TOP TEN ACTION ITEMS FOR YOUR BEST COMPLEXION
#10 FORM A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SKIN CARE PROFESSIONAL
Don’t think of a facial or other skin care treatment as just a “buff and fluff” sort of service. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Doesn’t it deserve a qualified professional taking care of it?
A facial is far more beneficial to your overall well-being than you can even imagine its hygiene & exercise for the skin. Facials offer you the opportunity to work with a skincare specialist who will analyze your skin, help you improve your complexion & show you how to have proper homecare for your skin.
#9 DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
We learned in elementary school science that our bodies are more than 60% water. Each organ in our bodies needs their share, but it’s not given out equally. Our skin – the largest organ – is about the last to get it’s share. We stay hydrated and send water to heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, GI, and THEN to our skin. It’s very difficult to drink enough H20 to positively effect our skin, but VERY easy to drink too little for negative effects. What happens when we don’t stay hydrated? Headaches, fatigue, dull and drab complexion and much, much more.
#8 KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE
You can’t treat your skin correctly if you haven’t identified what type it is. Skin falls into the following categories:
· Type 1: Oily Oily skin tends to shiny with enlarged pores, and is prone to blackheads and blemishes. You might experience some tightness.
· Type 2: Combination/normal This skin type has medium pores, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, healthy color, may tend toward dryness on the cheeks while being oily in the t-zone.
· Type 3: Sensitive Sensitive skin tends to be thin, delicate with fine pores. It flushes easily, is prone to broken capillaries, is frequently allergic and can be rash prone.
· Type 4: Dry skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. You have a tendency towards fine wrinkles, flaking and red patches. In women of color, skin may appear ashy or dull from dead skin buildup.
· Type 5: Aging or sun-damaged This skin also feels tight with visible wrinkles, slack skin tone -- especially around the cheeks and jaw line -- with leathery texture and broken capillaries.
To be certain what type of skin you have, I suggest you take this easy "skin test." Wash your face, pat it dry. Wait 10-15 minutes then take a few pieces of rice paper or eyeglass lens-cleaning tissue paper and press on different spots on your face. If your skin is oily, the paper will stick, pick up oily spots and become translucent. If the paper doesn't stick or pick up any oily spots, your skin is dry. If it sticks in your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) then you have combination (or normal) skin. About 70 percent of women have combination skin. Unfortunately, you won’t have to take a test if you fall into that 5th category. You’ll know!
#7 CONSISTENCY WITH THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
I have never been one to think that you have to spend a lot of money to get quality skincare products. My Grandmother used old-fashioned Pond’s Cold Crème as far as I can remember. Part of that memory is that she NEVER forgot to use it. Every single night she would slather it on – thick. When she passed away in her 90’s she hardly had a single wrinkle.
Determine what type of skin you have, then find the products designed for that skin type and USE THEM! I subscribe to the KISS Theory as much as possible. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID! I know very popular skincare lines that have 7 or more steps to do – sometime twice per day. Now some people will do it, and do all those steps consistently, BUT – more than not just won’t! I wouldn’t!
Simply skin care requires that you Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize, and Protect. You should add in exfoliation (more written below on that) and certainly you might need specific treatments, as well. BUT . . . the easier you make your skincare regimen; the more likely you are to be consistent with it!
#6 YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT?
Oh we’ve all heard this one, but darn it (!), it’s true! Thankfully, Scientists have identified what’s referred to as, “Super Foods.” To make this category easy, I’m just going to copy/paste directly from www.webmd.com for this. But, for goodness sakes, if you know certain things break you and cause problems . . . stay away from them! (http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/10-everyday-super-foods?page=2)
10 Everyday Super Foods
These easy-to-eat foods are packed with multiple nutrients to help you stay healthy.
Top 10 Multitasking Super Foods
1. Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is higher in calcium than some other dairy products and contains a great package of other nutrients, including protein and potassium. It can also be enhanced with other good-for-you substances. "Yogurt is a vehicle food that can be enriched with probiotics for a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, and beneficial, heart-healthy plant stanols," says Zied. "And lactose sensitive people may tolerate yogurt better than milk." Look for plain yogurt fortified with vitamin D, and add your own fruit to control sweetness and calories. Versatile yogurt can also be used in entree and bakery recipes, in dips for veggies, etc. Don't like yogurt? Skim milk is another super dairy food that has only 83 calories per cup and is easy to slip into coffee to help you get one of the recommended three servings of dairy each day. "Dairy foods contain practically every nutrient you need for total nutrition -- and in just the right balance," says bone health expert, Robert Heaney, MD. "No other food group in the diet is as complete or as economical."
2. Eggs make the list because they are nutritious, versatile, economical, and a great way to fill up on quality protein. "Studies show if you eat eggs at breakfast, you may eat fewer calories during the day and lose weight without significantly affecting cholesterol levels," says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for brain development and memory. Enjoy them at any meal or hard-cooked as a portable snack.
3. Nuts have gotten a bad rap because of their high fat content. But their protein, heart-healthy fats, high fiber, and antioxidant content earn them a place on the top 10 list. The key to enjoying nuts, experts say, is portion control. "All nuts are healthful in small doses, and studies show they can help lower cholesterol levels and promote weight loss," says Today Show nutritionist Joy Bauer, MS, RD. "I like pistachio nuts because they also contain plant sterols and it takes longer to crack the shell and eat them, making it easier to control the portion. Whether you prefer pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, or pecans, an ounce a day of nuts help fill you up. Nuts add texture and flavor to salads, side dishes, baked goods, cereals, and entrees. They taste great alone, too. Zied recommends putting together your own "100-calorie packs" of nuts for easy and portable snacks.
4. Kiwis are among the most nutritionally dense fruits, full of antioxidants, says Ward. "One large kiwi supplies your daily requirement for vitamin C," says Ward. "It is also a good source of potassium, fiber, and a decent source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which is one of the missing nutrients, and kiwi is one of the only fruits that provides it." The sweet taste and colorful appearance of kiwis makes it easy to slice in half, scoop out with a spoon and enjoy alone, or slice it into desserts, salads, or side dishes. Kiwifruit can also have a mild laxative effect due to their high fiber content.
5. Quinoa is now readily available in many supermarkets and is one of the best whole grains you can eat, according to Zied. "It is an ancient grain, easy to make, interesting, high in protein (8 grams in 1 cup cooked), fiber (5 grams per cup) and a naturally good source of iron," she says. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) also has plenty of zinc, vitamin E, and selenium to help control your weight and lower your risk for heart disease and diabetes, she says. Quinoa is as easy to prepare as rice and can be eaten alone or mixed with vegetables, nuts, or lean protein for a whole-grain medley. Try to make at least half your daily grain servings whole grains. In addition to quinoa, try barley, oats, buckwheat, whole wheat, wild rice, and millet.
6. Beans, beans, good for your heart -- really! Beans are loaded with insoluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, as well as soluble fiber, which fills you up and helps rid your body of waste. They're also a good, low-fat source of protein, carbohydrates, magnesium, and potassium. Bauer favors edamame (whole soybeans) because they also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Beans can easily substitute for meat or poultry as the centerpiece of a meal, says Bauer, but they also work as a side dish, or tossed into soups, stews, or egg dishes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 cups weekly.
7. Salmon is a super food because of its omega-3 fatty acid content. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids help protect heart health. That's why the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon twice weekly. Salmon is low in calories (200 for 3 ounces) has lots of protein, is a good source of iron, and is very low in saturated fat. You can simply grill or bake it, top it with salsas or other low-fat sauces, or serve it on top of salad greens. If you don't like salmon, Lichtenstein recommends eating other kinds of fish, like canned tuna. And what about the mercury content? (Mercury is known to accumulate in fish.) "The benefits of eating salmon or other fatty fish twice weekly far outweigh any risks, but if you are concerned, check with your doctor," says Zied.
8. Broccoli is one of America's favorite vegetables because it tastes good and is available all year long. It's a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and has plenty of fiber to fill you up and help control your weight. "Some people think beta-carotene (vitamin A) is only found in orange and yellow vegetables, but broccoli is an excellent source," says Ward. You can eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or grilled. Eat it as a side dish, or toss into grains, egg dishes, soups, and salads.
9. Sweet potatoes are a delicious member of the dark orange vegetable family, which lead the pack in vitamin A content. Substitute a baked sweet potato (also loaded with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium) for a baked white potato. And before you add butter or sugar, taste the sweetness that develops when a sweet potato is cooked -- and think of all the calories you can save over that loaded baked potato. "If we eat more foods like sweet potatoes that are rich sources of potassium, and fewer high-sodium foods, we can blunt the effect of sodium on blood pressure and reduce bone loss," says Zied. Other dark orange vegetable standouts include pumpkin, carrots, butternut squash, and orange bell peppers.
10. Berries pack an incredible amount of nutritional goodness into a small package. They're loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, low in calories, and high in water and fiber to help control blood sugar and keep you full longer. And their flavors satisfy sweets cravings for a fraction of the calories in baked goods. Blueberries lead the pack because they are among the best source of antioxidants and are widely available. Cranberries are also widely available fresh, frozen, or dried. All can add flavor and nutrition to numerous dishes, from salads and cereals to baked goods and yogurt.
#5 MOISTURIZE/TREAT YOUR SKIN
Our skin needs hydration in order for it to stay healthy. Lack of it moisture could result to dry, rough, and, or cracked skin. Dry skin may be due to humidity, too much use of soap, strong cosmetics, skin aging, or prolonged hot shows or baths. Sometimes we use products, such as anti-acne medications, that could dry our skin. Dryness and, or cracked skin could let the harmful microorganisms a chance to enter our skin and cause infection.
Moisturizers formulated for our face add moisture without making our skin oily. Regular Premature wrinkles, age spots, and fine lines may disappear because your skin is well hydrated and plumped up. Not all moisturizers are the same, however. Some MAY contain chemicals that could harm our skin. Make sure that you check out the label before buying any. Parabens, alcohol, dioxane, phenol carbolic acid, mineral oils, and artificial fragrance are some of the chemicals that are commonly used in skin care products that should be avoided. If alcohol is listed first, just put that jar back on the shelf!
Most moisturizers contain SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that protect our skin from harmful UV rays of the sun. We all know the damage sun can cause on our skin – from simple brown spots, lines and wrinkles to deadly skin cancers.
Though most people know the importance of using a moisturizer, only few people take time to include it on their daily routine. If you want to have young looking skin that is soft, glowing, and free from premature wrinkles, don’t forget to put on your facial moisturizer.
#4 EXFOLIATE / USE A RETINOL PRODUCT
Our skin is made up of 7 extremely amazing layers. Interestingly, the top lay is already dead. Here’s an interesting-but-yucky fact: On our life time, we will discharge enough dead skin cells to fill 8 5-lb flour sacks. Regular exfoliation can help our cells turn over even quicker, however, than nature’s every 28 day cycle. Shaving is an exfoliation method, just as manual with a loofa (or other item), chemical peels, enzyme peels and Microdermabrasion. They each help to remove the dead and dying upper layers of skin to reveal the healthy, vital complexion to all desire.
An amazing treatment addition, and awesome exfoliator is a Retinol/Retin-A product. There are many forms of Retinol (vitamin A); retinyl acetate or palmitate, retinoic acid, retinaldehyde and a new comer to the group Zorac. What does it do:
- Retinol Increases cell production in the top layer of skin.
- Skin looks smoother and therefore looks younger.
- Has a positive effect on collagen production.
- Helps to reduce pigmentation caused by the sun.
- Commonly used in the treatment of acne, whiteheads and blackheads. (When using Retin-A for acne, your condition will become worse in the first few days. Other side effects are dryness, redness, tenderness and swelling of the skin, these side effects do not last long.)
It has been discovered some companies are not using pure forms of retinol. If high concentrations are not being used in skin care products, then it is highly unlikely you will gain any benefits from using it, so if you are buying products with retinol advertised as the main ingredient, please be careful. Make sure you know how much retinol the product contains. Unless a product discloses how much retinol is in it, don’t buy it. Making the right choice is important as it is the difference between achieving younger looks, and throwing your money away.
Note: Do be careful and go slow when using these products. Too much, too fast can make your skin extremely tender and sensitive. Always protect your skin with a broad spectrum sunscreen, especially when using any of the Vit-A products! You can get sunburned quickly when you expose that beautiful, new skin to the sun.
#3 Get YOUR 8
I have written previous blogs on sleep (or lack of) and its effects on our bodies/skin. Too little sleep makes you look and feel old and tired. One of the first places lack up sleep shows up is on the face, with dark circles and bags under the eyes, and sagging, dull skin. Lack of sleep is also a major factor in memory loss and symptoms of depression that include lack of interest in daily activities and in negative thinking.
Research has shown that most adults function best with at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Reduce caffeine during the day (with none in the evening), avoid eating at least 2 hours before bedtime, DON’T SMOKE, and maintain a sleep routine that includes going to bed at the same time each night. A new mattress may not be a bad idea either (http://www.bestmattres.net) For more tips on better night’s sleep, go to http://www.bettersleep.org. If you are having trouble sleeping, for any reason, it’s a very good idea to see your health care provider.
#2 SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN! SUNSCREEN!
Thankfully, today’s makeup and day moisturizers commonly contain at least a 15 SPF sunscreen. Most of us, even if we don’t try, have a little protection on our face every day we lube and paint. The problem is that we don’t even think about it. Problem? Yes, I think that’s a problem. We SHOULD think about it and exhibit good, safe, sun habits all of the time – even when we’re clean-faced and makeup free. But it’s not just our faces we should be concerned about. Oh . . . . think about those ugly brown spots on our hands, arms and legs. Yep! That’s sun damage, too.
I’m as guilty as you are, my friends. I forget. I ignore. I am diligently working to remove those really nasty brown spots all over me. I have them on my shoulders and chest, hands, arms, legs and any piece of me that has been exposed to UV. OK . . . I’ll admit it. I have been a sunbed girl. I got brown spots where they should NEVER be!
Broad Spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays (aging and burning). I suggest a sun BLOCK with a minimum of 30. You can still be nice and golden tan with the use of self-tanners and spray tanning – a service I provide at m.d. Skin.
This is your #1? Yep! Sure is. You should see what I see in my treatment room on a regular basis. Nasty stuff ground deep into client’s pores – all because they don’t wash their face before going to bed. Imagine all the environmental stuff our face receives during the day – just every day dirt and debris. Now think of the oils our skin naturally produces (some more than others) and then the additional cosmetics we apply. Pile it all on. Now it’s bedtime. You didn’t change your pillowcase this morning, did you? NO? So you’re laying your pretty little face with all of today’s stuff onto a pillow layered with last night’s dirty “stuff” as well the nights before. That is just being transferred back and forth, back and forth, packing into your face. It can get ground in so deep that everyday surface cleansing won’t do the trick. Your skin CANT be is most radiant and healthy when it is impacted and clogged!
I see eyelashes that are so thickly caked with weeks old mascara! They are brittle and broken. People invest money in products to enhance and grow long, lush lashes, but don’t remove their daily mascara. Not smart, my friends. Just not smart. I worked for an Ophthalmologist for 5 years and saw this situation over and over again. Those patients just didn’t understand why their contact lenses just didn’t work for them. They wondered about constant eye irritations. I was just amazed! These were not dummies! Intelligent, business women constantly came in with these issues.
I think the issue doesn’t fall into their not knowing better, rather in their insecurities about being seen without any makeup. Really? Ladies . . . you are beautiful in your healthy, natural skin . . . provided you take care of it! These simply 10 steps can gently lead you to revealing the glow you have within. I hope you find this information helpful.