Real Skin Care

The skin, the largest organ in the human body, is essential for maintaining overall health and homeostasis. So, real skin care is paramount.

Yes – It is an Organ

Not everybody realizes but, the skin is the largest organ in the human body. It is an organ because it has a specific structure and function. Beyond giving coverage to the entire body, it serves several important purposes, including protection against pathogens and injuries, regulation of body temperature, and sensory perception (such as touch, pressure, temperature, and pain). Consisting of multiple layers, the skin is essential for maintaining overall health and homeostasis. So, in this article, I’m talking about how important real skin care is.

The Second Gut

We can consider the skin as our “second gut”, in the sense that it’s the second largest absorptive membrane that our body has. Similar to what happens in the upper gut, everything that comes in contact with the skin, sooner or later, ends up in the bloodstream. The rate at which substances are absorbed through the skin can vary widely depending on skin permeability, condition, substance’s molecular size, type, formulation, and duration of contact. Nonetheless, it ends up in the bloodstream regardless.


According to Zach Bush MD, with the discovery of the role of the gut microbiome in recent decades, we have begun to understand the epidermis not just as a barrier, but as a landscape of diverse bacteria, fungi, yeasts, protozoa, and parasites that form the skin microbiome. Unique micro-ecosystems that differ from region to region across our body’s surface. The use of soaps, alcohol-based sanitizers, and antibiotics (both topical and oral) have a devastating effect on this diversity. As we kill those ecosystems, we lose communication at the skin level, and the regenerative potential of the skin fades away. 

Pay Attention

That’s why you should pay close attention to what you’re putting into your skin. We should be using a minimal amount of clean, homemade kind of body wash. Anti-bacterial soap and alcohol-based products should be avoided. Products like deodorants and moisturizers that have longer exposure time are the most important ones to be guaranteed clean as longer exposure time increases absorption. So, it’s time to check the list of ingredients of the anti-aging cream that stays on your face all night as well as that moisturizer that stays in your body all day long. 


As evidence of skin absorption, certain medications are being designed to be delivered through the skin directly into the bloodstream. Some of those dermal absorption patches count with specific formulations that enhance absorption.  In general, absorption through the skin is a slower process compared to absorption through the gastrointestinal tract or lungs. Typically, it occurs over hours rather than minutes. However, if it’s entering your body, you should consider adding to your skin something you could ultimately eat. 

Natural Ways 

Taking care of your skin goes beyond just applying creams and lotions. As a health coach, I believe in nurturing your skin from the inside out. The goal should be to protect, nourish, and restore your skin naturally, to support its overall health and radiance, not only its appearance. Holistic approaches you can incorporate into your daily routine for healthier, glowing skin are basically the ones that will make your body and mind healthier. Remember, you are an integral being. 

Hydration is Key

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to care for your skin is to stay hydrated. The skin is no different than any other organ, its cells need water for all their fundamental processes. From getting oxygen and nutrients from the blood to energy (ATP) generation. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps flush out toxins, keeps your skin moisturized, and supports its elasticity. Eight glasses of water a day is a bare minimum – aim to 15 and drink as much as you can. 

Nourish with Nutrient-Rich Foods

Your skin reflects what you eat, so fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods can significantly impact its appearance. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Fruits and veggies are also sources of hydration. Foods like berries, avocados, nuts, and oily fish (such as salmon) provide nutrients that promote skin health and repair – like healthy fats and the natural forms of vitamins A and E.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Acne can be understood as a form of skin inflammation primarily due to several interconnected factors. Similar to the gut microbiome approach, if we keep the diversity of our skin microbiome by avoiding harmful products, and nourishing it from the inside out, acne won’t become a chronic problem. On the other hand, if on top of hormonal imbalances typical of teenage years, we add an inflammatory diet full of sugar, fried and processed foods, and sodas, then acne becomes a nightmare.

Natural Practices

The picture we often see in Spas’ advertisements of slices of cucumber or oranges over peoples’ eyes is a valid approach – food for your skin. It’s also effective to use a mixture of avocado with yogurt and honey as a face mask. The logic is if it’s good for you from the inside out, will be good for you from the outside in. Beyond food, any other skincare product should be carefully examined for its ingredients. Similar to what we recommend for processed foods – always carefully check the label and the list of ingredients.

How to Read Labels

Most big pharma brands of personal care products contain toxic ingredients. You should steer away from products containing parabens, synthetic fragrances, microbeads, EDTA, phthalates, petroleum (such as mineral oil), and talc. Even the so-called “natural fragrance” is often synthetic – made from “natural” ingredients. Those are all harmful toxins for our body and will overload our detox system, cause allergies, and disruption to the endocrine system.

Clean Skincare

On her Crunch Mama Box wellness platform and ethical marketplace, my dear friend Wanda Malhotra created the Crunch Mama Seal of Approval to help people make good choices related to skincare products. She does a comprehensive evaluation of the products available in her marketplace to make sure they’re clean, not tested on animals, and have sustainable packaging. If you’re not sure what’s clean and what’s not I recommend checking her marketplace.

Be Gentle

The skin needs its natural oils so, for cleansing opt for gentle, natural products. Consider ingredients like honey, aloe vera, or oatmeal in your skincare routine, as they have soothing and cleansing properties without irritating. Exfoliation helps remove dead cells, which can improve skin’s appearance and texture as well as promote a more radiant complexion. However, it does not need to be daily. Over-exfoliation can lead to skin irritation, dryness, and damage, counteracting its benefits. For a gentle exfoliation use natural ingredients, such as sugar or oatmeal scrubs. 

Sun is not an Enemy

As with all other living beings, humans need sunlight to be healthy. The belief that sun exposure is the primary cause of premature skin aging and cancer led us to a universal vitamin D deficiency crisis. Marketing data shows that every year, billions of dollars of sunscreens are purchased, poisoning both our dermis and our oceans. Avoiding the sun is causing our immunity to weaken. Sunlight has a critical function on our endocrine system, immune resilience, mood, and neurochemistry, as well as the rate at which skin cells regenerate.

Sunscreen Dilemma

Nowadays it’s a paradigm shift to think of not needing sunscreen but, the first one was invented not long ago. Ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and Greeks, used natural substances like plant extracts and oils to protect their skin from the sun. The modern sunscreen era began with the invention of the first commercial sunscreen by Austrian chemist Franz Greiter in 1928. In the 1970s sunscreens began to incorporate UVA and UVB protection, following research that linked skin cancer to sun exposure.

It’s Time to Rethink

Another paradigm shift is to reduce the topical insults to our skin microbiome from soaps, alcohol cleansers, chemical residues in our water systems, and cosmetics – including makeup. We should re-establish our relationship with nature, rather than battling against her. By reconnecting with the beauty and privilege of aging we can find joy to provide a new foundation for cellular health at the skin level. No big pharma artificial products are needed to have radiant skin, just shine your light within.

Get What You Need

We need to make sure we’re getting at least 15 minutes of direct, unprotected sun every day. Of course, avoiding the middle of the day is ideal to not get sunburned – again, common sense. Protection will be needed for long exposures and higher UV hours but, you can always use physical barriers first, like clothing or shade. If that’s not possible then choose a mineral sunscreen made with clean, natural ingredients. Steering away from toxic and aerosol ones benefits your health, and the health of our oceans, besides reducing the emission of a global warming gas.

Sleep & Stress

Quality sleep is essential for regeneration and repair. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to allow your skin cells to renew and rejuvenate. Lack of sleep can lead to dull skin, dark circles, and increased signs of aging. Chronic stress can affect your skin’s appearance too, by triggering inflammation and exacerbating conditions like acne or eczema. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or spending time in nature to promote overall well-being and therefore skin health.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells. It also helps flush out toxins through sweat, promoting clearer and healthier skin. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. And please, don’t use any products to reduce sweating! Sweat is necessary for body temperature regulation and detoxification. There is an interesting trend for exercise in hot environments, as it promotes sweating for cleaner pores and improved detox.

Consistent Habits

Consistency is key when it comes to health, and skin health is no different. Establish a daily routine of healthy habits and be patient. Allow your new lifestyle and clean products to work their magic over time. Pay attention to how your skin responds. Everyone’s skin is unique, so what works for others may not work for you. Trust your body’s signals and make adjustments as needed to support your skin’s natural vitality.

By adopting natural approaches to skincare, you not only enhance the appearance of your skin but also promote your long-term health and well-being. Embrace what honors your body’s natural rhythms and needs. Giving your skin the care and attention it deserves will help it glow from within. And you’ll look good!

Remember, Good is what makes you feel well!


Anna Resende

Anna Resende

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Certified by IIN - Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Every week I send out my newsletter called Mamma’s Tips where I share health and wellness topics, good books, recipes, and more. 

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A Weekend of Feeling Great!

In this book, you’ll find all the steps you can take to feel great. Besides all the foundational principles of multidimensional health, it has a sample of a productive daily routine that everyone can use and a two-day menu with 10 delicious plant-based recipes for you to try.

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