How much water does your skin need?

originalHydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This fad-ish conversation of drinking more water has really got us thinking. Being properly hydrated helps our joints and helps our digestion but no where in this recent dialog am I hearing about how much we need for our skin.

“Back in the day” diet counselors and skin clinicians said to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. That 64 ounces felt like swimming in a 100 lb. woman but to a highly active 180 lb. man it bordered on dehydration. Most modern health advocates give us the formula of dividing your body weight in half and drinking that number of ounces. But where the skin is concerned there is more to consider.

Given that our bodies are 75% water it does make sense that we need to constantly replenish it to keep it going. Our skin specifically needs water to remain plump but interestingly only around 15% of what goes in our mouth ever makes it to the surface. This lack is compounded by the fact that as we age some of the bio-chemical components within the cells that are responsible for holding water in place diminish and our natural skin oils that form an evaporation protection barrier lessens.

Only 15% of the water we drink ever makes it to the surface of the skin.

This means that perhaps we need more water and definitely need to prevent dehydration. Once a cell flattens from lack of water it is very difficult to plump it back up and prolonged dehydration crystallizes some of those bio-chemicals leaving shards that can cut and damage cells. Damaged cells = wrinkles.

So how much is enough? That modern formula is seems to be pretty perfect but consider that if we are consuming dehydrating liquids or are exposed to wind & sun, or heat our homes with wood and forced air, or are perspiring daily with exercise, or flying on airplanes, we need even more. You know what they say; if you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. And if your skin looks crepey like a desert floor then you are way, way past dehydration.

To keep your skin plump, in addition to the water consumption formula above, here are some replenishment calculations to help you understand your skin’s need for water:

  • Coffee, black or green tea, caffeinated sodas, alcohol.  These are all diuretics which means they cause the body to expel as much water as they put in.  For each ounce consumed replace with an equal amount of water.
  • Laxatives, magnesium.  These draw the water from the central parts of the body to the bowels and in the process dehydrating the outermost part of the body.  Drink several glasses of water for each one taken.
  • Hormonal therapies.  These block hormones that regulate the production of skin oil so skin dehydrates very quickly.  Drink as much extra as you can with water beverages that increase your electrolytes for better maintenance.
  • Flying on airplanes.  The air in the cabin is de-humidified to lighten the load of the plane so bodies dehydrate quickly.  For every hour on the plane drink 8 oz. of water.  Additionally misting the skin with water hourly is helpful.  My Rehance Mist is excellent for this.  NOTE: Most air sickness is due to dehydration.
  • Perspiration.  If you perspire a lot, many health advocates are recommending consuming up to a gallon of water.  I calculate that for every hour of perspiration I need an addition 16 oz. of water.
  • Exposure to the outdoor elements or over-heated homes.  Wind and sun dehydrate the surface of the skin as does air-blown heat in our homes.

THIS IS KEY: to help your skin maintain the water you give it, consider how the skin itself is designed to do so.  Sodiums and sugars within the cells are responsible for holding water in place and sebum produced in the oil glands released to the surface of the skin helps the bio-components themselves from drying out.  As I mentioned previously, as we age all of these become diminished thus the need to help our skin.  Moisturizing your body daily before the skin dries out is important.

  • Look for body and face moisturizers that contain water retaining ingredients like sodium PCA and sodium hyaluronate, beta-glucan and beta-fructan or polysaccharides.
  • Look for moisturizers that contain sebum-like oil such as squalane and oils that have nutritional omega-3  fatty acids like almond and olive and oils that help seal/sooth the skin like shea or sesame.

This is how I formulated my body lotion.

NOTE: a properly hydrated body should produce 6 to 8 cups of clear to slightly yellow urine per day.  If your urine is very yellow you are dehydrated.

At-home facials for winter dry skin

tigycevkxcfkv8mdpnr3hmujFor those of us who live in cold winter climates, the life gets nearly sucked out of our skin on a daily basis. Below freezing temps & wind coupled with over-heated homes & offices halt the production of our naturally protective sebum [skin oil] and evaporates the water from our bodies. The result is skin that looks like the Bonneville Salt Flats, is irritable and prone to red rashes.

Simple measures at home, though, can erase this effect.  Keeping a good moisturizer on morning and night help maintain the skin but once it has lost it’s natural protective barrier then it needs treatment.  There is a mistake made by scrubbing away the visible dead skin cells; this only irritates the skin further.  The reintroduction of water to the surface cells then sealed in with sebum-like oil is what is needed.  The dry, dead skin cells will naturally release once the foundation of the skin is conditioned.

Following are a few facials that you can give yourself at home using my therapeutic products but you can also use substitutions if you are not able to acquire them from me.

DSC04882Quick Fix Shower Steam

  1. Apply a thick layer of Emolulite Cleanser to the face & neck while showering.  The glycerine in it absorbs the water from the air to plump the skin, the squalene oil in it clings to water too & conditions the skin naturally [because our skin’s own sebum contains squalene] and the blackberry seed oil feeds the skin with antioxidant protection.
  2. Remove cleanser with a warm wet washcloth.  Skin will feel soothed and plumped!  Apply moisturizer of choice.
  3. Substitutions: a mixture of honey and oil (be careful of thick, fatted oils that will clog the skin causing breakouts).  This will produce a similar effect yet not as pleasing nor as scientifically beneficial.

Relaxation Tub Facial

  1. Draw a bath for yourself, step in and, if possible, pull the curtain or close the door around you to allow steam to build up in the air.
  2. Wash face/neck with Purify Frothing Cleanser.
  3. Apply a medium-thick layer of Pumpkin Creme Masque.  Leave in place as your skin can tolerate, up to 8 minutes.  This will gently remove dead skin cells and stimulate blood flow to encourage healthy skin renewal while keeping the skin moist.  Remove product with a wash cloth and set aside.  Splash face with tub water to remove entirely.
  4. Apply a medium-thin layer of Lemon Honey Butter masque.  Leave in place for up to 15 minutes then splash off.  Towel dry face/neck when leaving tub.  Skin will be incredibly full and moist and rosy!  Apply moisturizer of choice.
  5. Substitutions: On clean skin apply a mixture of honey and oil (be careful of thick, fatted oils that will clog the skin causing breakouts) then remove by scrubbing a bit with a warm wet washcloth. This will produce a similar effect yet not as pleasing nor as scientifically beneficial.

Walk-around in-a-hurry facial

maple masque dual image

  1. On clean skin apply a medium-thick layer of Maple Jolt Masque.   Leave in place for up to 15 minutes.  This masque is great used in the tub or shower but when in a hurry it is enhanced by body movement and even exercise! Benefits include stimulating blood flow to detox skin & encourage new cell growth and increase hydration in skin.
  2. Splash off with warm water and immediately, while skin is still slightly damp, apply 2 pumps of Glow and 5 drops of Top Dressing Oil.  Once dry apply moisturizer over this as needed.  Skin will be glowing and plumped.  Any redness will dissipate within one hour.

Of course nothing can quite give you the benefits of a professional facial.  Please contact me if you need help understanding your skin and its needs.

Jane

Weather alert; put on your layers (of skincare)!

DSC06182Just like we don vests, scarves and silk undergarments when the weather temps drop and the wind chill sets in, we need to add additional layers to the skin on our face for IT’S protection!  Cold temperatures coagulate our skin’s oil before it can get to the surface and wind plus dry interior environments causes the water in our skin to evaporate.  The loss of these which comprise the skin’s Hydro-Lipid Film that is part of our immune system, leaves the skin vulnerable to irritation, wind burns, rosacea break-outs and an uneven complexion.  SO, put on some extra layers to avoid this.

Here is how (see my personal routine at the end):

  1. Avoid foaming cleansers that might strip too much oil away.  Instead use creamy or oil cleansers this time of year face AND neck.
  2. When skin is still wet from cleaning apply a thin layer of a watery serum that’s purpose is to hydrate the skin over the whole face/neck.  Let soak in.
  3. Apply a thick lotion or cream over this to the entire face/neck.
  4. In many cases the skin may need even more so spot apply a few drops of a good skin oil to the cheeks and forehead.  Rosehip, sweet almond, argan…

My routine:

Your skin may need a different routine so if you need help please contact me!

Home remedies for stressed out Holiday skin

Holiday-shopping-1Holiday-ShoppingIs your fa, la, la, la, la dragging? Are you relying on all those holiday cookies and jolts of caffeine to keep you going, topped off with celebratory alcoholic beverages?  Most of us have way tooooooo much to do this season and right about now—in this most rushed week of the year—our skin starts revolting.

All those “cures” for exhaustion and stress actually create more stress on the body & skin by triggering the immune system.  Adrenaline is released into the skin causing hormonal cysts and the body redirects water & minerals from the surface of the skin to the inside offering more protection for its core inner organs leaving the surface of the skin depleted.  The effect creates the appearance of lack-lustre, blotchy and dry skin that is  itchy and prone to those big, red cyst-type break-outs that never seem to come to a head.

AT HOME QUICK FIXES:

  1. Avoid soapy cleansers; instead remove make-up with oils like sweet almond or argan or rosehip by massaging in and removing with a warm, wet washcloth.  Better yet, use Euchlora Emolulite Cleanser with added benefits.  The oil conditions the skin so it can withstand the stress.
  2. Take a steamy shower or bath with pure lavender essential oil to decompress your stressy spirits and to provide an anti-inflamatory, anti-septic measure for your skin.
  3. Use clay masques to detoxify the skin.  Euchlora’s Terraflora Masque is really spectacular.
  4. Apply cold wet water compresses to the skin to drench it and calm it.  Again add a couple drops of pure lavender essential oil to the water.  Or let me blend something beautiful just for your individual countenance.
  5. Drench those break-out bumps with anti-histamine eye drops.  It will reduce the swelling and in many cases make it disappear.
  6. Moisturize morning and night to keep the skin strengthened.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES:

  1. Drink LOTS of water to flush the stress hormones from the body and help replenish water loss in the skin.  I know, I know, I know….
  2. I love the little tablets called Calms Forte available at Health Food Stores and some grocery stores in that section.  They calm the nervous system which in turn curbs the release of the hormones that deplete the skin and the body.
  3. Take something off your list so that your nervous system can relax a little.

BE HAPPY, BE WELL…I am thinking about you and your skin!  Jane

Don’t rub it in and other winter moisturizing tips

spongesThose of us of a certain age (we know who we are) grew up with many skincare myths.  They still plague us (at least our memories are still good) and keep us from having the optimum results in skincare.  Let me debunk the 3 most common myths so you can increase the effectiveness of your moisturizers, save some wear & tear on your skin and have a more radiant complexion.

MYTH #1 – “Rub in your moisturizer until you can see it any more.”  Your poor face!  All that rubbing breaks down the under lying connective tissue accelerating the aging process and most of the product goes into your hands instead of your face.

  • Instead: “smooth” the product onto your face with gentle upwards sweeping motions. Apply eye products along the brow bone in the same direction as your eyebrow hair is growing continuing in a circle down around the top of the orbital bone underneath the eye.  Your skin will look wet or oiled-up but give it up to 10 minutes or so then it will naturally absorb into the skin filling it up.

MYTH #2 – “When your face feels dry apply a thick creme or oil (Coconut oil is trendy right now).”  This just greases up the skin and does not address the loss of moisture/water. Healthy skin is flushed with plenty of water from within balanced with a light protective coating of oil that holds that water in place.

  • Instead: when very dry, first drench the skin with a water-maintaining product such as Glow then apply heavier oil-rich products over that. Alternatively, thin aqueous products that contain some oil such as FruitCocktail can address both water & oil at the same time.  Envision a dry sponge; just oil laid on top will leave it still looking dimpled and feeling crusty but if it is wet first it will smooth out.

MYTH #3 -“You do not need a night creme because when left alone your skin will make its own oil at night”.  There is truth to this because naturally healthy functioning oil glands do self-moisturize.  HOWEVER, if you your face is over age 40, have sun damage, are out-of-doors a lot, live in a cold climate with dry heat inside, have had chemotherapy or radiation treatments, have had gastric by-pass, lap-band or colectomy surgeries, are on a low-fat or non-fat diet you need to use moisturizers at night to maintain the water content in the skin because it cannot maintain itself with these conditions.

Remember, letting your skin dry out only for a while will let skin cells collapse allowing age to set in.

If you need help with a moisturizing routine, please contact me for your own skin consultation.

 

Product knowledge; FruitCocktail moisture fluid

DSC04830FruitCocktail moisture fluid is an anti-aging moisturizer that goes on thin yet finishes with a satiny, protected feeling.  It incorporates plant stem-cell technology and active extracts from fruit to provide new ways of protecting the skin from aging while helping it to renew itself more perfectly.  This non-comedogenic formula is an answer for acne sufferers as a solo moisturizer over treatment products and it also great for any skin type used alone or layered with other moisturizing treatments.

The starring ingredient in this formula is apple stem cells.   Plant stem cells, like human stem cells, have the ability to regenerate other cells when co-mingled.  Laboratory in-vitro (test tube) tests have shown this to be true with this ingredient.  These apple stem cells have been extracted with a new PhytoCellTech™ process from a rare swiss apple, Uttwiler Spatlauber, noted for its longevity and active botanical properties.  This is ingredient is now popular in many over the counter products but the way it is combined to be most accessible to the skin is what makes this formula more active.

To enhance the activity of the formula is the addition of rhubarb root extract.  It contains the rhaponticin molecule the activates PPARy, a receptor that stimulates the growth of skin cells and also stimulates the production of skin lipids to protect against moisture loss.  These actives are suspended in coconut endosperm, the embriotic fluid from coconut rich in RNA, growth factors, minerals and vitamins to revitalize the skin and maintain its fluids.  Sodium hyaluronate, the key moisture binding component of skin cells, helps “fix” the moisture into the skin.

To protect against losing this increased moisture, Blueberry seed oil from the high bush berry, vaccinium corymbosum from the state of Washington, is added.  It is fresh harvested, cold-pressed and naturally filtered through diatomaceous earth. Full of nutritious Omega-3 fatty acids, skin healing chlorophyll and vitamins A & E, it has added benefits of soothing and nourishing the skin.  Karite Fruit oil, the remaining oil from the refinement of shea butter, adds silky protection against moisture loss also.

Extracts from the olive are used to emulsify and add silkiness to the product along with fine, non-hazardous silicones.  More importantly, these two help to penetrate the primary ingredients of the formula into skin causing them to remain active.  This moisture fluid is very different then the normal stearate-laden waxy moisturizers that just lay on the skin; it actually becomes part of the skin’s natural protective layer.