The past few months have given us a lot of time for introspection and re-evaluation, and one of the themes that keeps re-emerging globally is the need to reconnect with nature. This search to find a more harmonious natural balance is perfectly captured in the rewilding lifestyle trend.
What is rewilding?
At the heart of the rewilding movement is simply letting nature back into our lives. Nature has the power to heal itself, and to heal us in the process – if we give it a chance. By rewilding, we restore ecosystems to the point where nature can, once again, take care of itself. By doing this we restore our relationship with the natural world – to our undeniable benefit.
What is rewilding of the skin?
Rewilding can be incorporated into all aspects of life, with skincare being an important one. For too long, we’ve accepted the industrial beauty standard of stripping the skin, deep cleansing to remove natural oils, and applying synthetic chemicals – all in a quest for more youthful-looking skin. However, this profit-driven approach has actually upset the vital microbial balance of the skin created by evolution over centuries. Rewilding cuts out harmful chemicals, cuts down on product use and re-establishes this healthy balance.
– The agricultural analogy
To give you a visualization of rewilding, we can compare a monoculture crop with a natural forest. In a wheat field, for example, there is one plant species – this is not a diverse ecosystem. Because of this, the crop requires constant human intervention – weeding, irrigating, and fertilizing – to remain stable. However, in a natural forest, the diverse ecosystem actually protects itself from invasives, and no intervention is needed for continued survival. For too long, we’ve been treating our skin like a man-made crop, constantly disrupting its natural processes. This just results in product-reliant skin, prompting further intervention. It’s time to rewild your skin and let nature do what it does best.
What are the risks of not rewilding?
By constantly stripping our skin of its microbes with harmful soaps, we leave it unprotected against pathogenic species, which can quickly and easily establish themselves. The result of this is a higher prevalence of skin disorders, such as eczema, acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. With rewilding, we create a healthy diversity and protective microbiome to reduce the likelihood of skin conditions.
How do I rewild my skin?
Nature constantly seeks to restore balance, and this is also true of your skin. There are, however, some aspects of our modern lifestyles that make it difficult for skin to maintain a natural equilibrium. To encourage the rewilding process and achieve a healthier microbiome, here are 3 things you can do.
Enjoy an omega-rich diet
Omega fatty-acids support the production of healthy sebum, which is needed for feeding the skin’s microbiome. By consuming omega-rich foods such as eggs, fresh fish, and seeds, you can help your body support the growth of healthy microbes. Omegas can also be taken in supplement form, although they’re best consumed from natural produce.
Get outside more
Skin diseases like acne and eczema are almost non-existent in hunter-gatherer communities, where there is constant human interaction with nature. Re-connecting with the natural world is an important part of skin rewilding, as it promotes the interaction with natural microbes that skin has evolved to expect. Vitamin D from the sun is also central to skin health. In addition to rewilding, immersing yourself in nature improves mental health, lowers stress levels, and improves your mood.
Adjust your skincare
Grab your skincare products and check the ingredients. If they’re not organic, natural, and microbiome-friendly, then it’s time to reconsider your skincare regime. To actively improve the state of your skin, consider probiotic skincare. When carefully selected, skin probiotics out-compete pathogenic microbes, produce moisturizing factors, maintain skin pH, and reduce sensitivity and inflammation. All these factors reduce the rate of ageing and result in an overall healthier skin.
Start today on your rewilding journey.