When something is holistic, it takes into account the interconnected nature of the parts of a whole. In medicine, it means understanding that you cannot deconstruct a person into separate parts or isolated organ systems. You cannot treat a health problem without also taking into account diet and environment, as well as the emotional, social, and spiritual contexts of the person you are treating.
With skincare, we can start to wrap our minds around the holistic approach by acknowledging that a person’s skin cannot be considered as separate from the life and habits of the person who inhabits it. Furthermore, treating skin as a surface that can be simply scrubbed, polished, and painted ignores the complexities and subtleties of skin form and function.
Skin is our largest organ and hosts an entire ecosystem. This ecosystem inhabits all the layers of our skin, is made up of thousands of different species of bacteria, fungi, viruses and mites, and is as much a part of our skin’s health and functionality as our own skin cells. Holistic Skincare, first and foremost, honors and protects the integrity of every individual’s unique skin ecosystem. The ingredients in a holistic product should be clean, gentle, non-irritating and not compromising to the microbiome.
Holistic Skincare products also encompass natural ingredients, organic growing practices, good land stewardship, responsible packaging, and fair labor practices… because these are all elements that together create a worthy product. But the point of the term “holistic” is that they should all be present together. Taking one without the other compromises the integrity of the product, just like a natural skincare product formulated with organic-approved preservatives still compromises the integrity of the skin microbiome by killing the beneficial bacteria living on your skin.
The beauty of holistic skincare is that it is essentially minimal. It brings you back into relationship with your skin and your body. Holistic skincare is a celebration of the intrinsic nature of your body and a call to re-establish an essential connection with your body’s wisdom and strength.