Redefining beauty as soul deep, not skin deep

Inspiration | | 3 minute read.

Skin to Soul

I believe beauty should be redefined, not as skin deep, but soul deep.

I believe beauty does not equal youth.

Neither does it come from the lack of wrinkles or a ‘perfect’ complexion.

I believe beauty comes from within, from our presence, our wellness and from the youthfulness we exude by being our true selves.

Our skin is the most visible organ in the miraculous system of our bodies and one of the largest too, yet, it is sometimes the most overlooked and misunderstood organ of the human body.

When we think of skin, the epidermis tends to get attention, and perhaps appropriately: the term ‘only skin deep’ reflects this superficial quality. This is not to say the epidermis is not critical – it definitely is! This layer of desiccated cells provides a protective barrier against many external insults. The skin is a multi-layered system that provides a critical array of functions to allow for human life to occur. It is an envelope of 800,000 neutrons, 11 metres of nerves, and about 200 sensory receptors on 1cm2 of skin and the hands and face are among the best innervated parts of the body.

With the discovery of the role of the microbiome in recent decades, it is beginning to be understood that the many nooks and crannies in the epidermis are not just a barrier, it is a landscape of diverse bacteria, fungi, yeasts, etc. that forms unique micro-ecosystems that differ from region to region across our body’s surface. This extraordinary diverse cellular system rivals the human gut in its complexity of immune function, endocrine signalling, and neural network. In fact, the complex biologic landscape of our skin is interconnected through these many systems to our gut ecosystem.

Millions (if not billions!) yearly are spent on cosmetics used to bury the skin’s microbiome in a barrage of topical insults. Topical insults to our microbiome (from soaps, chemical residues in our water systems and certain cosmetics – to name just a few) can have a devastating effect on the diversity and vitality of the skin microbiome and can result in the loss of cellular communication and depletion of our skins regenerative potential. As we compromise our microbiome, we compromise communication at the skin level and the regenerative potential of the skin fades away.

Throughout the years I have always looked beyond the effects of all used to our outermost protective barrier but increasingly I see that the worst damage to skin comes not from people’s external environment, but rather their internal one.

At times it is sad to see people’s perceptions of themselves. People’s capacity to destroy their own sense of wellness and beauty is astonishing, with their negative self-talk (words are spells and speaking things aloud enhances the chance of them becoming real) frame of mind and emotions carried. Even further, as people age, many fill their minds with even more insecurities as they struggle to maintain a youthful look. People regularly beat themselves up over their concept of beauty, and then they express that stress in the way they show up visibly to the world.

It is time for a radical shift in understanding and caring for our skin. Diving deeper into the beauty of health by exploring the role of the microbiome, nutrition, hormonal balances and mindfulness is needed to maximise the health of our gut-brain-skin axis and improve healthful ageing and reimagine what it means to be beautiful.

I take every person who reaches out to me as an opportunity to help them on their journey to reimagine who they think they are and who they think they can become to feel more beautiful.

The only path to healing yourself right now is finding the unique beauty within you.

Learn more from Ingrid, talking on the Vast Visions Association Podcast

VVA Podcast

Ingrid Raphael