This blog will elucidate that small changes to one’s lifestyle and a small investment in skin products, will lead to significant improvements in one’s skin health and beauty.
- Protect from the sun with daily sunscreen, sun protection, and Heliocare. The number one enemy to skin is sun exposure. The sun’s UVB rays lead to activation of enzymes that destroy the skin’s collagen leading to wrinkling and thinner skin. Skin pigmentation problems (melasma, solar lentigos) are exacerbated by the sun. Skin cancers are almost always related to exposure to the sun’s damaging rays. Studies have shown that just using sunscreen can improve ones looks. Heliocare contains Polypodium leucotomos which is a fern extract that is an antioxidant that reverses and protects against the radiation effects of the sun on skin cells. Heliocare has also been shown to improve melasma, because even indoor artificial light can exacerbate this condition where sunscreens don’t offer protection. Wearing a large brimmed hat, SPF rash guard (if at the beach), and staying under an umbrella/shade should be considered during periods of prolonged outdoor sun exposure.
- Stop smoking. Smoking is probably a close second to the sun as a factor affecting skin health and beauty. The toxins in smoking cause contraction in vessels in the skin, leading to poor oxygenation of the skin cells. Smoking essentially strangulates one’s skin causing loss of elasticity, viability, and thickness. Other side effects include increased wrinkles, a change in the color of the skin, thinning of the hair, halitosis, and dental disease.
- Apply topical Retin A or Retinol. It has been well established with research dating back over 25 years, that Retin A has anti-aging qualities. It has been shown to increase cellular turnover in the skin, thus creating skin cells that are younger and more vibrant. It increases collagen in the skin and improves hydration in the skin by increasing the GAG’s. Pigmentation abnormalities are improved as well. Precancerous changes are reversed and prevented to a certain extent. Wrinkles and photodamage have been shown to improve with just using Retin A. One word of caution. If you choose to use Retinol because it has less peeling, you have to use a strength that is higher than what is found in most OTC cosmetics.
- Maintain hydration, drink plenty of water. This is somewhat controversial, but there are anecdotal reports of improvements in overall looks with just making sure you are fully hydrated. There are obvious other benefits as well including kidney, bladder, blood pressure and circulatory health.
- Topical Growth Factors and Antioxidants. Growth factors stimulate skin cells to become more youthful and recruit stem cells which may lay dormant in the skin. Antioxidants help the skin fight off the environmental stress that attacks the skin, including the sun’s damaging radiation. Products that fall into this category are: TNS Essential Serum, Lifeline Day and Night Cream, and Neocutis Journee.
These recommendations are a good start to improve skin health for all individuals, regardless of budgetary concerns. The younger these are implemented, the less correction that will be needed in the future. Consider following these guidelines as an “investment in the future”.