Skincare Basics

Many factors can affect your skin’s appearance. Knowing how to properly care for your skin can keep your skin from looking its best.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are loose oxygen molecules that make your skin look older through the oxidation process. Oxidation causes those brown “age spots.”

You can fight free radicals and oxidation with anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are vitamins. Vitamins A and C as well as beta carotene. Many skincare products are made containing anti-oxidants. You can also eat vegetables which are high in anti-oxidants.

The Sun

The sun can be a major source of skin damage, even if you don’t get a sun burn.

There are two types of ultra violet rays that can damage your skin. The UVB rays are the type that cause sunburns. Every sunburn you get in your lifetime, increases your risk of getting skin cancer.

UVA rays penetrate to the dermis, the inner layer of skin that contains collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are what keeps your skin from sagging and allows it to go back after it has been stretched. When collagen and elastin break down, your skin sags.

You should always wear sunscreen, even if you aren’t going to be outside for very long or your skin doesn’t normally burn. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to choose an appropriate SPF.

The SPF number indicates the length of time your skin will be protected. The average person, wearing no sunscreen, can be in the sun about thirty minutes before they start to burn. The SPF number indicates the number times thirty that you are protected. For example, if you are wearing SPF 10, you are protected for 30 times 10 minutes (300 minutes or 5 hours.)

Other Causes of Skin Damage

There are some other factors in skin aging and damage. The environment can cause damage. Pollution, and dry, or winter climates can cause your skin to age prematurely.

Genetics are another factor. If your family has damaged or aged skin, you probably will too.

Proper skin care can keep your skin looking the best.

Wash Your Face

It is very important that you do not go to bed wearing makeup. No matter how tired you are, take the time to wash your face.

Don’t wash your face with regular soap and water. The skin on your face is different than the rest of your skin. Regular soap will dry out your skin and tighten your pores.

Use a facial cleanser for your face. Using warm water, (not hot), lather the cleanser. Using your finger-tips, massage the cleanser into your face in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.

Toner

Some cleansers contain a toner. If yours does, you don’t need to use a separate toner.
Toner conditions your skin and replaces minerals and vitamins that are lost during the cleansing process. Simply apply the toner according to the manufacturer’s directions. No rinsing is needed.

Moisturize

There are many different types of moisturizer. You’ll want to be sure that your moisturizer is right for your skin.

Determining your skin type is not as complicated as it sounds. There are three types of skin: oily, dry, and normal. If your skin appears shiny, your have oily skin. If your skin feels tight and is flaky, you have dry skin. If neither of these applies to your skin, you have normal skin.

I recommend buying a moisturizer that contains an SPF. This will eliminate the extra step of applying sunscreen. If yours does not have sunscreen in the moisturizer, you will want to apply sunscreen now.

Separate treatments.

If you use special products for puffy eyes, acne, or blemishes, you will apply them last.

I just want to mention at this point, when applying products around your eyes, do not tug at the skin. This area of your face is especially susceptible to wrinkles. Use your ring finger to apply products around your eyes. Apply it in three or four small dots then smooth it in gently.

Your skincare regimen is now complete. You can apply your make-up as usual.

The Anti-Aging Journey

For those of you under 30, anti-aging skincare is probably not the highest priority on your to-do list. But for those of us past 30 (and past 40, I must be honest), even if we never thought of ourselves as vain, we do glance in the mirror and wonder if we’re doing enough to keep our skin looking young for as long as possible.

I have been blessed (thanks Mom!) with good genes. Folks in my gene pool tend to look 10 or more years younger than their actual age for a long time. Even in their 80’s (we live a long time too), my family members look great. But even good genes aren’t enough, especially if you like to spend time outdoors.

Here are some anti-aging skin care tips to help you along.

Drink plenty of water. Really, it is not an old wives tale. Staying hydrated keeps your skin plump and young looking. Dehydrated skin looks dry and wrinkly. Eat right and take your vitamins. If you’re eating fast food, sweets and sodas, you’re not doing your skin any favors. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. Your waistline and your skin will thank you. Exercise. Right along with a healthy diet, exercise keeps you young–inside and out.

Use good quality skin care products. I’m sorry ladies, but soap and water are not going to make you a natural beauty. You don’t need a complicated regimen, but a cleanser and moisturizer suitable to your skin type should form the backbone of your anti-aging skin care routine. Look for anti-aging cosmetics. As we age we don’t want to look heavily made up, as if we’re trying to hide something. What you do want is simple daily make up that both enhances your skin and makes you look younger. Wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 every day. Preferably use one with natural sun blocking ingredients, such as zinc, and not chemical blockers.

Wash your face every night, even if you didn’t wear make up. Cosmetics, oils and environmental toxins need to be washed away before you jump into bed. Think of all the dirt, pollens and pollutants floating around in the air that have been quietly making themselves comfortable on your skin; get rid of them and prevent environmental damage to your skin.

Don’t smoke. Talk about toxic pollutants that can damage your skin. Non-smokers will always look younger than smokers.

The anti-aging journey doesn’t need to be filled with rocky roads and washed out bridges, just follow these simple, healthy tips and you can keep your youthful appearance for many years.

Safely Taking Care of Your Skin

The pursuit to remain looking as young as long as you can has become an important passion for many people, especially baby boomers. Not only women, but men as well, have become very conscious of the appearance of their skin. Women, especially though, want to maintain smooth, soft and wrinkle free skin. Taking good care of your skin is very important, not just for vanity as you grow older, but for your health and well being.

We tend to forget that our skin is not only one of our most important vital organs, but the largest one, as well. Our skin is the organ that is the first and most exposed of our organs to potential harmful elements in our environment. So as we take appropriate steps for better care of our heart, our lungs, and our endocrine system, it is important to consider the health of our skin.

Throughout our life, these are some of the very important functions that our skin has been doing for us.
1) Our skin has been protecting our internal organs from harmful injuries and has acted as a defense against dangerous infections and bacteria.
2) Just as our liver and kidneys have acted to detoxify our bodies, our skin has been detoxifying our bodies through perspiration.
3) Our skin has been a regulatory thermostat helping to control the flow of heat in our bodies.
4) Vitamin D, an important vitamin, has been produced and stored by our skin.
5) Our skin has acted as a sensory receptor that has faithfully alerted us to important elements such as hot, cold, sharp, and rough substances.
6) Our skin has kept us from becoming dehydrated.

In the quest to have healthy skin for your entire life, it is important to choose carefully from among the hundreds of skin care products. Just because the ingredients in skin care products are not swallowed does not mean that potentially harmful elements do not affect our bodies. Everything we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies.

Therefore, products that contain certain ingredients such as parabens, phenol carbolic acids, propylene glycol, acrylamide, sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate, toluene, dioxane, mineral oil, paraffin, and petrolatum should be avoided as you take care of your skin. These elements have been known to interfere with our bodies endocrine system, cause circulatory and respiratory problems, cause kidney or liver abnormalities and damage, skin irritations, possible links to cancer and tumors, cause a breakdown of the skins moisture barrier, problems with anemia and blood cell count, slow cellular development, and have possible harmful effects to fetus development.

If that isn’t scary enough, it is interesting that some of these very ingredients are found in products such as antifreeze, windshield cleaners, engine degreasers and garage floor cleaners.

In addition to using healthy skin care products for good care of your skin, watch for these same ingredients in perfumes and fragrance oils.

It is always wise to protect your skin from harsh winds, extreme heat, and cold. Avoid the use of harsh soaps and wash your skin gently. Refrain from smoking which causes deep lines and skin deterioration. And, of course, avoid the harsh rays of the sun.

A Few Things You Need to Know About Vitamin E and C for Skincare – Part 2

I started to write about vitamin C amp; E and how they can be helpful for good health and skin. My writing continues here…

The third literature I want to talk about is not a research paper, but a book. It is “Skin Aging Handbook: An Integrated Approach to Biochemistry and Product Development” by Dr. Nava Dayan. In her book, she mentions, “… another study found the derivative a -tocopherol sorbate (5 percent) to be more effective than a -tocopherol in decreasing free radicals and protecting against chronic UV-induced photoaging, as measured by decreased wrinkling in mice”. She goes to explain that the combination of vitamins C and E provide antioxidant protection. A high oral dose of these two vitamins provide provide protection against UV-induced erythema in humans, whereas either vitamin alone is not very effective.

I have been researching on what vitamins are more responsible for repairing our skin, because damaged skin is not healthy skin. Our skin is damaged by UV rays, blemishes, toxins, and such. While doing this research, I found out that vitamin C and E are very much part of the picture. However, I did find different takes on that. I have tried to present three of my finding above. I would present even more my findings, but that will become long and tedious for you and I wanted to avoid that.

The first research claims that a combination of vitamin C and E will protect our skin from sun damage, but we will have to take it for at least 10 weeks before we see any positive change. The second research says that there is no change from taking vitamin C OR E in terms of protecting our skin from sun damage – however, their research subject didn’t take a combination of the two vitamins and neither did they take the supplements for as long as 10 weeks or more. I would also like to point out that these two researches used research subjects with skin type I, II, and III – all of whom have light skin and of European decent. I wish they had included some more varieties of skin types in their researches, so that a wider range of readers could relate to the researches.

Here are my two cents: I cannot say for sure if vitamin C and/or E indeed help in protecting our skin from sun damage from the research that I have done. However, from personal experience, I can say that vitamin E and C does help to improve my facial skin’s appearance. Vitamin E is responsible for helping in repairing DNA among other physiological processes. Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is responsible for maintaining the healthy structure of our skin among other metabolic processes; it is also responsible for producing collagen and collagen is what maintains the elasticity of our body’s muscles. Thus, vitamin C helps to reduce wrinkles and scars. Both vitamins are antioxidants and are supposed to help our bodies and skin in one way or the other. So, personally, I decide to eat food that are rich in both and supplement my diet with both supplements. At the end of the day, I am healthy and so is my skin.

I know this has been a long blogpost – what lesson you want to take away from this blogpost is entirely upto you. I have found vitamin C and E to be very helpful in maintaining good health and skin, I hope that you will too. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or ask me over Twitter @kajalreviews. Also, visit kajalreviews.com to find unbiased reviews on many natural, safe, organic, and mineral skin care product reviews.

Thank you very much for reading!

An interesting paper on vitamin C:

http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/collagen.html

Skin type definitions are followed from the Fitzpatrick Classification Scale, which can be found here:

http://dermatology.about.com/od/cosmeticprocedure/a/fitzpatrick.htm

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and opinion that are unbiased. The decision of how you want to accept or deny them is your choice and I am not responsible for that.

Celebrity Skincare on a Budget

While stars such as Charlize Theron and Renee Zellwegger spend the day relaxing at Ole Henrikson Face/Body in Los Angeles, most of us aren’t quite as willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a facial or skincare treatment. Hollywood beauties have access to plenty of resources for high-end skincare regiments; even though it’s not easy looking like a million for the red carpet, many pull off their looks with the help of elaborate body treatments and luxurious pampering at a stylish resort.

Back in the real world, most women look to quality cosmetics and beauty products for glamorous looks and healthy skin. A healthy skincare regimen is essential for glowing skin, regardless of products used. Yet many people, women in particular, make the mistake of thinking they need to shell out the big bucks to see results. It’s actually quite easy to learn from celebrities and enjoy a treatment without a severe impact on that (Gucci) wallet. Here are a few skincare product recommendations for those who live life just a little below the ranks of a Hollywood salary:

For a fresh glow that doesn’t require that caked-on foundation look, follow the style of Cameron Diaz who uses a mineral powder sunscreen from Colorscience. Colorscience is a leading brand for mineral makeup and supreme coverage. Clear pores are only natural when you’re not filling them with toxic material; try the i.d. bareMinerals brand for a low-cost alternative, or the line from Jane Iredale that uses micronized crystals.

Eva Longoria insists on the SunFX Glow All Over skin care line to stay far away from those harmful rays–all without compromising the Mediterranean-kissed glow. SunFX features an all over spray tan, body shimmer, body polish, and tinted moisturizer, and application sessions are available through spas at a price of $85-$100 per treatment. For a similar look, pick up a St. Tropez starter collection for just $49.95; you’ll get at least two treatments from this quality lineup.

Thread lifts, Botox, and Restalyne are always top picks for stars on the red carpet, a microdermabrasion treatment or Botox therapy come at a high price. Without upkeep and maintenance, even a single treatment can prove to be less than fruitful. If you need a deep pore treatment or exfoliation, try a basic 30-minute facial at the local spa that includes a mud-based mask. For improving the texture and tone of your skin, look for a overnight firming creams such as Estee Lauder’s Resilience Lift Extreme Overnight, or a Phyto Corrective Gel from Skinceuticals.com

In early February, the partnership between Giorgio Armani and L’Oreal led to the Crema Nera skin care line, an anti-aging skin care formula that’s scheduled to launch in Fall 2007 at Armani stores. If you’re having trouble justifying the $400 per product price tag, consider anti-aging creams and brands with similar properties. Crema Nera is a rich white cream infused with silicium, potassium, and volcanic obsidian rock. You can find quality anti-aging treatments from brands such as Clinique’s Repairwar and Derma White, or an organic approach with Eminence Organics.

From exfoliating facials to spray-on tanning products, looking like a celebrity doesn’t require spending like one! When you’re on the hunt for some fresh alternatives to your beauty lineup, take some time to research key ingredients and track down those budget-friendly alternatives.