With Valentines Day come and gone, and the Family Day Weekend winding down, love is certainly in the air. I personally find February an very uplifting month. The doom and gloom of January has passed, the days are getting longer and the sun begins to shine. To continue with the LOVE theme of this month, I thought I would share with you 5 ways to love...your skin. Winter can be really hard on your skin with the wind and the colder temperatures, so these are tips that you can incorporate into your daily or weekly routine to help to give your skin that little TLC it needs at this time. Enjoy!
1. Try something stimulating - The first time I tried a stimulating mask from Eminence was quite the experience. I had just done a peel and decided to be extra courageous and finish with a stimulating masque. As expected, the tingling started and my skin brightened to the shade of a tomato. After removing the masque and hydrating my skin for sleep, I was fully prepared for some red skin the next day. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find my skin bright, smooth, and extremely refreshed. The benefits of this treatment cannot be understated. These treatments are designed to open the pores, eliminate toxins, and increase circulation. All of this helps to improve the health of the skin, which in turn makes it look much better. My current favourite is the Hungarian Herbal Mud Treatment. The mud contains high amounts of trace elements and sulphur to nourish problem skin. It also includes cinnamon to fight off bacteria, ivy for vitamin C, sage to tone and heal, and of course paprika to stimulate and refresh the skin. I often add these masques as part of an acne treatment, but you could use this at home once a week.
2. Increase your H2O - Drinking more water is nothing new, in fact I have mentioned this before in many skin articles. It is so important I thought it was worth a repeat. Drink your 8 glasses of water per day. Drink more if you can. Anywhere from 2-3L daily. Skin lines and wrinkles appear deeper when a person is dehydrated. Water hydrates and plumps the skin cells making them look more youthful. It also distributes oxygen to the cells, improves circulation and removes impurities. Water is the best natural moisturizer, so start sipping today. I often recommend that patients get a reusable water bottle that holds about a litre of liquid. Aim to finish one before lunch and one before dinner.
3. Add Extra Protection - As you gear up for March break and hotter weather it is important to remember that melanoma is the one of the fastest growing cancers, worldwide. It is one of the few cancers to affect young adults, and is the second most common cancer among 15-34 year olds. 90% of it is from exposure to UV light and sunlight, including tanning beds. Melanoma is most common on the backs of men and on the legs of women, although it can appear anywhere on the skin (melanomanetwork.ca). The good news? You can help to prevent it. Use a sunscreen regularly in the winter, summer, spring and fall. Opt for one that is organic and chemical free to keep your skin happy and healthy, and remember to apply during winter months as the sun's reflection off the snow can make it more damaging.
4. Exfoliate - Exfoliating on a regular basis is a must for any type of skin. It helps to remove dead, dull, dry skin, prevents acne breakouts, and makes the skin more smooth and radiant. It also can help to prevent the formation of wrinkles. I use some type of exfoliating product every night, whether it be mechanical like a scrub, or in the form of a serum, a retinol alternative or a masque. Using one of any of these products is a great idea to keep skin youthful. I would however caution against using a scrub every night, as it may be a little harsh for sensitive skin. For best results, exfoliate and then cover or follow with something hydrating, this way you will get smooth AND glowing skin. For example using the firm skin acai exfoliating peel 3 nights a week, right before using your nightly moisturizer will certainly refresh your skin in the morning.
5. Get your fibre fix - I was at a conference recently and heard a lot about the growing number of toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Obviously this is going to affect the appearance of our skin. The skin is one the largest organs of our body, and is responsible for a large amount of the detoxification we go through. The easier we can make this for our skin, the better. One of the best ways to support this process is to increase our intake of daily fibre. Whether this is in the form of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, chia seeds and flax, the more fibre, the more elimination, the more detoxification. If your bowel health needs help, or you have trouble going to the washroom regularly, please see one of our well-trained Naturopathic Doctors. Digestion is something we take very seriously and can help you get back to a more regular routine.