Skin Tip: Adding Hydration to Oily Skin!

When you have oily skin that’s feeling a little bit dry and tight, switching to a heavier moisturizer results in hydration but at the same time can also make you breakout.  Mixing a few drops of a  hydrating serum formulated with hyaluronic acid into your moisturizer increases your skin’s water content (something all skin types can benefit from), adding moisture without the heaviness of an oil.

My favorite to use is Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster but brands like Kate Somerville, PCA Skin, Renee Rouleau and Dr. Dennis Gross carry similar products.

Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next week,

Stephanie 

The Beauty in Sleep!

sleeping beauty

What’s one thing college students, new parents, teenagers and more than half of the American population have in common?

Sleep deprivation.

As important as it is to get enough sleep, a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in 2002 concluded that “74% of American adults experience a sleeping problem a few nights a week or more and 39% get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight.”  Recently, The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement suggesting an 8:30 a.m. or later school start time for middle and high school students and with good reason.

Research has shown that young people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer depression, be involved in car accidents and have lower test scores.   Lack of sleep is also a risk factor for weight gain and can disrupt the body’s regulation of blood sugar.  An increase in stress-hormone levels contribute to an elevated rise in blood pressure and promote inflammatory changes associated with chronic disease, including heart disease and diabetes.

Much More Than Just A Phrase

We’ve all heard about needing our ‘beauty sleep’ but it turns out this phrase isn’t just superficial-it can accelerate the aging process!  On a visual level, not receiving the crucial shut-eye results in a dull complexion because when you are tired, blood doesn’t flow efficiently; fine lines also appear more prominent.  On a deeper level, your skin, as well as your whole body, transitions into repair mode when you sleep.  New skin cells grow and replace older cells.  An increase in inflammatory cells in the body lead to a breakdown in collagen and hyaluronic acid, both of which assist in giving skin it’s glow, bounce and translucency.

A Look at ‘Beauty Sleep’ by the Hour

Perhaps Charles Perrault’s tale The Sleeping Beauty in the Woods was inadvertently on to something, except let’s replace the 100 years with the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. (Yet another example of how I love to tie beauty and literature together!)

Hours 1-3: The deepest sleep of the night, your body produces the most human growth hormone- critical to skin and hair repair.

Hours 4-5: Deep sleep shortens and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. There’s also an increase in melatonin, a hormone with potent antioxidant properties to combat oxidative stress.

Hours 6-8: This is when you get the most REM sleep. Your skin’s temperature reaches its lowest point, enabling muscles to relax and allowing skin its deepest recovery.

Solutions to Promote Better Sleep

Sometimes sleep doesn’t come easily so if you have trouble sleeping, try these suggestions.

  • Schedule your bedtime and your wake-up time according to the number of hours of sleep you need.
  • About an hour or more before bedtime, stop phone calls and watching television and read or listen to music instead.
  • Try aromatherapy (my favorite!).  Lavender, neroli and sandalwood essential oils can relax and promote a restful sleep.  Fill half of a mini spray bottle with water, mix in your relaxing essential oil of choice and lightly spritz onto your sheets and/or pillow.
  • Learning to manage your stress or keep it under control will in turn yield to a more restful sleep. Breathing techniques, exercise, a spa visit and regular massages can keep stress in check.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. What helps you catch more Zzzzz’s? 

 

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. 

 

 

You Want Me To Use An Acid On My Face?

HA2

Back when I was taking my esthetics course, or beauty school as some may recognize it, we had a department open house in which people were welcome to stop by and learn about the services we provided.  We conducted a complimentary skin analysis and invited them to come back and experience a facial that would suit their skin needs. I remember one lady who asked me what I recommended for her combination skin to which I suggested a moisturizer or serum that contained hyaluronic acid.

The look of sheer horror she expressed followed by, “You want me to use an acid on my face?” is something I won’t forget.  I quickly explained that this ingredient was nothing like the battery acid found in a car or those in chemical peels but rather an excellent way to introduce hydration into the skin- she looked relieved.  Nevertheless, perhaps you’ve heard about this ingredient and thought the same thing so here’s the scoop on what makes this ingredient so coveted.

Who: Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

What it is: A glycosaminoglycan (GAG)/humectant that attracts moisture to your skin cells.  It increases the water content in the epidermis by drawing moisture from surrounding air.

Where it’s found: HA is a substance that is naturally found in our bodies.  It cushions and lubricates our joints, eyes and connective tissues.

Look for hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate in skincare ingredients.  Popular fillers like Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane utilize HA as well.

Why it’s important:  As we age, our natural production of HA declines.  HA serves an important role in cell protection, lubrication and maintenance of connective tissue.  It also helps retain moisture  in skin since it can hold 1000 times its weight in water.  Think of it like a drink of water for your skin.  When your skin is dehydrated or dry, our complexion can look aged and feel tight.

How it affects the skin:  HA gives turgor and elasticity to the skin.  Increased water in the skin is the easiest way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, by plumping up fine lines and wrinkles.  This leads to a more youthful appearance, making it a great anti-aging treatment.  Because it is not an oil, it is virtually ideal f for all skin types, including acne.

Hyaluronic acid doesn’t sound that bad now after all, right?  

 

Shine On…Just Maybe Not Too Much

oil

Oh, oil.

You can be a dry skin type’s best friend by creating an ethereal glow and an oily skin type’s worst enemy causing us to look like one hot mess.  While oil is a natural substance found in our skin that helps keep skin supple, too much of it can cause problems such as acne and blackheads.

Aside from genetics, there are other factors that can contribute to less than a desirable amount of oil production.

Causes

Genetics, of course

Yup, you can thank your ancestry for this one as skin types are determined by your genes.  There is a chance however, that your skin type may change with age.

Hormones/Stress

There is a reason why the majority of breakouts occur when you are a teenager.  Your sebaceous glands (glands that are charge of producing oil) are typically dormant before puberty, and spring into life after puberty. Hormones at this time are also raging out of control.  The adrenal glands produce testosterone in women, thereby increasing sebum production.

Continual chronic stress also increases hormone levels and also increased sebum levels.

Environment

Heat and humidity increase oil levels.  Individuals who work in kitchens or laundry mats or who live in hot and humid places can often find an increase in oil.

Harsh products/Not using a moisturizer  

Excessive drying of skin or not moisturizing the skin may cause the sebaceous glands to overcompensate by producing an excessive amount of sebum to replace the moisture lost.

Solutions 

Although you can’t really reason with genetics, figure out what your triggers are and read these options available to help keep sebum at bay.

Relax and slow down if stress seems to be the issue.  Take a small amount of time out of your day/night (even if it’s only one minute!) for yourself and do something you enjoy. Exercising, reading, meditating, and aromatherapy can work wonders.

Hydrate!  Humectants, which include glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA, attract water (not oil) to the skin and cinnamon bark, borage seed oil, wheat germ oil, niacinamide, zinc glucanate, caffeine, enantia bark, yeast extract, horse chestnut and biotin can regulate oil production with regular use.

Stay balanced! Using a pH balanced cleanser, something that is NOT soap, can help keep you from over drying the skin. Cleansing your skin about twice a say should suffice, or you run the risk of over drying the skin as well. Those who have acne may want to be careful about over using ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, which although can be great for acne, can also be very drying.

Nutrition  Zinc can help regulate oil glands.  Zinc rich foods include oysters, crab, liver, mushrooms and spinach.

Other Blotting tissues, using oil-free makeup, and certain primers can also keep shine to a minimum.

If you have oily skin, what product do you swear by?