Reboot Skin Health
New Year New You… always the same message isn’t it, in January?
Well, we think a little differently.
Admittedly, it does seem that this is the time of year when we do check in with our skin more, seasonal changes...the turn of a new year....resolutions....hopes, plans...and festive detoxing...all reasons why this time of year brings on these self-assessments. But skin health is an evolution, it is something that we need to be intuitive about, reassessing our product choices to ensure that they still work for where our skin is at that time of our life.
So, whenever you are reading this, whether you are looking at your skin health with fresh, January eyes, feeling the effects of excess from celebrations or holidays, or you are feeling generally frustrated that your skin health has reached a plateau; wouldn’t it be great to ‘ctr-alt-delete’ and reboot our skin?
If transitioning through a year means we need to adjust our choices to cope with seasonal challenges to our skin, imagine how that plays out over a lifetime! Hormonal shifts, environmental change, diet and lifestyle choices - it all impacts on the equilibrium of skin health, and it is unlikely that your daily regimen will stay static irrespective of where you are at in your life.
Chances are, you won’t need to change everything on a regular basis, and this certainly isn’t the best plan, as your skin will be thrown into crisis management. But, it is important to look at your skin solutions and check that each product is delivering what on promise.
So before you make any changes, what are you looking to achieve?
What is your goal?
It is important to set clear expectations of short term achievable changes and longer term ideals. Has your skin suddenly started to show signs of age, elasticity loss ...are you noticing some sun damage? Have you suddenly started to suffer breakouts? Maybe it’s hormonal change? Perhaps a hygiene improvement that is required?
Accept that some ‘imperfections’ are actually normality.
There is no such thing as filtered skin, get in touch with your real skin, accept that skin has texture. Make a plan that is specific and achievable for your skin.
Develop positive mirror chat.
Be aware of how your talk to yourself, the language you use to your reflection.
Mental well being and healthy relationships with your skin, body and mind start within. Celebrate your high points and set management techniques for the things you seek to resolve.
So, is it you or the product?
Interpreting your skin’s behavior and responses to your life, give you clues as to what changes may be required, be it product incompatibility with your needs or user technique!
Miracle Products - one-size-fits-all.
Nope. Not a thing.
Of course there are certain ingredients that ALL skin types will benefit from, but how they are delivered in terms of formulation will determine whether they are efficacious or not, for YOUR skin.
There is no one-size-fits-all miracle product; we need to know what our skin needs, what it tolerates and find the best in class for managing our skin health - individually.
Be cautious of inflated marketing claims with no science, or clinical backing or results. Equip yourself with basic knowledge of ingredient do-gooders that will suit your skin needs and find reputable sources to guide you to shortlisting choices. If you opt for the “easy” route of one-pot-wonders, you may be missing the opportunity to either fast track or intensify results for your specific skin health needs.
Probably don’t need to tell you that though, you’re here!
One of the keys to contented skin, is considerate treatment.
Trauma can show on the surface instantly, or indeed be invisible for some time while the deep seated damage is further down, affecting the skin’s ability to renew, rejuvenate, repair. So how you treat your skin daily will show ultimately in inflammation, skin pigmentation change, loss of tone, breakout or irritation / sensitivity.
Avoid harsh physical exfoliation that leads to disruption of the skin’s barrier function, leaving it vulnerable to the effects of the environment.
All skin types can be dehydrated which will exacerbate skin health issues, deepening the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and highlighting pigmentation and skin texture variation. Adequate hydration will improve the skin’s ability to protect itself and filter out toxins so it’s a critical element of skin health. Check out our article on hydration here:
Hormones help to develop sebaceous glands, in puberty, these glands mature and produce excessive sebaceous fluid (seborrhea), which can lead to clogged pores and skin irritation / breakout.
Hormones continue through life, though in men they stabilize post puberty. In women, they continue to fluctuate and have a huge part in skin contentment. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, kicks in around puberty, it is present in men and women and during the female monthly cycle, there is a point where testosterone is higher than female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and this is often when breakouts occur.
During times of stress, our bodies produce a hormone (cortisol) which can have a huge contribution to the balance of our skin health. This hormone creates a sticky oil that can lead to blocked pores.
Often, when stress is elevated, we compromise our regimes and self-care practices. This can in turn lead to a decline in skin health, hydration and barrier function becomes unbalanced affecting repair and resistance.
The cycle of stress continues as we dislike the effects on our reflection each morning.
Check out our article on skin and stress here:
If it took many years to cause a skin health issue, it may be unreasonable to expect a product to resolve it within a few hours, days or even weeks.
Some products will deliver almost immediate relief through impeccable formulating, be that soothing irritation, calming redness, boosting luminosity, skin tone evening, refining texture...though the real work to improve damage, will require time and may fluctuate with your own skin changes as you transition through the year.
What suits your friend won't necessarily serve you well, so apply logic to recommendation!
Following guidelines for product use, using as instructed is critical to efficacy. You can’t hold a product claim accountable if you don’t use as tried, tested and directed by the brand.
Be consistent, then you can know what works or doesn’t for your skin needs.
Hygiene practices - break outs.
For some, acneic is a skin type rather than a skin concern - that requires expertise and specific products to manage on a daily basis.
However, breakouts are a continual battle for many people, but are symptomatic responses rather than defining a skin type. When you have stubborn spots or areas prone to break out regularly, investigative work into how you treat your skin is pivotal.
If you are using a product that claims to improve the balance of skin and treat the causes of breakout - and yet weeks into using it, you see no change. Look deeper.
Is your tech hygiene up to scratch? Clean your phone screen!
Is your skin protected from environmental aggressors?
Are you using a clean cleansing cloth every day?
Is your bed-linen in need of a change?
Is your diet all over the place?
Are you well hydrated?
Is it hormonal?
These are all things that need to be eliminated as causes of prolonging the breakout healing, before a product can be considered a failure.
So it’s not just a case of adding a serum…or changing a cleanser…although, sometimes it can be that simple!!
Any time is a great time to reassess your skin and what it needs, you can set clear plans to manage it to achieving your skin health goals any day of the week or month of the year.
Start 2020 with a clear vision of what you are looking to achieve and ultimate skin health can be yours for life.