Thursday, August 30, 2007

WE Beauty - What You Need to Know to Promote a Healthy Appearance (Part 1)

by Carol A. Allen

Your skin is one of the first things people notice when they look at you, especially your face. But are you happy with the condition that yours is in right now? Do you really know how to take care of your skin? Have you ever looked at someone and thought, "Wow, I'd like to have a clean, clear and healthy complexion like that!" Well, with a proper daily routine and the right products, your skin can look amazing and appear years younger.

Whether you are a man, woman or teenager, in fact, as long as you have skin, you should be using skin care.

There are many environmental factors that can cause damage to the skin and increase the signs of aging, especially without proper skin protection. Specifically, heat, air conditioning, smoke, pollution and the sun are all contributing factors. And, as you get older, it is important to develop good skin care habits to preserve the skin's elasticity, density and texture.

If you've been using a petroleum jelly such as Vaseline, water, soap or not applying anything on your face all, it's time for a wake up call. None of these constitute a skin care regimen.

Petroleum jelly has been used on the skin for ages, and many people continue to use it as a face moisturizer, likely because they've adopted the practices of their parents. However, petroleum jelly contains mineral oil, a clear liquid oil that is produced through the distillation of gasoline through crude oil. Mineral oil clogs the pores as it lays on the skin and prevents the skin from being able to eliminate toxins, which is a necessity in maintaining a fresh, healthy appearance.

Studies show that it's important to drink water daily in order to hydrate the skin and to flush the toxins out the system. Eight to ten glasses per day is usually recommended. However, just applying water on your face daily does absolutely nothing for you. It does not remove oil, dirt or bacteria on its own. In fact, water can be hard on the skin, which is why the only time water should be applied on the face, is when it's lukewarm and being used as a rinse with a facial cleanser.

Soap is a definite no-no on the skin. Unless it's prescribed by a dermatologist for a specific reason, soap has no real value for facial use. Soaps tend to be made with animal fats, vegetable fats and oils, leaving a film on your skin which can take on average 21-28 or more rinses before it all comes off. It is very drying to the skin and pulls out your skin's natural oils. And, if you attempt to smile after using soap, you can usually feel tightness in the skin.

If you are currently not applying anything to your face at all and you like what you see in the mirror, then you are probably one of the lucky ones who have been blessed with good genes, for now. However, over time, as you get older, chances are you will develop lines, wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, discolouration and saggy skin. As you age, you begin to lose collagen which is fibrous protein in the skin that keeps the skin looking firm and resilient, but can be replaced by using products that contain Vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes collagen production and strengthens blood capillaries. That means fewer broken capillaries are visible on your face.

Generations before us may have gotten away with these long-time practices, only because quality products hadn't been developed as yet. But now, in the twentieth century and with advances in modern science and technology, many beauty lines are offering a variety of products complete with clinical tests to back their findings. Cleansers, toners and moisturizers are critical in good skin care. Not only does your skin come into contact with environmental factors, but it also accumulates dead cells daily which need to be removed in order for your face to have a nice glow and not appear dry and dull.
In order to do that, you need to find products that work for you. There are tons of products on the market today. In fact, the beauty industry is a very lucrative industry boasting billions of dollars in revenue annually. However, when searching for a good skin care line, you need to look at the delivery system and what differentiates it from everything else on the market.

We’ll explore Part 2, Selecting Skin Care Products for Your Skin Type in the next issue.

Carol Allen is a Skin Care Consultant and Make-Up Artist for Aloette Cosmetics
You can book a personal consultation by calling (416) 410 7556 or by email to

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