LEAVE THE RED NOSE TO RUDOLPH THIS HOLIDAY!
This time of year I hear the same complaint over and over, “my skin’s so dry!” Fine lines, flakiness, redness, roughness, itchiness, tightness, unusual breakouts…such are the woes of winter skin. But given the season, it’s possible that dehydration, not dryness, is the real culprit.
Dry or dehydrated–what’s the difference? Dry skin is defined as a lack of oil production. It is your genetic “skin type,” and probably something you’ve dealt with your whole life. It can definitely be made worse, or better, by your products, the season, and your lifestyle. Dehydration is defined as a lack of water or moisture in the skin. Even oily skin can experience dehydration. It is a “skin condition,” thus much easier to control.
What causes dehydration? Living in California, specifically during the winter, is especially hard on the skin due to the low humidity. And we all admit that when the temperature drops below 60 we start blasting our heaters, which evaporates water from the skin. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as holiday stress, hot showers, cold medications, winter sports, and increased party-going make matters worse.
What can I do? The key to treating dehydrated skin lies in retaining moisture. You need to re-hydrate the cells, from the inside and from the outside, while preventing water evaporation. Use moisturizers and serums rich in hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalene, and plant lipds, and don’t forget to keep exfoliating or your products won’t penetrate. And drink plenty of water. Sleeping with a humidifier can also help tremendously.
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What’s our beef with free radicals anyway?
You’ve probably been told that staving off the signs of aging requires using antioxidants to fight free radicals in our skin. And you probably nodded agreeably even though you were thinking, “what the heck is this person talking about?” “What’s a free radical?” “What’s an antioxidant?” “And why do I need a $75 serum?” Well for all of us afraid to ask for fear of looking stupid, here you go….
What’s a free radical? Basically, free radicals are atoms that have lost an electron and have gone rogue. They live to become whole again. They need that electron back. So they go around and steal one from a happy, whole atom, hence turning that atom into a free radical, too. But alas, the stolen electron eventually gets rejected and the original thieving atom turns back into a free radical. And so the process continues exponentially.
What causes free radicals and why do I care? Smoking, drinking, sun damage, stress, pollution, and aging in general all cause electrons to die through oxidation. Clearly, a lot of these factors can’t be prevented. Once an atom loses an electron and no longer functions properly, it can lead to tissue damage that appears in the physical form of wrinkles and sunspots. Who wants that?
What’s an antioxidant? Antioxidants are electron-filled ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Retinol (Vitamin A), Peptides, and CoQ10 that are capable of counteracting the damage free radicals cause. They do this by donating compatible electrons to the defective atoms, allowing them to become whole and function like proper cells again. In addition to preventing future damage, antioxidants also help the body repair itself by encouraging cell and tissue growth. Sign me up, please!
Don’t get lax with your wax this winter.
Clearly we all support men’s health. And Movember is a great cause. But ladies, don’t use this, along with the colder weather, as an excuse to let your hair-tending go. Waxing is best year round, and so much better than shaving or laser. Here’s why:
Waxing lasts longer than shaving. Clearly it makes sense that if you remove the hair from the root, it takes longer to grow back. 21 days longer, to be exact. And if you wax consistently, your growth cycles sync up so you’ll get even more time before those hairs show their heads.
Waxing makes hair thinner. If you shave every day, the constant stimulation of the hair follicle triggers a “healing” reaction where the body floods the follicle with nutrients designed to make the hair stronger. Waxing is done much less often, so the hairs get less stimulation. Over time, yanking out the hair also retards the follicle so hair becomes thinner and may even stop growing entirely. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Waxing leads to fewer ingrowns and irritation. We’ve all dealt with razor burn and ingrown hairs caused by frequent shaving. Waxing can definitely help reduce this since there’s no constant scraping of the skin.
Laser overpromises. Of course there are people who are satisfied with their results, but I have a lot of waxing clients who have tried laser and are still showing up on my table. That kind of says it all. Since laser is attracted to pigment, you need really dark hair and really light skin. And it takes a lot more sessions than they claim. And after all those sessions, often the hair is not completely gone! I know waxing isn’t permanent either, but at least it’s a lot cheaper.
Stache Yourself >