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Our skin. An amazing organ with such an important function. Skin makes up about 15% of our body weight and covers anywhere from 12to 20 square feet. Made up of a whopping 70% water, its main role is to protect our blood, organs, and bones, everything that makes up us, and keep everything neatly packaged. It is comprised of 3 main layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.
The Epidermis is the outside layer and your primary protection against the outside world. Your skin renews itself every 6-8 weeks and the dead cells on the epidermis slough off allowing the new skin to come through. Your epidermis, therefore, is one of the biggest determining factors in how fresh your skin looks.
The Dermis is the thickest layer and contains your hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands which produce sebum. Sebum is the oily substance that lubricates your skin and hair keeps bacteria under control. The Dermis also contains blood vessels that nourish the skin and lymph nodes that protect it from toxins.
The Subcutaneous tissue is the innermost layer and is essentially a shock absorber and heat insulator for your body. It is primarily composed of adipose tissue(fat). This layer varies by person as it is larger and smaller based on your weight so, therefore, those who maintain a healthy diet and exercise program tend to have a smaller layer.
As you age, certain processes of your skin slow down. For example, production of collagen and elastin, which are responsible for the stretchiness and bounce back of your skin as well as contributors to how smooth your skin is, starts to slow down starting at age 20. It decreases 65% between 20 and 80. The thickness of your skin decreases 6% every 10 years.
A great skin care routine protects your skin and helps it to be at its best and look its best. It is comprised of 5 main steps:
This the first step to healthy skin. Choose a cleanser that is gentle on your skin and cleanse the skin twice a day. Cleansing helps to remove dirt, oil, makeup, and other debris that can clog your pores and create unhealthy-looking skin. Further, clean skin allows other products to work better.
Exfoliating helps to remove the dead skin cells on the surface and allow the new skin underneath to come through. There are some cleansers that include gentle exfoliators in them or you can choose an exfoliator to use. Try to pick one that is gentle for everyday use. If you must use a harsher one, limit your exfoliation to 2x/week to avoid damaging the new skin.
Toner is not essential, but it will help remove any traces of cleanser, makeup, dirt, etc. that may not have been completely removed in the above two steps. I, personally, love using a toner as it makes my skin feel refreshed. Once again, unless you are having problems with breakouts, choose a gentle refreshing toner.
This is where you will apply any treatment products you may be using such as eye cream or serum. There are many treatment products out there. Try not to go overboard.
Finally, you will moisturize. During the day you will want to use a daytime moisturizer, with or without sunscreen (more on that later), and at night you will want to use a night cream. Most night creams tend to be a little thicker and heavier as they help to support the skin’s nightly restoration and also provide a moisture barrier while you sleep.
Some Additional Tips for Great Skin:
Alcohol can cause quite a few issues with your skin including puffiness, breakouts, and dehydration.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Pool sleep can increase stress hormones which increase inflammatory skin conditions like acne. Further, our skin regenerates while we sleep and recovers lost moisture. Without sleep, we get puffy eyes and circles, dryness, and our wrinkles become more prominent.
The sun causes 90-95% of wrinkles, lines, and discolorations of the body. Always wear sunscreen on every bit of exposed skin even when it is cloudy. Sunscreen should be applied at the end of your skincare routine after moisturizer.
Exercise is just one of those things that is good for all parts of your body. The increase in blood flow brought on by exercise carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells in your body and that includes skin cells. It also helps to eliminate the toxins in your skin
Drink Lots of Water
While drinking water is great for your body in general, it makes sense that staying hydrated is great for the skin when you remember that our skin is made up of 70% water. Water helps to flush out toxins and moisturize the skin keeping it supple and smooth.
Because our skin is so important, you should take very good care of it and take extra care when choosing what products to put on it. Some things should be avoided or limited in order to keep your skin healthy. A few products to avoid as much as possible include:
Mineral Oil – This is a byproduct of production of petroleum (gasoline). It is the product that floats to the top during production and is then skimmed off and put into products that we use on our bodies. Do you really want to put something like that on your skin?
Petrolatum – This is essentially a more solid form of mineral oil. It, too, is derived from petroleum and is then put into ointments, waxes, conditioners, etc.
Parabens – These are preservatives that have been linked to breast cancer.
Phthalates – These are used to preserve scent and have been linked to infertility and dementia.
There are a great many others, but these are some of the major ingredients to avoid. I have made the switch to Arbonne products because they are formulated without these and many other ingredients. In fact, Arbonne adheres to the European Union Standards. They have the strictest standards in the industry. At my last count there were around 1,377ingredients banned in Europe; the U.S. had around 11.
For more information on Arbonne products, please view my product information page or feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. No matter what you choose to use, though, do some research, read labels, and find products that are good for your skin.