Archive for April, 2010

Inflamaging…what is it?

April 28, 2010

What is the first sign of stress that shows on the skin? Is it acne, psoriasis, rosacea, or premature aging? If you guessed premature aging, you’re right!  I wanted to contribute some fascinating science behind what takes place in our bodies when we are under stress. Women, first of all, are more susceptible to stress aging than men. Did you know that one long bout of chronic stress speeds up aging by 6 years of more?  When I explain further, you may understand why.  The main culprit is cortisol. Cortisol triggers inflammation at the cellular level and it literally tears the skin apart. In addition, Epinephrine, or Adrenaline,  damages the cell membranes and shortens the DNA strands. When the strands shorten, it triggers Apoptosis or “cell suicide”.  The DNA doesn’t want to reproduce abnormally and it cannot repair itself so the body forces apoptosis.   Stress will also lead to cell death of all cells; the keratinocytes, immune cells, fibroblast cells and others. It causes the overproduction of MMP’s, enzymes that destroy the collagen, elastin and dermal proteins. And that leads us to “Inflamaging”!  I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Ok, so here’s the good news.  I have seen years melt away from client’s faces when stressful events finally come to an end.  Two clients in particular come to mind-one in her early 50’s and one just entering her 60’s. Both retired last year and in 3-5 months time I was floored by how much younger they looked.  Now, we all might not be ready to retire so what can we do to make our skin thrive in stressful times?  Meditation!! Meditation is the quickest way to reduce cortisol.  We can all find 5 minutes for ourselves and I encourage you to take that time for YOU!   What else can I do, you may be asking?  Some of my most favorite topical serums work beautifully to prevent many cortisol related issues in the the skin.  SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF are our most popular vitamin C concentrates we’ve come to rely on for years.

Incorporate either of these formulas into your daytime routine.  Apply 4-5 drops to your face and neck every morning and then follow with eye cream, moisturizer and sunscreen.  Take control of your inflamaging today!  Invest those 5 small minutes, nourish your skin these topical concentrates, and last but certainly not least, find things to be thankful for every day!

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Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Skin

April 26, 2010

During my latest trip to Chicago I had the chance to take a class by Michelle O’Shaughnessy, Doctor of Oriental Medicine and author of “Nourish your Skin and Body with Traditional Chinese Medicine.” She is passionate about teaching people how to get better with Alternative Medicine. I think it is imperative as a skin care therapist to share as much as I can with clients about how I can help them, but many times we need to investigate further. By looking inward with them, I can help provide more direction as to why they are seeing on their skin what they are. It is an area that I am striving to learn more about so I want to pass on some of my favorite parts of Michelle’s seminar.
Pay attention to how you are feeling first of all! Sounds a little crazy, but emotions of anger, frustration, irritability and depression are all signs that your LIVER and GALLBLADDER are in need of immediate attention. Are you suffering from any auto-immune disorders, acne or eczema? If these symptoms and emotions describe you, help your liver and gallbladder by adding in GREEN FOODS. Incorporate kale, avocados, cucumbers, dandelion, mint, spinach, brussel sprouts, watercress and artichokes into your diet.
The acidity of our standard american diet leeches minerals from the bones and body as it tries to find balance and restore alkalinity. This is another reason why drinking Bragg’s apple cider vinegar tonics are so important! The sour taste of the ACV simulates the liver and it gets the gallbladder to release the bile. In turn, it stimulates the liver to make more bile. Read our former post to find the Bragg’s ACV tonic recipe! It is such a great way to start the day. It’s a liver jump starter!
Now, if we are talking about what foods to incorporate, let’s talk about what the liver does not like. Stay away from greasy foods, alcohol, fast food, dairy(the fat molecules are very hard to break-up), medications like Advil, pizza, macaroni and cheese.
The season most affected by the liver is Spring! If you are seeing changes in your skin right now this is probably why. It’s a great time to do a total body cleanse. Invest in yourself by eating more greens, add the Bragg’s ACV tonic, drink a lot of purified water, dry brush the skin daily, exercise and add in one or two deep cleansing facials to bring it back to balance.