Demystifying Skin Care: Part 1
The world of holistic skin care is one that is ever-expanding, allowing for care providers and consumers alike to enjoy a plethora of new and exciting treatments, ingredients and therapies. With constant development and progress being made in this realm, it can all be a bit confusing, so here’s a brief guide on some of the terminology and uses as we apply them at Soak Spa:
Holistic Skin Care: The term “holistic” as used in medicine refers to the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or illness. In holistic skin care, we endeavor to provide as complete treatment of the skin as possible, taking into account environmental, social, nutrition and other factors as presented by the individual. We know that as the body’s largest organ, your skin is the first line of defense against a host of toxins and pollutants, and it requires gentle and thorough care.Holistic skin care emphasizes that the skin is a reflection of one’s inner health, and takes a multifaceted approach to its treatment.
Organic: The term “organic” is one that is easily confusing, as it has a lot of different contextual references. In chemistry, “organic” refers to anything carbon-based. While this definition seems to be all-inclusive, it is a little too inclusive for the realm of holistic medicine. Cetearyl alcohol, benzene & petroleum are all “organic” ingredients as far as chemistry is concerned, but holistic practices have determined that slathering them onto your skin might not be the best idea. Medicinal references are a little more oriented towards skin care: in medicine, organic refers to anything pertaining to the organ or organs of a living being, such as an animal, plant, fungus or other living tissue. As this definition encompasses things like human growth hormones, which are cultured from living tissue, it may also not be the most functional.
As the largest organ, our skin “ingests” anything applied to it, so it is essential that any skin care products are held to the highest possible standards. Since chemistry and medicine both have definitions of “organic” that unfortunately include a lot of ingredients that could harm the skin, we usually revert to the food standard as the gold standard. A number of third-party organic certification organizations have been formed, and we’re big fans at Soak Spa of companies whose ingredients fit within the rigorous standards of the non-profit, non-partisan Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG verifies products based on the transparency of disclosure of ingredients by the companies that create the products. We think the “EWG Verified” label is an excellent standard because of this, and their dedication to their mission.
That’s a lot to digest! Check back in next week when we’ll explore more terminology and discuss the importance of knowing what you’re putting on your skin.
Definition of holistic: http://www.merriam-webster.
Skin is the body’s largest organ: https://www.aad.org/public/
Organic definitions: http://www.merriam-webster.