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Environmental aggressors are one of the main (if not the main) causes of aging skin damage and cancer. Daily aggressors like the sun, the air, pollution, exhaust, smoking, second hand smoke, radiation, the ozone, unclean skincare products ( ingredients ie: phalates, mineral oil), ingested food and water all contribute to the demise of our healthy skin cells. Environmental aggressors deliver free radicals to the skin, which in turn cause the breakdown of collagen, onset of wrinkles, cell mutation, aging, dark spots, dehydration, inflammation, immune function damage and in some instances cancer.

Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke, pollution, smoke and radiation. … Antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, and carotenoids, may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Anti-oxidants can be found in topical skincare products, vitamins and healthy super foods. Below are my list of anti-oxidants everyone should be ingesting and applying and also ingesting to maximize on the skin’s best natural defense system.

Vitamin C is arguably the most important vitamin of all due to all it’s capabilities internally and externally. While it is hard to choose 1-2 of the most crucial jobs this vitamin has, it is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and supports the immune system and helps make collagen in the body.

Riboflavin is Vitamin B2. Usually B2 is combined with another type of Vitamin B, such as Niacinimide (B3), when formulated in skincare products. Foods and ingredients that are high in Vitamin B2 are almonds, oily fish, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, sesame seed and chia seeds. *Niacinimide, a Vitamin B derivative, is found in our Wake Up Call!

White Birds of Paradise. Strelitzia Nicolaior ‘Giant White Bird of Paradise’ seed extract increases skin luminosity while improving hydration and smoothness. A native South African plant, it belongs to the plant family Sterilitzia. In South Africa it is commonly called the crane flower and is featured on the back of the 50 cent coin. White Birds of Paradise are found in all of our Plant Profusion collection, as it is one of the main ingredients in our proprietary complex, PURFLORA. White birds of paradise is a multifunctional ingredient which works to restore the appearance of the skin’s youth by reducing the appearance of uneven skin pigmentation, dull, lack-luster complexion resulting in an increased illuminated glow.

Superior antioxidants Raspberry Leaf, Comfrey Leaf stem cell actives, White Tea Leaf, Garden Cress Sprout and Birds of Paradise extracts, all offer the exceptional ability to enhance the skin’s appearance and can be are found in Dr. G’s proprietary Plant Profusion collection.

Consuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. Increase your antioxidant intake by eating more nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and vegetables – your body will thank you!

 

Peel, exfoliate, treat, hydrate, control, pH balanced. Does this sound like your brain when dealing with your skin? The struggle to balance skin no matter your age can be daunting. The goal is to improve tone, texture, firmness, softness and hydration. So, what is pH balanced skin and why is it so important?

The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called the acid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands and lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly on the acidic side. So how do we ensure proper balance? Correct products and ingredients, paying attention to your climate and listening to your skin’s signals.

Exfoliation + Cleansing

Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is crucial! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.

When we talk about ‘cleansing’ we need to include exfoliation. Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema, in which case use an enzymatic exfoliator. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired.

Listen To Your Skin

Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout. However, this is highly dependent on what type of cleanser (ingredients) being used and skin type. If you are oily and using a gentle gel based natural cleanser, like our ‘Pure Start cleanser’, you can’t really over cleanse. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose. Stay away from astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. If your skin starts to feel dry or stripped, gets irritated or flaky, listen to the signs. Over cleansing and under cleansing can both cause-unbalanced skin.

Climate + Environment

Balanced skin can also be a result of the climate and environment lived in. For example if you live in a cold climate, exfoliation should decrease during cold, dry months. Likewise, cleansing and antioxidant protection should increase in urban settings to battle pollution and free radicals.

Dr. G tip:

Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots).

The Balancing Ingredients

Balancing the skin is a dance between the right amounts of exfoliation/cleansing as mentioned above and the ingredients, which deliver the soothing, nourishing hydration and softness back to the skin. Dr. G has created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask for this exact reason. A botanical-rich treatment mask which features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin.

 

People have been taking better care and are more focused of their facial skin but a face that looks youthful paired with a neck and chest that show the signs of sun damage and photo-aging can make people look unnatural and ‘done’. The truth is, one can always tell someone’s age, but looking at their neck and hands – two areas that are constantly exposed and often forgotten about. Discover the science behind how the neck ages and tips on how to reverse skin aging.

We sat down with Dr. G to get the 411 on how to properly care for our neck.

Why does the neck area age so quickly?

The neck skin is not attached to any bones, and therefore will be one of the first areas to display the pull of gravity. That also means that it is aging both vertically and horizontally causing sagging and lines all over. The neck is often forgotten when it comes time to protect the skin. The neck is exposed to elements such as sun and environmental pollutants.

What’s the look that every 40-something woman and over wants from her neck?  The look of tight, taught, even toned and hydrated skin.  No discoloration, dehydrated, crepey skin or horizontal bands.

Is there a celebrity poster women for a good chin and neck?

Jennifer Lopez

What can we do at home as part of a daily routine? 

Start with exfoliation (I always recommend to my patients our Fresh A Peel as it exfoliates, brightens and hydrates in one) to rid the neck area of dead skin, dirt, debris and as a rule of thumb, try to remember to extend your facial treatments down through the neck and decollate area. Incorporate  neck cream that contains anti-aging ingredients and was developed for the neck area. When choosing a neck cream look for peptides, hydrating lightweight oils (remember we don’t produce oil on the neck, so the skin often gets dehydrated quickly), and ingredients that offer brightening and DNA repair. Wearing an SPF on the neck and chest area is a must everyday.  We also look down a lot (at our computers and phones), which causes more wrinkles. Try and place your computer higher up on your desk and hold your phone up when texting or reading. Always stand up straight as good posture can help prevent wrinkles.

Why is the skin there so very tricky?

The neck has no pores, hair follicles or sweat glands, therefore doesn’t produce oil like the face does, making it susceptible to dehydration. The skin of the neck and chest are is thinner tissue than the face and is damaged more easily. Many people ignore the neck forget that it is exposed to the elements. The sagging and crepiness is due to loss of collagen. Discoloration may be present due to sun damage or hormones and can range from speckled darkness to redness and uneven tone.

Is it better to use dedicated products or can you just use your face creams?

If it is better to use dedicated ones why please? Dedicated neck products are recommended.  Do not use anti-aging face creams on the neck. The neck is more delicate than the face, has no pores and cannot absorb many of the ingredients in facial products. Always apply the cream in an upward motion. Never pull, tug or rub the neck skin.

Any tips such as for example wearing sun screen on your neck?

When protecting or restoring the neck, always extend your exfoliation treatment down to the neck and décolleté area. Incorporate a neck cream with ingredients that target discoloration, dehydration, tightness and cell turnover such as peptides, amino acids, oil of grapefruit and birds of paradise. Always wear an SPF or cover the neck area when outdoors as this will help to mitigate discoloration. No one is too young to start protecting the neck area!