Our skin is more than just a canvas we makeup and reconstruct for beauty. We invest thousands of dollars in skincare products, cosmetics, and procedures to hold on to that youthful appearance for as long as we can. But is our approach a little misguided? We cling on to the trends that can (when used excessively) over-strip and breakdown our skin such as high percentage AHAs, prescription retinoids, detoxifying peel off masks, highly concentrated chemical peels, laser treatments, etc. All in the name of tight, taut, pore-less, glowing skin. Never mind the current health of the skin. Before purchasing a product do you consider whether the integrity of your skin can withstand the treatment? “It’s tingling so it must be working…” If a product promotes what we desire, then we will invest in it because we believe that it will get us that much closer, essentially we are buying into immediate temporary gratification. However, when a product is misused or applied improperly it can actually do more harm than good. We need to do better because our skin is stressed out! I blame the industry for depicting skincare as a cosmetic option; something we only pay close attention to when we experience signs/symptoms that take away from our beauty. For years we have been ill-informed...it’s time for a change.
Let’s establish the basics. Our skin is an amazing organ that responds and adapts to everything it encounters to achieve balance. It provides a window to what is going on inside of the body, if you pay close attention. Just to name a few functions, it will inform us of dehydration, whether our reproductive system or liver is out of balance, or if there is inflammation present in the body. It’s an organ that is connected to other bodily systems, so it can only be as healthy as our weakest organ. Putting it plainly, our skin is only as resilient as the nourishment it receives. So, if other bodily systems like our digestive tract are not breaking down food properly then it will not optimally absorb nutrients to feed and nourish the skin.
Let's take a look at three pillars to consider when dealing with skin: Genetics, ingredients, and lifestyle.
Genetics: Genetics are what you were born with; it is the one variable that you can not change. It is the precursor that determines the probability of risk.
Ingredients: Ingredients are not just what you introduce to the skin topically, it includes what you consume (i.e. prescribed medicines, food, alcohol, and other beverages) as well. Every “ingredient” our skin encounters will either build up or cause our skin to be more vulnerable than it was prior to introduction.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle is considered our daily practice, it involves the stressors or lack thereof. Our lifestyle includes how we deal with mental and emotional stress and what we do to cope. It essentially determines how gracefully we age.
In short, taking care of your skin is more than just applying a product or getting a treatment. It requires us to be more proactive and preventive because skincare is a part of healthcare. We must do more to nourish, strengthen and protect our skin and that starts with adopting a holistic skin care approach. Because if you don’t, you just might be betraying your skin…
Your Licensed Esthetician,
This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts.