Treat Your Face Naturally

In between visits to your skin care therapist, it’s always good to follow a healthy skin care routine at home. Here are some easy-to-use skin care recipes you can make yourself.

Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil contains some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and calms skin that is raw and irritated due to conditions like eczema or psoriasis. It helps repair skin cells and hydrates even the driest skin.

Flaxseed Gel Mask

Flaxseeds, when boiled and cooled, make gel. This gel can be used alone as a compress, or other ingredients can be added to it for a customized treatment.

Ingredients

One-third cup whole flaxseeds; 2 cups filtered water or cucumber juice; 4 ounces of aloe vera gel (optional); One-half teaspoon of honey (optional); One-half teaspoon of sunflower seed oil (optional) Bring water to a boil. Stir in flaxseeds and immediately reduce heat. Stir and simmer until the gel forms (about 10 minutes). Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth and then transfer to a sterilized container. Apply to face and decollete with a fan brush for 5-10 minutes. Remove with a warm towel. Flaxseed gel can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Healthy Probiotics

Probiotics–the live cultures in yogurt–exhibit antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial benefits when used on skin. Probiotics increase ceramide production, which boosts skin protection against the bacteria that causes acne.

Creamy Yogurt Facial Treatment

Use this recipe on skin with acne.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons Greek yogurt; 1 tablespoon sunflower seed oilaor rice bran oil; 1 tablespoon honey (optional); Crushed mint leaves (optional; remove before applying). Combine the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply mixture with a fan brush to face and decollete for 5-10 minutes. Remove with a warm towel

‘Tis the Season to be Beautiful

Winter Skin

by Dave Waggoner

As you embrace the holiday season, explore new products and services and nurture your skin during these cold months.

Let It Snow

Cold temperatures, windy weather, and low humidity all make it harder for the skin to retain moisture–and that’s only half of the problem. Indoors, the
heating systems we use to warm our homes make the skin even dryer, further
compounding the issue.

The mainstay of winter skin care is increased use of moisturizers. Your goal should be to keep the skin hydrated. If you don’t already use a creamy daily cleanser, now’s the time to start.

The Drying Effects of Water

Each time we wash, we strip moisture and natural oils from the skin. Harsh soaps increase the damage. Hot tubs and heated pools, so appealing in the chillier months, are especially drying because of their chlorine and bromine content. Similarly, you should avoid taking too many long, hot showers, which will also dehydrate your skin even further. We wash our hands multiple times a day, and the skin on the hands is thinner than on most parts of the body, so moisturizer needs to be applied more frequently to them than to the rest of
the body. A good hand cream is essential in winter.

Red-Nosed Reindeer

Many winter woes are simply a result of skin irritation from the weather and can be solved with proper hydration and protection, but others may need to be
medically managed. Eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, and xerosis
(extreme skin dryness) are all worsened by cold, dry weather. Rosacea flare-ups can be caused by emotional changes, such as depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and stress–all common this time of year. Though
there’s no way to eliminate rosacea, Apply moisturizer frequently in the winter months. lifestyle changes and prescription medication can relieve the symptoms.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Look for anti-inflammatory moisturizing ingredients when building a winter skin care routine. Some good, natural ingredients to consider include beeswax, calendula, comfrey, marshmallow root, and olive oil. What
else is good for skin hydration and protection? These are a few of my
favorite things:

Glycerin

Glycerin, also called glycerine or glycerol, is a humectant (an ingredient that helps your skin retain moisture). It is a sugar alcohol and is also used in foods like sweeteners or thickeners. Skin care products that contain glycerin will be goopier and heavier than those that don’t. Give the skin a couple of weeks to get used to the consistency and the heaviness will soon be unnoticeable.

Hyaluronic Acid

If you prefer gentle, natural ingredients, don’t be frightened away by the “acid” part. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the skin. It is a great plumper, capable of holding up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. The amount our bodies produce declines with age, so topical products with this ingredient can have a great effect on aging skin.

Shea Butter

Naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F, this natural nut oil moisturizes, revitalizes, and softens skin.

Sunscreen

Perhaps the most common skin care myth during winter months is that you don’t need to consider ultraviolet (UV) protection. But UV exposure is UV exposure, regardless of the season. Winter sports enthusiasts should always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen on the slopes. Apply generously, using enough to create a barrier between the sun and your skin, and be sure to reapply frequently if you stay outside for a long time.

Skip the Scents

Perfumes with alcohol content can irritate the skin and disrupt your body’s natural ability to maintain appropriate moisture levels. Best to keep the
application of perfume to a minimum in the winter months.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The end of a calendar year is a traditional time to reflect and revitalize.
There’s a natural tendency to review where you are and where you want to go.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here’s to a safe, happy, and successful holiday season for all of us.

Dave Waggoner is director of education and public
relations at Skin Script Skin Care in Tempe,
Arizona. He is a licensed esthetician with experience
as both an educator and a practitioner.

Yogurt, the Super Food

Balance Digestion, Improve Immunity, and Prevent Disease

In some form, yogurt has existed since at least 2000 BCE, and many food historians believe it predates recorded history, possibly going back as far as 9000 BCE Why such staying power? A bit of a wonder food, yogurt improves digestion, which can boost immunity and even help prevent colon cancer. One dairy product even most lactose intolerant people can eat, yogurt is loaded with active bacterial cultures, the key ingredients that make it so healthy.

While we typically think of bacteria as dangerous bugs that cause disease and infection, the body is host to billions of bacteria that live in the intestines and help digest the foods we eat. These good bacteria, or microflora, actually fight off the bad bacteria that cause illness.

Some of these same good bacterial species are used to ferment milk, and it’s these cultures that give yogurt its texture and tart flavor. They also process much of the milk sugar, called lactose, during fermentation, which is why yogurt usually doesn’t bother people with lactose intolerance.

Eating yogurt helps maintain the microflora in the gut, optimizing digestion and keeping harmful bacteria in check. Ever noticed how a course of antibiotics is often followed by a bout of
diarrhea? This is because antibiotics kill off all the bacteria in the gut–the bad stuff and the good–leaving the gastrointestinal tract compromised. Fortunately, yogurt can help counteract
this imbalance.

Furthermore, this food is a good source of nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Whole milk yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an
essential fatty acid with cancer fighting properties, especially beneficial in preventing breast and colon cancers. And CLA has been shown to increase fat metabolism, helping the body convert
fat to lean muscle.

Maintaining the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract is key to healthy digestion, and eating quality yogurt is a great way to do this. Be sure to read the labels and choose varieties that contain live active cultures to ensure you’re getting the most from your yogurt.

The Wonders of Water For Skin Health and More

by Shelley Burns, N.D.

Creams, nutritional supplements, treatments, lotions, and potions. We are always looking for the next miracle
product to keep skin looking healthy and young. However, there is one essential, inexpensive, and often overlooked
nutrient right at your fingertips: water.

Just as a car cannot function without oil, our bodies cannot function without water. After oxygen, H2O is the most
important component of the body, responsible for 65-70 percent of its composition. And of this, 80 percent is
dedicated to the skin.

Water is the medium for various enzymatic and chemical reactions in the body. It moves nutrients, hormones,
antibodies, and oxygen through the blood and lymphatic systems, and it also helps form the matrix of the skin.
Devoid of water, the skin becomes dehydrated, resulting in a dry, dull tone.

It’s likely that the moment a person feels thirsty, mild dehydration has already set in. To keep the complexion looking
smooth and blemish-free, drink water upon waking and continue drinking it throughout the day at one- to two-hour
intervals. At least six 8-oz. glasses of water should be consumed daily and more if you are exercising, perspiring,
and/or in hot weather. Ideally, intake should be between ten and twelve 8-oz. glasses of water a day. One note: Don’t
increase water intake all at once, as the kidneys and digestive system need time to adjust. Add one 8-oz. glass every day
or every second day.

What counts toward your daily water intake? Just the basics: water and herbal tea. Caffeinated beverages and alcoholic
drinks are diuretics that can contribute to dehydration, requiring even more hydration after drinking.

Not only is water important for skin health, it can also play a key role in the prevention of disease. Drinking eight
glasses of water a day can decrease the risk of colon cancer, bladder cancer, and potentially even breast cancer.

Microdermabrasion Revealed: Discover the Benefits

by Chrissy Spehar

Many are discovering the benefits of microdermabrasion to ease wrinkles and even skin tones. Holding back the sands of time is indeed an impossibility, and there is no such thing as the fountain of youth. Plastic surgery may be an option, but it’s expensive, invasive, and may seem extreme. So perhaps now you are resigned to the fact that makeup is your only hope for hiding those inevitable wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, or even scars. But there are options.

Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating process that partially or completely clears the first layer of skin on the face and neck. First used in Europe in the 1980s, the technique has recently been adopted and popularized in the United States. With a wave of this magic wand, microdermabrasion can erase the complexion imperfections that come with time. This may just be the treatment of choice for you.

How It Works

In the most commonly used method of microdermabrasion, a wand sprays fine crystals across the skin while dead skin cells are vacuumed off by a small suction device attached to the wand. Some compare the process to moderate
sandblasting of the skin.

According to Atlanta-based esthetician Alison O’Neil Andrew, “Within the last ten years this procedure has been found effective as a mild yet beneficial form of exfoliation. Although the equipment has the ability to ablate the skin when used in higher calibrations, it is generally used to enhance the efficacy of products used for treatment of the skin on a daily basis.”

Is It Right for You?

Have you spent too much time in the sun? Do you have age spots and freckles you’d like to lose? Do you want to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, or stretch marks? Are you looking to diminish raised scar tissue? Or are you just hoping to refresh your complexion? As you can see, almost anyone can benefit from microdermabrasion. Performed repeatedly and consistently, microdermabrasion can also be a successful acne treatment because it encourages the production of skin cells and collagen, helping to eliminate blackheads and oiliness. Because the technique uses no harsh chemicals, it is great for those with chemical sensitivities, and can be used on all skin colors and types.

Quick and Easy

Most clients do not find the procedure to be painful, and it requires no anesthetic. Since the procedure is non-invasive, little preparation is required; simply remove your makeup and come to the treatment room with a clean face.

While you lie back and relax, your esthetician will apply the wand to your face in a slow, methodical way. You can expect the treatment to take about thirty minutes to an hour. Side effects are rare, and your skin will look glowing and fresh almost immediately after the treatment.

Aggressive treatments may cause the skin to look slightly pink and tender for a few hours, so discuss this possibility with your skin care professional.

Typically, you can resume normal activities and apply makeup and moisturizer soon after your microdermabrasion session. As for the results? “After a microdermabrasion session, the skin feels smoother and there is an evident improvement in circulation due to the suction or vacuuming component of the treatment,” O’Neil Andrew says. “The best results,” she explains, “are found when microdermabrasion is used in conjunction with a facial treatment–the skin performs in a healthier manner than before the procedure. For instance, acne or small blemishes heal faster.”

Follow-up Details

Once you’ve completed your session, maintaining your new, healthier skin depends on a solid home care regimen.

According to O’Neil Andrew, “Nothing matters more than an effective daily home care plan. It is an essential reason for seeing a professional who knows you and your skin on an on-going basis.”

Home care for skin that has undergone microdermabrasion is fairly simple. Because fresh skin has been newly exposed, it is important to avoid direct sunlight to the treated area for twenty-four hours after your session. In addition, always use sunscreen as an antiaging and protective measure. And, avoid products containing harsh chemicals, dyes, or perfumes until the
skin has fully healed.

After the first twenty-four hours, resume your normal skin care routine and follow any special considerations, as determined by your esthetician. “From the first visit on, the professional taking care of your skin will evaluate your daily regimen and update it as required according to your skin care needs at the time,” says O’Neil Andrew.

To see best results, additional sessions should be scheduled at regular intervals, with the maximum number of treatments ranging from five to twelve, spaced about three weeks apart. Once the initial grouping of sessions is completed, scheduling the occasional follow-up treatment is recommended.

One note: In some states, microdermabrasion can only be performed by a physician or by estheticians who meet certain requirements and/or who are supervised by a physician. Ensure your skin care professional has the proper training and credentials.

Microdermabrasion is an effective technique to address skin issues long considered something you just have to live with. While the fountain of youth remains a piece of fiction, the magic wand of microdermabrasion can have profound effects on your complexion. Fine lines, wrinkles, an uneven tone, stretch marks, scarring, and acne can be addressed.

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