As the new year approaches, I prefer to focus on goals rather than resolutions or rules that must be followed. Here are my personal goals for glowing skin from my favorite Bellingham Alive archive —I invite you to consider adding them to your list as well.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body. Anything going on internally will show up on your skin. Think about the color or sallowness of your skin when you are sick. How you are feeling on the inside is directly correlated to your outside. In my 25 years of esthetics, I have seen a big shift in how clients arrive for a facial. They have a hard time “unplugging” and enjoying the time they reserved for themselves. I see an increased pressure to “do it all” that has made taking care of themselves fall by the wayside. I have worked to win this struggle for myself and know that a balanced lifestyle has a positive impact in all areas of my life including, thankfully, my skin. Don’t forget—you are the one in charge of making this important investment.
Rays that cause cancer and aging are the same in the winter as the summer. Although I have worn sunscreen daily in my moisturizer for more than two decades, I am a child of the 1980s and have seen the inside of a tanning bed. While I enjoyed my darker complexion, I damaged my skin. We get smarter as we age and learn to take precautions to protect our skin. This is your reminder: wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 daily even though it is December in rainy Washington. Compare the difference in your skin’s appearance on your stomach or underneath your forearm to areas that receive significantly more sun exposure such as your face and hands. The damage you see today is a result of cumulative sun exposure. When sunscreen is applied generously during your morning routine, you are protecting your skin from wrinkles, aging and skin cancer. Sun protectants have come a long way. There are many great formulas that don’t feel greasy or cause clogged pores. Find one that you’ll enjoy wearing daily and feel confident that you’re using the best preventative wrinkle product on the planet. Don’t forget to treat your hands, neck, and chest. Those are also areas that need attention and prevention.
Not only is this an easy fix for common skin problems, it is self-care at its most basic. Try to get to bed at a reasonable hour so you have time to perform your skincare routine. It is important to consistently use good skincare twice a day, just like brushing your teeth. The most common time to skip your routine is at night when you are tired. Corrective products are especially beneficial at night when the skin is at rest and in repair mode. Your skincare products don’t work sitting in a drawer! This is an extra five minutes well spent. If you sleep in your makeup you are feeding your skin dirt and oil, creating clogged pores and pimples. It just takes a few minutes. When you maintain this habit, acne is greatly reduced and your skin will look healthy and fresh in the morning.
This is my favorite topic, and a daily personal practice. To age with grace, you must love the skin you are in.
Many factors cause our skin to age. Some factors we have to accept, while others we can influence. With time, we all have visible lines and lose some of our youthful fullness. We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier. Our genes largely control when these normal changes occur.
Our environment and lifestyle choices increase premature aging. Take preventive actions to slow this process. Lifestyle choices like smoking, diet, sleep, lack of exercise and stress are all factors that contribute to wrinkles and create a dull, sallow complexion. A healthy, well-balanced diet, adequate sleep and moderate exercise provide vital nutrients, skin repair and improve circulation. These are important contributing factors to maintaining and restoring healthy skin.
Love the skin you are in! This is the only body you have. I know this is easier said than done—but give it a shot. Part of aging gracefully is to accept our aging process as a normal part of life. Stop fighting it and make peace with the beauty you see in the mirror. Wouldn’t that be a great way to start 2019? You will see yourself in a new way: a new you for a new year!