I can open most every women’s bathroom cabinets and find hundreds of dollars’ worth of beauty products, all claiming to be anti-aging, firming, brightening and lightening. I can call many spas and hear about their advanced treatments intending to remove a wrinkle here, lift a brow there or fill a gap here. Many are left disappointed as the product isn’t working or the advanced treatment leaves your face with less unique characteristics, but looking more like the identical mask all women share receiving these treatments and not appearing any younger.
There is a reason the cosmetic industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. They have excellent marketing teams intended to sell us buzz words such as ‘anti-aging’ and ‘dramatically diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles’. What they are not doing is educating us about the function of skin. When you understand how the largest organ in our body works, you can choose the best ingredients to heal, nourish and protect your skin and in turn will have balanced and younger looking skin.
1. Know your skin type.
The most important information you can have about your skin is to know your skin type. This is determined by how many pores you see on your face. It is never based on the condition of your skin, such as dry flaky or acne skin. Look up close in the mirror to see the size of your pores over your nose and cheekbones. If you don’t see any pores at all, you have dry skin type. Do you see pores on your nose, between your eyebrows and on your chin? If so, you have normal/combination skin type. If you can see your pores across your nose and up the cheekbones to your ears, you have oily skin type. No matter what your skin is behaving like, if you buy products in your skin type, you will have a more successful time avoiding the oily pimply/dry flaky yo-yo that our skin will take us on.
2. Your skin is fighting for balance.
Since our skin is the largest organ of our body, the health of it functions similarly to the other organs. The cells generally create the proper amount of oil to nourish our cells well when we use a moisturizer to match our skin type. When we don’t use a moisturizer or we use one not meant for our skin type, we will accidentally create a condition of dry and irritated skin or one where the oil is over-producing creating horrible acne or a constant oil-slick feeling on our skin. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and hormonal imbalances in your body can result in a decrease or increase of oil production.
3. Exfoliation is key to younger skin.
Generally, the cell metabolism rate of our skin is 1 day for every year we are old. For example, I am 40 years old. I am stuck with the same skin for 40 days before my body will naturally slough off the dead top layer of the epidermis. That is 40 days of constant sun exposure and toxins in the air creating free radical damage on my skin. Forty days, as the bad foods I eat and the wine I drink, strain on the collagen and elasticity. Forty days as the kids work my furrowed brow into permanence. I look at my 11 year old sons skin in all its’ even toned and clear complexion with a tinge of jealously. Every 11 days, his skin naturally sloughs off the top layer. The point is, if we increase the cell metabolism of our skin by including a light exfoliation to our routine once or twice a week, we will fight the effects of aging. There are two different types of exfoliants; manual and enzymes. The most common type for an at-home treatment is a manual exfoliant using sugar or ground seeds as your base to gently scrub off the dead skin. The other will use enzymes from plants, fruits or chemicals to dissolve the dead skin without any manual manipulation. If you have dry or normal/combo skin type, it is recommended not to exfoliate more than once per week. If you have oily skin type, you may exfoliate up to two times per week.
4. Nourish your skin.
We constantly hear about the importance with eating real foods with high levels of nutrients and anti-oxidants to nourish and heal our body. The same goes for your skin. The only way to heal our skin of free-radical oxidized damage is by nourishing our skin with high levels of anti-oxidants found in good quality masques. Add a masque immediately after you exfoliate so your skin will absorb as much of the vitamins from the masque as possible.
5. Not all skin care products are created equal.
If our intention is to heal our skin, it makes it important to read the ingredients on the back of our skin care products, just like we would for that granola bar or tasty treat. Everything we put on our skin absorbs into our body, which means it is equally important to watch what we put on our body as we put in it. The chemicals that are commonly added to many skin care products have cancer causing qualities that assist in the creation of free radical damage, premature aging and regretfully, cancer. Can we all agree, if we go to McDonalds for dinner tonight, it may taste delicious, but if we ate it every day, it will probably kill us? It is my opinion, that the same can be applied to many of the skin care lines sold on the shelves today. Thankfully, the internet is available to search any ingredients that may be of question.
As a licensed esthetician since early 2010, I understand there are no two skin types or skin conditions alike. Each of you are as unique as the stars in the sky. If you are frustrated with your complexion and would like more personalized information on how you can have balanced and younger looking skin, schedule your 75 minute Custom Organic Facial with Holly today! I look forward to going on this journey with you.
Holly Haunani Berland,