Love Your Skin and It Will Keep You Smiling

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They say a few moments of a skincare regimen a day keeps the dermatologist away. Indeed, when it comes to your precious skin, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of face cream.

Think of your face as the first line of defense between you and all the harsh elements in our environment. The rest of your body may be clothed, but your face is out there day after day taking a beating. No matter how artfully applied, there is no amount of makeup in the world that can take the place of a regular skin care routine.  

Maintaining beautiful, healthy skin is a lifelong process that requires attention every day. Follow these straight forward tips for healthy skin and you will always put your best face forward.

Cleanse Gently

That soap that you use for your body is not meant for your delicate face. Instead use a facial cleanser specifically formulated for your skin type. Once applied, give the cleanser a few seconds to break down the makeup,,  dirt, and oil from the day. Rinse with lukewarm water. Cleanse your skin in two times a day, morning and night.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

You wouldn’t go a day without drinking water, right? Well, your skin needs daily hydration with a moisturizer as well.  Moisturizer not only refreshes the skin and makes it look healthy, it also slows the aging process on the cellular level.  Use a morning moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30.  Apply a night cream of your choice after a thorough cleansing.

The Sun is Not Your Friend

The best skin treatment of all is to stay out of the sun. Of course, for most of us that is not only impractical, it is impossible. Protect yourself with sunscreen on your morning walk or commute to work. Remember, a sunscreen application is generally effective for about 2 hours, so be sure to reapply when you are exposed again later in the day. For those who are battling it out on the tennis court or teeing it up on the golf course, the sun is a huge problem. Protect your face with sunscreen and even more importantly, block the sun completely with the biggest hat you can stand.  It may not make a chic fashion statement, but it definitely says, “I care about my skin.”

Add a Retinoid Cream to Your Routine

A nightly application of a retinoid cream will leave your skin glowing and smooth. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that have been proven to boost collagen which reduces fine lines. It is also known to speed cell turnover which evens out discoloration. Retinoids can cause some tingling at first so we recommend applying it once every other day for a week, then follow with a gentle moisturizer. 

Exfoliant: How much is just right?

It’s the Goldilocks conundrum: Too little exfoliant and your skin will look dull and rough and prevent topical ingredients from absorbing properly. Too much and your skin may become red, irritated and sensitive. How frequently you exfoliate depends on several factors:

The seasons change and so does your skin. It may tolerate an exfoliant better in the warm humid months than in the winter when it is generally drier and more easily irritated.

The method you use will impact how frequently you should exfoliate. Rotating brushes with stiff bristles should only be used once or twice weekly. Softer bristles can be used more often. Chemical exfoliant products with higher concentrations of glycolic acid should be limited to once weekly. Scrubs give you more control as you can vary the pressure you apply.

Finally, it is important to consider your skin type. The general consensus is that normal skin can be exfoliated once or twice a week. Those with more sensitive skin should limit treatment with exfoliant to once a week. If you are unsure, it is best to err on the side of caution.

Facials: Once a Month

Facials have come a long way, baby. They still include the basic skin cleansing, exfoliation and steam but there is now a long list of modalities like microdermabrasion, fruit enzyme peels, and much more! Combining your daily skin care regimen with a monthly personalized facial treatment that specifically addresses your skin type and any specific problem areas is the gold standard of skin care.

Say Yes to Omega 3s and Antioxidants

Caring for your skin from the inside is as important as any product you can apply to on the outside. For example, say no to sodium rich foods that can make skin puffy. Say yes to omega-3 rich foods like salmon that help hydrate skin and reduce the inflammation that can cause redness. Add antioxidant rich foods and drinks like blueberries, dark greens, green tea and coffee to your diet to help fight the free radicals that can damage the cellular structures of the skin and cause aging. Green and black teas also contain protective compounds like theaflavins which help prevent both skin cancer and wrinkles.

Strike a Pose and Break a Sweat

Exercise is as beneficial to your skin as it is to your abs. Raising your heart rate once a day improves your complexion as it increases your circulation and oxygen capacity.  Yoga moves, like downward facing dog, have the same effect, giving the skin that lovely after yoga glow.  In fact, new research suggests that regular yoga practice may actually reduce the inflammation and stress that contribute to skin’s aging. Namaste.

Sleep: The Fountain of Youth

When it comes battling the aging process, sleep may be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth. Sleep reduces the body’s cortisol levels which decreases the stress that causes skin to age. Sleep also gives the skin a chance to produce new collagen, which keeps it plumper and less likely to wrinkle. Additionally, your body boosts blood flow to the skin while you rest, which means you wake with a healthy glow. A solid 7 hours or more of sleep a night can be the secret weapon that helps keep your skin supple and healthy looking.

Commit to a daily skin care regimen, supported by exercise, a skin enhancing diet, plenty of regenerative beauty sleep and regular facials. Your well cared for, youthful looking skin will put a smile on your face