Our largest organ. A sign of beauty. But is beauty really only skin deep? Here are 3 mind-blowing things about your skin that will forever change the way you think about your largest organ–and 16% of your body weight.
1. Your skin is your personal health map
What’s going on on the inside, shows up on the outside. I touched upon this when I shared the story of MY24/7, my Ayurveda-inspired self-care for skin, body and mind. Now let’s dive into what this means.
Western dermatology says that our skin has 7 layers. Ayurveda also notes 7 skin layers and it connects these 7 layers to the quality of various tissues. Ayurvedic medicine recognizes 7 tissues in the body. The rough translation of each tissue goes like this: plasma, blood, muscle, fatty tissue, bone, bone marrow (nervous system) and reproductive tissue. For example, the Western epidermis and ayurvedic avabhasini skin layer correspond to the plasma tissue. Avabhasini reflects complexion and nutrition quality of the plasma tissue (rasa dhatu).
So when you adequately nourish each tissue, your skin will become healthier and happier.
2. Your skin is connected to your brain
Your skin and your nervous system share the same birthplace. They both come from the ectoderm, one of the 3 primary germ layers in the very early embryo. The ectoderm “differentiates to form the nervous system (spine, peripheral nerves and brain), tooth enamel and the epidermis”.
It’s because of this connection that you turn red when you’re nervous or break out when you’re stressed. Your emotions have an undeniable effect on the quality of your skin.
The skin and brain connection is also why I’m a big believer in oil massage, an ayurvedic self-care practice. Its positive effects are due to the healing power of touch and how you do the massage. Check out some nuggets here and here.
And now I can tell you that the reason for leaving the oil on for 15 – 20 minutes is because it takes approximately this long for the oil to reach all 7 tissues (dhatus). Oil massages not only nourish your skin but they also nourish your tissues and nervous system.
3. Your skin is a part of your digestive system
This is a big one. The health of your gut affects the health of your skin. To truly see the significance of this statement, you need to know 2 things.
One: everything you come in contact with becomes an input into your digestive system. The foods you eat, the sensory stimuli you experience, the emotions and thoughts you have…and the stuff you put on your skin.
Two: all of these inputs need to be processed and assimilated, and the waste needs to be expelled. You already know that your skin has a special connection to the blood tissue (rakta dhatu). Your blood is connected to your liver.
The blood carries the toxins that get into your body. Your liver detoxifies the blood. When the liver is working as it’s supposed to, it can get rid of toxins more easily. But when it’s not, then toxins accumulate, and impurities start circulating through your blood and to your skin. When toxins are not able to leave your body through other proper exits, for example bowel movements or sweating, they will be forced to exit through your skin in the form of acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis or other skin impurities.
As you can see, keeping your skin healthy requires that you keep your gut healthy. And to help with that, choose skin care products that are easier for your body to “digest”. It’s with this inside-outside connection in mind that I created MY24/7TM. No fillers, no nonsense–only premium organic and natural ingredients. And the wisdom of Ayurveda.
Image by Daria Shevtsova