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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.

 

Your face and skin are windows into your health. Skin issues and other undesirable facial flaws are often thought of in terms of how they’re unpleasing to the eye and take away from a person’s natural beauty. But this way of thinking disregards the important fact that circles under your eyes, red cheeks and unusual acne that pops up in places such as your ears or along your forehead can tell a tale about nutritional deficiencies and the health of your organs.

What your FACE can tell you about your health (including spotting if you need to go on a diet based on where your blemishes and wrinkles are).

 

Acne/Breakouts

Adult acne or breakouts can be caused by all sorts of issues, but are most directly related to hormones and stress. Genetics can play a role in adult acne.  Acne can be caused from hormonal changes or imbalances related to birth control, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and peri-menopause. When stress levels rise the body produces more stress hormones, which cause over production of oil and thus a higher chance of a breakout. Lifestyle choices like exercising and sweating may help to get circulation and blood flow going.

“Chin or jawline breakouts are typically hormonal acne. Try exfoliating more on the chin and forehead and be aware of any hair product that may be getting on your forehead. Always clean your cell phone anything that may touch your chin.  Clean all makeup brushes as to not spread bacteria.”  Dr. Gary Goldfaden

While food doesn’t cause acne, it can attribute to it and make for an unclean, unhealthy appearing complexion. Glycation is the main enemy of skin and the aging process of the body.. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin, which excels the aging process. Foods that feed glycation/cause inflammation in the body/skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Puffy Eyes + Dark Circles:

Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent. Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention, Allergies Sinus problems, Dehydration, Fatigue and lack of sleep, Stress, Crying, and Aging that can cause inflammation and swelling.

Puffy eyes could also be related to kidney problems, and these should be investigated by your doctor.

Redness:

Blood vessels are more apparent in people who genetically have thin skin, but red skin can also be the result of aging and skin damage. Sun exposure can increase redness, inflammation, and eventually skin cell damage all over the face.

Dr. G says increase anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing ingredients /foods

  • Red Tea (Rooibos)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Green Tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Cucumbers

If excessive redness does happen, try applying a cool compress, splashing your face with very cold water, going indoors and allowing your body to cool off. Wearing a little concealer on areas that do tend to get red can help too.

You are what you eat:

Diet: “Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away from foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. Some people may benefit from cutting dairy products out of their diet.”

“Overall signs of loss of elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging may be caused by Glycation. The Glycation process (sugars from food and alcohol, that break down the collagen fibers in the skin) speeds up the aging process. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol. “

“Smoking can attribute to dull and sallow looking skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, enlarged pores and an overall unhealthy complexion.” Dr. Gary Goldfaden

 

 

We all know the common skin culprits when it comes to breakouts what the causes including,  bacteria and oil, hormones, and certain foods or medications. Have you ever thought about where we live to be some of the main contributing factors to some of our skin woe’s?

Big City Skin – The Issues:

Pollution

According to Dr. Goldfaden, pollution and smog in big cities can clog pores, but also lead to dryness in the winter. Additionally, the free radicals in the ozone layer of smog can cause premature aging, such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity, and those who live in highly polluted urban areas are at higher risk of developing eczema and rashes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Vitamin D absorption

Atmospheric pollution has been shown to block the absorption of UVB needed by skin to make the Vitamin D so crucial for our overall skin health and proper functioning. “This is where vitamin D comes in: rates of cell division and differentiation are triggered by growth factors and other molecules that are controlled by the presence of vitamin D” say’s Dr. G. If adequate amounts of vitamin D are not available, your epidermal cells won’t differentiate optimally. As a result, the outer layer of your skin may become thinner and more fragile.

The Solutions:

Imagine all the pollution, dirt and bacteria that cover the face after a day outside in a city. Free radicals are attacking form every angle breaking down skin cells causing loss of elastin and collagen in the skin. Detoxifying products are crucial to ward off free-radical damage on the skin and keep skin looking flawless, bright and blemish-free. A detox cleanser is imperative. Look for an acid based cleanser to eradicate surface layer bacteria, dirt and oil. The use of a  bi-weekly pore-clarifying mask can be helpful as well to keep pores free of gunk, dirt, oil and bacteria which lead to breakouts.

Protect + Repair: Dr. Goldfaden’s advanced brightening and antioxidant serum helps to protect against photo-aging and free radical damage, while leaving skin hydrated and radiant.

Smoggy and polluted climates also call for serums and moisturizers that target environmental damage and almost shield the skin. Look for powerhouse Vitamin D as an ingredient! A great option to try is our Vital Boost moisturizer, a daily skin-boosting and antioxidant-infused moisturizer with a powerful dose of Vitamin D.