© 2019 by Ashley Smith & Milagro Midwestern Spa Collective

  • Ashley

Boost your immune system in one easy step!


I wrote an entire post about some of the more interesting conversations we’ve had with visitors at the Maker Counter. And then I deleted it.


I was trying to be subtle and tactful and polite and nuanced. In other words, I wasn’t being me. And if you read my last post HERE, you would have every right to call shenanigans on me. Sugar coating isn’t my style.


Plus I decided that if the skin care industry is going to be loud and obnoxious, well, two can play that game. Desperate times call for desperate measures, you guys. Check out that blog title up top.


And if I see that Facebook ad one more time that says, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy youthful looking skin and that’s pretty much the same,” I’m going to jab pointy things into my eyeballs.


So, here we go.


I cannot tell you how often people sit at the Maker Counter and look sheepish to tell us they don’t use much skin care. They’re expecting a lecture covering cleansing twice a day, exfoliating regularly, and then layering serums, eye creams, night creams and daily SPF. They’re shocked when we instead say, “Good for you.” I cannot recall an instance in the 10 months since we opened the Maker Counter that we told anyone to use MORE skin care products. Why is this? Why is our approach so seemingly at odds with that of everyone else in our industry?


You’ve heard a bajillion times that your skin is your largest organ. Did you also know that it’s actually an integral part of your immune system? Contrary to what you read on the interwebs, it does not “act like a sponge” and “absorb everything you put on it.” It’s actually a really effective barrier that protects you against a variety of unpleasant invaders — if you let it. And encourage it. And don’t assault it.


How does it do it? The skin ingeniously creates its own suit of armor. New cells, which are born in the dermis (the deep layer of live skin underneath your epidermis, BEYOND THE REACH of OTC skin care products, where your collagen, fat & elastin reside) become keratinized (flat, scale like, and hardened) and form a shield on your skin’s surface. The shield is coated in sebum, a waxy substance made up of fatty acids that have antimicrobial properties. The skin is constantly shedding and then regenerating as new cells keratinize and replace the old. How amazing is that? The surface of your skin is your immune system’s first line of defense. So what do we do we do? We strip it and scrub it and slather on watery “moisturizers” to “care” for it. Interesting approach.

We see a few problems with this, obviously. Your skin is trying to do what it do — keep moisture in & keep nasties out — and we “cleanse” away the protective coating (often twice a day) and then sandblast away the protective armor, leaving it scrambling and constantly trying to recover. Can it? Sure can. It’s remarkably resilient. Should you feel some weird guilty shame for opting to not spend a lot of time and money on skin “care” products? We certainly don’t think so.

See, we believe that “natural skin care” means letting your skin naturally care for itself . . . how nature intended. It’s why we find it so ironic when “natural skin care” lines with 10-step regimens approach us. I guess our definitions of natural are different.

I like to issue people a bit of a Milagro challenge: try to leave your skin alone. Seems simple, but these days it feels incredibly counterintuitive. I ask people to cleanse their skin as seldom as possible; in most cases, just to remove makeup at night. Then apply a few drops of skin oil, which we custom blend at the Maker Counter. That’s it. It may take a couple of weeks, but your skin will become much more balanced, more moisturized, and remarkably calmer.

The two most common issues we hear from people are “My skin bounces constantly from dry to oily” or “It’s really oily in spots and really dry in others” AND “My skin is REALLY sensitive.” The answer to both of these issues, more often than not, is to give your skin a break! Let it do what it knows how to do. Give it a couple of weeks to find its own balance. You’ll be really, really surprised. And your skin will be really, really happy.

Follow up posts on this topic will HAVE to include “Why are people so darn afraid of using oils when that’s what their own skin uses to moisturize?” and “Why eating fats is good for your skin: Ashley’s signature dairy, cheese and fried chicken diet for beautiful skin.”

Stay tuned for those, folks.