• Vanessa Hackett

Functional Skin

Updated: Mar 5

As natural progression from Beauty Therapy I went on to achieved my Bachelor of Nursing and worked alongside patients advocating for them to determine what health and well-being means to them. I studied additional certification in functional skin health and advanced skin analysis and eventually transitioned from nuring back into beauty as a Facialist.

As a Facialist I am to assessing the skin through the systems of the body, ensuring each each is functioning optionally to get you glowing with vitality from the inside out.

Our skin has several important jobs including: protecting vital organs, maintaining body temperature, communicating sensations/emotions, initiating immune responses and activating biochemical processes such as synthesising vitamin D form sunlight.

Functional skin health approach honours the skins incredible resiliency and ability to self cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, moisturise, heal and protect itself. Our skin is also in constant communication - a bridge between the external and internal environments. Often times we can get caught up in a cycle of creating and correcting imbalances such as inflammation, redness, pigmentation and pimples. The skin also acts as an excretory organ when our liver pathways and bowel are overloaded. A holistic approach views skin disorders as signal of imbalance, to dig deeper and correct the why.

A simple example of this is over use of exfoliators when (majority of the time) our skin does this naturally. Deep within the skin, stem cells are continuously producing new cells. As these cells mature they travel up through the layers eventually forming a physical barrier and acting as a channel of communication between the skin and the external environment. When we actively remove this outermost layer we impair the acid mantel, lipid bilayer and compromise the physical skin barrier. This in-turn exposes our more immature cells to the harsh external environment while our skin becomes dry, flaky and rough as the free water evaporates. This promotes a cycle of actively exfoliating the skin to correct the dryness and overtime results in a thinning, leaky and sensitised skin.

When the skin optimally hydrated an enzyme which is activated by water, naturally detaches mature skin cells that are no longer required. Only once they have left the surface of the skin do we consider them dead. In addition over exfoliation, rapid evaporation of water can result from insufficient fluid intake, impaired lymphatic system and the diuretic action of coffee, alcohol and some medications. It can also result from lack of essential fatty acids and sebum secretions, both of which contribute the to the waterproofing formation of the lipid bilayer and acid mantel.

To summarise, there is a complex network of cells and systems working harmoniously keeping the skin in balance. The exterior skin cells, acid mantel and lipid bilayer are synergistically designed to slow the rate of water loss and retain hydration levels within the skin. This in turn encourages enzymatic activity to naturally exfoliate and refine the surface of the skin.

When we identify the leading causes of a skin condition or disorder and address the contributing factors we can successfully alleviate it. Less is always more as we work holistically to optimise the skin functioning independent of artificial intervention. I am passionate about incorporating well formulated organic skincare to further supports the integrity of the skin and honour its natural processes.

In wellness x

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