Why Skin “Rewilding” Could Be The Answer To Your Skin Problems
Even if we’re diligent when it comes to maintaining a skincare routine, all sorts of bad habits and environmental factors can make our skin look less than its best. For example, haphazard sleep schedules, poor diet, stress, and yucky stuff swirling around in the air can all contribute to internal inflammation.
When this inflammation becomes a constant, our bodies can struggle to keep up. And in some cases, what’s going on internally can actually start to show up on our faces. We’re talking dull complexions, puffiness, breakouts, and even premature signs of aging.
The beauty world has given ongoing inflammation a cute little name: inflammaging.
“Inflammaging is the combination of inflammation and aging, which results from chronic stimulation of the immune system due to long-term exposure to environmental factors that contribute to physical aging,” explains Dr. Stacy Chimento, a board-certified Miami dermatologist of Riverchase Dermatology.
Fortunately, there are ways to reset on this internal chaos so that you not only look great, but you feel better, too. Before we share tips, let’s first go into some more detail on how chronic inflammation can impact our skin.
Why Inflammaging is Your Skin’s Enemy
Chronic inflammation occurs when your body must respond to damaged cells over and over and over again. It’s sort of like calling 911 on repeat – your body is constantly on alert!
“Long-lasting inflammation can happen when you leave a cut or infection untreated, have an autoimmune disorder that mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, or have long-term exposure to irritants like polluted air,” says Dr. Chimento. “Other factors include allergic reactions, gut conditions, and photosensitivity. However, everyone’s bodies react differently to specific aspects, and inflammation can be more significant for some than others.”
Eventually, inflammaging can damage skin cells, disrupt your skin barrier, break down collagen and elastin, and even result in a loss of youthful facial fat. Though it can take time for this damage to show on the surface, Dr. Chimento says you’ll eventually notice more fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, and worsened breakouts.
Other signs might include a lackluster complexion, irritated skin, dilated blood vessels, and dark circles under your eyes. Inflammaging can even make it more difficult for your skin to recover from sunburns or minor cuts.
What is Rewilding? …The Key to Tackling Inflammaging
The term rewilding is technically borrowed from environmentalism, where the goal is to help the Earth repair itself through natural methodologies. The concept transfers beautifully to the skincare sphere. In essence, skin rewilding is the process of gently, holistically addressing inflammation to rebalance our bodies and therefore improve our complexions.
“Rewilding essentially helps your skin renourish itself and maintain a more substantial skin barrier,” Dr. Chimento says. “The stronger it is, the better your skin will look and feel while being protected.”
7 Ways to Rewild Your Skin – Starting Now
Here are a handful of ways you can rewild your skin:
1. Use Skincare Products That Promote a Healthy Skin Barrier
Using gentle skincare products that foster a strong skin barrier is super important. Ceramides, peptides, and probiotics are all excellent ingredients to add to your routine. Soothing, nourishing ingredients that help quench your skin – such as jojoba oil, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and honey – can also help.
2. Tend to Your Gut
It’s true: What you eat can directly affect your skin! “Foods that contain high amounts of sugar, processed foods, and empty carbohydrates can exacerbate inflammation and aging,” says Dr Chimento. “It would be best to eat cleaner foods and drink plenty of water to provide your body with the energy it needs to fight off any inflammation.”
You can also try taking a probiotic, which helps promote a healthier gut via the delivery of healthy bacteria. However, if you have chronic digestive issues then it’s important to speak to your doctor.
3. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress impacts our bodies and minds in so many ways, ranging from depression to heart disease and beyond. Anything you can do to minimize stress can improve your health dramatically. Try meditation, breathing exercises, short and long walks, reading a book, taking your PTO, and saying no to obligations that overcommit you.
4. Try Lymphatic Drainage Massage
This type of massage focuses on promoting a healthy lymphatic system, which is a major player in your immune system. The massage can help promote circulation, drain the lymph, improve body fluid balance, and promote healthier immune function. There are massage therapists who specialize in this type of therapy. You can also try gua sha.
5. Get Your Beauty Sleep
“Getting enough sleep can help keep inflammation down,” notes Dr. Chimento. “When you sleep for the recommended amount of time – about seven to nine hours – you allow your body to recover from the day. The more you sleep, the more refreshed you and your skin will feel.”
6. Cut Back on Exfoliants
While exfoliating your skin can help promote a brighter complexion, you can certainly over-do it. When in doubt, follow the packaging instructions. Also, be mindful of how many products you’re using in your daily regimen that might have exfoliating properties and cut back accordingly. Exfoliants can often sneak into daily cleansers, serums, and creams.
7. Wear Your SPF
The sun’s potent rays can cause skin cancer, lead to premature signs of aging, and prolong inflammation. You should apply an SPF 30+ to any exposed skin every single day.