Since my last beauty article “before makeup, skin” I have received some questions from people. Some had already damaged skin due to excessive sun. Others just wanted to know what – if anything – they could do to reverse damaged skin, and/or protect their skin going forward. (also see the next evolution of skin care in the video at the end of this article)
Depending on age and type of skin there are always options. For younger people that have great skin the goal is to keep it that way longer. One thing for sure is everyone can benefit from good skin care.
I have been known to be a slow learner at times and just don’t listen as often as I should. The one thing I did not do is talk to my Dermatologist to explain that I wanted my skin to look better; well actually prettier. That was a poor choice, and instead I had been buying products to address areas where I had skin damage -- and that thing that most girls don’t talk about: “aging skin”.
My doctor would examine me for skin cancer, do a quick survey and an “I’ll see you next year”. And I would say, “OK” and be on my way. It was a missed opportunity. And being fair skinned with red hair, I am one who needs to be especially careful. Those with darker complexions have less risk for some things, but sun damage affects us all, so by all means I urge every one of you to please make an appointment and get checked.
The most wonderful things happen when you are honest. Returning to my Dermatologist after two years (my bad) as Danielle put me on a course that would change my whole approach to skin care. Careful examination revealed I have a subtle form of Rosacea. It took an astute trained eye to diagnose my condition. If I had not talked about it the Doctor would have just done another normal exam and sent me on my way.
I was referred to a surgeon that is part of an aesthetician group that performs everything from facial surgery to Botox. The surgeon examined me and asked “why are you here?” I was speechless for a moment because I had so many thoughts going through my head I didn’t know how to answer. Dr. Kim is amazing but as a surgeon he is all business so it was a little hard for me to explain that I didn’t want a face lift or any procedures like that; all I wanted was to take care of my skins smoothness.
I never realized what can be done today and was quickly presented with two options. I opted to have some injections that would deal with some cracking around my mouth, and then made a follow-up appointment to see Karla a month later. She has the hands of an angel, and was welcoming. She wanted to know where I wanted to go with all this, and then proceeded to explain the reality of what she can do for me.
She examined my face and gave me the most wonderful gentle facial I have ever had. She prescribed a regimen of skin care to tone down my skin and reduce the agitated areas that I had been trying to treat through over the counter skin repair products: one of which I now get through my insurance for $10, instead of the $120 I sued to pay; Awesome! A further benefit that I found is the lotion for my rosacea acts as a concealer and is a better color match than what I was using before. So now my foundation is lighter allowing my skin to breath. So yes the visit cost me money but it saved me in the long run and now I have a much better daily care routine for my skin. I never thought this kind of thing could happen to me because I thought I was doing all the right things.
The lessoned learned here is don’t attempt to treat yourself until you you’ve had a professional examine you; to know your skin type, identify any medical issues, and then learn what remedies are available. Establish a baseline with someone you can trust so you can monitor the improvements and get the proper advice on your progress.
So now you have been to the doctor and understand your skin, do you really know what to do for it? Medically the doctor would refer you to who will best help you but going back to my Clarins skin care person always works for me. I was afraid to tell my friend I would be using other products instead of what I had been using. Going back to the honesty rule, she hugged me and said you have to do what works for you. Sometimes you need prescription strength that only a Doctor can prescribe. Generally speaking topological treatments are over the counter skin care products. Prescriptions can provide treatment for the deep dermis layer or under the surface skin or provide higher concentrations that cosmetics cannot.
It is not that I was doing anything wrong at all. Proper cleansing and protection from the environment are so important in every day living.
I have to share a precious moment that I had with my son. When I had that talk about Danielle he was quite overwhelmed and took time to digest. Fortunately much later we were really able to connect especially with the major changes in my lifestyle. We share the same interests in music and appreciate Fashion.
During the Thanksgiving holiday I invited him to have a facial with my friend. Much to my surprise he started talking about skin care. I will just say he is in his late twenties and he is talking about skin care?
He is active and does get some sun exposure and stress from the job. One day though he said he looked in the mirror and started to see deep wrinkles!
Sound familiar ladies! We found new common ground that I could help him with and my Clarins friend treated him special. The most wonderful part is he now knows how to take care of his skin.
The skin is like a sponge. It is the largest organ in our bodies and it needs to be taken care of. First you protect it, and then you nurture it.
My skin care starts with a warm shower and deep cleaning of my pores. The pours open up in the warm or hot water. That is when you should use a mild soap to do the basics. Using a body scrub to exfoliate or get rid of dead skin exposes the next layer of more sensitive skin, a feeling of softness. Top that with a foaming body wash and you are done. A tip that Karla told me is to rinse in cooler water to close the pours and hair follicles’ and prep them for any body lotion or conditioner.
There are many products that you can use to moisturize and condition the body skin. The treatment will vary with the seasons. I use toning skin products to tighten the skin. After loosing some 62 lbs I have managed to tighten areas effectively with body lift creams from Clarins.
Basic skin can be simple if you know your body. Out of the shower and ready to go to bed or start the day, the routine is the same with only minor differences.
The first thing you need to know is when using skin repair “serums” is they are used to reduce crows feet lines or forehead lines anywhere where wrinkles are prevalent. Serums including dark circle concealers and eye serums are absorbed and once that has occurred the skin still needs a moisturizer. The type you use may differ between the seasons. Your skin care specialist will recommend the right one for your skin (oily or dry or combination skin).
In my case the serum is prescription, but then I still use a day or night cream to nourish my skin. During the day don’t forget the sun screen. That’s right, daily exposure will attack your skin, so a good non-oily sun block should be used every day.
It is important to understand that once you have started a good skin care routine you must be religious about it, in the morning and before bed everyday. Everyone responds differently, don’t expect a change overnight. After six months I saw a huge difference. Now that I have started a new routine I have seen a noticeable improvement after just 2 months.
What else effects skin condition? One last tip: your diet,, and I can't stress this enough. Processed foods -- high in fat and saturated fats --, are not only unhealthy and fattening, but they also attack the condition of your skin. Remember, you are what you eat. Eat healthy, and you’ll look healthy.
Nutrition has been one of the most important parts to my own weight loss. And, I’ve learned, that there are foods that work to promote healthy skin. Incorporating them into your diet is just another thing that makes for success. Here are a few examples. Tomatoes contain lycopene an antioxidant that wards off sun damage, Tofu contains a class of antioxidants that are linked to reducing sagging skin. Olive oil is an appetite suppressant of fats, plus a natural sun damage fighter. It also boosts the sunscreen effect that tomatoes provide. When Tofu is paired with olive oil and ripe tomatoes, it transforms into a potent beautifier for your face and body.
So ladies before you add paint, get a good canvas by taking care of your skin. Yes, there is some thought and work involved, but as they’ve always said, if it were easy everyone would do it. You have to want it, and be prepared to commit to go through the steps to achieve it. Proper nutrition and skin care go hand in hand. You don’t need a lot of makeup to look fantastic. With radiant skin you have all the choices!
Got deep pockets? The newest evolution to skin care will arrive in 2012, and it's called Dermagenetics: