Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

by Pearl Dworkin, Beauty Diva

Aren’t we lucky to be living in a time when we can take such good care of ourselves and preserve our skin’s youthful glow for many years? That being said, we can all up-level our skin care routines in ’07.

You don’t have to be perfect every day—here are a few ideas to get you started. Just making one improvement will get you started on your way to healthier skin.

1. Use a cleanser that doesn’t foam or lather too much

The reason for this is that an ingredient used to cause lather and foam is sodium lauryl sulfate. It is very drying and dehydrating. It is much better to use a cleanser that is not too foamy…as a rule the more foamy, the more drying.

2. Resolve to wear sun protection every day

Sun damage is cumulative. Whenever you are outside and it is daylight you are exposed to UVA/UVB, so wearing sun protection every day will insure that you are protected from the environment. You will have less wrinkles, less “sun” spots (hyper-pigmentation), and less redness in the skin (permanently dilated capillaries).

An SPF 15 is good for year round, and a 30 for the spring/summer is ideal. If you are doing a lot of outdoor activities then you may want a 45 and/or a physical block such as a hat and sunglasses. If you are treating hyper-pigmentation or undergoing any peels/micro-dermabrasion or using Retin-A or Renova then you definitely want to wear a high SPF and a hat.

3. Cleanse and moisturize your skin in the morning and evening

It is important to wash your face in the morning to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate at night. Research also shows that while we are sleeping our body is in “repair” mode. This includes the body’s largest organ (our skin).

If you are always too tired when bedtime rolls around, try washing your face when you get home or doing it after dinner. In this case it is better earlier than never! Washing away the dirt, grime and dead skin cells and nourishing your skin with the correct moisture and nutrients will give your skin a chance to repair while you sleep! Even if you have oily skin this is an important step. Remember even oily skin can become dehydrated without the proper moisturizer.

4. Drink 8 -10 or more glasses of water a day

It is best to drink half your body weight in ounces every day…so if you weight 120 lbs. then you should be drinking 60 oz of water every day. Now, if you are consuming coffee or alcohol then definitely drink more water. If your cells are not hydrated, both internally and externally, they will dry up and cause premature aging.

Some ways to enjoy the water more: add organic lemon, drink herbal teas (my personal favorite is rooibos…also known as “the skin” tea, peppermint, chamomile, etc.), add minty green chlorophyll to the water (this is available at Whole Foods or any health food store). If your body is dehydrated, it will show on your skin in the form of dry lines around the eyes and lips (thin skin areas will show dehydration first).

Try to avoid sodas, excessive coffee or black tea and of course excessive alcohol! Remember: if you are thirsty you are already dehydrated!

5. Use topical antioxidants

This gets confusing sometimes as there are so many forms of antioxidants out there. How do we know which is the best one for us?

Vitamin C has been shown to prevent premature skin aging by fighting free radicals, fading skin discoloration, and actually increasing the sun protection in a sunscreen!

In addition to Vitamin C and pomegranate, other powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q 10, Grapeseed Extract, and Alpha Lipoic Acid are powerful allies in the war against free radicals. When used before sun exposure, Vitamin E reduces redness and swelling of the skin, results in less destruction of lipids and fewer sunburn cells. When Vitamin E and Vitamin C are combined in high concentration, topical products offer amplified sun protection.

Epidermal Growth Factor is plant-derived and offers amazing results. EGF is used to regenerate aging skin. Topical creams containing natural EGF and bio-engineered EGF were found to produce better results on skin than expensive plastic surgery or botox when used twice daily for 4-6 weeks. Skin cells that have aged can be transformed into youthful, vibrant skin cells.

6. Exercise

Just put on your walking shoes and go for a brisk walk, dance, skate, run, hike, bike, swim…whatever you like to do! It will keep you limber, toned and keep you strong. Your skin will benefit as the increase in circulation brings blood flow to the surface, carrying nutrients and flushing away toxins. Your skin looks younger, has a glow and is healthier.

Also positive endorphins and other hormones that are released when we exercise have been shown to reduce stress…which is one of the leading causes of many skin disorders including, eczema, acne and rosacea. It is also thought that exercise slows down aging. So move more, be younger, look better!

7. Exfoliate

Exfoliation…I am amazed at how popular this one little word has become, which is good since as we age cellular turnover slows down. Notice how children’s skin is always so luminous and glowing? But what are we to exfoliate with?

My pet peeves are abrasive scrubs that are on the market because while yes, they give the immediate result of a smoother complexion, over time it has been shown that abrasive scrubs that are massaged into already open pores such as the ones on the sensitive areas of the nose or cheeks can be made larger by the act of rubbing them with some of these particles (such as walnut or apricot shells—these are abrasive like wood!). These scrubs can cause microscopic tears in the cell wall and break down its integrity leading to the dreaded and preventable premature sagging and loss of elasticity.

A far better alternative is an enzyme polish or alpha-hydroxy deep exfoliant.

8. Switch to mineral makeup

I am a big fan of mineral makeup. I have been using it for years and I highly recommend it for many reasons. First of all as an esthetician I love it because it is good for your skin and protects it from the sun. If it didn’t look so good I wouldn’t wear it. Put simply, it looks and feels great on your skin! There are no chemicals in mineral makeup and it can be used on the most sensitive skin. It is even recommended by the National Rosacea Society.

9. Juice

Juice. I love juice. I am not talking about the kind you buy pre-bottled in the store. These juices have been pasteurized, as in heated, which kills all the enzymes and most of the vitamins and minerals in the process.

It is best if you can buy a juicer and begin making your own juices. There is a lot of information about juicing in books and on the Internet. In my experience nothing will give you radiant skin like a super-healthy diet with lots of fresh veggies. Juicing is a way to implement that and get plenty of nutrition into the body in a quick and easily assimilable way even if our regular eating habits are not perfectly healthy all the time!

SKIN LIKE SILK JUICE

Helps encourage collagen and elastin formation

5 carrots

1 apple

one-half inch knob of ginger root

Trim the carrots. Cut them into 2 or 3 inch
pieces. Cut the apple in narrow wedges. Slice
the ginger root if necessary. Process the carrots,
apple wedges and ginger in the juicer. Enjoy 3 times a week.

SKIN, HAIR AND NAIL BEAUTY JUICE

This juice is loaded with calcium

1 small cucumber

4 carrots

3 kale leaves

1 quarter green bell pepper

Cut the cucumber into quarters and cut the
quarters into strips. Cut carrots into 2 to 3
inch pieces. Cut bell pepper into 1 inch strips.
Process the veggies in the juicer. Enjoy 4 times
a week.

10. Get plenty of fiber in your diet, eat right, take the right vitamins!

Why fiber? Well one of the ways toxins are removed is to have plenty of fiber as it keeps the digestive system working most efficiently. If wastes are not eliminated, they often get re-circulated into the blood stream and therefore to the skin as a means of elimination which can cause acne.

A diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and adequate protein will help. A good nutritionist can help you with a diet plan. Another option for a sluggish digestive system is a series of colonic treatments.

Some tips for Vitamin Supplementation:

Vitamins supplementation is needed sometimes as a result of our fast-paced lives. Remember this: ACEZ

Vitamin A is required for all epithelial tissue

Vitamin C is needed for all connective tissue and capillaries

Vitamin E protects the fat in every skin cell

Zinc is necessary for connective tissue and immune function

Poor skin elasticity, easy bruising, catching colds and flu easily, and white spots on your fingernails may signify that you need more Zinc.

Some symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency:

Bumps on the back of your arms or the tops of your thighs, sensitivity to light, dry hair or skin, and chronic bronchitis or chest colds all may signify a need for more Vitamin A. Also, not getting enough sun (especially in winter), older age, and a family history of osteoporosis mean you should consume more Vitamin A.

Easy bruising, bleeding gums upon brushing or flossing, premature wrinkling, poor immunity to colds and flu, and achy joints may indicate a need for more Vitamin C. Excessive consumption of fatty or fried foods requires more Vitamin E.

B-6 and Calcium-Magnesium supplementation can also be beneficial for PMS-type breakouts.

11. Get a professional facial every 4-6 weeks or at least 4 times a year

Think of a facial as your best defense in maintaining a healthy and glowing complexion. Try to book a professional treatment at least four times a year at the change of every season. A licensed esthetician will analyze your skin, review the products you are using with you, take your lifestyle into account and recommend the best treatments for your skin.

Your esthetician can also remove blackhead and whiteheads that you otherwise would not be able to. A good esthetician will ask you what your concerns are and then recommend products and treatments that will best support this. There are always new and exciting changes in skincare that we are aware of through trade journals, conventions and classes. We love to share our knowledge with our clients!

12. Get enough sleep

For most of us, 8 hours is optimal. While we are sleeping our bodies rest and repair. Sleep is also the time when our bodies are most metabolically active—the body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise wreak havoc with your skin!

The reason why dark circles appear around the eyes when we are tired is because the eye area has the thinnest skin on the body and when we are tired, circulation in the body slows which means less oxygen in the blood and darker less oxygenated blood. Hence dark circles appear and we need to reach for the concealer.

For insomnia try stress reduction such as yoga, meditation, working out earlier in the day versus evening workouts, lavender infused essential oil, and consciously keep your bedroom a stress-free zone.

Hint: a good custom blended eye cream can help a lot but there is no better beauty treatment than a restful night’s sleep.

About the Author

Pearl Dworkin has been a licensed esthetician for more than ten years, earning certifications from nationally recognized institutions such as the International Dermal Institute, the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, and the Institute for Educational Therapy with a Holistic Nutrition major. She is also certified as a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise.

Pearl has completed advanced courses in lymphatic drainage, the effects of hormone and menopause on the skin, the causes and treatment of rosacea, reflexology, aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, Chinese skin diagnostics, and makeup for film and television.

Pearl has worked at some of California’s top spas and for plastic surgeons who specialize in skin-care procedures. In 2003, she opened her own business, Optimum Skin Care, in the heart of San Francisco. Services include facial treatments, micro-dermabrasion, make-up, tinting, and waxing.

Pearl’s philosophy reflects a holistic, individualized approach to skincare. To optimize treatment results, she analyzes each client’s lifestyle, attitude, and exercise and nutritional practices. She not only provides relaxing and therapeutic treatments but also recommends at-home skincare techniques, reading material, and provides stress-reduction suggestions.

In addition, Pearl regularly donates services to worthy causes benefiting cancer victims and AIDS research. Since 1997, she has served as a volunteer facilitator and trainer for the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better Program for women who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation.

Learn more at www.skincarebypearl.com.

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