It is very hard not to see the natural cycles of nature with the arrival of fall. The evidence of the cycle of life and death, rebirth and death again, is never more pronounced than in the fall with the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground. This is a timeless ritual that sustains life, this symbiotic relationship where neither life nor death would be possible without the other.
The middle photo that I took of a hanging basket is very interesting to me. Please note the light purple Petunias and the dark purple Pansy. Usually, these annuals will bloom for me all summer long and when they start to die-off, I will usually pull out the entire plant or cut the dead plant down. This year all of my Pansy's plants died about the middle of August, but I failed to cut them down or pull them out. This photo was taken a couple of days ago, where here lies the wonderment of nature,... the wonder of rebirth as my once dead Pansy's are now alive and flowering again.
I think we can get so caught up with the hustle of life, that perhaps we can fail to notice the beauty in the natural cycles, including death. Often I have wanted my yard to look 'tidy' as I would prune dead foliage from my plants and rake up and dispose of the leaf piles. But I never stopped to give a second thought to what I'm changing in the natural process. I never stopped to think about what benefits that leaf pile has for the tree, the grass, or the soil. The leaf pile, which is made up of decomposing leaves in various stages of decay, host countless beneficial microorganisms, insects and delivers nutrients back into the soil. The leaves also keep the ground covered, allowing moisture to stay in place rather than dry up. These moisture reserves will be used by the healthy tree, in the future. So, the pile of leaves that I once thought of as unattractive are actually critical to the health of the tree and the beautiful perpetuation of nature's cycle.
Did you know that nature's cycle applies to your skin cells too? The process is called skin cell turnover and is the continuous process of shedding dead skin cells from the thin top layer of your skin and exposing the younger cells beneath. This continual cycle of cell production slows as we age. So how can we boost cell turnover to reveal younger, brighter skin underneath? The answer to that is exfoliation. However, exfoliating every day can strip your skin of essential natural oils, may lead to red, irritated and/or breakout prone skin, and has the potential to thin skin causing wrinkles and lines. These possible affects of over exfoliation are not what any of us want. Here are our 4 universal rules to gentle, healthy exfoliation:
Use natural exfoliation ingredients that are gentle for the skin on your face. Such as oatmeal, papaya, pineapple, rose, lactic acid, Vitamin C, clay (to name a few) ... Sugar and salt are excellent natural exfoliation ingredients for your skin, however they should NOT be used on the delicate skin of your face!
Observe your Skin & Listen to your Intuition. Exfoliants may be found in every step of your skincare ritual products. ( Here's a link to learning more about the Soul Concept 4R's of Skincare.) If your skin is easily irritated, redness and feels extremely tight, then this may not be the optimal time to add exfoliation to your routine. However, if your skin is looking dry, dull and has areas of breakout, then adding exfoliation may be the right step for your skin.
Know what ingredients are in your Skincare Essentials. Skincare Essentials are the skincare products that you use on a daily basis. (Here is a link to learning more about the Soul Concept 4R's of Skincare.) Exfoliating ingredients can be found in every step of the 4R's of Skincare. This is dependent on the product, the skin mood its for and the formulated purpose of the product. Some natural ingredients may have more than one purpose also, so get to know the ingredients in your essentials to ensure that adding exfoliation will not over-exfoliate your skin.
General rule of exfoliation: Never more than 5 times per week. As an example: I am in my 40's with skin mood that is primarily between Intense Hydration and Repair & Restore. (Click here to learn more about your Skin Mood.) My essential products contain a small amount of exfoliation ingredients that I use daily and to keep my skin soothed, as it has a tendency to become Soothing Sensitive, I add the Vitamin C Brightening Powder to my routine once every week to two weeks for the right amount of exfoliation for me. Observing your Skin and Listening to your Intuition will help to determine your 'sweet spot' with exfoliation as well!
Sticking with today's theme of natural cycles, we are featuring products that exfoliate your skin. The Vitamin C Brightening Powder is natural exfoliant to reveal bright young cells. This powder is NOT to be used on its own, but can easily and effectively be integrated into your skincare ritual when combined with other products. (Click on the name to learn more about this product.)
Similarly, the Oat Cleansing Clay Balm and the Charcoal Polishing Face Cleanser combine the step of cleansing your face with added exfoliation. Watch for upcoming S.O.S. posts where I tell you why I believe that oil cleansing is absolutely the best way to remove dust, dirt and oils from your skin, and why I believe it to be best for every skin mood. (Click on the names to learn more about these products.)
Those who are wise will embrace all stages of the natural cycles of nature. These cycles exist in every part of our lives and are the key to life itself. What better way to embrace self-care of our skin, body and soul, but to embrace all stages of the natural cycle of nature!!
Happy Sunday! Celebrating the UNIQUE BEAUTY of YOU!