Skin is the outer covering of the body and largest organ of the integumentary system. Skin guards us against outside. It is a stable and flexible outer covering that acts as a barrier, protecting our body from harmful things in the outside world such as excessive moisture, excess cold, excessive heat from the sun, as well as toxic substances.
When someone says, "I'm getting goosebumps!", it is actually a function of the skin being performed; that of sensory perception!
The skin consists of three layers:- Epidermis, Dermis, Subcutaneous fat. These three layers work together to protect us, make new blood cells, eliminate harmful toxins through sweat, absorb messages from the environment. They convey to the nervous system, breathe in fresh air, supply blood to the brain and grow hair. They also control body temperature and store fat and perform many functions that are yet to be understood! Isn't it amazing, how many functions are performed by our skin? It is a very busy work headquarter in the body!
Summers call for loose clothes with ample of legroom for air to circulate. Loose-fitting clothes are wonderful, as they allow sweat to evaporate! Synthetic clothes don't have room for this, instead, they don't allow sweat to quickly evaporate, thus they trap the toxins that are being removed by the body, through sweat. Presence of sweat for longer periods slowly invites microbes, which begin to grow in that area, due to lack of cleanliness.
A healthy habit, is to switch to wearing natural fibre clothes, handloom or organic cotton is best, and now very easily available online. I have seen a world of difference in my skin health and overall health, when I switched to Organic handwoven and sometimes hand-spun cotton, along with natural plant-based dyeing. Natural fabrics allow the skin to breathe and do not block the sweat.
During the sultry heat, when sweat is unavoidable, it’s best to take frequent baths, to clean the sweat, lower the body temperature as well as keep skin dry.
Use of Air Conditioner's further dehydrates the skin as well as being an environmental disaster. Avoid AC's, and resolve to sleep outdoors in the terrace with a table fan, or keep a wet blanket on top and switch on the fan, for a cooling feeling.
Use a mud pack to give relief and cool down in peak summers. Use soil from your vegetable garden, an organic farm, or visit your nearby forest or park and look for a large tree with loads of leaves around it and dig up the soil from under the tree. Soak this soil in water overnight and next morning use it for a mud pack. Either apply the mud on a piece of cloth and then apply this cloth on the stomach or apply the mud pack directly.
I've found that the mud pack cleans up very easily when applied on a cloth and then this cloth is applied on the body. Mud packs can be applied to any part of the body. However, when applied on the stomach and forehead, they can instantly help the body to cool down.
Very important to keep skin dry, due to high moisture in the atmosphere.
Monsoons are also known for bringing on cravings for tea and cookies or fried snacks especially in Indian Monsoons, everyone rushes for pakodas.
Replace fried finger foods with fresh fruits, baked samosa's/pakodas and once in a while a freshly baked cake!
This will help the skin to keep glowing, through the rains, as the digestive load will be quite less, thus keeping the body actively cleansing itself at regular intervals.
A backlog of cleaning calls for a sudden volcanic eruption, which we get in the form of acne or pimples on our skin.
Dry air makes body dehydrated, as well as oily and cereal rich meals, dehydrate the body during winters.
We suffer from loss of the biggest nutrient: the Sun, during winters. Although, during north Indian Winters, the general notion is that we soak a lot of the winter sun.
Everywhere people can be seen sitting outside, in the sun, basking in its natural glory.
However, as we wear heavy woollens, the clothing itself blocks sunlight from being absorbed by the skin, and thus we suffer from lack of direct sun exposure and resultant absorption is limited.
This culminates in slowing down of vital functions in the body, as the sun is the source of all life.
Skin is a mirror to our health and dull skin is a telltale sign of lower health. Shift your skin health by absorbing more sunlight, through more exposed skin!
Say goodbye to the sunscreen and replace it with a summer hat. When we spend too much time in the sun, on a hot summer day, we get a skin rash and an urgent pull to move under shade or back indoors. Sunscreens are blocking this natural communication between the nervous system and brain.
Skin being the largest sensory organ, fails to communicate the important signal of sunburn, because the message to the brain is blocked by the application of the sunscreen. Sunscreen delays this message communication, owing to its very nature, as an apparent skin protector. Instead of protection, we are being doubly harmed by the sunscreen, because in earlier times, when we didn't have the sunscreen, we could move indoors as soon as the skin felt hot, and thus protect ourselves from overexposure. After sunscreen is on, this messaging gets delayed, and with overexposure, eventually, we get dehydrated from longer exposure to the sun!
In winters, lighter evening meals, of soup and vegetables, skipping the evening grain or cereal, allows quicker digestion.
During the winter mornings, when Sun has warmed up the atmosphere, try to remove all woollens and soak in as much sun, by exposing arms and legs to direct sunlight.
Pranayam in the fresh morning air encourages better blood circulation.
Frequently Dry Friction Bath helps. This can be done everyday, before bathing, by rubbing a dry cloth all across the body, in upward movements. This helps remove dry skin cells and better blood circulation.
Better overall blood circulation and healthcare would lead to glowing skin.
(About Moonstar: A personal health crisis, in 2004 guided me to shift to hands-on work, in ecology & sustainability, from growing food to working with NHS (England), Schumacher College (UK), Findhorn (Scotland), Botanical Gardens (Auroville) and Akarma (Pollachi). Nature has been my biggest teacher, and I started a Natural healing Centre in Chandigarh, called Parshada. I am happy to guide you into a grounded and wholesome health restoration programme.)
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