Anyone who’s been to Italy knows that what Michelangelo could do with a fresh canvas was nothing short of spectacular. The Statue of David. The Sistine Chapel. The man was an artist whose works inspire us centuries after his death.
Guess what? Your body has a canvass too. You’re wearing it. And if you want to look young, pay attention. The canvass is your skin. And it’s your largest organ.
Think about the Sistine Chapel for a moment. Ponder its beauty, and the craftsmanship and every intricate detail. Michelangelo spent four years of his life on this masterpiece.
Now think of your skin. Like the Sistine Chapel, it makes a statement. But often, it’s the kind of statement many people could do without. The statement? I’m old.
Relax. You can have great skin at any age. Yes, genes play a role, but good skin care and quality products can help. Let’s review the basics of skin care products and how they can make your skin look more Michelangelo than finger-paint.
Rise and shine! Skin care starts in the morning. Assuming that’s when you shower, use a liquid body wash and separate facial cleanser. Never use a body soap or cleanser on your face. And when you wash, remember that hot water robs the skin of its natural oils. Therefore, wash with lukewarm water.
Pat yourself dry with a towel. Don’t rub, as this can reduce body moisture.
Ladies, pay attention to this next step. Use a toner on your face, to remove traces of dirt and makeup that you may have missed while cleansing.
After this, men and women should both use two separate moisturizers. One for the body and another for the face. And as with cleansers, don’t use a body moisturizer on your face.
For more information, visit: http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/skin-care-basics
Beware The Sun
Tanned skin may be sexy, but give it ten years and it’ll look like a peanut if you’re not careful. The sun is the single greatest threat to beautiful, young-looking skin, with wrinkles, age spots, and, notably, precancerous and cancerous growths, including carcinoma and melanoma.
I hope that got your attention, because you can avoid these pitfalls with a simple rule: avoid the sun. In hot climates or during summer, try to stay out of the sun between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun’s rays are hottest. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen when you can’t, and make sure it has an SPF of at least 30.
And don’t forget to slip-slop-slap. Remember how that goes? Slip into loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothes. Slop on that sunscreen and slap on a wide-brimmed hat. Do these things, and you’ll slow the aging process.
In a recent study, British researchers found that carrots and plums increased carotene levels, which produced a yellow skin hue. And that yellow skin hue made people more attractive to volunteers who rated the participants’ faces.
What’s This About Natural Skin Care?
Natural skin care is an umbrella term for skin products comprised of natural ingredients, including flowers, herbs, roots and oils and natural carrier agents, preservatives, emulsifiers and humectants.
There are natural skin care products to suit just about every need, from soaps to moisturizers.
As the moniker implies, natural skin care products avoid synthetic chemicals, including parabens, which are linked to breast cancer.
And with over 10,000 potentially harmful industrial chemicals in most personal care products, natural skin care may be a healthier way to stay healthy and look beautiful.
For more information, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_skin_care
What You’ll Encounter
Claims of “the topical Botox” and “the fountain of youth” are common among skin care products, but do they really work? And what if you have sensitive skin?
These are two of many reasons why you should always review the ingredient list of products you purchase. And when you do, you’ll encounter a variety of medical jargon and buzzwords that confuse more than educate.
But knowledge is power. Let’s take a walk through some of the more prominent ingredients you’ll find in skin care products, and what they do.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – Alpha Hydroxy Acids include glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids. They’re found in many skin care products – over 200 manufacturers in the United States use them in their various forms.
Creams with AHAs might treat wrinkles, fine lines, skin tone and age spots.
Having said this, AHAs can increase sensitivity to sunlight. You might find it necessary to build a tolerance to AHAs, with products that use them in low concentrations. Use these products every other day. Then when you’re ready, use them daily.
Beta-Hydroxy Acid (Salicylic Acid) – A healer of skin, salicylic acid is an exfoliant that may reduce sun damage, with improved texture and color. Salicylic acid might also reduce acne.
You’ll find salicylic acid in both over-the-counter and prescription products.
You may find that salicylic acid is less irritating than AHAs, particularly if you have sensitive skin. But a word of caution: people with allergies to salycylates (common in aspirin) should not use products with salycylic acid for risk of an allergic reaction or contact dermatitis.
Hydroquinone – A common ingredient in skin brighteners, hydroquinone may treat hyperpigmentation, particularly from age spots and discoloration from pregnancy or hormone therapy. It’s available in both over-the-counter and prescription products. Generally speaking, the latter will produce the most dramatic results.
Retinol – A derivative of vitamin A, Retinol is a common ingredient in many over the counter skin care products. Retinol has a stronger cousin in tretinoin, which is the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova, both of which are available through prescription only.
Being prescription products, you’ll probably find that Retin-A and Renova produce striking results, with fewer wrinkles, fine lines and improved skin tone and color, but they might trigger irritations in people with sensitive skin. If that’s you, stick to over-the-counter products with retinol.
Vitamin C – The only antioxidant proven to stimulate collagen, vitamin C may treat wrinkles, fine lines and scarring. Be aware, however, that in its most commonly used form, vitamin C is useless when exposed to oxygen, and in many topical creams, it lacks the potency to permeate the skin’s deeper layers. Your best bet? See a dermatologist if you’re serious about vitamin C for your skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – Hyaluronic acid is often used with vitamin C to assist in penetration of the skin. Often touted as “the fountain of youth”, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in humans and animals and is most abundant in young skin, connective tissues and joints.
We lose hyaluronic acid with age. Diet and smoking can hasten the process. Skin care products with hyaluronic acid are often used to treat wrinkles.
That was your primer on common ingredients in skin care products. Now let’s discuss anti-aging creams. Specifically, their functions and what to look for.
Some guidelines before we begin: anti-aging creams are best used to reverse signs of aging, but don’t backslide in your regular skin care routine. Use anti-aging creams in addition to the tips outlined at the beginning of this article.
And remember that anti-aging creams are a hybrid of botanicals and skin care technology. As we’ve seen with vitamin C, nature needs a little help to reverse signs of aging. Got sensitive skin? Not to worry. Take my hand and I’ll walk you through the process to choose a product that’s right for your needs.
What They Are: Wrinkle creams reduce wrinkles, with botanicals and patented peptides that stimulate collagen and elastin production, for thicker, taut facial skin.
While you’ll find many topical facial creams in your local pharmacy, they’re often little more than glorified moisturizers that don’t penetrate the skin’s deeper layers. For that reason, to reduce wrinkles, you’re probably better off with an anti-aging wrinkle cream.
What To Look For: You’re looking for a combination of proven botanicals, including shea butter and soybean oil, with the anti-aging ingredients outlined in this article. For wrinkles, think about AHAs, retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.
Also consider patented peptides, like SYN®-COLL, which is clinically proven to increase collagen production by up to 354%.
Your Best Bet Is…if you want to reduce wrinkles, an anti-aging cream.
As we’ve seen, drugstore creams are rarely formulated to treat wrinkles and simply lock in moisture. Go online and look for a wrinkle cream with the above mentioned ingredients, clinical proof that it works and a firm guarantee. Specifically, google “anti-aging wrinkle cream” or look around Natural Health Source.
What They Are: Eye creams are formulated to stimulate collagen production and increase oxygen circulation under the eyes, for reduced puffiness, dark circles and fine lines.
As with most topical creams, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an eye cream that’s formulated to treat the skin in this delicate area, which, at 0.5 millimeters, is the thinnest skin of the body.
What To Look For: Botanicals and anti-aging ingredients. Think beta glucan, soybean fiber and green tea leaf extract.
Being that the skin is so delicate in this area, you’ll find fewer of the anti-aging ingredients we’ve seen with other anti-aging products, and a large emphasis on skin care technology with patented peptides, among which, Syn®-ake should pique your interest.
To apply an eye cream, dab it on with your middle or ring finger – they’re weaker than your index finger and less likely to tear the skin in this sensitive area
Your Best Bet Is…An anti-aging eye cream with green tea leaf extract and Syn®-ake. The former contains an antioxidant called EGCC which tightens skin and is the same principle as placing cold tea bags over your eyes (ever heard that one?). And in a recent survey, Syn®-ake reduced under-eye puffiness by an average of 20%.
And by the way, to apply an eye cream, dab it on with your middle or ring finger – they’re weaker than your index finger and less likely to tear the skin in this sensitive area.
Stretch Mark Creams
What They Are: Stretch Mark Creams are anti-aging creams. As such, they’re designed to interact with the cellular matrix to stimulate collagen and elastin. A stretch mark cream should also improve skin tone and fade discoloration.
Estimates suggest that up to 90% of women who’ve given birth develop stretch marks. Other causes of stretch marks include adolescence, surgery, weight fluctuations and weight-lifting. A stretch mark cream should reduce the appearance of stretch marks regardless of origin.
What To Look For: More beta glucan, more soybean fiber, more AHAs, particularly citric acids. And consider a stretch mark cream with Regestril® – a patented peptide that’s clinically proven to reduce depth up stretch marks by up to 72.5%.
Your Best Bet Is…Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy. At present it’s the only stretch mark cream with Regestril® and has a splendid blend of peptides with the botanicals you’re looking for. The end result is an attractively packed cream that fades stretch marks and boost confidence and, yes, sex appeal.
Future mothers would do well to consider the Mom-to-Be package – a nine month supply of Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy and a free gift jar, a one month supply of Kollagen Intensiv and free shipping in the United States.
Visit http://www.stretchmarktherapycream.com for more details.
A Final Word On Skin Care
Remember that lifestyle factors contribute to your skin’s condition. If you smoke, drink or spend copious amounts of time in the sun, your skin will show it. So lose the cigarettes, moderate your drinking and slop on that sun screen.
Skin care can reverse signs of aging, regardless of age. Just remember to start early. Cleanse and moisturize from your teen years onward, add anti-aging creams in your thirties. And use sun screen at all ages.
Your skin makes a statement. While it may not be a canvass of Michelangelo proportions, it can certainly take years off your appearance, compliment your looks and make a sexier you.