The hot, dry Diablo winds are kicking my Northern California butt.
I was @1440multiversity in Scotts Valley for an R&R weekend as part of my 30 days of intensive yoga, immersing myself in the world of meditation, soul searching and relaxation.
I had treated myself to a massage, a massage where all of life’s stressors should melt away. While I was trying to relax I realized that she kept reaching for more body oil. I kept having to remind myself that I should not spend the 50 minutes I should be relaxing worried about my dry skin. I couldn’t help but remember how living in San Diego my skin was always full of salty moisture and that living in Northern California with its hot, dry summers, and cold, crisp winters had sucked my skin of any softness.
The sun and I have a love hate relationship too, I positively love the warmth and spiritual energy I draw from the sun, especially at sunrise and sunset, but midday I am like the Wicked Witch of the West to water...melting. I lather myself up with Ocean Potion sunscreen in an effort to protect myself from the lizard like effects of high noon.
But, it's a catch 22 because the sun on the skin and the absorption of Vitamin D is also a critical role in our mental health and general well being. The skin is the largest organ in the body. And yet, so many of us abuse it. Would we ever allow for the repeated punching of our kidneys? Would we ever allow a cut to become infected without any self care?
"Skin is your body's coat. It protects you. It helps you stay warm when it's cold, and cool when it's hot."
For all the regulation our skin does with regards to regulating body temperature and protecting all of our internal organs, skin, is quite possibly the most important part of our body. And yet, it's often the most overlooked.
I started at young age using moisturizers on my face, and when I used makeup, always made sure it was good quality, knowing that essentially anything I am putting on my face is clogging my pores. I also started at a very young age, washing my face every night before bed (with nothing more than Dove soap). But where I lag is moisture throughout the rest of my body.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology: There are about 19 million skin cells in every inch of your body. Your body is always making new skin cells and getting rid of old ones. Your body gets rid of 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every day.
After this massage, I realized I no longer wanted to treat the rest of my skin so badly, that the environment was harsh enough, and that it needed a little extra help.
A few weeks ago I was at a party with some girls in their 20’s, I told them how I was embracing my age with grace, and all the wisdom that came with it, and they said that it was easy when you are aging gracefully (which I took as a huge compliment). But then I got to thinking about that…Aging well is equally about the story you have created on what your life has been and will be, as well as the physical component.
But there’s some truth to caring for our external self for the right reasons. The University of Tennessee Medical Center says, "It should be understood that daily moisturizing is vital for healthy skin, yet some think of it as an aesthetically-inclined habit."
The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests the following to help maintain moisture in your skin cells:
- Close the bathroom door
- Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes
- Use warm rather than hot water
- Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
- Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
- Blot your skin gently dry with a towel
- Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin
Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes of:
- Drying off after a shower or bath
- Washing your face or hands
How about you? Are you treating your biggest organ with love, or are you abusing it? If you are looking for a great moisture booster (and no, I was not paid to promote this product), check out this one, it's never too late to start loving yourself. #beyoufindhappy