has no true sense of the outdoor environment. If you see someone dressed too warmly in public, you can bet they are addicted to heat-A/C. They typically are in poor health and have a weight/mobility problem, which is often self-inflicted through neglect. As excessive fat is retained, the oils & odors emanating from the skin become unpleasant, to put it nicely. To be real, it’s a sick joke on ignorant people, by greedy elitists. Note that this is now a problem affecting ALL generations of modern affluence, while much of the world is still starving.
Antibiotic resistance is another issue that starts to come into play with the excessive use of anti-microbial soaps. Pretty soon this unnatural selection leads to super-bugs we can’t control. Medicine and genetic engineering have their limits, and humans aren’t even close to understanding what & where they are. Any introduction of new products whether it’s GMO’s or new drugs & consumer goods, need to be weighed scientifically in all spheres; and that remains impossible under capitalism.
Being OCD about touching one’s face, picking at scabs, chewing fingernails, etc… is poor personal hygiene practice. Piercing & tattooing are by medical definition self-mutilation; obviously this is a personal choice that can be justified as self-expression, but note that it often comes across as a clichéd cry for attention. Know that line beforehand.
While we’re on skin, we must discuss hair which is simply an extension of our skin. Covering it from sun damage, and minimizing washings to prevent essential oils from being stripped away are the same themes. Becoming your own barber/stylist will also help your hair look better all the time. Scissor, clippers and a mirror with adequate light are all that is needed.
Skin and hair-care products should be plant-based. Petroleum-based products are toxic, so use organic for your skin & hair. Personally– I prefer cocoa butter for skin, and tea tree for shampoo. I shampoo once/week on average. Mostly I just rinse my hair in the shower, and use cocoa butter as conditioner.
On non-shower days (days I’m not working, nor very physically active), I use a soapy wash-cloth & sink. This allows me to hit the necessary spots: faces & hair, armpits, etc… with minimal time, energy, and water use. I live in Florida, where it’s summer from mid-January to mid-November– with global warming now. I spend much of this time indoors at home without a shirt on for clean cooling, as wearing too much clothing leads to excessive sweating & grime build-up. I use a towel between my skin and any furniture, and rarely use the A/C when home alone.
Any situation in which you are overheated and need rapid core cooling, COLD showers are a great skin management tool. Heat stroke is defined as the shut-down of the skin organ system. Perspiration, which is the body’s cooling mechanism, has ceased and the core temperature is beginning to rise. This can lead to coma and brain damage, if not reversed in time.
A more routine skin management tool is the dry rub, which means working the grime & excess skin off with a soft towel. This can and should be done throughout the day, as skin & hair begin to feel itchy and uncomfortable.
Speaking of uncomfortable, avoid the weave. I don’t know who precisely came up with this awful idea, but it needs to end. It’s 1) completely unnatural, 2) doesn’t work outdoors or when wet, 3) can’t be touched– just decoration, 4) costs a fortune to maintain, 5) leads to further scalp erosion and hairline loss due to the tension, and 6) MEN PREFER REAL HAIR.
Don’t be ‘relaxing’ it either, all those harsh chemicals kill those delicate hair follicles- making you bald, girlfriend. Go with the ‘fro; and if you can’t braid it– fade it.
Anti-perspirant/deodorant is a necessary evil in modern Western culture, as you just can’t afford to stink in public or around friends. Anti-perspirants prevent sweating; deodorants neutralize odor-causing bacteria. More-effective deodorants, means stronger chemicals. Antiperspirants are based on ingredients such as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrate. These aluminum salts (which have been established as a neurotoxins), form a temporary blockage in the sweat ducts– stopping the flow of sweat to the skin’s surface. Apply judiciously, knowing it’s a low-level toxicity, is my only advice.
Obviously there are huge & powerful interests (cosmetics, fashion/modeling, etc…) which don’t want people to live & think the way I’ve described. Enacting what I have outlined above on a mass scale would end those industries as we know them, and it would be a giant step forward for humanity. The amount of toxic waste these industries produce is not doing our planet or species any good. One of the biggest issues we as homo sapiens are facing is the inability to look at our own skin, and the skins of others, honestly.