Yesterday afternoon I treated myself to my very first facial. I’ve been pretty stressed lately and wanted to take a little time to unwind and be good to myself.
Before my treatment yesterday I thought that facials were only for well-to-do suburban housewives or high-powered moguls. In my mind facials weren’t necessities, they were frivolous spa treatments. I felt my money was better spent on a full body massage or a 90-minute acupuncture treatment.
Today is a new day.
In the future, I will definitely be making regular visits to the spa for a facial. As crazy as it sounds, it felt like my pores were breathing the crisp autumn air along with my lungs as I left the spa yesterday.
We so often forget that our skin is our largest organ. So many internal and external factors contribute to the health — or malnourishment — of one’s skin. It’s important to remember that, like brushing and flossing your teeth, your skin deserves daily care.
How to treat your skin right:
- Wear sunscreen and limit your sun exposure. This seems obvious, right? How often do you actually wear sunscreen? Do you wear a hat and reapply sun protection as often as you should during the summer? The sun’s UV rays damage elastin, the fibers that give skin elasticity and help prevent sagging. Sun-damaged skin also bruises easier and heals slower. Try finding an all-natural SPF brand that sits on top of your skin as opposed to being absorbed.
- Get enough sleep. They don’t call it beauty rest for nothing. Your skin does a lot of major reparations while you’re getting your shut eye. Sleep depravity can cause under eye puffiness from dilated blood vessels. Sleep is also important for general health and well-being.
- Cut out the sugar and processed foods. Want to stop looking like a raccoon? Stop eating sugar– it’s not as sweet as you think . Too much sugar can cause dark under eye circles thanks to glycation, how our bodies process sugar. Don’t forget that alcohol is metabolized like sugar.
- Fall in love with omega-3s. The good fat from fish and nuts can help prevent the signs of aging.
- Go to war against free radicals. Think of free radicals as enemy number one– they cause premature aging and can damage the skin! The best way to combat the effects of free radicals is with antioxidants. Add blueberries to your morning yogurt or treat your face to a serum that includes antioxidants.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking water is not only important for healthy skin but also for a body that functions properly. Don’t forget that raw fruits and vegetables also have high water content and will also help to hydrate you and your skin. Don’t forget that coffee and alcohol dehydrate you!
- Dedicate yourself to a skincare regimen– and do it now. Your skin is unique and requires its own special regimen of care. Start with a few products — like a cleanser, moisturizer and an eye cream — and gradually add more products to suit your skin’s needs. For example, I am now using an organic cleanser, moisturizer and eye cream. Once I become accustomed to using these three products twice a day I’ll add in a weekly mask, a daily toner and lip treatment. Facials are recommended every 1-3 months, preferably as the seasons change.
The best foods for your skin:
- blueberries — for antioxidants
- wild salmon — for omega 3s
- leafy greens, like spinach and kale — for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- oysters — for zinc
- tomatoes — for anti-aging magic thanks to lycopene
- walnuts — omega 3s, vitamin E
- orange vegetables like sweet potatoes and pumpkins — for beta carotene, an antioxidant that fights the signs of aging
- strawberries — for a major dose of anti-aging miracle worker vitamin C
- olive oil — anti-inflammatory
- pomegranate — antioxidant super power
A few of my favorite all-natural and organic skin care finds: