Don’t neglect the largest organ of all! Tips for anti-aging and healthy skin for the body
Yes, the skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects us from outside aggressors and is subject to repeated attack and exposure to the elements. Most of us are pretty good about caring for the skin on our face (even if it’s just applying a protective moisturizer or sunscreen), but truthfully most of us just don’t pay the same amount of attention to the skin on the rest of our body. Why? Here are a few possibilities:
•The skin on the face shows signs of fatigue, stress, hormonal imbalance, improper diet, illness, age, etc., but the skin on the body doesn’t show these signs as readily or at least until much later on
•It can be hard to find time
•We just don’t think about it
•It’s cheaper and easier just to forget about it
So what happens is suddenly one day we start to notice that the skin on our body isn’t quite as firm as it used to be, it begins to sag, perhaps we notice lines and wrinkles, we begin to see those dreaded age spots, and we realize that the scar we got that one time when we fell down on a tree branch when hiking – it’s pretty ugly! We think ‘Oh no! Why didn’t I take care of my body?’.
It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you’re not caring for the skin on your body, it’s time to start! Here’s how:
1. SUN PROTECTION
This is number one and in all caps for a reason. UV exposure is the number one cause of skin damage, disease, and aging, period. Use of an SPF every single day of the year on exposed skin is absolutely essential. UV exposure (daylight exposure) activates an enzyme in our skin that breaks down our collagen and elastin fibers as well as promotes melanin synthesis leading to color irregularities. What does almost every single one of my clients say about sun protection? Here is the most common conversation we have about it:Me: Do you use SPF daily? Client: Yes. Me: What kind? Client: I have SPF in my moisturizer/foundation/sunscreen lotion. Me: Do you re-apply every 2 hours since it gets absorbed/worn off? Is your makeup a pure mineral powder with Zinc & Titanium Dioxide? Client: No. Me: Then you are really only protected for the first couple of hours of each day. Client: I didn’t think about that!
Tip: Apply broad spectrum sunscreen every day of the year to exposed skin on face and body (think neck, decolletage, arms, hands) and re-apply every 2 hours. Apply pure mineral sunscreen powder to exposed skin daily (re-apply as necessary after washing, swimming, sweating etc.). Stay in the shade as much as possible and if you must tan, do it sunless (self tan products).
My favorite sun protection products for the body are:
2. Antioxidant Protection & Hydration
Free radical damage is another factor that leads to skin aging and disease. We are all exposed to free radicals everyday (some people more than others, depending on environment and lifestyle). Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they can cause cellular damage. As we all know, certain foods we eat contain antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, etc.) which build up our immunity and protect our bodies from disease. Since the skin is the last organ to receive it’s share of antioxidants from food, it’s extremely beneficial to apply antioxidants to the skin topically as well.
Dryness and dehydration of the skin aren’t pretty and they also lead to quicker skin aging. Also, skin is more susceptible to outside attack when it is lacking the moisture (lipid) barrier. Keeping the skin moisturized is key in maintaining skin health and protection.
Tip: Choose a moisturizer that contains ingredients with high antioxidant properties. Use a soap/detergent/sulphate-free body wash to avoid stripping the skin of it’s natural hydration.
My favorite antioxidant moisturizer and body cleanser is:
Exfoliation removes dead, dull cells from the surface of our skin which immediately softens and brightens the skin. It also speeds up our skin’s natural cell turnover rate which slows down greatly as we age. A slow cell turnover rate makes your skin look dull and tired with uneven texture and tone. You may find that wounds don’t heal as fast and scars don’t fade as quickly as before (if ever). Keeping your skin exfoliated will also allow your products to penetrate easier and therefore work better at treating and protecting your skin.
My favorite body exfoliation products are:
Remember that whatever we apply to our skin gets absorbed into our body so try to avoid products with artificial fragrance, color, and chemicals.
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Tags: age spots, anti-aging, aromatherapy associates, body care, bodycare, caudalie, Eminence Organics, hyperpigmentation, jane iredale mineral makeup, skin firming, skin tightening, skin toning, Skincare, spa binge organics, sun protection, sun spots, sunblock, sunscreen, zona skincare