Your skin WANTS to be happy. When it’s not happy, it’s telling you that something in your life is not supporting your skin, and it’s up to you to slap on your detective hat and start solving the problem. We often try to fix our skin issues by trying new products, or adding steps to our routine: scrub away the dry skin, dry out the oily skin, add an acid toner, do another mask! But more often than not, what your skin really needs from you is less.
What does your skin need less of, though? It probably involves your skincare routine to some degree, but it’s smart to start by zooming out and looking at the whole picture, making a list of everything in your life that could be affecting your skin? Once you’ve inspected things from a holistic perspective, we can zoom back in on your bathroom shelf! Or, if you just want to know which Osmia products are right for you, take our Skin Quiz now!
Which foods cause the most skin issues?
This question is so hard to answer, because every human being is a unique machine. We know that dairy and sugar tend to cause the most acne, and that gluten and corn can cause inflammatory conditions like dermatitis and eczema, but these generalizations aren’t true in everyone. If you can trim your menu down to a wholesome, mostly-plants, Michael Pollan-esque foundation, you can experiment with the specifics from there. Skip soy and see what you notice. Add a small amount of organic dairy back and watch how your skin reacts. Most importantly, remember that your nutrition is the most important investment you can make in your health; take the time to understand and nourish your body well, and you’ll end up spending a lot less on skincare products! Click here for some recipe inspiration, or here to hit the reset button!
What common household chemicals affect your skin?
We use tons of products in our homes, and many of them are upsetting to our skin. The most common offender is sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, a foaming agent found in shampoo, body wash, face wash, laundry detergent, dish soap, liquid hand soap, and toothpaste. Even many natural brands use SLS, but if your skin reacts to sulfates, it doesn’t matter if you’re using the naturally-derived version or not—it’s got to go! The same goes for synthetic fragrance, which often contains hundreds of undisclosed chemicals that act as allergens and sensitizers on your skin. Fragrance is sometimes listed as Parfum on a label, so don’t forget to scan for that word.
Effective house cleaning products are often as simple as lemon juice, vinegar, and water, so if you’re the DIY kind, just google “DIY house cleaning products,” and you’ll find loads of easy recipes. If not, here are some of our favorite household brands:
How does stress affect your skin?
Stress, in its endless forms, is unavoidable, and our bodies are designed to respond to stress in order to survive. But in our current, endlessly connected lives, stress is becoming a constant stream instead of the occasional spike. Back when we relied on the rhythms of the sun and moon to regulate our activities, we had natural stress release points built into our days; the sun went down, and we gathered over our dinner plates in simple gratitude for a good day’s work. Now, with constant access to news, social media, and podcasts, we all carry far more than our share of the world’s stress. In some ways, it empowers us—we can join forces and voices to create change near and far. But it takes a toll, and passive stress management is no longer an option. We need to build active stress management into our days, creating time and space for it as we do for meals, exercise, and hydration. The easiest way to start takes just five minutes a day.
Can your hair products affect your skin?
Yes! Even if you’re careful not to let your shampoo rinse down over your face, some of those ingredients will end up there! Your shampoo and conditioner need to be free of SLS and synthetic fragrance, as well as any leave-in products you apply after washing. Here are a few clean hair care brands with fewer, better ingredients to investigate:
Which skincare routine is right for you?
That’s the million dollar question, and the entire reason we created our Skin Quiz and Skin Kits. Your skin does not fit one “skin type” for your entire life, but you can usually pick one issue or concern that best fits your skin in a given month or season. When you take our Skin Quiz, the idea is to end up with a Skin Kit to match your skin’s needs right now. Our Skin Kits usually contain 2-3 products, and are available in trial sizes so you can test the products before committing fully. If your skin changes, you can take the quiz again and adjust your routine accordingly.
People often find Osmia because they’ve been doing too much to their skin for too long.
If you have a routine with 15 products, or you switch up your routine frequently, it’s nearly impossible to figure out the culprit when your skin starts behaving differently. If your routine is simple and steady, with only a few products, you’ll have more clarity about what needs to be adjusted, and an easier time tracking the results of any changes you make.
Remember to zoom out anytime you notice your skin acting funky. Ask yourself where MORE (Stress? Ingredients? Sugar??) might have snuck into your days, and where you can do LESS to support your wellness. Your body is a brilliant machine. So is your mind. But like all machines, they suffer when they get clogged with unnecessary things. So step back, take a huge breath, take our Skin Quiz, and figure out where and how you can say yes to less.