A couple weeks ago we launched our makeovers with an eyebrow tweak, now we move to the skin on our face and neck. We are inundated daily with beauty ads from magazines and commercials featuring models with glowing skin that practically taunt us mere mortals. As you know, these images are often airbrushed and digitally enhanced. Yet, while it is safe to say that all of these ads are inspirational if not fantastical in nature, we all can achieve a realistic version of beautiful glowing skin by taking a down to earth approach. All it takes is a simple beauty regiment geared towards your skin type and lifestyle using the following four basic steps: nourishment, exfoliate, cleanse, and repair/moisturize.
- Nourishment – The first step to beautiful skin happens in the heart of every home: the kitchen. It may seem like a cliché but the phrase you are what you eat could actually be paraphrased to state “what you eat (or do not eat) shows on your face”. It is no surprise that the foods that benefit your overall physical health also benefit the health of your skin. So stick to a diet of high antioxidant fruits (strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, plums), low fat dairy products, foods high in Omega 3 and 6 (walnuts, salmon and flax seeds), whole wheat breads/muffins/pasta, brazil nuts, green tea and drink plenty of water.
- Exfoliation – Many of us have formed the habit of exfoliating after we cleanse our skin but since exfoliating is actually the removal of dead skin cells and built up dirt, it is a necessary step to prepare your skin for a thorough cleansing. (My current workout routine entails 1 1/2 hours of strength and cardio six days a week, so it is safe to say that I cannot wait to free myself from the sweat and grime post workout. I accomplish this with exfoliating). Whether you use a scrub or a facial brush as an exfoliator, resist the temptation to forcefully rub the skin, this will irritate the skin and could cause the skin to react negatively. Rubbing the skin in a slow circular motion will do the trick.
- Cleansing – Since we have been washing our faces since we were toddlers there are really only three points to remember: find the right cleanser for your skin type, use your hands and not a washcloth to cleanse your face (to prevent bacteria build up), and always remove your makeup before bedtime.
- Repair/moisturize – The best approach for this step is the AM/PM approach. After cleansing in the morning, arm your face with a moisturizer that provides the appropriate amount of moisture for your skin type as well as sunscreen to protect your skin all day (a minimum of a SPF 15 is recommended). Before our heads hit the pillow for the night we should get into the habit of using a nighttime moisturizer to repair our skin. Pick a product that specifically aims to increase the skins firmness and adds antioxidants to nourish the skin.
If you follow these steps you are sure to see a difference in your skin within a few short weeks. If you need help formulating the best routine for your skin visit WebMd.com and use their personal skin evaluator or make an appointment at one of the Chicago areas premier skin specialist (click on the list below for more information).
- Advanced Dermatology
- Avanti Skin Centers of Chicago
- Skin Wellness Center of Chicago (specializing in Ethnic skin)
- Skinfo Specialty Skincare Boutique
- Spa Soak
- Skin Deep Medical Spa