Why should we vary our skincare routine?
If you have read other articles on the LWTM blog you will be familiar with the biodynamic principle that days have not only dates but also varying qualities. I think most of us would agree that we don’t feel and act the same every day. On certain days we feel energetic and sociable, at others more emotional and withdrawn. Just look at the natural world. Plants are not in bloom all year round. There needs to be some rest between busy times to regenerate. It is therefore a logical conclusion that we should not treat our skin the same every day.
What is the function of the skin and how does it renew?
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It
- protects your body from environmental stressors like germs, pollution/ sun radiation
- regulates your body temperature
- receives sensory information
- stores water, fat, and vitamin D
Cold-blooded animals such as frogs sustain their life by mainly breathing through their skin, also called cutaneous respiration. There are even salamanders that have no lungs at all! But in humans and other warm-blooded animals, skin breathing makes up only a very small percentage of the needed gas exchange. But it is the reason why we feel so happy and energized when immersing ourselves in a natural environment with lots of fresh air.
The skin consists of 3 main layers. The epidermis (also the top and body’s barrier), the derma, and the subcutis. For the purpose of this article, I will concentrate on the epidermis. ‘The Ancient Greek words Epi’, meaning ‘ over or on top’, and ‘derma’ – skin build the word Epidermis – the outer skin or barrier. Until relatively recently scientists assumed that this was a quasi-dead layer of skin cells, shedding in a roughly 4-week cycle, coincidently the same length of time as a whole lunar cycle. But now we know that it is as alive as the rest of the skin, playing an important role in protecting the body from viruses and other pathogens and aiding in the functions mentioned above.
A new approach to skincare
Now that we know the function and timing of how the epidermis works and renews, it makes sense to structure our skincare in the same rhythm. This, by the way, is not a new concept – but has been in practice for hundreds of years.
First of all, you should establish a daily routine, which will stay consistent throughout. The bare minimum is to cleanse your skin thoroughly every evening and replenishing it with a suitable night creme. In the morning wake up your skin by splashing it with cold(ish) water and add a day cream that includes good sun protection. The products you use will be guided by your skin type. This could be a rather oily, combination, or dry skin.
Now we move on to extra procedures that I would recommend to change in the 4-week cycle and choosing the rhythm of the moon would seem a natural choice.
Waxing Moon: Any kind of skincare that plumbs the skin, adds moisture and nourishment. All anti-aging procedures fall into this camp, to do extra helpings of serums or body treatments that feed the skin and promote repair and healing.
Full Moon: Ideal for a sensual massage or luxurious, pampering facial
Waning Moon: All kinds of skincare that eliminate, deep cleanse, exfoliate, and purify. This would be a good body brushing session followed by a face and body peeling. Lymph drainage, deep cleansing clay mask, and any kind of hair removal. Here is an article that introduces you to body brushing. The benefits of body brushing
New Moon: As part of a monthly internal cleansing (Liquid Fast Day), add on a detox bath with Epsom salt and purifying face mask.