Contributed by Dr. Amy Wolthoff, Board Certified Dermatologist
Article at a Glance
Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and its main function is to guard your muscles, bones, and internal organs. Your skin insulates you, regulates your temperature, conveys sense of touch, helps with the production of vitamin D, and is your first line of defense against environmental factors such as dehydration, infection, and disease. Taking care of your skin is one of the best investments someone can do to live a long and happy life. There are a few important steps to taking care of the skin on a daily basis: cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting from the sun.
The Importance of Cleansing the Skin
- Cleansers: Cleansing the skin is an important step and does not have to be complicated. I recommend cleansing the skin twice daily. In general, it is beneficial to avoid strongly fragranced cleansers or ones with alcohol. It is also wise to avoid washing with hot water, as this can strip the natural oils from the skin.
One of my favorite cleansers is Veráge® Cleanser by doTERRA. This cleanser features Wild Orange and Basil essential oils. Both orange and basil may have cleansing and soothing properties when applied to the skin.1
- Exfoliation: As part of your cleansing routine, I also recommend exfoliating the skin at least once weekly. Exfoliants gently remove built-up dead skin for smoother and noticeably renewed skin. Environmental damage causes the surface of the skin to become dull, rough, and often uneven. Exfoliating eliminates this buildup, which may otherwise clog pores and worsen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The Invigorating Scrub from the doTERRA Essential Skin Care line includes exfoliants. These gently break up dead skin cell adhesions and allow them to naturally detach themselves from the skin surface without any rough mechanical scrubbing. This prevents the clogging of pores, which helps reduce the appearance of blemishes.
- Toners: I am often asked whether a toner is necessary in a good skin care routine. Toners (also known as astringents) can remove excess oils from the skin (for oily skin) and the right toner can help balance the pH of the skin. I do not feel it is a necessary step, but it can definitely add some benefit if used correctly. The doTERRA Pore Reducing Toner takes advantage of the properties of Lavender and German Chamomile essential oils to calm and cleanse the skin without the worry of being too harsh.
The Need to Moisturize
Moisturizing the skin is by far one of the best things you can do to preserve the elasticity of the skin and keep the barrier of the skin intact to allow the skin its ability to protect you. You may think you are too young to need moisturizer or that your skin is too oily, but all skin needs moisture. Even blemish-prone skin can benefit from moisturizing, since it recently has been found that blemishes may be related to skin barrier function.2
It is important to note that moisturizers for individuals with blemishes should be non-comedogenic, or not pore clogging.
Three of the most common oils used for the moisturizing base of cosmetic products include sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Sunflower seed oil has a high linoleic acid content and has demonstrated effectiveness in improving the barrier of the skin and skin hydration.3
Coconut oil has been shown to improve the skin barrier and may protect against environmental threats. Unfortunately, olive oil contains high oleic acid content, which has not been shown to help with skin barrier function, does not improve hydration, and has been shown to cause inflammation in patients with sensitive skin.3
doTERRA Products for Moisturizing
- The doTERRA Anti-Aging Moisturizer uses the amazing benefits of Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, and Frankincense all in one step. Some of the ingredients of this unique formula not only help with hydrating the skin, but have also demonstrated the ability to soothe, calm, and keep skin looking healthy and clean.
- For blemish-prone skin, there are some specific essential oils that can help cleanse and purify the skin. The doTERRA HD Clear® line utilizes the properties of Tea Tree oil (among many others). Tea tree oil has been shown to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.4
- doTERRA also provides products that can be used to moisturize other parts of the body, besides the face. One such product is the doTERRA Spa Hydrating Body Mist. This unique product combines essential oils with the nourishing properties of sunflower, avocado, and passion fruit oil for an overall healthy glow.
Protecting from the Sun
Sun protection is by far the most important element in decreasing damage to the skin that can lead to aging and skin cancer. There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical (which absorbs the UV radiation) and physical (also known as mineral, which reflects the UV radiation). I highly recommend physical barriers, as these do not allow the sun to penetrate any of the skin barrier. It is important to wear sunscreen daily, even if just driving in the car, as UVA can penetrate the windows and cause long-term damage.
Overall, there are many different types of skin. The most common categories are dry skin, combination skin, oily skin, and sensitive skin (easily irritated by topical product application). When putting together a personal regimen for my patients, I always take these factors into consideration. For any specific questions or recommendations, I would advise speaking directly to your dermatologist or primary care physician.
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