The thing that I love the most about what I do is that there is always something new to learn. When I have downtime, I read. Lately, one of the books that I have been reading is “Transform Your Skin Naturally” by Ben Johnson, MD. Dr. Johnson is the creator of the product line Osmosis. I have carried this line ever since I went into business. Dr. Johnson and I both believe in the approach of alternative skincare. This means that I am here to assist my clients in learning how the skin actually functions and helping them to assist their skin in the process of what it does naturally.
Our skin is constantly re-building itself turning over every 30 days (meaning every 30 days you have a whole new set of skin). This rate slows down in most humans by about age 25 and the Dermis begins to thin at about 1% a year (double that for sufferers of Rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions). This thinning is what causes our skin to lose its healthy appearance over time.
The most common approach to skincare today is to use harsh methods to exfoliate the skin in order to speed up this skin turnover. That seems all well and good, but what that is doing is actually aging the skin by starving it. Growing in my understanding of how the skin works has caused me to pull away from this idea and to focus on healing and rebuilding the skin. I choose to work with the skin’s natural functions because the skin is very efficiently designed to protect us, and it knows what it is doing.
The skin has three main layers; The Subcutis (deepest), the Dermis (middle), and the Epidermis (outer layer). All of the nutrients that the skin needs come from the Dermis which sends nutrients to the Epidermis in order to help it repair itself so that we can be protected from the elements. Many skincare professionals see the Epidermis simply as dead skin that is responsible for wrinkles when it is actually there to protect us from infection, sun damage, and aging. When we do anything above very gentle exfoliation, we are interfering with the Epidermis’ function and increasing our skin’s susceptibility to the above factors. Harsh exfoliation causes inflammation that sets into motion the Dermal response because the Dermis sends nutrients to the Epidermis to repair the skin once it has become inflamed.
Over the years, the skincare industry has made a shift to constant exfoliation with products that have high concentrations of Alpha Hydroxy acids, Retin-A, and other harsh exfoliants. Prolonged use of these products gives us a temporary plumping due to the trauma caused by exfoliation, but this is only an illusion. We are actually aging the skin more as we use these products because we are starving the skin as we cause it to work harder to keep up and re-supply nutrients to the Epidermis. We are also decreasing the skin’s ability to protect itself from aging. If you would like to know more about the Osmosis line or treatments I have available, please call, email, or even schedule a consultation.
If you would like to see before and after photographs from the Osmosis website, please click here.
Ruby Buchanan is a Licensed Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Consulting Hypnotist in Corvallis, OR and owner of Selah Healing Arts