Monday, 20 February 2017 07:58

What’s your recipe for cleansing the skin with oils?

Written by   Robert Sachs, L.M.T., co-founder of Diamond Way Ayurveda

When most people hear the words skin and oil in the same sentence, they cringe as they think of a greasy, spotty complexion; they envision skin that is not the picture of health. Thus, the idea of using oil – especially face oil – seems counterintuitive and off-putting. Yet, even major commercial skin care lines are beginning to tout the benefits of face oil for cleansing and moisturizing.

Some companies claim that they have the first skin oils on the planet, failing to recognize that beauty and preventive health care practitioners around the world have – for a millennium – recommend oil for a healthy, vibrant skin complexion. The use of skin oils for health is especially prevalent with Ayurveda, the science of health and longevity from the East.

In the East, the skin is considered to have an integral connection with the gut, particularly the intestines. If people eat well, which includes good quality oils with omega-3 fatty acids (mostly vegetable oils), the microbes in the gut that promote health, vitality, and resulting beauty will flourish; microbes that create dis-ease and imbalance will be outnumbered and more effectively eliminated if needed. If a person's diet has lots of trans- and saturated fats from the over-consumption of animal products, such as meat, cheese, and butter, the microbes that create imbalance and disease will increase and the skin, as an organ of elimination, will bear some of the responsibility; the outcome is greasiness and various skin outbreaks.

From a holistic standpoint, that greasiness and those outbreaks are the skin's attempt to cope with the imbalances that are the result of diet and lifestyle. Consequently, if one is only approaching this problem symptomatically, attempting to get rid of these conditions by using strong chemical soaps and cleansers, the skin becomes dried out. This condition makes for a chaotic environment on the skin's surface and leads to a further attraction of undesirable microbes and discharges. As a result, the complexion goes from bad to worse.

As people begin to improve their diet, the use of oil on the skin becomes a great support for the desired healthiness to manifest as beauty. This process works through both chemical and biological actions.

Healthy vegetable oils support the healthy proliferation of good microbes not only in the gut, but also on the skin. When these microbes are in great number, the skin has greater elasticity and becomes more moisturized. In Ayurvedic terms, if skin is drier or more mature, try a cold pressed sesame oil. If skin is sensitive, prone to burn, or freckles easily, try sunflower oil, safflower oil, coconut oil, or ghee. For clammy skin that tends to get easily congested, try almond or olive oils. Jojoba oil, which is actually a wax, seems to be excellent for all skin types as it is most like the skin's natural sebum.

To protect and enhance the skin's natural radiance, it is time to jump out of the chemical box. There is a world of nature just waiting to be helpful. Think oil.

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