Three surprising keys to happy, healthy skin.
When I was a teen, I suffered from acne and exzema. In my twenties I additionally suffered hyperpigmentation from pregnancy and allergic contact dermatitis. Truth be told, I still suffer from an occasional pimple or two, but the other 3 conditions rarely trouble me at all anymore! Woohoo!
As anyone who has suffered skin woes knows, skin healing can be a frustrating journey. The dermatologists have pretty limited toolsets for helping! If it doesn’t go away with a pill or a paste, you are pretty much on your own.
Since all those pills and pastes didn't work for me, I had to to find a better way.
By seeking alternatives, I discovered something that helped me heal all at once: chronobiology.
The skin and it’s healing, like most processes, are under circadian control. This means caring for circadian rhythms also care for skin.
The big deal is that these changes have nothing to do with all the things we think of as having to do with skin health.
-it’s not a new product or treatment
-it’s not a new wash or scrub
-it’s not a new diet or food restriction
Instead, you take care of circadian rhythms by:
Embracing your local environment’s light/dark cycle
Matching your home’s thermal cycle with your local environment’s thermal cycle
Habitually fasting through the night
To get into this, you need to set your bedroom up as a cool, dark cave. You also need a comfortable place to spend a lot of time outdoors. This space should be close to your home, if not connected to your home. It should have a fairly clear and unobstructed Southern view. Looking out, the East is to your left and the West is to your right.
This outdoor space with your sky view is what is going to set your body’s rhythms.
You will use your outdoor space to observe the 4 quarters of the day: sunset, midnight, sunrise and high-noon.
If you are a night-owl, you may enjoy your midnights under moonlight and candles.
But if you are a morning lark, you may sleep through the darkness of night from your cool, quiet bedroom.
Either way, the point is to spend a good 10-14 hours in dimness to darkness each night (even if you are awake/working). And then to absorb as much early morning daylight as you can. Get a decent dose of UV light around noon (could be as little as 15 minutes depending on time of year and skin type). And absorb as much late afternoon infrared rays as you can. This all applies even if you work night-shift and get most of your sleep during the day.
If you are not used to sunbathing without sunscreen, please learn how to (safely) build a solar callous. This method for entraining circadian rhythms and healing your skin won't work if you use sunscreen all the time. Here’s a post I wrote describing the 8 things I have learned about ditching sunscreen (so far):
For my family, this whole “circadian rhythm lifestyle” worked out to adopting gardening as a hobby and patio-dining as often as weather will allow.
As long as you wrap dinner up by sunset and don't snack at night, you should be well on your way to strong rhythmicity. And through rhythmicity, optimal skin healing.
To read the science behind this method, I invite you to peruse my publication's citations here: