Personal hygiene is a bit of luck at best. When it comes to skin, if your family has great skin and yours is so-so, you’re on your own. Today I’m important skincare tips we were never taught.
So hold on to your scrubs, this is going to be eye opening.
If you have pretty good skin, chances are it doesn’t really matter what the heck you do to your skin. It’s still going to look fine and you’re not going to have any problems. Much like everyone else in my family…no issues. I feel they can sleep in toxic waste and wake up fresh faced and fancy free.
Not me. If the wrong thing touches my skin in the wrong way…bam…redness, breakouts, sensitivity, peeling, you name it. So through the years many people have offered their ill-informed suggestions and old wives tales. Good intentions from everyone, but they just didn’t know the steps in place to properly care for fussy skin.
Shame there isn’t a week or so in grade school devoted to how to care for your skin, so you know before you develop teenage issues.
Here Are My Tips On Skincare We Were Never Taught
Always Wet Your Face Before Using Cleansers
This also goes for scrubs and anything you will rub on your skin. Before you scrub, make sure it’s nice and wet first. This prevents damaging your skin. It helps the product glide safely over the skin without breaking it and causing invisible cracks. I used to just put on cleanser, rub it around and then splash water. So many years causing more damage then good. 🙁
This also goes for all skin. So wash your hands by starting off with a nice splash a water before reaching for that soap.
How To Avoid Razor Burn When Shaving
This one is important. If you have sensitive skin, shaving is scary. You need to be EXTREMELY careful because razor burn is a pain I wish on NO ONE.
Steps To Avoid Razor Burn
1. Always use a moisturizing liquid body wash for sensitive skin without fragrance (bar soap can be more irritating as can products with fragrance, etc.)
2. Get your skin very wet and with a loofa, in a circular motion gently scrub your skin
3. Use warm water, never hot or too cold
4. Take your time exfoliating being sure to keep your skin wet for a long period of time
5. Don’t shave if you’re too cold and have goosebumps
6. Shave slowly, not too hard, and try not to go over an area more than once. It’s better to miss a few hairs then be crying later.
7. For thicker hair areas, do NOT use a new razor. This may seem counterintuitive but it’s true. A slightly dull razor on the area slowly will cause less nicks and cuts.
8. Most shaving creams are just scent filled foam and while may work fine on normal skin will likely not help or even cause a reaction on sensitive skin. They are not needed, your liquid soap is enough.
9. Use a fragrance free lotion with aloe over still wet skin. Aloe is very soothing to the skin and healing. Just remember no matter how you shave it does cause damage.
Oops I Got Razor Burn Anyway Now What?!
1. Clean the area with cool water. When you shave if you use a product that you’re sensitive to even slightly. Over time the reaction can become stronger and stronger. Anything you put on after shaving goes right into your blood stream. So any sensitivities will cause a very strong reaction.
2. Over wet skin use Gold Bond Medicated Lotion, a sensitive skin lotion with aloe, or hydrocortisone topical cream on the area. If it does not get better in a few minutes, take a full dose of Benadryl.
3. While waiting for the irritation and inflammation to go down try eating something with Turmeric and other anti inflammatory herbs.
If You Have Break Outs Use Peels
Peels are just awesome. They don’t have to be super painful to work either. My favorite is Mandelic Acid. It doesn’t hurt that much. For me I only get a little burning sensation when I wash it off. I started at 25% and now I’m at 40% for 4-5 minutes every 4 days. It’s the only reason I don’t have permanent scars. I’ve use everything from Retin-A, gycolic acid, etc. They all left me MORE sensitive and gave me lots of peeling. This is the least annoying and most beneficial acid. As a former facialist I’ve tried them all. It’s not as easy to find because it’s not a popular acid. My guess is because once people find out about it all other acids will be in the trash. So it’s a fiercely kept secret that I’m sharing with you.
What You Eat Matters
Drinking water and the foods your eat directly impact your skin. If you have food sensitivities you need to find them out. Don’t do an elimination diet and guess. Get a test done and KNOW once and for all.
I’m going to do a long post on this soon, but long story short I did the Cyrex Array 10 food panel. You can get information on this by a Naturopathic Doctor and some Acupuncturists. While there are millions of tests, this is the only one that shows consistent results. Others are often cheaper, but provide inaccurate results.
If you see you have a few food sensitivities you can then do an elimination diet. Chronic low-grade inflammation in the body doesn’t just lead to aging in your skin, but serious conditions.
If you have wide-spread food sensitivities, you then need to check if you have a leaky gut (inflamed mucosal membranes and the foods that you are consistently eating are making their way into the blood stream and the immune system is being triggered.) or you may have SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), also termed bacterial overgrowths, or small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SBBOS), is a disorder of excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine.).
Once you fix your gut health your overall health will improve, including your skin! If your gut is unhealthy no fancy cream or over the counter treatment will heal it. You need to heal the gut first and foremost.
How To Tell If You Need To Be Tested For Food Sensitivities:
- You bloat after eating all or some foods
- You have taken antibiotics (these cause leaky gut, always take lots of probiotics between antibiotic doses and ongoing after a course of treatment to repopulate beneficial gut bacteria).
- You have taken nsaids like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, etc. (these cause leaky gut)
- You eat healthy, but sill have trouble loosing weight
Exfoliate In The Evening
This is especially important for sensitive skin types. Exfoliating in the morning will leave your skin unprotected during the day. It will more likely get damaged by sun exposure and the elements.
Makeup will easily enter fresh micro tears, causing clogged pores and inflammation.
Exfoliating in the evening allows for a full night of rest where you skin can regenerate and heel itself from the exfoliation. It will also allow you skin to build a layer of beneficial and protective natural oils.
Don’t Count On Getting Vitamin D Through Your Skin
Everyone loves using the excuse they are at the beach or using poor skin protection practices (not using sunblock) by saying they are getting their Vitamin D.
Here is why you’re probably not getting your vitamin D through your skin:
- Vitamin D-producing UVB rays cannot pass through glass, so that open window is only giving you aging rays. Yikes!
- You need to expose large portions of your skin to the sun, and you may need to do it for more than a few minutes. An arm hanging out your car window won’t cut it.
- The proper amount of UVB rays for vitamin D production is when the sun’s angle is 50% or more, as the short UVB rays cannot penetrate the atmosphere. There are times of the year there are no UVB rays. During these times it is best to take your Vitamin D orally. To check the times of year and best time of day to get Vitamin D where you are, go HERE. Look under altitude and find times that are 50% and above. (source)
- Get the most vitamin D out of exposure to the sun by avoiding washing the skin with soap for 2 days. It is hypothesized that the sebum in the skin contains a large part of the vitamin D formed in the skin.
And don’t bother drinking milk and fortified foods with Vitamin D instead, because:
Many scientific studies have shown an assortment of detrimental health effects directly linked to milk consumption. And the most surprising link is that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. What an irony this is!
Here’s how it happens. Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit. (source)
In fact, since we are on the topic, don’t trust fortified foods. Many of them deplete from the body the very thing they are fortified with. Why? To head off criticism and make it seem like a nonissue.
So what can you do to get your Vitamin D? Take it orally to be sure you get it year round.