In an age where vanity drives the success of commercial beauty markets, many overlook the internal health and wellness factors that promote healthy, and glowing skin. During November which recognizes National Healthy Skin Month, both dermatologists and herbalists raise awareness of the various practices and products that impact the condition of our skin.
According to the National Library of Medicine, skin is the largest organ of the human body, working as a protective barrier against “trauma, pathogens, microorganisms, and toxins,” while reducing the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and acting as a sensory organ to touch and temperature.
While our skin serves such a critical responsibility to our overall health, oftentimes, outer presentation bears the greatest concern to people when considering the health of their skin. Trending skin care treatments like chemical peels, or microdermabrasion to name a few, have become go-to methods of reaching popular beauty standards.
According to Statista, the global skin care market is projected to see a significant increase from $143.5 billion in 2022 to over $186 billion by 2028. But despite the growing rave of high-end cosmetics and skin procedures, dermatologist and surgeon Dr. Yolanda Holmes told The Informer the primary importance of addressing hormonal and bodily imbalances.
“You have to address internal issues first because you can spend a lot of money on these procedures and your skin will look great for some time, but they may not be long-lasting,” Holmes explained. “So if other things are going on with your body and your hormones, it’s almost like you’re chasing your tail, because you will be doing these procedures over [again], but not addressing some of the root causes.”
The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests key skin care tips to maintain healthy skin before turning to high-cost procedures for desired results. Basic skin care practices include; staying out of tanning beds, choosing skin care products that are formulated for your specific skin type (sensitive, normal, dry, or oily skin), keeping your hands off your face, checking your skin regularly for potential signs of skin cancer (spots, itchy moles, bleeding or color change), and even wearing sunscreen daily.
Contrary to popular belief by many, it is just as important for African American people to protect their skin with sunscreen as it is for their non-Black counterparts, as sunscreen helps to protect from the sun’s harmful UV rays, and premature skin aging, presenting as age spots or wrinkles.
“I recommend that all of my patients of color use sunscreen every day. We’re not so at risk for skin cancers, however, the sun does age our skin and put spots on the skin,” Holmes shared.
“Wash morning and night, before you go to bed. Use some type of moisturizer, and use sunscreen daily. There are so many brands and types of different things, but if you stick to the basics, I think that will put you on the path to helping your skin,” said Holmes.
From Chemical to Herbal: A Holistic Route to Healthy Skin Care
While commercial-based skin care continues to dominate the mainstream market, the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic heightened public awareness of the use of herbal remedies to address health concerns.
Aaron Johnson Sr., CEO of Pristine Care All Natural, an organic herbal and mineral-based product line of skin and hair care, spoke with The Informer about the benefits of using natural ingredients and knowledge of Earth-grown properties to manage health challenges.
While developing the brand, Pristine Care extensively researched some of the most standard product formulations on the market, as many companies incorporate already prepared bases of shampoos, lotions, and other products to create their merchandise.
“That’s how our journey started, [through] exposure to what the premade bases that big companies or one major company would [provide] for a lot of big names, and seeing the real manufacturing trends that the average consumer like us was not aware of.”
Over time, their research began to reveal a concerning link between the growing consumption of commercial products in conjunction with increasing rates of cancer diagnoses.
“We created our company to address the lack of transparency in the skin care industry, using Indigenous knowledge and natural ingredients to develop products that promote healthy skin and overall well-being. Our research showed a correlation between cancer rates and the use of synthetic skin care products, leading us to focus on using natural ingredients and herbs to create our products.”
Johnson said that the fragrances and numerous preservatives used in many mainstream brands are quite rampant in the cosmetology industry.
The Pristine Care team’s findings allowed them to track directly to the source of illness, compelling the company to take the organic route in the manufacturing of their product line as they acknowledged the various health risks associated with certain chemical-based products.
“It forced us to have to go organic. We had to get raw minerals, we had to go look at shea butter and raw elements, and what it took to build it up to a finished product,” Johnson told The Informer.
Consumer results have proven true to natural mineral-based products resolving persistent skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, bodily pain and inflammation, and hair loss. Per customer testimonials, Johnson doubled down that natural resources and healthy dietary habits will always reign supreme in sustaining healthy skin.
“In the West, we’re in a mineral desert. Once we started formulating cultural connections to plants and what royalty and high-ranking people inside those societies were using, we knew that that’s what our connections were missing,” Johnson explained. “We started realizing that our dependency on these companies is because we don’t have a foundation from knowing our Earth and what it provides for us.”