Beauty is skin deep; however, skin health is truly important.
In this installment of Local Logistics, Making Your Life Work FOR You, we’re talking all about skin health. What you CAN DO to support skin health, which delicious foods can give you a healthy complexion, how skincare professionals can help and when it’s time to see a doctor.
How your skin looks impacts your day and is an indicator of your internal health. Chronic skin issues are a sign it’s time to take a look at your overall health.
Your skin is your largest organ. It provides a large surface area for your body to rid itself of toxins. You may be surprised at the culprits behind your breakouts.
Esthetician Sheila Adriano of Bella Trio Salon and Spa joins us for this installment to share her professional insight. I also wrangled in fellow blogger and accomplished lady boss Kimberly Knight as well.
Sheila gave us both facials while explaining what we could each do to keep our skin healthy and how others can find a great esthetician in their area.
Surprising, Non-Nutritive Culprits
Did you know what is in your laundry detergent, fabric softener, skin care products and scented candles may be some of the most toxic chemicals into your home?
Artificial fragrances mess with hormones, which in turn messes with your skin. They impact everything from sex hormones to the hormones involved in metabolism. The dyes and other harmful chemicals in these products can irritate, inflame and breakout your skin.
Choose fragrance free and dye free detergents. Swap out chemical fabric softener and dryer sheets for a natural alternative such as wool dryer balls or a coffee filter dampened with vinegar. You can add a few drops of essential oils to either and have soft clothes fragranced with something good for you.
Are Your Skin ‘Care’ Products the Problem?!
Look at the ingredients in your skin care products and makeup. Avoid diethanolamine (DEA), homosalate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and formaldehyde. Check your lotions, body scrubs, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and even soap.
Check all the ingredients for safety with SafeCosmetics.org. It’s shocking how many toxins are in skin ‘care’ products. Finding affordable, non-toxic products is easier than ever to do these days with all-natural, non-toxic skin care lines gaining mass popularity.
What about the popular facial masks? It seems to be Mask Monday every day of the week. As masks gain popularity one has to wonder if this is a good thing.
I asked Sheila about that and she feels people are masking too often because it’s the current trend and choosing masks based on their popularity, rather than individual skin needs. She recommends to mask less – think occasionally rather than daily or even weekly.
Pick a mask based on your skin health concern, like acne or dry patches. Get your mask through your esthetician, Ulta or Sephora so you have professional insight.
Stress Is Your Worst Enemy
The worst thing for your skin is stress. Stress damages to your body inside and out, head to toe. It literally, not figuratively, kills and we’re living in tense, stressful times.
The great news is you can reduce the stress in your life if you put in the work. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it both for the sake of your appearance and life.
Solutions to your stress may be no further than your phone. Check out relaxing music or yoga videos on YouTube, such as Yoga with Adrienne. Download a mediation app. Listen to audio books on the subject during your morning commute or while cleaning house. Get a mindfulness apps and a focus app like Forest. Most importantly, put your phone down from time to time, if not often.
Make self-care a priority in your daily life. Three minutes of deep breathing before you start your day or during tense moments can be the best thing you do for your health. True self care is all the small ways you choose to make life work for you instead of against you.
If stress is consuming your life, it’s time to reach out for counseling. You don’t have to brave this big, scary world on your own and having someone help you see another way of approaching life can significantly reduce stress.
As you get to the root of your issues and tackle your stress, your body can start to function better and your hormones can return to a healthy state leaving you with clear, beautiful skin.
Even the pros need reminders to take it easy. Sheila provided the best, most relaxing facial I’ve ever had and yet 75% of the way through, she reminded me to breathe. I also noted how calming it was to have her massage my face and have used some of the same techniques at home when I put on my moisturizer.
Circling Back to Your Phone
Your phone is one of the dirtiest thing your skin comes into contact with. The bacteria come in direct contact with your face when you talk on the phone and gets on your hands, which in turn touch your skin.
Regularly clean your phone and its cover off. Choose an easy to clean cover without a porous surface or other bacteria harboring features. Whatever you use to clean your phone needs to be non-toxic and not leave a film.
And real talk - don’t take it into the bathroom with you. You have more important business to attend to in there.
You are what you eat so don’t be cheap, fake, greasy or loaded with chemicals. One of the worst culprits to skin breakouts is fried simple carbs.
The grease oozes out your pores and the simple carbs feed bacteria causing acne above and below the surface of your skin.
Fried foods are a sometimes food – an occasional treat. Kick them to the curb until your skin is clear and then you can enjoy a small amount here and there upon occasion – rare occasion.
Watch for sugar. It’s in 74% of all food products on the market. Much of it goes under the radar as organic rice syrup, apple juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup or some other nonsense.
Food Additives to Avoid
Watch out for toxic food additives. An easy way to avoid the 100s of toxic chemicals in our food supply is to avoid these 5:
For healthy skin avoiding those artificial food dyes is an absolute must! Made from chemicals (and sometimes bugs) artificial dyes don’t agree with your body.
We have limited ways to excrete toxins out of our body and the skin provides a large, easily accessible route to get rid of a large amount. Those dyes come up to the surface of your skin causing irritation, inflammation and breakouts. The dye from your soda can dye your zit long after it heals.
Food that Heal and Help
Choose real foods over supplements. Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E can give you the complexion you seek.
To find vitamin A rich foods look for fall colored produce items: red, orange, yellow and dark green. They contain vitamin A’s precursor carotenoids. Examples of vitamin A rich foods include apricots, berries, carrots, kale, nectarines, oranges, peppers, spinach, squash and tomatoes.
Interesting fact, bell peppers and strawberries have as much, if not more, vitamin C than citrus fruits. They’re all great choices for vitamin C and also have a healthy dose of vitamin A. Other vitamin C rich foods are apricots, berries, kiwi, lemons, peppers, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon.
Food derived vitamin E is amazing for skin. It’s found in many plant oils, as well as seeds and nuts. Foods rich in vitamin E are almonds, avocados, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, kiwi, peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Most vitamin E rich foods also happen to be rich in skin nourishing, healthy fats. Great sources include avocados, seeds, nuts and fatty fish. All of those foods are going to contain other healthy nutrients great for your skin and overall wellbeing.
Drink More Water
Drink your water – 10 or more cups a day. Water can help flush out toxins from your body through your urine instead of them coming out of your skin. Additionally, it will plump up your cells given your skin a full, healthy look.
Warm lemon water first thing in the morning prior to any other food and beverage can help flush out toxins and boost energy levels. Heads up, it REALLY helps flush toxins from the body, which may have you flushing in the bathroom a lot. Limit lemon water to 3 to 4 cups a day.
See a Skin Professional
While most regard services like a facial as a luxury item to indulge in upon occasion, they can be a part of a healthy skin regimen.
Sheila recommends getting a facial once a month if feasible or once a quarter. Find an esthetician you relate to and one who takes the time to tailor the services to your skin needs.
Her best advice is to adopt a daily skin routine and stick to it - morning and evening. Your skin has different needs during the day and at night. Depending on your skin’s needs a weekly scrub or mask can be added to your routine.
I asked why in the last couple years it seems like my skin needs exfoliated all the time. Sheila explained when we’re young our skin cells turn over at a much faster rate, about every 30 days. As we get older turnover rate decreases to 45 to 90 days. It’s a natural part of getting older, although drinking plenty of water, eating well, reducing stress and sticking to your skin routine will help.
She performed an exfoliating procedure during both Kimberly and I’s facials called Dermaplanning. This technique uses a 10 gage, Teflon coated bladed and scrapes the dead skin away.
It’s not recommended if you’re experiencing broken capillaries, raised acne or skin tags because they could get cut. It’s a great option for someone (like me) who doesn’t like to fuss with their face much but does have a lot of skin build up.
She recommended I get a sunscreen for my face. Recent changes in FDA regulation required moisturizers and sunscreens be separate products. Sun exposure worsens the appearance of scars, freckles and the such. I thought the opposite.
In discussing Kimberly’s skin care needs with her, Sheila recommended switching to a different cleanser. Kimberly had thought her makeup or cycle were to blame for breakouts, but the switch to a gentler cleanser dramatically improved her skin health.
I liked hearing facials are recommended once a month as part of your skin care regimen or quarterly if monthly isn’t feasible. Facials can mitigate the damage from all the environmental, dietary and stress toxins we’re exposed to on a daily basis.
I looked at how much I spend on coffee every month and decided I could give up my unhealthy habit of afternoon coffee and put that money towards a monthly facial. Great skin and less insomnia – now that’s a healthy swap!
When to See a Doctor
All of the healthy lifestyle and diet recommendations in this article are great for you overall, but nothing replaces the sound advice of your healthcare professional who knows you well. If your gut is telling you it’s time to see the doctor, listen to it.
If you have moles that have changed in color, size and/or shape, see a doctor. If skin cancer runs in your family, it’s recommended to have your healthcare provider take a look at your annual exams.
Keep an open dialogue with your doctor about what your skin goals are, as well as your diet, stress levels and overall lifestyle. Discuss any medication prescribed to you with your healthcare provider, making sure to go over side effects and nutritional implications.
Long, Beautiful Story Short
Keep your stress in check. Kick the chemicals out of your home and diet. Drink plenty of water and eat your fruits and vegetables. Just say no to sugar and refined grains. Investing in quality skin products can save you money from small purchases of random, popular products. A regimen is key and above all, never go to bed with your makeup on.
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