Water - Agua - Aqua - H2O. Water is a vital life force because it hydrates our bodies while it also helps to flush out toxins and waste from our systems.
On average our amazing bodies consist of about 60% water - we need water and we couldn't last very long without it. Ultimately, water keeps you healthy and drinking just 6-8 glasses a day aids in digestion, refreshes you and helps to regulate your energy level, temperature and brain function. But one thing you may not know is that water is best for you when it's inside you, and it affects your body differently when it's outside you.
We probably all recall what happens when you soak in the tub too long...your skin becomes wrinkled, it puckers or shrivels up...that's partly because your skin has been "over-exposed" to water.
Soaking or swimming for long periods of time will wash away the sebum - a natural oil your body produces. This causes the network of fibrous proteins that make up the outer layers of the skin - known as keratin - to react this way. Keratin is also found in your hair and nails.
You see, your skin naturally produces oils that actually work to absorb and retain moisture. These oils are known as "surface lipids" and they help to keep moisture locked in the skin and keep germs and irritants out. As humans, we're all different, so everyone's skin will have it's own unique "natural moisture level" and this can fluctuate depending on various factors including what your skin is exposed to. Many other factors contribute to dry skin including; ingredients in cleansing products, exposure to fragrances and/or perfumes, as well as the environment or weather conditions - these all can play a role in determining how dry your skin is or can become.
Water by itself can remove some of the natural oils from your skin but when you add "detergent", it removes almost all of the oil - and without these oils the skin may feel dry or rough. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients found in today's soaps and skin care products are so harsh, they actually strip your body of these beneficial oils and break down this protective layer. The worst culprits are anti-bacterial soaps, deodorant bars, and other synthetically perfumed soaps and skin care products.
While we mentioned earlier that drinking water regularly will help to balance out your body, "dry skin" is actually best treated from the outside, as it is an "external" problem. And one of the easiest and most effective approaches to treating dry skin is by choosing and using products that support your body's ability to form a protective barrier to water loss. It's a natural process - your body WANTS to do it - your body LIVES to do it - so by choosing products that support this natural process you can see how quickly your incredible body can recalibrate, rebalance and you'll actually watch your skin become more healthy.
It's important to know the ingredients in the products you choose and we suggest using a simple approach we like to call the Neitra "KISS" (Keep It Simple & Safe). The easiest way to know if you're helping the situation is by looking at exactly WHAT you're putting on your skin (and ultimately into your body) so take a moment and simply read the label.
If the first ingredient is WATER - think again. Most of today's commercial products have water as the first ingredient because it's an inexpensive "filler". However, one of the downfalls of using water in a product is that it actually speeds up rancidity or the product breaking down and "going bad" very quickly because water is a breeding ground for bacteria growth. And you DON'T want that in any product...especially not the one you put on your body!
Now, look a little further on a label...do the other ingredients "look familiar", can you pronounce those words? If the product has water as the first ingredient and a string of strange words after that, (for example, from Vaseline Intenstive Care's "Essential Healing" (Really??? They think this is healing?) Label: Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate) they are most likely chemicals needed to keep the product "stable". That alone should be an indicator that you could put the item back on the shelf and just keep looking.
One of our main goals in creating Neitra was to raise awareness and educate more people about ingredients in your skincare products. We would love to help make this easier for you - contact us and we'll send you one of our free wallet size "Neitra KISS" information cards to have at the ready the next time you're studying ingredient labels.
Trust us, you can do BETTER - and we believe you're worth it!
By using truly natural ingredients (like plant based oils and butters) your skin benefits in a multitude of ways. Many oils naturally contain vitamins and antioxidants that help to moisturize and condition your skin, nourishing your body from the outside in.
How much do we believe in the Natural Goodness of plant based oils and butters? Have a look at our Neitra Body Butters, Balms and Oils...you won't find any water there! That's because we know that the best things for your skin are truly natural ingredients that allow your skin to breathe - ingredients that help your skin naturally attract moisture and ingredients that "Feed Your Skin" - not fill it with toxins!
Until next time....
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