Why It’s Smart to ‘Go-Pro’ with Skincare We all know how important it is to choose the right skincare products. If you get your products right, they will leave your skin looking and feeling at its best. They can help to improve skin condition if you have acne, dry skin, and sensitivity or if your skin is starting to show signs of aging. There is such a wide choice of products on the market that it can be hard to decide which one to try. Here are a few tips we’ve put together to help you select the right skincare products for your needs.
What’s Your Skin Type and What Does It Need? We recommend having a professional consultation to truly determine your actual skin type and pick up on any specific needs you might have overlooked. An esthetician will take a really close look at your skin and help you to decide what the priorities are for your skincare routine. She may tell you something about your skin that you don’t know - for example, even if you think your skin is just a bit dry, it could be because it’s sensitive too, and you just didn’t realize that you were using products that irritated it? Changing your products to a professional range that’s specially designed for your skin type could make all the difference.
Why Go Professional? There are commercials everywhere for skincare products and they all promise beautiful skin. Some are cheap and available from drugstores anywhere but the professional ranges are more expensive and exclusive, so why would you opt for a professional product? Drug store and department store beauty products can be sold by anyone, because they normally contain lower levels of active ingredients. They are cheaper because they can be easily mass produced and have a very long shelf life. Buying from a salon, spa or esthetician means you get an extra level of recommendation – you’re not just buying from an advertising agency’s copy but you’ve got the benefit of the esthetician’s experience and training in helping you find a suitable product as well as a better quality product with better active ingredients. You’ll also find that most estheticians have a money-back guarantee, so that if a recommended product doesn’t suit you after all, you can return it and try another one. Estheticians carefully research their product lines, and are educated on ingredients, how to use the different products, and will educate you on how to best take care of your skin.
What’s in A Cosmeceutical? Cosmeceuticals, sold by licensed estheticians tend to contain higher concentrations of active ingredients – only medical grade products sold by doctors are legally allowed to contain more active ingredients. Professional skincare companies put a great deal of money into researching cosmeceuticals; they use hi-tech ingredients like peptides, enzymes, plant stem cells and vitamins. They also benefit from the most advanced latest delivery systems. If you want to do something fantastic for your skin – book a session with a professional esthetician to get to know your skin properly. You don’t always have to book a facial to get professional product recommendations, although this will give your esthetician a complete look at your skin. Most estheticians offer product consultations and can create a customized plan for your skin based on your concerns and their expertise.
What would your esthetician tell you if you asked for her top tips on skincare? We’ve compiled a few of our most important top tips for you, so take your pick (or try them all).
1. Get your veggies! If you can, invest in a good quality juicer and drink your fill of green veggie juice every day. Swap your afternoon coffee or morning latte for a green juice and watch it transform your skin completely. Green juices help to stimulate lymphatic drainage and oxygenate your skin. Add some avocado if you really want to power up your juice – it gives your skin nutrition from inside and has great hydrating properties.
2. Always, always take off your make up before you go to bed. Sleeping in your make up is not only bad for your pillow cases, it’s terrible for your skin as the chemicals in modern make up stay in your pores overnight if you don’t remove them properly. Blocked pores lead to breakouts and for the sake of a few minutes before bed, it’s just not worth it.
3. Don’t worry about putting a face on for the gym – always work out makeup free. Mixing sweat with your cosmetics creates a lovely sheen of bacteria and chemicals that won’t do the condition of your skin any good, so avoid any makeup at all, yes, even tinted moisturizer!
4. Take a probiotic. Your skin always looks best when your digestive system is working as it should do, so along with a good quality probiotic try to include papaya and pineapple for their digestive enzymes and avoid inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten.
5. Sleep. Go for 8, 9 or even 10 hours whenever you can, because sleep is when your body repairs itself, and it can’t do it in too little snooze time. Missing out on quality sleep will show itself up in your skin, especially around your eyes.
6. Use a toner – yes, really. Just make sure it’s a gentle one. People who don’t tone after they’ve cleansed are prone to larger pores and more congested skin.
7. Make a serum part of your beauty routine. A serum containing antioxidants is the best option for most people. It’s the finishing touch that can really make all the difference to the condition of your skin.
8. Exfoliate regularly. Look for a product that contains glycolic or lactic, and use it 2-4 times per week, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Removing dull, dead skin regularly will give it the extra brightness that just cleansing won’t.
9. Use sun protection every single day. No excuses.
10. Make sure that your moisturizer contains an SPF, and you’ll prevent skin cancer, sun damage and the signs of aging we all try to cover up.
. If you have dry skin, you can end up spending a lot of money on good quality moisturizers and products to treat it topically. Did you know that a few changes to your diet can also help to alleviate dry, itchy and scaly skin?
Fatty Acids Keep Your Skin Plumped. Fat – it’s a no-no in some of our diets but it really shouldn’t be. One of the most vital parts of our skin’s natural barrier is lipids, including, free fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides, which means that skin without enough fat resembles a mass of badly arranged protein blocks that doesn’t quite have enough glue to hold it together.
Water can escape easily which means that your skin will become easily dehydrated. You need fatty acids in your diet to create the ‘glue’ that holds everything together under your skin surface – these are the omega-3s found in oily fish like salmon, herring and mackerel; eggs, grass fed beef and flaxseed oils. Omega 6s are commonly found in evening primrose oil and borage seed oil. Several studies have pointed to the benefits of fatty acids in the diet; in one study of 50 people with atopic dermatitis, 96 per cent of study participants who were given an evening primrose oil supplement reported less itching and dryness after five months.
Vitamins and Minerals that Soothe Dry Skin. Vitamins and minerals are essential for most of our bodily functions and repairs; skin is no exception. Vitamin C is needed for production of collagen – it produces an enzyme that causes collagen to form. Other trace elements like zinc and copper help to make the collagen denser and work together with vitamin C to keep your skin hydrated. You can get them from a good multivitamin or look for foods containing vitamin C (bell peppers, oranges and tomatoes) zinc (seafood, pumpkin seeds and spinach) and copper (beef liver, lentils and almonds).
Caffeine, Water and Alcohol. It’s very unlikely that drinking the occasional coffee will dehydrate you, but it has been shown that caffeine constricts the small blood vessels, which means less of the good stuff is getting through to your skin. Alcohol is also a diuretic and well known to be a dehydrator, but as with caffeine you’d have to be drinking a lot more of it than a couple of glasses of wine or beer with dinner to really feel or see the effects. There’s also a myth that drinking lots of water is the key to well-hydrated skin – although it sounds obvious, it’s not actually the case at all. Water that we take in is processed internally, and we’d need to be extremely dehydrated to notice the effects on our skin. The outer layer of the skin is the most important area for skincare, and it’s this area that needs to be fortified with the right hydrating and moisture-retaining foods. If you're already eating a balanced diet, not cutting out all the fat and eating a good range of fruits, vegetables and healthy foods, you shouldn’t need to use a multivitamin or supplement to improve the condition of your skin. Up your vitamin-rich foods, include some oily fish and fats and make sure that you enjoy a varied diet and your dry skin will thank you for it.
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