The popularity of cosmetics derived from natural sources is increasing. Such products are ecologically “ethical” and are effective and safe to use.
Vitamin E is the main lipophilic antioxidant that inhibits peroxidation, especially if associated with “natural” moisturizers such as the lipids in olive oil and olive extract. Vegetable oils containing EFAs have proven to be of great use in the production of cosmetics as either active incipient or raw materials for the synthesis of novel compounds. EFAs are easily integrated into the skin’s hydro-lipid film and are nourishing, moisturizing, and protective.
Some of these substances have been used for centuries yet can still meet the needs of today’s consumers. Apart from their moisturizing and soothing effects, and anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory function, these products reduce aging of the skin with their antioxidant, stabilizing action on the cellular membranes. Treatment with olive oil has no side effects. Olive oil does not burn or traumatize the skin.
More scientific research:
Virgin olive oil as a fundamental nutritional component and skin protector – ReasearchGate
The skin is an utterly sensitive organ that is kept healthy because of a constantly regenerating, ingenious circulation system of water, lymph, blood, and fats. Because of the complexity of the skin, to understand how the skin is built, how this organ functions, it is helpful to watch one or more educational videos about it. I collected these in a playlist.
How to maintain a healthy skin?
Since the nourishment of the skin takes place in the skin itself via the body systems and not on the surface, it is essential to eat healthy food and drink enough water (1-2 litres per day) next to other liquids like coffee, tea, soup, juiceses, etc.. Coffee and black teas de-hydrate the body. Breathing fresh air, being also physical active, contribute to an optimal digestion and therefore for a healthy skin as well. Daylight is also part of the natural skin care. Daylight creates a natural vitamin D that is adopted and transported by the skin into the body. The maintenance of the skin from the outside is part of the daily hygiene to keep bad smells, bacteria, viruses and fungi away, to avoid illnesses. Skin-friendly body oils moisturize the skin, and together with exfoliating the skin and massages a way to keep it vital, elastic, and shining.
It is astonishing that soap manufacturers of for instance the so popular Aleppo soap, Savon de Marseille, and Castile soap do not offer information about the pH value. The pH value of all natural soaps is 9. The Cretan Garden soaps are natural soaps, comparable with the Aleppo soaps, and have a pH value of 9 as well. This pH level is related with the formula for handcrafted natural soaps according to old traditions. There are manufacturers of the so-called neutral soaps, or so-called ecological degradable soaps who do not offer any information about that either. There are natural soap manufacturers who add natural acidic substances of for instance aloe vera to lower the pH level. For me its has been a conscious choice to follow up the old traditional methods and formulas. Though the Cretan Garden olive soap is alkalic, the skin needs just 15 minutes to come back to its own pH. The benefits of the olive oil, herbs and essential oils in the soap are all still present in the thin film that remains on the skin, nourish, protect and keep the skin elastic.
*Advice. In case the soap is used for scalp and hair washing: use argan oil after washing, on the towel-dry hair if you have dry and/or curly hair. Grey hair can be very dry as well. Argan oil is also used in the so-called Moroccan oil, but argan oil is pure oil, does not contain perfumes, or any other kind of chemicals. To make the argan oil more yours you can mix one drop essential oil with the argan oil in the palm of your hand before spreading it over the hair, and rub it in the hair and the scalp for about a minute.
*Advice for the use of soap on the skin of the face: Do not use soap too often. Use luke warm water and pat the skin of the face dry.
2. A skin-friendly body-oil
Make your own skin conditioner: Buy organic olive oil, and the essential oil used in the soap. Add 200 ml olive oil / 20 drops essential oil [for external use only!] in an empty and well cleaned fluid soap bottle with pump. Add just a little hand full of the homemade body oil immediately after washing to the wet and warm body from face to toes, spread it all over the skin. Then dry yourself with a towel. A very thin film is left. It offers a matt effect to skin, without weighing it, without leaving oily traces. It improves skin elasticity while preventing moisture loss that can contribute to the aging process. It keeps the skin smooth and soft, while leaving a natural healthy glow, younger looking result, and the wonderful scent of the essential oil. You can buy essential oils at House of Deli, Crete.
Attention: the advised total of drops essential oil on 200 ml olive oil, for a body oil is a safe total. On the website of the Aroma Therapy Foundation is written that the total depends on the power of each single essential oil: they are all different in weight, which means that one drop of lavender is lighter than one drop of oregano, for instance. They recommend for a body oil 20 – 40 drops on 100 ml olive oil. I recommend the maximum of 20 drops on 200 ml olive oil, to be used on body and face. Your skin could react on it anyway. Advice: try your home made body oil on a small spot on your arm, and wait to see how the skin reacts, before using it on the entire body. Do not use the body oil as a sun-oil. You can use it as an after-sun treatment. Protect your skin against the sun with a high protection factor cream. The best protection however is to avoid direct sunlight, by wearing a sun-hat, or to sit in the shadow.
3. Exfoliating the skin
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. If you do this well, in the way that fits with your skin type, this creates a bright, healthy looking skin because the circulation in the skin has improved. The right way of exfoliating allows a better absorption of body oils and creams. See also the Cretan Garden blog post: Exfoliating the skin.
*Advice: the skin of your face may not be exfoliated in the same way as the skin of the body. Because the skin of the face is constantly uncovered, dealing with variations in temperatures, air pollution, overdose of aggressive sunlight, dry air inside the house in winter, airco in summer and winter, the skin of the face needs a mild maintenance Not any kind of exfoliating is mild, unless one uses a wash cloth carefully.
Because Wikipedia offers a very excellent article about massage, types of massages, massages in history, and therapies with massages, I only would like to add some notes.
Massages stimulate the muscles, blood circulation, organs, metabolism in the cells, are balancing the body systems, unblock chakras, create a bridge between your mind and your body, and activate the skin as well, because the skin is the medium between the hands of the therapist and the body beneath the skin. To get used to a therapeutical massage one could start with foot massages. Videos: playlist 1, playlist 2 The Thai yoga massage is a possible next step: you wear comfortable clothes. Videos: playlist.
The skin is our natural border between our inner physical body, our inner world, our self, and the outside world, The human eveolution, related with the so-called civilization, brought changes in habits, also in clothing. Our ancestors did not wear clothes, they used the skin and fur of the animals they killed for food, to protect against cold. They did not live in closed houses but in caves, huts or tents. Fresh air was a constant factor. The air was not polluted in that time. The skin could bath day and night in clean air. Fresh air, oxygen, is necessary to keep the skin in a good condition. Opening windows, at least for an hour or two per day, is a must to keep the air-hygiene optimal. In summer I do this every morning, after waking up at about six o’clock, and close the windows after an hour or two. During winter I do this twice per day, for just five minutes: it is extreme cold in the Norwegian mountains.
Taking a daily walk, also in winter, in an environmentally healthy area, creates a healthy blood circulation. The blood is enriched by breathing in pure oxygen. The blood system transports the oxigen to also the skin.
We are the offspring of the humans who were living in the open air, with abundancies of daylight. We must realize that our skin did not change so much during evolution as our habits in clothing and living. We live almost constantly in a closed house, office, working place, car or any kind of public transport, with artificial light. Natural light, daylight, is essential for our well-being, and to keep a healthy skin. Note: daylight is created by the sun, but being in the full heat of a burning sun is not healthy. Also the shadow offers natural daylight
7. Water and healthy food
What you eat and drink can significantly affect your skin health. Drink at least a liter water per day, next to all other liquids like coffee, tea, juices or soup. Healthline offers excellent information about good food for a healthy skin.