3 Keys to Happier Skin
You know the old saying, “Do onto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, in our minds, the same is true for your skin. The truth is that your skin works hard for you every single night and day. Day in and day out whether you realize it or not! So, let’s return the favor and give our skin a little TLC.
When we talk about skin, we usually refer to the three main components: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. But generally, when we think about our “skin” we’re just talking about the top, outermost layer called the epidermis. It’s less than 1 millimeter thick and is what we aestheticians specialize in. It’s responsible for the skin’s general health and is also responsible for the appearance and youthful glow. For the sake of this blog post, we’ll focus on that!
Think of your skin like an apple. The outer skin on the apple is paper-thin; yet without it, the apple would rot. Our skin layers protect us from a lot of harm. A steady, smart skincare regimen can clear acne, reverse fine lines and fade pigmentation. But unfortunately, products can only fight back against a limited amount of external environmental damage.
When in doubt, rely on our proven 3 Keys to Happier Skin:
1: Pick + Pop Less!
Our best friend - and arch nemesis - is the mirror. When we feel a blemish coming on, our first instinct is to usually squeeze and pick at it. Sometimes we catch it in the car, a glance in the restaurant mirror, or even worse - in our own bathrooms. Well, we are watching you! Stay strong and keep the fingers off. Wherever and whenever you find yourself picking, just stop. Think about how proud you will be when you leave it alone. You’ll be doing that spot a favor – and it will do you a favor in return by not scarring.
Why is picking so bad?
Picking spreads bacteria and exacerbates the breakout. Not only is this a completely ineffective way to extract a pimple, it also causes trauma to the skin. Trauma causes inflammation, and inflammation leads to pigmentation and discoloration. Pigmentation forms as deep as the “injury” goes. It takes your skin about 4 weeks to shed each layer, so each time you dig deeper into the skin, you are tacking on more time for the pigmentation to fade. Even worse, serious pickers (and lovers of long acrylic nails) run the risk of causing indentations, which are very tough to repair.
How to stop picking":
If you have active breakouts that you are picking, the best long-term solution is to work with an aesthetician (hello, Skin MPLS!) to get your skin as clear as possible. Leave it to the professionals to extract any active acne. At Skin MPLS, our aestheticians have a lot of experience when it comes to extracting breakouts, we can do so in a way that is effective. A properly extracted pimple results in no scarring and quicker healing time! If you are pick subconsciously (or don’t realize you’re doing it), try partaking in stress relieving activities like yoga, relaxing baths and walks. Picking is a common a nervous habit, and you’ll want to find ways to reduce the likelihood of it happening. Lastly, icing your pimples or masking is a healthy way to get that hand-to-skin sensation as well.
2. Keep It Cool
We know nothing feels better than a piping hot shower on a cold winter day. But you should know that when you expose your skin to excessive heat, the blood rushes to the face causing your capillaries to expand. Thankfully, your skin is amazing at repairing itself and is able to constrict the capillaries back to normal, just minutes after the exposure. However, the more you expose them to heat or other extreme elements, the harder it will be for the capillaries to constrict. This can leave you chronically red, dry, or even may cause permanent broken capillaries. It may take some time to get used to just warm (not hot) water but you will adjust and your skin will thank you for it. Instead, you can try hot baths every once in a while, just keep your face out of the water! Even better for our skin care lovers, use a hydrating or calming mask while in the bathtub. Speaking of showering and bathing, when you get out of the shower, refrain from immediately drying your face. Rubbing all the moisture off with the rough towel will leave the barrier exposed for several minutes. Instead, dry off your entire body first, then gently pat dry your face, and immediately follow up with your serums and moisturizers.
3. Avoid Over-Exfoliation
It’s okay to get frustrated when you get a breakout, but don’t take it out on your skin by reaching for your acne medicine and lathering it on until your skin turns raw. You should note that if the natural balance in the skin is disrupted, it may leave you feeling uncomfortable and more prone to acne breakouts. Also, you can’t simply “scrub” the acne away. This is one reason why we love our exfoliating cleansers, they’re the perfect physical exfoliant - not too soft and not too harsh. Just remember to use gentle pressure! Don’t forget to pay close attention to what type of physical exfoliants you are using and if they are appropriate for your skin type.
As for those of you addicted to ‘strong acids’ in your quest for the fountain of youth, the same rules apply. We love acids, exfoliants, peels, microdermabrasion...you name it! But if you take off too many layers of skin, it can lead to temporary pain and discomfort and even longer lasting pigmentation. Leave professional grade peels and microdermabrasion to the professionals. And, when at home, don’t push your skin past irritation for ‘more results’. Add in hydration, peptides and moisturizing night creams to balance out things like vitamin A and alpha hydroxyl acids.
So how do you know if you are exfoliating enough/too much?
Exfoliation has become a confusing buzzword in the skincare world. To be clear, there are many ways to exfoliate. Whether it’s enzymes, scrubs, masks, serums, acids or vitamin A, we will find the right methods for your skin type. As a rule of thumb, being a little dry or flaky is okay and means we are pushing the skin towards regeneration. If your skin is feeling uncomfortable though or is chronically red, it’s probably time to balance it out once again. That might mean you need to scale back on your actives for a few nights in order to let your skin rest! Consistency with an effective and appropriate routine should keep this from happening. Though, each time the season changes, your exfoliation routine may have to change a bit, too. Thanks, Mother Nature.
If you follow these three tips, you’ll have happy skin before you know it. And remember that you don’t have to deal with this alone! Give us a call or book an appointment online if you feel like you need some customized help and personal attention from one of our amazing aestheticians.
Of course, at-home care is crucial! If you’re looking for a little self-care supplement,
give one of these products a try:
Sensitive Skin: Berry Gel Gommage
This mask can be used 2-3 times a week after gently cleansing your skin. It promotes the appearance of minimized pores and even skin tone, all while gently exfoliating and hydrating your skin at the same time! Plus it smells amazing!
PRO TIP: Use it in the shower. Apply a quarter size amount before you get in on slightly damp skin, leave on for several minutes, massage for a minute while your conditioner processes and then let it rinse off naturally. You will be glowing when you get out!
Acne Prone Skin: Night Breeze
This active, yet gentle, serum brings oxygen into the skin to decongest and kill acne bacteria. It also contains allantoin and other protectants to bring natural moisture to the skin. You can use it up to every other night as a PM moisturizer or for more dry skin use as a serum and moisturize on top.
PRO TIP: Use it after facial treatments with extractions and the redness will be significantly calmed by the next morning.
Dry/Aging Skin: Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler
This intensive hydrating serum has 6 different types of hyaluronic acid to infuse hydration like no other. Hyaluronic acid is what naturally keeps the skin plump and protected. To combat environment and aging stressers, you can use this serum to mimic your natural hydration. Instantly, you will plump out fine lines and creases.
PRO TIP: Use on top of your Derm-A-Gel or Exfol-A serums to supplement for any dryness that vitamin A can cause.