I had a fantastic facial yesterday. My skin feels smooth, clean and I had a few zits popped away to infinity. The massage is the best, including décolletage, arms and hands. It took me a solid 10 minutes to be fully awake after, and the feeling of relaxation can't be beat.
But facials are just a small part of keeping the skin looking and feeling great. There are many other ways to maintain a healthy glow.
Many women (myself included) feel that a good night's sleep can knock 10 years off the face, so sleep is crucial. Lack of sleep can cause the skin to have a grayish pallor and the eyes to look smaller and creased. And nutrition is so important because it feeds the skin from the inside out (as well as fruit and herb inspired facials from the outside).
The Washington Post interviewed Meagen McCusker, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, who is a staunch advocate of good nutrition for the skin. She blames the sugar so many people consume for many of their skin problems.
"'Foods that keep your blood sugar low are also good for the skin,' McCusker says. 'The first thing I tell people is avoid sugar — which includes refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup – and processed foods.'"
She also noted that certain foods contain natural skin cleansers like salmon that contains omega-3 fatty acids and nuts that offer plenty of healthy fats. Vegetarians can take an omega-3 supplement derived from plant algae.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are great for healthy skin, as well as healthy oils in our diet. Sunflower seeds and flaxseed are a great option for the skin too. McCusker also believes dairy should be limited because it can cause acne and other skin troubles.
She recommended taking a daily probiotic. A clean diet and clean living can transform the skin but she noted that this can take time.
For someone coming from a diet of processed and fast foods, not getting optimal sleep or hydration (lots of water!), achieving good skin can take time, but can definitely be achieved.
A morning and nighttime routine of cleansing and moisturizing should be part of every woman's routine.
There are even more ways for good skin and one is exercise! Skin looks great when you step from the shower after a workout. It still has its post-exercise shine and feels plumped up from exertion and blood flow.
Drinking lots of water before, during and after a workout decreases the risk of skin looking drawn and dry from lack of hydration. Regular exercise can help to maintain this glow.
The eyes are often the first thing people notice. The EmpowHER article "Anti-Aging Your Eyes the Natural Way" gives tips on how to keep the eyes and the skin around them looking fresh. Again, natural ingredients (that are often edible) are important.
Placing cucumbers on the eyes are helpful as are cold teabags. Raw potatoes and oatmeal also assist in helping the eyes look bright and fresh.
My own mother used to put beaten egg whites around her eyes for bagginess, to stiffen up the skin a little and make the eye area look more upright.
For eyelids that are looking a bit wrinkly, the article states to try "apricot kernel, castor, or grapeseed oils (add moisture)aloe, antioxidants, and vitamin C ([to] promote healing)."
Vitamins A, K and C can minimize the look of dark circles (as well as a good concealer) and again, it's all about moisture.
The common denominator in skin care seems to be a fresh and natural approach to skin care. Ingredients found in nature, as well as fresh, healthy and hydrating diet are the key factors in keeping skin looking good. Add in good sleeping and exercise habits and our skin will be thanking us for many years to come.
Tell Us What's your skin care routine?
The Washington Post. Wellness. "The best foods for clear skin". Web. Retrieved September 29th 2013.
EmpowHER.com. Wellness. Active Adult. Anti-Aging Your Eyes the Natural Way. Retrieved September 29th, 2013. Web.
Reviewed September 30, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith