Hands of Time

hourglass

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

– Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

This quote has stuck with me since my days as an undergrad English major, while taking a class in the Harlem Renaissance .  Albeit this quote was not aesthetically intended, my mind was always revolving around this concept, particularly on how it can tie into skincare.  How?  Simple.  Time will answer the question as to how well you took care of your skin.

Most of us spend so much time focusing on taking care of our face but forget about other telling signs: our hands, neck and décolleté,  These overlooked areas are also prone to sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and redness.  If you have inadvertently neglected these areas, here are some solutions to rectify these issues.

Sunscreen /Targeted Creams

Inarguably the least expensive and easiest to use is broad spectrum sunscreen.  When we are driving, UV rays penetrate the glass causing damage to our hands and décolleté leading to pigmentation later on.  Extending your sunscreen application to these areas (which we should already be doing anyway) will help.

Certain creams can also help with the appearance if sun damage is minimal.  PCA Skin Perfecting Neck and Décolleté and Revison Skincare Nectifirm are examples of great products to look into.

Microdermabrasion/Chemical Peels

Exfoliation treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels can provide improvements in the color, tone and texture of treated areas and typically don’t require much downtime.

Other Options

For skin that has extensive damage, a visit to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon would suit best where they could perform IPL treatments, lasers (Fraxel, Active FX or Thermage), Botox or surgery, depending on the results you are looking for.

Remember that prevention is always the best rule to adhere to and will save you time and money in the long run. 

 

Why Squeaky Clean Can Be Mean

soap

At some point, whether it be morning, mid-afternoon, or evening- perhaps even all three- we walk ourselves over to the sink or shower to cleanse our face.  The accumulation of sebum, dirt and environmental pollution can leave our skin feeling grimy and we think that tight, squeaky clean feeling after cleansing means we have gotten rid of it all.  Often, the choice of said cleansing is soap, and well, why not? It’s convenient, fairly inexpensive, and if it’s tough enough to remove oil and dirt from our body, hey, why not extend its use to our face, right?

Wrong!

Aside from removing debris and oil, soap tends to remove the fats between the skin cells known as intercellular lipids. Our skin has what’s know as an internal cellular matrix,which is the lipid (fat) substance between cells that protect the cells from water loss and irritation.  Excessive removal of these lipids results in dry skin and skin disease.

Take a quick trip back to your chemistry class by glancing at pH (potential hydrogen) scale below.

 

pH scale

 

The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of any substance that contains water and extends from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral.  Anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline. Soap also has a high pH level, 9-11, while the natural pH of skin can range from 4-6.  Since sebum and sweat create a barrier on the skin’s surface known as the acid mantle, this protects against certain forms of bacteria and other microorganisms.  Extreme variations in pH can damage the skin’s barrier functions and cause sensitivity, aging, dehydration, and can worsen skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.  Also, highly alkaline solutions can form an insoluble film, leaving skin feeling dry, irritated and itchy.

Considering the information above and knowing the skin on our face is a lot more delicate than the skin on our body, using facial cleansers that are soap-free or pH balanced are best.

I hope this post was helpful in explaining why using soap to cleanse the face isn’t an ideal option.

Have a great Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

To Shea!

shea butter

Suffering from eczema, psoriasis or dry skin?

Here is one topical ingredient that can improve and relieve symptoms associated with these skin conditions.

Who: Butyrospermum Parkii, or shea butter

What skin types/conditions it can help: Dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis               

Where it comes from: The nut of the karite tree which grows in Africa

Why it’s important: Rich in vitamins A and E (antioxidants) and vitamin F (an Essential Fatty Acid known as linoleic acid), shea butter protects the skin from free radicals, helps minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and is a great emollient.  It also has soothing and nourishing properties

How it helps with dry, aging, eczema and psoriasis: Emollients maintain soft, smooth, pliable skin; remain on skin surface to act as a lubricant; reduce flaking; and improve appearance.  The soothing and nourishing aspects help repair the skin barrier.  Linoleic acid in skin care helps provide anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing support.

The ‘E’ In Healthy Skin

Vitamin E

Dry and aging skin need not despair!  Vitamin E is excellent in smoothing away fine lines and wrinkles while keeping skin supple and providing a radiant glow.

Have oily skin? There is a silver lining to all that shine.

Read on to find out what vitamin E can do for you!

Who: Vitamin E

What skin conditions it can help: Aging.

Where it’s found: Foods high in vitamin E include vegetables, oils, seeds, corn, wheat germ and egg yolk.

For topical uses look for: Vitamin E, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Tocopheryl Succinate, Tocopheryl Nicotinate.

Why it’s important: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, an antioxidant that quenches free radicals and is instrumental in wound healing.  It’s also the most abundant antioxidant found in human skin; however, it declines with exposure to UV rays, pollution and age.

How it affects the body and skin: Vitamin E is needed to prevent muscle weakness (atrophy), loss of muscle mass, abnormal eye movements, vision problems and unsteady walking.

Topical use of vitamin E smooths skin, prevents moisture loss (excellent for dry skin!), and can reach living cells, therefore increasing the effectiveness of sunscreen. Studies have shown it to reduce sunburn cells after UV exposure- but this isn’t a free pass to subject your skin to sunburns!

Vitamin E is naturally delivered to the skin’s surface through sebum (oil), providing nourishment for the skin, and could be a possible reason why oily skin types age better.  Combined use of vitamin E and vitamin C enhances these effects.

Have a favorite vitamin E product?  Do share!

Happy Tuesday!

Disclaimer: The contents on this website, and any related links, are provided for general informational purposes and should NOT be considered medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please consult a healthcare provider if you have any questions about a particular health condition.