Got skin issues? In today’s Iperoxo Prosopo, Licensed Esthetician Peg Karadimas explains how habits, nutrition, and lifestyle affect your skin health.
‘Iperoxo Prosopo’: Skin Health
In the ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ series, we examine what you need in order to attain and actualize your personal goal of amazing skin. This time, we’ll discuss the next step in the anatomy of amazing skin care — assessing and improving your skin health.
In case you missed, them, let’s recap. In the 1st article, we discussed the importance of choosing an experienced esthetician. It’s the best choice when deciding on how to get to the root of your problematic skin issues.
Article #2 was about genetics. We also reviewed the importance of where your skin lies in the Fitzpatrick scale, and what that means for Mediterranean skin types.
Any ethnicity or skin type could be affected by any of the top 10 skin conditions, which we highlighted in 3rd installment. This time, let’s breakdown how our habits, nutrition, and lifestyle choices can change the skin’s overall state of health and how it can be remedied. The solutions to correcting most of these issues begin with our personal choices and commitment to adjusting our habits.
Let’s get back to the setting of the facial room. The esthetician has cleansed your skin, pinpointed your genetic background, and determined your specific skin type. She’s also identified any skin conditions and concerns you have. Now, to further analyze your skin’s condition and the factors surrounding these concerns, you will asked some health-specific questions.
As the esthetician examines your face through the magnifying lamp, she will ask you a series of questions. It is important to answer truthfully, as this part of the analysis will be beneficial to determine the root of the symptoms of your condition/concerns. This will also establish how to proceed with future facials, as well as an at-home skin care routine. The discussion of your daily habits, nutrition, and lifestyle choices becomes a very valuable and useful guide for preventing skin problems.
Daily habits and skin health
Inquiries into your daily habits such as water and caffeine consumption, and smoking are essential when discussing dull, tight and dry skin issues. The daily habit of optimal water and caffeine consumption sometimes poses a difficult balancing act for most coffee lovers. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average healthy adult requires about 3 liters per day for men, and 2.2 liters per day for women. Even though all liquids count toward your quota, caffeine should only account for only about 1 cup a day.
Further, skin is the largest organ in the body; and just like any other part of your body, it’s made up cells. Skin cells are made up of water (just like your other cells), and without water they will not function properly. Therefore, by improving your daily habit of water intake, you can improve any dry, tight issues.
Complaints of dull skin are usually due to lack of oxygen in the skin. This is typically caused by two factors:
- alcohol consumption
Although smoking is not a common habit among most people these days, both of these factors reduce the level of Vitamin A in your skin and create a lack of moisture and lack of clarity in the skin, giving it the appearance of dullness.
Nutrition and skin health
We are a highly-educated society when it comes to nutrition, and there are so many diets coined as “ healthy”. And yet, even “healthy” foods can sometimes, unknowingly, create a problem for our skin. An educated esthetician will ask about your diet and the three main triggers and biggest culprits in skin issues:
These three ingredients incite inflammatory responses in our skin causing blackheads, whiteheads, cystic acne, and/or excessive oiliness and congestion. Estheticians are not certified nutritionists, (unless they have an additional degree), however, by pinpointing some repeated offenders, they can direct you to take a closer look at your diet or refer you to a nutritionist. It can have make a big difference. For example, when trying to solve acne issues, by avoiding these three main triggers you can actually accelerate the healing time.
PRO TIP: Follow the Mediterranean diet. I always recommend it. This way of eating emphasizes the consumption of olive oil, fresh fruits, and vegetables, legumes and fish, plus minimal meat, dairy, wheat, and sugar. It’s highly satisfying and the most balanced for the skin.
Lifestyle, environment, and skin health
Our lifestyles and environment also contribute to our skin health, and can cause conditions such as dark circles under eyes, pigmentation, irritated skin, and dilated capillaries.
Ways to minimize these conditions:
- get adequate sleep
- utilize proper skin care
- do stress reducing exercises
- pay attention to your environment
All of the above can clue us into making changes to minimize these conditions. Sleep deprivation is the most common cause to dark circles under the eyes, but, so can oversleeping.
Pigmentation, or sun spots, generally occur due to lack of SPF when in the sun, but also are a fact of aging. Stress hormones also trigger pigmentation.
Irritated skin is due to a few factors: improper skin products and usage, or the environment of either work-related or extracurricular activities. Allergies and nasal congestion can dilate the blood vessels around they eyes and nose area causing redness and “broken capillaries”. Although there are retail products for all these conditions that can mask the symptoms, the real solution is to get to the root of these conditions and concerns and consider adjusting your lifestyle.
PRO TIP: Exercise helps nourish skin cells and keeps them vital. It does this by increasing blood flow. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. Think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside.
Hippocrates had it right
Hippocrates, the Greek physician in the age of Pericles (495 B.C.), also one of the most famous figures in medicine, had it right. He favored the use of diet and exercise as cures. That wisdom is still relevant today. Skin conditions and concerns are external symptoms of what is going on in the body internally. To really manage and get to the root of problematic skin and not just treat the symptoms, probing a little more in depth to discover a client’s habits, lifestyle, and environment allows the esthetician real insight on helping the client in achieve long lasting results. Along with the proper skin care, facials, and diet, I also suggest stress reduction techniques such as exercise, prayer, or meditation.
Next in the ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’ series
Join me in the next (and last) edition of ‘Iperoxo Prosopo’, where we’ll talk about the top 5 treatments to cure, treat, and comfort your skin. All of this will help you to achieve amazing results — an iperoxo prosopo.
“Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.” ~Hippocrates