January 6, 2014
Growing up in Europe, Germany to be exact, we learn early how to care for our skin. It’s such a large part of our culture. Here, in America, the focus is greater on other things, such as hair and nails. I always found irony in this as every woman is concerned with looking younger and often, their first thought is to have a more youthful hair style as well as nails painted in the current color trend. Yet, it is the appearance of our skin that ages us the most. Why is it we see young girls flocking to nail salons and hair stylists, creating habits they perceive as beauty regiments and none of these young ladies are considering their skin care or its future appearance? When I ask teenagers what they do to take care of their skin, I often hear they wash yesterday’s makeup off in the morning when they are ready to reapply for that day. Sunscreens are not an option for girls who feel tanning beds are the quickest way to have a beautiful glow. What about a moisturizer? Well, that would be something only their mother uses. Apart from an occasional parent who brings their daughter to me for a breakout or persistent acne, I seldom have the opportunity to reach these young people with my knowledge and experience. I can however, communicate with their mothers and grandmothers who are trying so hard to slow down the effects of aging skin.
What’s done is done, right? So, where do we go from here? How do we now, in our 30s, 40s and 50s, take care of our skin? I don’t need to tell you that you only get one face, do I?
What I see more than anything else is neglected, dry and starving skin. The lack of appropriate care in our youth was the precursor to this reality. To continue on a path of neglect ensures your propensity for skin prone to premature aging.
I see skin that has been over-stimulated from a mixture of different products, each promising to be better than the next. The combination of all these products often results in over-exfoliation which strips away the skin’s natural protection leaving it highly susceptible to irritation and inflammation.
So, what IS the answer to all this madness? Is there a simple answer? Is the even an answer at all? If you have never had a facial, I recommend you start there. Having a licensed professional assess your skin and address its needs specifically will start you on the right path. You will see noticeable results immediately. This, followed by a simple, consistent and effective home care regime will continue to address your skin’s needs and account for more than 80% of your success in achieving the goal you have for your face.
Additionally, you should consider the following when addressing your overall health but particularly your skin’s appearance as these are almost always overlooked:
Adapting to t wholesome, primarily plant based diet. Good stuff in, good stuff out. Got it?
Are you getting enough H2O? Hydrating is critical for many reasons. It will help the skin plump, minimizing fine lines. Hydrating your system for optimal function of all your organs is necessary, but particularly for those organs that detoxify. Yes, your skin is one of the detoxifying organs.
Are you burning your candle at both ends? Stress in moderation is not so bad but when it is a constant, and you are not using quality sleep for a recovery period from that stress, it will age you faster than anything else. Your skin is the last organ to receive the benefits of rest and nutrients. Its just a fact but explains why stressed people often look tired. Their skin is reflecting it.
And finally, are you wearing your sunscreen?
Every single day? It needs to be worn daily, not just when you go to the pool! The sun’s damaging effects penetrate the windshield while you are driving, it reflects off the snow/water during your outdoor activities and it reaches you through the clouds while you are walking to the mailbox to gather the day’s mail. Where there is natural light, there is opportunity for damage. Period.
I leave you with, take care of yourself and take care of your skin. Getting regular facials and being consistent about following a simple, effective skin care regime will result in beautiful skin at any age. You are wherever it is that you are. Start today by slowing the aging process. Your skin will thank you. So will your mirror.