Skincare 101

I did not create Pronounce (.com) to write only about making food in my scratch kitchen. Oh no, I am making loads of things from scratch these days, just like my all-purpose cleaner, deodorant (with NO baking soda), bug repellent, dusting spray, and more. I am also making healthy skincare products from scratch, including my homemade body lotions and butters, which are now for sale. I want to share more with you than scratch recipes. Through my own (and my son’s) skin troubles, I have learned that truly becoming healthy not only involves what you put into your body and use around your home, but also what you put ON your body. Truly being healthy must incorporate the entire body.

So, today begins a week-long series about skincare!

In daily blog posts this week I will write about:

  • Ingredients that are NOT okay or healthy for your skin (and possibly shock you with just how many “Dermatologist Recommended” products include these ingredients)
  • Ingredients that ARE okay and healthy for your skin (including some simple home remedies you can easily make to create healthier skin)
  • Tips and habits that I’ve learned over the years of how to treat your skin nicely
Today, I’d first like to share a little bit about our skin…just a little education.

That’s One Big Organ You’ve Got There

Most of us probably learned this at some point, somewhere or another, but you may have forgotten. Our skin makes up the largest organ of our body. Wow…that’s pretty incredible! Many of us spend a great deal of time worrying (and rightfully so, in many cases) about how our other organs are functioning, but we often forget about our skin.

I know that I took my skin for granted for many years. I have always had patches of eczema creep up and annoy me (apparently since birth, just like my son), but it wasn’t until the past five years or so that my eczema started to truly have a negative impact on my life. Really, just in the past three years or so have I taken initiative to actually research and learn about my skin for myself. I simply did what the dermatologists told me to do, but things weren’t getting better…they were getting worse. What kinds of research have you done regarding skin?

So, skin is the largest organ of our body. Why does this matter? Well, our skin serves as both a barrier and eliminator of bad things that can do harm. This means that our skin can work for us or against us, in terms of helping to keep us healthy. Do you know the three layers of our skin? This is important to have an understanding of how our skin works and why we should be extra nice to it.

In the most simple explanation, you can see above that there are three main layers to our skin: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
This is the skin that we see everyday. This layer of skin is actually very thin (like a piece of paper) and is where lotions are meant to work their magic. When you are young, your skin cells die off and replace themselves once every couple of weeks. As we age this process slows down greatly (which is why we end up with skin that looks…well, tired). This outside layer of skin contains dead cells, which flake off and often give us that dry look.

Why Is My Skin Dry (or oily)?

This is a difficult question to answer with one simple answer. What I can tell you is how skin is supposed to generally work, and when it doesn’t work that way, why we end up oily or dry.

  • Dry Skin

    Generally speaking (in otherwise healthy skin), dry skin occurs when your skin is not properly retaining moisture. Since our bodies are made up mostly of water, it is important that our skin help retain this water, but sometimes (for various reasons) it does not. This is when moisturizing is crucial. You have probably noticed that your skin is most dry in the winter. This is because humidity levels are typically quite low, so your epidermis does not have enough moisture. You may also notice dry skin after a hot shower or bath. Your skin contains natural oils and hot water can strip your skin of these necessary oils.For those with chronic dry skin (among others, eczema and psoriasis), it is not just as simple as, “Well, put on some lotion to fix it!” There are often underlying reasons for the conditions (food &/or environmental allergies, heredity, etc.). People who suffer from these conditions can struggle for years (life!) trying to find what makes their skin…happy. They often end up with severe skin infections, due to cracking in the skin. The same remains true for these people as those with simply dry skin…moisturize, moisturize, moisturize (just might be a different moisturizer).

  • Oily Skin

    Honestly, most people do not truly have oily skin; they likely have combination skin. Oily skin is very, very thick and very prone to acne, and not just in the “T” zone, but all over. Oily skin happens because your sebaceous glands (housed in the Dermis) are producing too much sebum (oil).So, it would make sense that if your skin is producing too much oil then you would want to steer clear of lotions, right? NO…So Wrong! You have to help your body get back to homeostasis and find a good PH balance. For those who have hereditary oily skin, this can be a lifelong challenge.

So, Everyone Needs Lotion…

Yes, it’s true! Everyone needs lotion. Our skin cells are constantly dying and flaking off, which (in the right conditions or with the “right” genetics) can lead to dry skin, which needs lotions. Also, if you are producing too much oil, you still need lotions to help your skin reach its optimal PH balance. Lotions are meant to help provide moisture to our outermost layer of skin (epidermis). This moisture is crucial in helping our skin do its two main jobs (remember what they are?):

*Be a barrier to bad things that can get inside of us
*Serve as an eliminator to things inside of us that need to get out (especially those that have no other pathway… think liver)

So, you’ve now been schooled on skin (by means of the Cliffs Notes version)

Do you have any questions, comments, concerns about your skincare routine, products, myths, etc? Please leave any comments below, and you can also contact me on Facebook or by email, too. Your input is crucial in helping me know how to best reach you with what you want to know.


Not feeling particularly DIYish?

Simply not enough hours in the day? Pinning more than you could ever tackle these days? No worries. I have got you covered.

Please, head on over to my Pronounce Skincare Shop where I sell all my homemade skincare creations. I love making them for my family and for you!

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