7 Easy Steps to Healthy Skin

Every time I open a fashion magazine or scroll through social media, I see all sorts of pitches and promises for Healthy, Flawless skin.  It is a jungle of photo-shopped images and wild promises of “No brown spots in 2 weeks” or “Smooth and plump your skin overnight.”.   No wonder people are cynical!  Here is some good news.  There are actually scientifically proven things that you can do for healthy glowing skin.  I spend hours every week reading the latest journals on skincare products and specific ingredients.  I am kinda of a science nerd at heart.  Plus, I have skin and I want my skin to look the best that it can, and not look like an old boot.  So, here it is, seven simple things you can do today proven to give you healthy, radiant skin.

One last thing before you get started!   It takes time for our skin to turn around and start to look healthy.  There is nothing out there that will work over night, or even in 2 weeks.  We tell our clients every day that the studies show that it takes up to 3-4 months of everyday use before visible changes can be seen.  I know it is hard.  We want to see changes….yesterday!  Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t built that way. 

 

  1. Wear Sunscreen.EVERY DAY!

Beautiful woman wearing sunscreen

Beautiful woman wearing sunscreen…EVERY DAY!

Yes, I know it is hard to imagine that on January 1st we should be applying sunscreen to our faces, necks and everything else that is exposed to the world.  Wait!  Just hear me out.  There are two types of UV radiation that comes from the sun – UVA and UVB.   UVB radiation is more prevalent in the summer month and it is what gives us sunburns.  It is the weaker of the 2 types of UV radiation.  UVA radiation is with us all year round.   It is also so strong that it is able to penetrate clouds and the glass in our homes, offices and cars.  UVA also penetrates deeper into our skin structure and causes more damage to our skin.  And, it is that damage that leads to wrinkles, brown spots, saggy skin and skin cancers.

So, this is why I tell everyone to use a full spectrum sunscreen EVERY DAY.  It should be just like brushing your teeth and wearing your seatbelts.  A daily habit that you do without every giving another thought.  PLUS, it is the best wrinkle cream ever invented.  The best sunscreens are ones that protect you from UVA and UVB radiation, and contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  These natural mineral ingredients are safer for our health and the environment.  They also are superior sunscreen ingredients that protect us from the harmful effects from the sun.  Best of all, they give us immediate protection the moment we apply them to our skin – no more waiting 30 minutes after applying before venturing outside.  My favorite full spectrum mineral sunscreen is SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion 50 SPF.

 

  1. Protect Yourself from Blue Light.

    Even the blue light from your electronic devices, like iPads, can damage your skin.

    Even the blue light from your electronic devices, like iPads, can damage your skin.

Recent studies show that we are bathed in blue light from our smart phones, tablets, computers, TVs, CFL & LED lights bulbs an average of 8 hours a day.  In fact, we now have more exposure to blue light than we do actual UV radiation from the sun.  This constant bathing in blue light creates the formation of reactive oxygen species.  All that means is that blue light is hitting the fast forward button on the aging process of our skin.  So, that means more wrinkles, sagging skin and brown spots.   Studies are also showing that this blue light exposure increases eye strain and increases our risk for macular degeneration down the road.

And, if all of that wasn’t enough; blue light messes with the secretion of melatonin, which leads to poor sleep.  Just something to think about when you reach for your phone first thing in the morning.

What can we do?  Well, there are a lot of things we can do to help our skin, our eyes and our sleep.  The most obvious is to limit the amount of screen time each day.  When you do need to be in-front of a screen there are blue light filters that you can apply to your computers, tablets, phones and TVs that will filter out the harmful blue light.  You can also wear specials glasses that filter out the blue light, but that will only help protect you from the negative effects that blue light has on your eyes.  The best bet for protecting your skin from advanced aging effects from blue lights is by wearing a daily topical antioxidant.  More on that later.

 

  1. Drink Half Your Body Weight in Ounces of Water Every Day.

Water is the foundation of healthy skin

Water is the foundation of healthy skin

This is just plain good advice for many more reasons than just for healthy skin.  First off, I always feel 100% better when I’ve been drinking adequate water all day long.  I am more alert, productive and eat way less when I am hydrated.  Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and our skin cells are comprised of water molecules.  Our skin also helps detox and regulate our body temperature through perspiration which is, you guessed it – made up of water!  If you weigh 150 lbs, then you should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day (150/2 = 75)  So make it your goal for 2020 to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day.

 

  1. Go Wash Your Face!

    Beautiful woman washing her face

    You wouldn’t go to bed without brushing your teeth! Don’t skip washing your face!

I get it, it has been a long day and you just want to crawl in bed and fall dead asleep.  We’ve all been there, trust me!   Washing your face is JUST as important as brushing your teeth.  And I KNOW you would go to bed without brushing your teeth! Cleansing your face at the end of the day washes off dirt, pollutants, bacteria, dead skin cells, excess oil and makeup. Believe me when I say you want all that gunk off your sweet face before your head off to lala land.

Why you ask?  Because, cleansing is essential to keeping your skin looking radiant and healthy.  Cleansing helps anti-aging skin care products and treatments work to maximum efficacy – it is hard for them to be absorbed through a layer of dirt and make-up.  Washing your face keeps pores squeaky clean and small.   Finally, cleansing encourages proper skin hydration and prevents the production of excess oils.  If you have one minute then you have time to cleanse your skin.

My favorite bedtime tools are my Sonicare toothbrush followed by my Clarisonic.  My Mia Clarisonic literally takes ONE MINUTE to get my skin 6x cleaner than if I went “Old School” and just used my hands or a washcloth.  And just like my teeth sparkle after I brush with my Sonicare, my skin glows after ONE MINUTE with my Clarisonic.  So make this a part of your nightly routine along with brushing your teeth.

 

  1. Antioxidant Serums.

    SkinCeuticals CE Ferrulic and Phloretin CF

    SkinCeuticals CE Ferrulic and Phloretin CF

The question isn’t, should you us a topical antioxidant it’s which antioxidant should you use.  Thanks to Dr. Sheldon Pinell at Duke University’s Dermatology Department, we now have 20 years of clinical data on the benefits of using topical antioxidants EVERY DAY.  The industry’s Gold Standard antioxidants are SkinCeuticals CE Ferrulic and Phloretin CF.  Both of these Antioxidant Champions are clinically PROVEN to –

  • Reduce Facial Redness – This is a must have for those with Rosacea
  • Fade Brown Spots – Phloretin CF is the best choice for those with excess brown pigment.
  • Smooths Lines & Wrinkles – Both work the same for this benefit
  • Reduces Pre-Cancerous Skin Cells – If you have ever had skin cancer or pre-cancerous skin lesions, you should NEVER walk out the door without having an antioxidant serum on with your sunscreen.

 

  1. Retinol

    SkinCeuticals Retinol

    SkinCeuticals Retinol

If you were born after 1990 you absolutely, positively NEED to be using Retinol.  Trust me, in 20 years you will call me up and thank me for this advice.  We see clients that are in their 60’s and 70’s that have been using a Retinol since their 30’s and you can tell!  Their skin is 15 years younger looking than other women their age that haven’t used Retinol.  Retinol does it ALL!

  • Lines & Wrinkles
  • Brown Spots
  • Dull Rough Skin Texture
  • Acne

 

  1. Exfoliate

We all want that healthy glow to our skin, and exfoliation is the answer.  Now that doesn’t mean using an apricot scrub to lacerate your poor skin to death.  There is a better way to gently remove that layer of dead skin cells without beating up your skin.   You can start by using a cleanser that contains alpha hydroxyl acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid.  If you have breakout issues or oily skin, look for a cleanser with salicylic acid and/or lypohydroxy acid (LHA).  This is the easiest way to both cleanse your skin and exfoliate at the same.

Want to kick your exfoliation up another notch?   Try a serum or moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxyl acids.  Depending upon your skin, you can use this on the nights you are not using Retinol.  OR, if you use Retinol every night (good for you!), then you can use the exfoliating serum or moisturizer in the morning.  A new FAN FAVORITE is SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight.   Sensitive skin?  You can still exfoliate, but you will want to use something that is gentle on your delicate skin.  A great option is SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator that will also give you skin a boost of hydration with added hyaluronate.

 

  1. Low Carb and Lovin It!

Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, Adkins.   We’ve heard of them all.  Why is a low carb diet part of healthy skin?  When we eat things like bread, pasta, rice, and of course sugary snacks; those carbohydrates wreak havoc with our skin as they circulate around our body.

Wrinkles – carbohydrates will attach themselves to our collagen strands within our skin, causing our collagen to lose it elasticity.  And, if our collagen loses it elasticity, then our skin is going to sag and look more wrinkled than it should.

 Acne – eating carbohydrates cause a sharp rise in our insulin levels.  Insulin is a hormone that then causes a whole cascade of chaos with rising levels of stress hormones, sex hormones and even increased oil gland activity.  All leading to a face full of pimples.  No Bueno!

Rosacea – inflammation is the middle name for Rosacea.  Eating carbohydrates causes a significant increases in inflammation all over the body, including the skin.  And, Rosacea is ALL inflammation.

So, ditch the carbs and enjoy lots of varieties of veggies, healthy proteins (think organic, wild caught, pastured raised) and moderate amount of fresh fruits

Healthy vegetables part of healthy skin

Healthy vegetables part of healthy skin

 

Remember, this is not magic, It takes time for our skin to turn around and start to look healthy.  There is nothing out there that will work overnight, or even in two weeks.  Almost daily we remind our clients day that the studies show that it takes up to 3-4 months of everyday use before visible changes can be seen.  I know it is hard.  We want to see changes….yesterday!  Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t built that way. 

All of these things are so simple.  So, commit yourself to these 7 things so by Spring you will be on your way to having healthy radiant skin.  Here is to a Happy & Healthy 2020!

In 2004 I founded Columbia Laser Skin Center.  Since 1990 my passion has been skin health, wellness and fitness.  All of that passion began when I  received my BS in Exercise Sports Science from Oregon State University in 1990.  I then traveled all across the country where I went on to study at Duke University and received my Masters of Health Science in 1992.  For the next 15 years I practiced as a PA in Oklahoma and Oregon, until I became a full time entrepreneur and business leader.  Because of my medical training and background, I spend many hours each week reading the latest journals from Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine.  I take all of that information from reading those scientific journals and I bring it to Columbia Laser Skin Center so that we are constantly improving how we can give our clients the best possible results.

I started this blog to –

  1. Share my knowledge and expertise in the latest in skin care and non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
  2. Dispel many myths and untruths that exist around skin care and non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
  3. Teach people how look and feel their very best.
  4. Promote skin health

I would love to connect with you!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions that I can help you with  or if you would like to meet with one of our amazing skincare specialists for a skin assessment and personalized treatment plan. (info@columbialaserskincenter.com)