It's an absolute fact that most of us are not happy with our skin. It's also true to say that most of us are not doing enough to help ourselves at home.
To help you at home and to break it into small chunks here are my top 10 easy tips that you can use at home and get better results, not only for you face but your body too.
Skin Tip #1
Drink more water! - By far the easiest and the cheapest and one of the best routes to better skin. As many of my lovely clients have heard me go on and on about water. Really none of us can have an excuse about not drinking enough water, yet we are all guilty of it. It is such an essential element for our overall health and not just for our skin, so for that reason alone, it should be enough for us to realise how important it is to up our intake..
So how much water should we be drinking? It actually depends on a few factors: your over health and your size too, in short, those with health issues and larger in size need to drink more. Ok, now for the science bit. The average person loses 2.6 liters of water a day, this is from your bladder, of course as well as fecal matter, you then lose water through your skin, your breath and sweating. Therefore it's safe to say that if you lose 2.6 liters a day, then you should be replacing 2.6 liters of water a day. This would be right for the average person in regular circumstances. Meaning that if you are not in good health, your skin is very dry, you ache a lot etc, you will be in need of more. Muscle tissue, tendons and fascia all need water to function properly, so if you are aching all the time and are in pain try looking at your water intake, make sure your taking in the 2.6 liters a day and see if that helps you.
Skin also needs water to function properly. Your skin is your largest organ and on the outside of your body, therefore any water that you drink goes through your internal systems first before eventually reaching your skin, and that's if there is and left. This shows us that we need to drink more water in order for us to improve and effect our skin. Again in normal circumstances, drinking the water you lose is the best course to take. So 2.6 liters is normal for the average person. For those with health issues and those who, like myself, are larger, a minimum of 3-4 liters a day is required.
Don't think that the tea and coffee or even juice contributes to your water intake either, despite what others might say. Your kidneys take longer to process all of those things, not to mention the caffeine that both tea and coffee contain. I personally love a coffee, and I tend to reward my water drinking with a coffee. This way I get the best of both worlds.
Don't like the taste of water? That's no problem, there are lots of new ways to get water flavours now, I find one of the easiest, cheapest and best way is to cut up and freeze citrus fruits, then just pop one in the bottom of your glass for a refreshing drink that also contains vitamins. Beautiful!
By following these steps you will see a noticeable difference in your overall health and your skin too.
Skin Tip #2
Get enough good sleep! - Another really important tip for overall health and good skin.
At night time your skin repairs itself and it needs a good amount of time to do this. It will for one use the water in your body to aid in the repair.
Too little sleep can result in higher stress levels, causing premature aging, and other skin conditions like psoriasis.
It's ideal to get between 7 and 9 hours sleep.
Good tips for this is to make sure your bedroom is your sanctuary and have no technology in their if you can help it.
Limit your screen time and devices especially near bedtime. Your devices give off electromagnetic fields that can affect your energy fields. Instead of using devices perhaps find something that suits you and is more relaxing like reading a book.
Skin Tip #3
Reduce your stress levels! We all know that stress affects us physically but did you know that it also affects your skin? Stress in the body causes cortisol levels to be raised, this breaks down collagen and elastin, it can also cause inflammation, all of which can cause lines and wrinkles to appear, causing - you guessed it - premature aging. Stress also causes eczema and psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. So reducing stress levels is a very important step to good skin.
The best idea is to find something that suits you first. There is no point in trying to find something that doesn't suit you, and causing you more stress by trying to achieve something that you can't manage or don't enjoy. Make it work for you!
Going for a walk and getting out into nature is one of the most effect and easiest ways to reduce stress levels.
Meditation is also a great way to reduce stress. Their are some great apps that you can use to help you get into a meditative state especially if you are someone who finds meditation hard. The point with meditation is to not over complicate it and not to pressurise yourself if you find it isn't working. Meditation is a about breathing and slowing down. If that is all you achieve to start with, then that is fine. It comes with practice
Again reading a book, working with crystals, self healing and also daily positive affirmations are also great ways in reducing stress levels.
If you would like to start daily affirmations I have popped a little video onto youtube just for that purpose. I know a few of my clients have found it very useful.
You can find the link here - https://youtu.be/7Sc9gxhXqps
Skin Tip #4
Lower your sugar intake! - It is well known that sugar really is the worst thing on the planet for so many reasons, but did you know that sugar consumption actually causes very deep lines and wrinkles. This is a process called glycation. Glycation is characterised by a cross section of wrinkles, generally around the chin area and sometimes on the upper cheeks too. They do not form the usual natural pattern that wrinkles form, you can see from the picture above the cross and almost box like wrinkles. This is caused by the sugar attaching to collagen and elastin fibers, this makes them brittle to the point they snap.
By lowering your sugar consumption you can greatly reduce the probability of getting these wrinkles later on in life.
Skin Tip #5
Take your vitamins! - Another conversation I have a lot with clients. Despite a good diet, no matter how healthy you eat, you skin does not get enough essential nutrients to help itself. Your internal organs get the nutrition first, and only then if there is any left at all, you skin will get the rest.
For an average person on a very healthy diet, you would need to eat 1000 kcal extra a day for your skin to benefit. Basically, you would need to graze like a horse all day long. Of course who wants to eat an extra 1000 kcal per day, even if it is the good stuff?
This is where vitamins and supplements come into play, and they are an easy option to get essential nutrients into your system to help your skin. Good nutrition from within and also topically will ensure your cell membranes are healthy and viable, in turn ensuring good waste removal, and the exchange of nutrients, hormones and oxygen. If you replenish your cells with all they need, they can repair themselves.
The only thing to remember is that supplements are not all the same and I would recommend to do some research, for example look into content versus cost, like with skin care, you get what you pay for, if you pay peanuts, expect to get peanuts, meaning the cheaper you go the less actual nutritional content and the more bulking agents.
For basic every day help, I would suggest to go for a good high content multi vitamin and mineral, as this will cover all the basic needs of the skin.
If you would like to increase the anti aging effect then you can add in vitamin A and antioxidants and vitamin C.
For collagen production vitamin A, C, hyaluronic acid and zinc are essential, and all of which you can take internally.
If you have dry skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis then add in omegas. Again look at high content. As an example on dosage, normal skin would benefit from 1000mg or international units per day which will keep your skin supple, you might find that during the height of summer or winter you might need more.
For those with a dry skin conditions, even more is needed to help the dryness from within.
It is important to note that no two skins are the same, and it takes time to get the vitamins into your system. To see results be prepared to wait 30 - 60 days.
If you have skin issues and would like a more bespoke programme it is highly recommended to have a consultation to determine exactly what you and your skin needs.
As an added note, during this time it is even more important to take vitamins to improve and support your immune system.
Skin Tip #6
Protect your outermost layer of skin ( the stratum corneum)! - This essential layer of skin helps to protect the lower layers from outside agressions. We are all too eager to remove this layer by over cleansing, exfoliating or using mechanical exfoliation like microdermabrasion, all in a bid for super soft baby skin. While these things feel like they are doing your skin good in the short term, in the long term they can leave you open to more damage.
The best method to safely remove true dead skin cells is to have a gentle skin peel, this not only desquamates the skin cells, it encourages growth of new skin cells to help thicken the skin's barrier.
When the stratum corneum is removed it increases the age process, dangerous uv exposure and pigmentation. This layer has a very important function and so we need to protect it.
So what can you do at home? Well first of all don't over cleanse and over exfoliate. Cleansing should be done twice a day, once at night and once in the morning. This means with nourishing cleansing lotions or cleansing oil. If your skin is oily then a gentle face wash. If you have acne a face wash with salicylic acid works well. This does not mean, face wipe, then face wash, nore do we want to face wash with an exfoliating product every day, unless it is a very gentle one and it is what your skin needs - this is over cleansing. We don't want to over process the skin.
Exfoliating should be done gently, all you want to do is take of the very finest dead layer that is ready to come off, not scrub away that precious stratum corneum. You should aim to exfoliate once a week or even once a fortnight, depending on your skin's needs, again be gentle. Add some cleanser to your exfoliator that way it will be less abrasive.
Skin Tip #7
Topical products that are right for your skin! - All skin is different as we have said, that means that every skin needs a different approach. We can say that all skins need 4 things: FEED with nutrition from within and to repair and replenish cells from in inside out, FORTIFY with topical nutrition to repair and replenish from the outside in, FINISH by protecting the outermost layer, and by using an SPF. FINALLY in booth treatment to fortify at a deeper level, this typically is with microneedling, using this technique and the correct prescriptive products will regenerate skin at a deeper level. Thickening the skin in a natural way, as in the skin does it all itself. We just need to give it a kickstart.
All 4 stages are very important and again there is a protocol to get the right results. The process is determined by your skins need. It is not a good idea to just hope for the best and throw any old thing at it, especially if you are looking at high street products.
Now I don't want to get into highstreet and start putting everything down, that is not what this is about. My point is, there is a lot of product out there with not much background, or direction on how it will help 'your' skin. How can it? in the high street there isn't a professional to look at your skin and lifestyle to determine if it will work for you, or against you.
So what can you do at home? First of all, if you have skin concerns get a consultation to see how your skin is right now. Remember, even if you have had a consultation 6 months ago, that would have been right for your skin then, and we know skin changes all the time, added to that we are all under more stress with our current situation so there is even more of a reason to get a fresh consultation. For my current clients reading this (July 2020) don't worry I have you covered, check your inbox soon.
Also, look at your skin care items, how old are they and when did you open them? If they have been open for more 12 months, they are done and you need to replace them, they will be no good for your skin at all.
Observe how many items you use each product. Write them all down and list them in your consultation, this is a good way to get an idea on how you are currently treating your skin, you could be over processing it, or really not doing enough.
You don't need all singing and all dancing either, for instance if you have skin concerns and your skin is dry, dull and devitalised and maybe needs repair, using an anti-aging product full of antioxidants is not the right course of action as it will be over processing your skin, not to mention it will be a complete waste of time and money. Think of your skin care like a prescription, as it improves so will your prescription change. Also if you have items that has been prescribed/recommended use them, use them at the time as things change quickly and seasonally so it's not only a waste of money, but by the time you get round to using them, the prescription might have changed again and your skin won't improve.
Once you have the information from your consultation, you will be able to get the items you need, and this doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune, however remember good skin takes time, it is a journey and an investment into you and your skin's health for long term results, remember those peanuts?
Book your consultation!
Skin Tip #8
Remove your makeup at night! - Another essential point. During the day you have pick up agressions, pollution and toxins. On top of that your makeup may contain toxins too. It is essential to remove all this so your skin can breathe at night which will aid your nightly repair. So if you wear makeup be sure to remove it and follow your night time routine. If you don't wear makeup you will be removing the pollution and toxins you have picked up during the day so it is essential to cleanse your skin at night too.
Here is an analogy for you - Imagine a fortress, with precious treasure, this treasure needs feeding, polishing and guarding (your skin cells). Now you wouldn't assign the enemy to protect the fortress at night would you? No of course not, you would assign the good guys to go in and protect the treasure from the enemy. Now imagine the enemy is all that dirt, makeup and toxins sitting on your skin, by leaving all that on your skin the good guys need to fight that off first before they can get to the job of feeding, nourishing, polishing etc etc. In effect your making your skin work too hard - there isn't enough hours in the night for that. Give your skin the tools it needs and it will sort itself out. So clean your skin at night and take your makeup off. It can then go about repairing much more easily, giving you a better result.
Skin Tip #9
UV protection! - Going back to the stratum corneum and UV radiation, we know we must protect our skin with an SPF. This should ideally be a daily occurrence. If you are outside a lot or having microneedling, laser or peeling treatments then a factor 50 is what you need, and yes even on a cloudy day. If you are ,ostly inside then a factor 20 - 50 is good.
Some makeup products also contain SPF 20+ and they will be fine if you are mostly inside. look after your skin now, it will look after you later.
Skin Tip #10
The last point and by no means the least important: Gua Sha and yoga for the face and neck! - We all know the importance of muscle workouts, but when do we extend that to the face and neck?
Facial Yoga is becoming a very important and very popular routine for anti aging. Lifting and toning the muscles every day at home and what could be easier? It is the perfect way to build strength back into the muscle, and remind it where it should sit, we also know muscles have memory, therefore all we need to do is trigger that memory by working it correctly.
Facial yoga also relaxes the muscles, this in turn will eliminate deep emotional lines bringing about a more youthful appearance.
Another useful tool is Gua Sha, or skin scraping, using jade tools and rollers to stretch the skin, release the fascia and bring blood circulation to the surface to feed the cells.
For my clients, look out for new videos that you can follow along and watch every day, they will be short and sweet so you can easily fit them into your day, before or after work.
As an upcoming trend in the UK this ancient practice will be a staple that most of us will follow I'm sure.
This is a very lengthy topic and I will post a separate video/workshop detailing how to go about both facial yoga and gua sha, so that it is more easily understood.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my first blog and I hope your enjoy a new you as far as skin goes by following these top 10 tips
Much love and magic, Davina.