To scrub or not to scrub? A sensitive skin question.
I am often asked about exfoliation. Is it necessary? Does it make a difference? Should everyone scrub? What I have observed in my practice, is that a lot of skin problems are caused by excessive scrubbing and exfoliation. Being a skin care minimalist, I tend to believe that less is more and I will always think twice before adding anything to my existing routine. In my book, a daily skin care routine ought to be simple, effective and most of all mindful. So a good place to start before ever applying anything to your skin is a mindful examination of your skin. Use both logic and intuition.
–>What does your skin feel and look like? If your skin is red, inflamed, with broken capillaries and dry patches, maybe even acne, it will definitely not respond well to anything that is abrasive in texture and irritating, so forget all the apricot kernel scrubs please. It is already irritated enough! Soothing and calming is what your skin needs. One thing that I suggest over and over again for any skin condition is a simple concoction I have learned about years back through Hauschka, if you can’t afford to buy the commercial brand. Clients use it with great success.
Simple ingredients which you probably already have in your kitchen:
Coarsely ground organic or biodynamic produced Almond Butter. Mix 1 teaspoon almond butter with a little spring water to make a paste and apply it to your face as you would ordinary soap. The almond cleanser will wash away dirt and other impurities and preserve the skin’s acid mantle. The oil in the almond butter will not clog pores. This cleanser is sufficiently gentle for people with dry or sensitive skin, but it is also healing, mildly exfoliating, and revitalizing for skin with blemishes and acne.
To make the product even more effective, soothing and hydrating, add oat flour or oat bran that has been coarsely ground in a coffee grinder or blender. Simply grind the oats and add them to the almond butter and spring water mix. The oats will soothe, moisturize, and act as a gentle exfoliant. Oats, like almond butter, contain vitamin E and other antioxidants that promote healing as they cleanse.
Yet another healing substance that can be added to the almond and spring water mix is medicinal clay powder (do not use potter’s clay). You can purchase healing clay in and natural foods or health foods store. Clay absorbs impurities and detoxifies. Adding 1 tablespoon clay to the base mix yields a powerful and extremely healing combination that will cleanse, moisturize, and purify your skin. If necessary, add more water to produce a rich, soothing mixture.
When cleansing the skin, gently press and roll. Avoid the eye area. Rinse well.
Alternatively to making your own, Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream is a daily cleansing formula composed of sweet almond meal and extracts of anthyllis, calendula, chamomile, Saint-john’s – wort, and witch hazel, along with other healing plants. This cleanser stimulates the skins own healing functions so the skin is actively engaged in promoting its own health long after you have washed your body and face. The cream is used for all skin conditions.
My final verdict on scrubbing and exfoliating for the sensitive skin goes something like this: STOP USING ROUGH STUFF ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE, PLEASE! You are just making things worse. Beautiful skin isn’t always healthy—however healthy skin is always beautiful.
P.S. If your skin is chronically red and inflamed I strongly suggest that you seek professional advice.