Natural Skin and Hair Care Advice
The skin is the largest organ in the body and the only organ which we can see in its entirety. The skin is a mirror of our internal health. By the same token, the skin quality and function directly influence our internal health.
People read our skin to determine our age, personality, health and nutritional status and our character and emotional state. We can tell a lot about our own state of health by observing and responding to changes in our skin and we should regard the skin as an early warning messenger rather than just something to clean or cover up with make up. We should be familiar with the look and feel of our skin all over our body. Skin troubles should never be ignored as they can be symptoms of systemic conditions.
Some of the important roles performed by the skin
One of the most important health giving roles of the skin is to eliminate some 25% of our body waste – in the form of fat and water soluble toxins and gases through sweating, sebum production or even storage of toxins in the skin layers and hair.
Often the skin is the final port of elimination of toxic metals, pesticides, medicines, poisons and other chemicals which the larger organs of detoxification such as the liver, bowel, lungs or kidney can not break down and eliminate on their own. The toxins are transported as far away from the important life giving organs as possible and can be deposited in the skin and hair.
Besides vitamin D3 synthesis, immune roles, nutrient storage and other functions, the skin is our own intra-personal communication system releasing chemical messengers such as pheromones. These chemical messengers act on the limbic systems (the reptilian brain) of people around you and the effects of the pheromones are more powerful than words.
While most men are concerned with hair loss, cross cultural studies have shown that women have no particular preference for hairy or bald headed men. Saying that, most men would prefer to keep their hair. What matters the most is that when the hair is present it should be well groomed and show shiny and animated growth. When the hair is absent the skin of the scalp should appear in good condition.
Grooming is natural
All mammals exhibit grooming routines, whether it is rolling in clay like horses or washing the fur and coat like dogs and cats – Caring for the skin does not equate to vanity. Some archaeologists propose that the development of human language was in part stimulated by mutual grooming routines common among primates … ‘harder, up a bit, right there…’
Evolutionary psychologists assert the importance of ‘physical appearance’ in the long sequence of mate selection through more than two-three hundred thousand years of human evolution. In these respects, the skin, particularly the facial skin and healthy hair give indications of fertility, health, nutritional status (hunting and gathering ability or status), age, emotional and energy patterns – in short the fitness to become a parent and future grandparent and to produce healthy, quality offspring. In this sense humans and other mammals are conditioned to make judgments about the outward appearance of others and to have a natural desire to appear attractive, or at least healthy looking themselves. Skin and hair care is part of our shared mammalian heritage.
Psychologist have shown that women prefer men with good quality, healthy looking skin, shiny hair, and clean, well kept nails.
What care does the skin need?
If you followed every bit of advise you had ever read in magazines and newspapers, you would have several thousand products in your bathroom! Let us go back to basics and consider the fundamental processes.
Exfoliating: As the skin is constantly renewing itself, the outer layer is effectively dead cells. It is important to remove this layer on a regular basis so that the processes which follow are acting upon the living skin. With the dead layer removed, the skin becomes more flexible and more vital looking. It also can perform its health giving functions more easily, for example, its role in the exchange of gasses and the elimination of toxins.
In the animal world, rolling, licking, rubbing and scratching helps to exfoliate dead skin. Humans use skin brushing (but remember that the skin dust embeds many toxins and it can make the room dusty) or wet exfoliation using traditional soap. Savon Noir /Olive Oil Soap or Hemp Oil Soap, with a Pumice and an Exfoliating Glove
Washing the Skin and Deep Cleaning the Pores: The skin needs regular washing for deodorization and to help remove dead cells, environmental pollution, greasy build up, and microbes. Often our pores become blocked with sebum (one of the causative factors in male baldness) or the pores may become full of dirt. A blocked gland may go on to become infected, or simply suffer from impaired function. An itchy skin may indicate that the pores need cleaning and the skin needs exfoliating. Pores can be deep cleaned on a regular basis as a preventative measure. In the wild animals perform enough physical activity to keep their channels of elimination working well. Savon Noir or Hemp Oil Soap, Rhassoul Clay People have always wanted to keep the skin clean, as that way were are less attractive to biting insects.
Detoxifying: While many of the internal organs are concerned with elimination of waste (the colon, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system), they are not always completely effective. When synthetic chemicals, toxins, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals can not be eliminated by the internal organs, they are sometimes transported away from the core of the body to the skin. Some of these may embed in the skin, but many toxins can pass naturally through the skin. Detoxifying agents accelerate this process. Rhassoul Clay
Moisturizing and protecting: The skin is one of the most flexible organs and a well moisturized skin is a comfortable and strong skin. The skin is also vulnerable to attack from viruses, bacteria and fungi i.e athlete’s foot. The skin will not absorb water and can not assimulate petroleum based products so conventional moisturizers, usually water and paraffin oil (vaseline) based, form an unnatural barrier, impairing the function of the skin. Applying a fast absorbing cold pressed plant oil is the best way of conditioning the skin, keeping it flexible and preventing it from cracking. Argan Oil, Argan Lip Balm
Deodorizing: While it is important for the health to allow the skin to perspire, deodorants are important in controlling the growth of odour causing microbes. (Alum) There are three approaches to deodorizing. Preventing sweating with the use of antiperspirants over which there are many safety issues. We do not endorse the use of antiperspirants. Masking the odour with stronger fragrances – this can get a bit heady. Or, preventing the formation of the odour in the first place – using an antimicrobial deodorant. We suggest the last approach. Volcanically formed alum (potassium alum) just kills the microbes which cause the odour. Volcanic Alum Crystal
Shaving and Trimming: Wet shaving gives better results than dry shaving. For an outstanding wet shave use savon noir or hemp oil shaving soap. A traditional shaving soap which softens the thick stubble, doesn’t clog the razor and even allows the razor to stay sharp for longer. Volcanic alum is the traditional shaver’s styptic and helps to reduce razor rash and to stem bleeding from any shaving cuts. Excessively long hairs from the nose, ears or eyebrows can be carefully trimmed. Savon Noir or Hemp Oil Shaving Soap and Alum
Caring for the Hair: Depending on the occupation, the hair needs washing once or twice every week, or every day to remove dust, sweat and pollutants. Harsh shampoos and conditioners can create weak hair growth and give rise to thin, dull and snapping hair and even dandruff. Washing with rhassoul clay is preferable and clay washed hair does not need additional conditioner. Rhassoul Clay
Combing with a horn comb is recommended by hair loss expert to obtain the best quality hair – with increased microcirculation the hair follicle from which the hair grows remains healthier, producing thicker, stronger hair. A good comb flicks the sebum out of the follicles, keeping the follicles healthy and draws the sebum (your own conditioner) down the shaft of the hair giving the hair a healthy shine. The resulting scalp tingle is an extra bonus. Horn Combs
Oiling the scalp once or twice a week for an hour before washing or overnight helps the hair to retain its natural colour and prevent premature graying -you don’t need much argan oil, 2-3ml is sufficient. Argan Oil
Caring for the Nails: It is important to trim or file the nails weekly to stop them splitting and to keep the nails functional and attractive. Nails need to be cleaned regularly as they accumulate dirt under the free edge. The nails are easier to clean with a horn cuticle manicure tool and then a nail brush after dirt has been softened in water – following a shower, a bath or washing up. After the main dirt has been removed with a horn manicure tool, a nail brush can be used with Savon Noir, Hemp Oil Soap or Rhassoul clay (yes!) to clean any remaining dirt from under the nail edge.
The cuticles need to be pushed back daily with any adhered skin removed from the nail surface to help prevent the cuticles splitting and the formation of annoying ‘hang nails’ or shreds of stiff skin at the edges of the nail. Do this after the hands have been wet for sometime, because at this point the cuticles are more flexible and they are less prone to damage. Metal manicure tools are too hard for this task and damage the structure of the nail and the surrounding cuticle. A horn tool is the best because it is composed of the same same substance as nails and it has the same hardness i.e it can not damage the nail surface. Horn or Wood Cuticle Manicure Tool
Nails may crack or split if the natural protective oils for the skin are stripped through frequent washing. Protect the nails and cuticles with argan oil. We are currently experimenting with the use of the lip balm which is working very well.
Caring for the teeth: brush the teeth and the entire oral cavity twice a day. We recommend the use of an solar powered ionic toothbrush which sends a charge to the surfaces of mouth and teeth which ejects bacteria, giving far superior cleaning compared to manual or electric toothbrushes. The gums stay healthier and the teeth become cleaner, whiter and more shiny looking.
We use a variety of traditional products for cleaning our teeth such ultra ventillated, ultra fine Green Clay with very good results – cleaner looking teeth, less staining between teeth and healthier feeling gums. We use the clay as in a paste form and occasionally dissolve a few grains of sea salt in it. One very pleasant effect is that the taste is very mild and vanishes a few minutes after brushing. We can enjoy the taste of our breakfast from the first bite. Ionic Toothbrush and Green Clay
It is interesting to clean the teeth with other natural products too, cold pressed oils, essential oils, rose water and even a tiny dot of hemp oil soap are all very good at cleaning and nourishing the teeth.
You do need to use some products, which you will have noticed are multi-functional and some bits of equipment, but you don’t need much to give your hair, skin and nails the best chance to look healthy and clean.