“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
I’ve been on my quest for optimal health for decades now…But I must admit I don’t usually grow really passionate about any certain area until I personally am affected by one. I didn’t really make the correlation between fitness, health and beauty until recent years. Honestly, I was youthful, always kept myself reasonably fit and had a decent diet. I’ve spent a life LOVING the sun. I mean truly loving it. Of course I was given all the same warnings as everyone, but somehow though I would be immune to aging effects. Silly I know, but it’s easy to not worry about these things until you have to. Fast forward to being 37 years old and and seeing pictures of yourself and being shocked at changes in skin. I care about health WAY beyond vanity, but the visible signs got my attention and I started throwing myself into deeper research of our largest organ: Our skin. I go to great lengths to eat as clean as possible, get lots of sleep, have a versatile fitness regime, avoid toxins, and have healthy relationships…Skin health needed to be added to that list of priorities.
I definitely do not feel that I am(or will ever be) an expert on this topic. However I am enjoying doing great reading, especially in regards to nutrition and beauty, and seeking out expert advice. Rather than butcher my own explanation on skin health I asked my client, friend and professional esthetician Darcy to help us put out a summarized message. Darcy now has Allyson and I(and many others we’ve referred) on a monthly regime including facial and skin care advice. I believe it takes a team of professionals to piece together health optimization and I am excited to watch our community grow and continue to help each other.
Here are the questions I posed to Darcy:
- When you are giving a skin treatment, what characteristics or symptoms are you looking for?
Answer: There are so many things I am looking for: Is the skin red and inflamed? What kind of breakouts are we dealing with? Hormonal? Cystic? Where are the breakouts? Chin=hormonal. Cheeks are usually related to stress and/or dairy.
Is the texture of the skin smooth? What do the pores look like?
2. Can you talk about the importance of hydration and skin care health and appearance?
Answer: Yes!! Hydration is so important! Appearance wise our skin looks crepey if dehydrated. Think it like dehydrated fruit. It’s the same kind of appearance. Another reason hydration is so important is that our pores won’t release when the skin is dehydrated. So if you are planning on getting the most out of your facial and wanting your pores really cleaned out, make sure you use your hydrating products at least two weeks prior to your treatment.(And drink lots of water always!!)
3. In what ways do stressors(emotional and external) effect our beauty?
Answer: When we are stressed our body naturally produces more testosterone which increases our oil production. If we aren’t prepared with products for this overproduction of oil we get clogged pores. This prevents oxygen from getting into the pore which then creates a breeding ground for bacteria, thus making a pimple/breakout. If the bacteria build up is enough it can break a wall in the pore creating a cyst which is usually pretty painful.
Environmental stress would be pollution and sun damage. The pollution clogs the pores if the skin is not protected with moisturizer and an antioxidant. The sun breaks the skin down. It literally eats up collagen and elastin which keeps our skin firm. The only way to protect our skin from this is an antioxidant paired with a SPF that is reapplied every 2-3 hours.We can’t just put it on once and expect it to last all day. I put my SPF next to my car keys! It’s in my purse as well. That way I have to touch it when going for my keys which triggers me to reapply. THIS IS YOUR FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH! As for the importance of an antioxidant: It protects the skin from environmental stressors and assists sunblock with protection. SPF is only doing 55% of the job. An antioxidant picks up the 45% slack giving you 100% protection. I’ve been committed to doing this myself and I swear it has frozen my skin in time.
- What dietary shifts can be made to optimize nutritional balance for beautiful skin and hair?
Answer: Diet is so personal! Everyone is so different! If someone has red, inflamed skin with some cystic acne, the first change I would recommend is to cut out dairy. I’ve had a client say that the only dairy they consume is milk in their coffee, thinking that little bit is harmless. She stopped and I’m not kidding…her skin cleared up! If cutting the dairy doesn’t do the trick I would then suggest cutting out gluten or sugar. They can choose. Both are difficult to cut out, but both cause inflammation in the body…Your face included! I would only work on one at a time. Cut out dairy for a month or two. No change? Cut out dairy and gluten for a month or two. No change? Cut out dairy, gluten and sugar. I don’t go right to the diet first though. First I work on your skin care routine and products. If there are still issues we go deeper into lifestyle and diet.
- Darcy, you are beautiful and very youthful. How do you feel that exercise helps for you?
Answer: 🙂 Exercise helps me out with stress!!! It also helps me sweat out the toxins and keeps me feeling young!
- In a perfect world, what should daily routines look like for skin care?
Answer: Everyday you want to cleanse your skin! If your wear makeup you should cleanse twice: Once to get the makeup off, and once to clean your face! You should always wear eye cream and should always moisturize. Most importantly you want that antioxidant and SPF!
- If someone was on a budget, are there any DIY recipes you could recommend vs. expensive skin product?
Answer: If your eyes are puffy…maybe from a night out or from dealing with life and having a cry session…Put a couple slices of cucumber on those puppies! There is an enzyme in cucumber that cannot be bottled. So take 2 slices and take a 20 minute “time out”.
As for products on a budget, I really like Avalon Organics Vitamin C cleanser for dry skin. It’s a lotion like cleanser and it won’t overdraw your skin. Also, Cetaphil for dry skin. I don’t like foaming clearers as they strip the skin of oil. Cerave is also a good cleanser/moisturizer comparable to Cetaphil.
I have been a licensed esthetician for 14+ years, and skin care is my passion! I specialize in acne and anti-aging treatments and regard education as being the first step in achieving in great skin. I truly believe that amazing results will happen once we understand how the skin operates, and I consider it a gift to be able to help my clients achieve their skin care goals. Whether you’re having unmanageable breakouts, wanting to slow the aging process, or you simply want to relax, and take care of the largest organ on your body, I’m here for you.
*For more tips and wisdom’s from Darcy, you can follow her on Instagram: @skincarebydarcy