I've slowly been working on cleaning up my household, and no, I'm not talking about vacuuming before guests or making my bed every morning. I mean that I have slowly been working on searching for chemical-free alternatives to some of our most-used products, like all-purpose cleaner, laundry detergent, and body wash. This process has been slow, but I wanted to make sure that I was taking the time to do my research and investing over time (because let's be honest, overhauling everything is expensive).
One of my new year's resolutions for the year is to "clean up" my makeup routine. I generally use all natural products in my hair and on my body, but for some reason, I continue to put the cheap drugstore cosmetics on my face every single day. I've never been one to go overboard on the makeup, as I like to keep it pretty simple, but the reality is that I do use the same products day after day, and so over time, that adds up to a lot of toxins on my skin. I didn't want to just overhaul my products with no true understanding of what I was doing, so I decided to read Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore.
This book has revolutionized the way I understand health. I picked it up with the intention of improving my skin, but what I didn't actually realize is that our skin is so intricately connected to the rest of our bodies. Duh, right? So what started as an interest in improved skin turned out to be an interest in improving my overall health. Adina breaks it down simply by saying that our skin health is not a result of bad genes, slobbiness, or eating a slice of greasy pizza. Instead, it's a combination of all three.
Simply put, she argues that your skin is exactly that - your skin. It can't be understood in umbrella terms like oily, dry, or combination. Instead, it must be understood according to your background (ethnicity, family history, personal history), your lifestyle (where you live, what you do, your fitness, your habits, your overall well-being), and your diet (how you eat). In fact, it really can only be understood when you see how these three elements relate to one aother.
The entire book walks you through the process of trying to figure this out for yourself. The entire thing is incredibly informative, breaking down things like hormones, digestion, chemical additives in skin products, and so much more. What struck me the most was the section about diet. Adina encourages you to keep a food journal for a couple of days, in the hopes that you can see what types of foods may cause a reaction on your skin. I decided to try and what I found was crazy. First of all, I realized that I eat waaaay more sugar than I ever should in one day, and second of all, I realized that I am no where near getting enough water. Since then, I've been a little more conscious of both and can see a noticeable difference in how I feel when I moderate these things.
All this to say that the book is not just about skin. The book is about understanding that our skin can sometimes tell us that there is something a little deeper going on inside our bodies. Instead of simply focussing on improving our skin, we should focus on improving our health by understanding the unique complexities of our individual selves. What causes inflammation for my body may be completely different than someone else. So in the end, true health is understanding the needs of our individual bodies and doing our best to provide for them.
This book has really pushed me in the best way possible. Instead of feeling discouraged about "eliminating this" or "trying that", it's inspired me to eat the best possible things I can find for myself. It's also inspired me to further my research even more, so I'm tackling a few other books in the next few weeks. I can't wait to see if my skin starts to reflect these positive changes too.
Do you love your skin? Do you think there are ways you can work towards improving your skin by first addressing your overall health? If you have any interest in any of these things, I strongly recommend that you read this book (and as always, my copy is available for borrow)!