There are countless skincare products on the market to treat a variety of skin problems and challenges. We may have a 10-step daily skincare routine alongside our normal hygiene routines, which can bring the number of daily skincare products up to twenty. At the same time, skin sensitivities, allergies and stress-related skin problems are on the rise. Indeed, it seems that increased chemical loads combined with highly processed diets and stressful environmental factors are predisposing us not only to lifestyle diseases but also to skin 'lifestyle' disorders, the most common of which are various skin sensitivity challenges, rosacea, POD and adult acne. In holistic skin care, reconnecting with nature in everyday life is one of the first steps towards balance. In addition, a truly holistic approach to skin care takes into account the importance of the so-called "brain-gut-skin" axis for long-term results.
Rashes, allergies and hypersensitivities have increased significantly in recent decades. The main reason for this is thought to be the microbial deficiency associated with urbanisation and Western lifestyles. We eat antimicrobial food, use antimicrobial chemicals on our skin and in our homes, and live in asphalted or otherwise man-made antimicrobial environments. Unfortunately, this breaks our connection with nature. The pace of life is also much faster than it used to be and many people are finding it challenging to keep up with the pace of work. But perhaps humans are not ultimately meant to live at the pace of machines, which means that our sympathetic nervous system is in a constant state of 'run or die'.
So there are many stressors and situations in our environment and in our lives that cause pressure without us realising it. We can easily be exposed to excessive physical or psychological stress. Physical stress is mainly the result of excessive strain and the accumulation of harmful substances or radiation in the body. Of course, this also has a psychological impact. Psychological stress, on the other hand, is the mental pressure of being overburdened. Such stress causes the intestines and respiration to malfunction and, if prolonged, can also begin to alter the microbial behaviour of our bodies, eventually manifesting itself in, for example, various skin symptoms and diseases.
Better results with holistic care
Since the human being is a psycho-physical-social entity, skin symptoms and sensitivity are often linked to many factors. The best way to treat skin problems and sensitivities is to take a holistic approach to the underlying causes:
It is known that gut microbes communicate with skin microbes via the bloodstream and the central nervous system, and many skin problems are associated with a poorly functioning gut. For example, people with rosacea often have SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and people with atopic have broken skin, which means they have gaps where moisture evaporates, but also a leaky gut epithelial cell. Nutrition therefore also plays a major role in the well-being of our skin.
Recent microbial research has shown that microbes are everywhere and while we think we are safe by sterilising ourselves and our environment, we are also creating uncontrolled chaos that allows certain microbial species to dominate everything. Instead of all microbes being harmful, it has been found that the more we have a balance of different microbes, the healthier we are. This is also true for our skin. Our skin is home to a multitude of microbes that tend to help our skin do its job. For example, the microbes that live in the skin produce hyaluronic acid, which helps to maintain the skin's moisture balance, and lactic acid, which balances the skin's pH. They also work with our immune system and skin cells to prevent inflammation. If we wash our skin with too harsh substances or apply products containing silicone and strong preservatives, for example, the microbial balance is upset and this also affects the skin's resistance. It should also be noted that trendy multi-step skin care routines or layering of several different products on the skin are not suitable for everyone and can even aggravate the symptoms of sensitive skin. If there are significant changes in the skin microbiota, the immune system also changes and our body can trigger an inflammatory response. However, if there are positive changes in the skin microbiota, this can in turn help shutting down inflammation deeper in the body. Research shows that this happens, for example, when we rub forest dust® on our skin.
It is said that stress is the biggest contributor to various skin problems. Hypersensitivity sufferers are therefore characterised by a "special sensitivity", with a nervous system that very easily goes into "run or die" mode. When our nervous system is imbalanced, it starts to affect the whole body. The vagus nerve, or circulatory nerve, is the most important part of the parasympathetic nervous system, as it has a wide range of effects on various body functions, including regulating mood, immune response, digestion, breathing and heart rate. The vagus nerve acts as a bidirectional messenger between the brain and the digestive tract and between the brain and other organs. The vagus nerve is an important part of the so-called "brain-gut-skin" axis, which links the emotional and cognitive functions of the brain to the gut and skin. So if we are suffering from prolonged stress, it is important to find ways to relieve it. Breathing exercises and yoga have been shown to be effective stress relievers, but also activities such as walking in the woods, relaxing treatments, exposure to cold or heat, as well as music and dance can be good stress relievers.
Check out our checklist for sensitive skin here ✨✨ Our Moi Forest creams, that contain nourishing microbes from the forest, are also a great help for skin problems and challenges. Visit our forest dust® shop and order yours.
- A study on the impact of habitat and lifestyle on the microbiome of children and adolescents in Finnish and Russian Karelia.
- Rubbing forest soil on the skin, affects the whole body. https://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/abs/10.2217/fmb-2017-0286?rfr_dat=cr_pub%3Dpubmed&url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&journalCode=fmb
- A long-term study on the effects of environmental microbiota on the body in kindergarten children. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353913458_Long-term_biodiversity_intervention_shapes_health-associated_commensal_microbiota_among_urban_day-care_children
- The effect of the gut on the skin. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30042740/