Do you ever notice your skin feeling rough this time of year? Or maybe it feels a bit more oily and congested? Or perhaps your skin is more prone to itchiness, irritation, and redness in the Spring.
Maybe you’ve even drawn a connection between inflammatory skin symptoms and your seasonal allergies. Or you’ve noticed some extra bloating and sluggish digestion as our bodies follow Nature’s rhythm and shift from Winter to Spring.
During the Winter, our bodies need richer, heavier foods to feel nourished and grounded. Movement slows. We go into hibernation mode. We’re meant to rest and nurture and restore ourselves. Sometimes that results in our bodies building up metabolic waste through the cold wintry months though.
Then as Spring rolls around, just like sap rises from the roots of trees, our own internal rhythms begin to pick up. The natural movement of qi, our vital life force, quickens in order to shake off any residual wintry sluggishness and rid our bodies of that built-up metabolic waste. This time of year, when our bodies are doing extra work to lighten that metabolic load, our skin can often show the extra strain our bodies (in particular the liver and lymphatic system) may be under if not functioning optimally.
Why is this?
Because the skin, like the lymphatic, digestive, and urinary systems along with the liver and uterus, is an elimination pathway. That means it plays a vital role in helping our bodies process and eliminate metabolic waste. For this reason, skincare becomes about so much more than outward beauty. Skin health is essential for holistic health and supporting our skin’s outer layer, made up of the lipid barrier, acid mantle, and microbiome. As an organ, we need our skin to be functioning well in order to support the body’s ability to eliminate toxins so that they don’t build up and impair our other organs and pathways of elimination. If our skin isn’t doing its elimination job, it’s left up to those other pathways to pick up the slack, and we may even begin to see symptoms pop up within those other systems (symptoms like sluggish digestion, bloating, allergies, achy joints, and headaches).
But likewise, if those other pathways of elimination aren’t functioning properly, our skin will be tasked with picking up the slack for them. That’s why, when our liver is overburdened or our lymphatic system is backed up, our skin will tell us. Your skin is a key indicator of the health and vitality of your lymphatic system. If your skin is congested, dull, puffy, inflamed, and reactive, there’s a good change your lymph could use some support in moving stagnation.
But can skincare actually impact our skin’s ability to eliminate?
It can be tempting to say that skincare can only do so much for our bodies through a holistic lens. And there’s some truth to that. Acne and eczema, for example, both need to be looked at with internal factors in mind. Perhaps the liver or blood need some cleansing, or there’s a food intolerance and the gut needs some repair. Unless the skincare products are the root cause, and most often they are not, then simply changing up the skincare products won’t result in lasting change.
But supporting your skin through holistic, healthful skincare is one important element of supporting your lymphatic system. Along with movement, hydration, breathwork, dry brushing, and bodywork, skincare and facial massage can assist in improving lymphatic drainage and moving stagnant lymph.
- Using lymph-supportive whole plants like Calendula, seaweeds, and Violet aids lymphatic movement. We love using Solis Antioxidant Serum or Sirenis Cleansing Balm for facial massage to facilitate this movement.
- Repairing and maintaining your skin’s lipid barrier with fresh, unrefined carrier oils like those in Aura Face Balm that contain a wide range of fatty acids means it will more effectively function as a pathway of elimination.
- Feeding your skin’s microbiome with whole plants like you do when using our masks, like Rosa Purifying Face Mask, ensures resilient microflora that protect your system from pathogens and assist in a strong immune system. (Did you know that the majority of your immune system operates within the lymphatic fluid?)
- Supporting lymphatic movement with breast massage.
So while the products you use on your skin are by no means the whole answer to healthy skin, they actually play a vital role beyond how your skin looks after using them. Your skincare can holistically support optimal lymphatic health when made with whole plants, fresh and unrefined carrier oils, and mindfully sourced ingredients.
Have questions? We’d love to answer them! Drop them in the comments below and we’ll respond. Or maybe your question will even prompt a more in depth blog post!