Skin care products are either watery (like a toner), oily (like a body oil), or both - a mixture of both water and oil (which is a lotion). Because of this, if we’re interested in healthy skin, it could benefit us to examine both components: oil and water. In this tutorial, we will take a brief but in-depth look at water. The next tutorial will cover oil.
The Phenomenon of Water
The existence of water is a wonder, a subject both vast and mysterious; water is a living liquid crystal. Since the body is mostly water, I was thinking that it might be interesting to examine just a few details of water as it pertains to the topic of skin care. Certainly, the skin needs water - proper hydration - but let’s look deep into the process so we can understand why and how appropriate skin care products can help the skin.
The Body Rations Water
The body will supervise the distribution of available water to the various parts of the body according to an inherent and instinctual set of priorities. Brain, heart and liver always come first, secondary organs and systems are ordered here and there on this 'priority of distribution’ list, and finally, the skin, limbs, toes and fingers are somewhere near the bottom of this list. In other words, if the body doesn’t have enough water, functions low on the list can suffer. This is one of the reasons that you always find it written that drinking enough water is essential for healthy skin.
The Skin and Our Habits
We understand that the body uses water, and lots of it, for carrying out ALL bodily functions. Diverse processes such as digestion, elimination, respiration, movement; even processes such as thinking, feeling and sensation all require and use water as the main physical component for the proper fulfilling of these functions. So when synthetic, de-vitalized and unnatural ingredients are introduced into the body either orally or dermally, extraordinary amounts of the body’s water reserve are required to safely process, detoxify and eliminate these substances from the body. Given the body’s propensity for rationing water, this is one of the reasons why influences like a poor diet, smoking, using industrial skin care products, etc. contribute to unhealthy skin.
The skin can receive water topically. If the water component within a skin care product is carried by and surrounded by biologically appropriate ingredients, skin cells can successfully uptake essential hydration. The presence of even small amounts of certain chemicals not read as food by the body can block or interfere with this essential process of hydrating the skin cell.
From Simple to Complex
As water begins its journey into and through the body, it follows a curiously esoteric biochemical pathway. It is said that there are 33 different structural levels or manifestations of water as it is introduced into and gradually becomes the body. What started as the simple presence of H2O is alchemically transformed into a variety of intricate but delicate fluids, each evolving to become more structurally complex than the previous. First to form are the simpler bodily fluids such as tears, saliva, synovial liquids and sweat but they gradually become more complex, turning into fluids like sebum, digestive acids and lymph. Then on to bile, glandular secretions; evolving to blood, serum, intracellular fluids and finally to the higher levels of complexity, the cerebrospinal fluid, and then, the liquid composition of the egg and sperm. The mysterious and fascinating aspect of this journey is that every fluid, regardless of its level, was and has been every fluid that manifested before it. In other words, our lymph fluid (for example), was previously saliva (and all fluids below the lymph level) and still contains traces of the structural molecular aspects of everything before it. Think of the fluid in the egg from the ovaries - in its journey to becoming an egg - in fact, was previously blood, was sweat, was tears . . . was secretions from the pineal and pituitary, has been your cerebrospinal fluid. This highest fluid contains the emotional and mental imprint of all our experiences. Each one of us is a unique expression of water!
How is this relevant to skin care? First, it should convince us that the body is a highly intelligent manifestation of existence. Second, that, beyond observable physical manifestations, we know very, very little of its actual workings. And third, that at the least, we should strive to feed the body, even topically, substances that are in cooperation with this intelligence. In this context, cooperation means the symbiotic process of mutual support. The proper partner for this mutual support is whole and wholesome plants. In general, it doesn't mean targeted cellular manipulation via synthetic molecular structures (this is the domain of the industrial skin care industry, a child of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry).
As mentioned above, water is a living, flowing, liquid crystal. The crystal lattices of water arrange and stack the H2O’s of itself in orderly, repeating patterns and formations. This non-randomness is what makes it a crystal. And being ‘in formation’ then, is what allows water to be a carrier of in-formation. The water phase of our products carry the in-formation inherent to the plant used. In the case of Grateful Body, being a pure botanical product, this information is usually in the form of the many secondary metabolites found in plant sources (for instance, the flavonoids, the nutrition carrying pigments, and the various terpenoids). This activity is why Grateful Body products have such a positive and healing effect on the skin.