Archives for category: Massage Therapy

Are you looking for better ways to care for your skin? As the skin matures it loses elasticity, slows collagen production and can become less smooth to the touch. Fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process but can be minimized with the help of high quality skin care products designed for aging, mature or damaged skin. As we move into a progressively more health conscious mind set it becomes more important to seek out natural or organic products to stay healthy and look our best at any age. Learn more about the healing and restorative benefits of Gotu Kola and Coconut Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid.

What is Gotu Kola?

Vitamins, minerals and plants have been used for their restorative and health benefits for thousands of years. Ancient cultures relied upon different herbs and mixtures to cure disease, increase life span and heal wounds. Its no wonder that today many products still rely on those same natural ingredients to help restore and maintain the body.

Gotu Kola (centella asiatica) is a small plant that is native to several areas of the world including India, Sri Lanka and parts of Asia. It is a tasteless and odorless member of the parsley family.

How does it benefit the skin?

Gotu Kola (not to be confused with cola nut) has many uses in health and skin care. Some of the most important benefits for your skin include boosting circulation, improving the collagen foundation, improving firmness and increasing elasticity. This is beneficial for all skin types, including mature skin.
Gotu Kola serum is applied topically to the face and is worn beneath standard moisturizers and make up. It can be used in place of moisturizer for extremely oily skin types. Typically you would apply 2 to 3 drops on the face and rub in thoroughly. Remember that Gotu Kola, along with all other skin care products, will be most effective when used as directed. Patience is important when using any product and maximum benefits may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months to be seen.
When used consistently and as directed Gotu Kola and Coconut serum can have wonderful restorative and repairing capabilities for the skin. This unique free-radical fighting blend of natural source vitamins and botanicals are delivered in a potent base of Alpha Lipoic Acid and DMAE that works on a molecular level to redefine and revitalize skin.

Why is Gotu Kola used specifically for skin care?

When selecting ingredients to use for skin care it is important to understand how certain ingredients affect the skin. Remember that different vitamins, minerals and plants will provide different benefits and should be selected carefully. Gotu Kola is used primarily for its impact on the metabolism of connective tissue, thereby stimulating the collagen production of the skin.

Precautions and Warnings

Your skin will absorb whatever products used on it and understanding potential risks and side effects is essential. Gotu Kola is an organic product but that does not mean that some people should not use Gotu Kola or that people with certain conditions should not consult with a doctor before use.
Consult with your doctor or pharmacy if you have liver disease, high cholesterol or diabetes. Children should not use Gotu Kola. The effect of Gotu Kola on unborn children is not known at this time – if you are pregnant consult with your health care practitioner before using products containing Gotu Kola. Consult with your doctor immediately if you develop any reaction or symptoms following use of products containing Gotu Kola such as rash, irritation, nausea, upset stomach, itching or swelling.

Choosing someone to work on your body is an important decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If your like most people, you probably wonder about what sort of training a person has and if they really know what their doing. Knowledge and experience are the cornerstones that make a great therapist or esthetician but how can you choose if you don’t know what those abbreviations following their names mean? LMT, CMT…what’s the difference and how that affects you?

Use this simple guide to understand those credentials and make an informed decision!

LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist)

Most states regulate the practice of massage therapy and require licensure to practice as a massage therapist. Remember that massage manipulates the body and can impact health and functioning. A licensed massage therapist has gone through the training required by the state and has the required knowledge and competency to practice their profession. This process is non-voluntary and is the highest level of regulation.

CMT (Certified Massage Therapist)

This is publicly attesting that a service or person has reached or exceeded a certain level of quality or standard. Certification requires a certain level of educational criteria to be met in order to use this title. Certification can be in a specialized field or bodywork practice and can be received through continuing education later in a massage therapist’s career. Certification is usually through a private institution or agency and is a voluntary process.

In the United States…

Massage therapy is monitored by the states and not the federal government. This means that the standards and requirements can vary by state and should be investigated by those seeking to become massage therapists or those looking to determine what qualifications are required to become a massage therapist in their state. Most massage therapists are required to receive 500 to 1000 hours of massage training including courses on physiology and anatomy. Specialized training can vary and may require additional outside training after their initial program.

You Have Right to Know

Don’t be afraid to ask your massage therapist about their qualifications, education and experience before receiving any type of treatment or service from them. Schools will provide certificates to therapists upon completion of their program to prove they have received the training necessary. Remember that this is someone who will be working on your body and it is important to choose someone who knows what they are doing. Massage, when done improperly, can cause damage (especially to someone with existing health conditions). So learn all you can before making your decision!

Continuing Education Opportunities

As a massage therapist you have the opportunity to expand upon your basic training and become a specialist in your field. Remember that people are looking for a massage therapist that can offer them the maximum results. Try learning something new today such as the Bellanina Facelift Massage program. Offered as both a 3 day seminar or a home study course, this program will make you a leader in your field! Learn more today online at Bellanina Institute!

There is nothing like the feel of hot stones on your back.

Wait a minute, hot stones?

Yes, hot stones. Once considered a novelty in the world of massage, hot stone treatments are now one of the corner stones of massage therapy.

What is it?

Hot stone massage, as the name suggests, utilizes warmed stones of varying sizes and textures. Larger stones are used for larger areas of the body (such as the back) and smaller stones are used on smaller areas. Stones can either be used during the massage or they may be left to sit undisturbed for a specific duration of time. Hot stone massage is used to encourage faster and deeper muscle relaxation during a massage session. The stones used are typically basalt (which has high iron content) and are warmed in sanitized water prior to the massage. This particular stone warms quickly and will retain most of its heat during your massage.

Benefits

The addition of heat during a massage can elevate the relaxation experience greatly. The use of heat through stones provides a unique ability for the therapist to work deeply into the muscles with less strain. Added heat will help to improve circulation throughout the body and if a coarser texture of stone is used it will also gently exfoliate the skin. The spine is not an area of the body that is massaged but allowing heated stones to rest on the spine can calm the central nervous system.

Alternatives

Hot stone massage therapy is well known but a lesser known version utilizes cold stones. This may seem like an odd choice but cooling stones can have wonderful benefits if you have any sort of inflammation that could be aggravated by heat. During the warmer summer months this could also be extremely relaxing to use cool stones instead of their heated counterparts during your massage.

Warnings

Hot stone massage is not for everyone. Pregnant and menopausal women should not get hot stone massage treatments. Certain conditions may be aggravated by hot stone massage such as heart or circulation problems. If you have any concerns, consult with your therapist prior to your appointment.

Find Your Local Spa

Visiting the Ann Arbor area and looking for a hot stone massage? Visit the “>Bellanina Day Spa!

Just because you’re taking a break from reality doesn’t mean your skin won’t suffer the consequences. Whether you are heading to a tropical paradise or snowy ski resort, exposing your skin to the harmful elements can only lead to trouble. Be sure when you’re packing for your trip this holiday to include your Bellanina Basic Travel Kit.

Travel sized skin care products are small enough to carry easily in your purse or luggage and offer all the benefits of your home skin care regimen out on the road. Sun, cold wind, dirt and debris are all major causes of premature aging and skin conditions such as acne. It may seem like only a small break to you but every day matters in skin care and every day you leave your skin exposed is another step you’re going to need to take to repair the damage later on.

Bellanina Cleanser: A cleanser is the basic foundation of any skin care. Remember that soap can leave residue behind and therefore is not effective for truly cleaning your face and removing the build up of debris on your skin. Most soap actually has a drying effect on the skin and lead to dryness or flaking. A good cleanser should be non-abrasive and gentle remove residue without causing damage to the skin. Some cleansers contain a mild exfoliant (tiny beads or a grainy texture) that will remove dead skin cells at the same time.

Bellanina Toner: After cleansing use a clean cotton pad to apply a thin layer of toner over your face. Water has minerals that can be left behind and toner is the final clean up to ensure your skin is as clean as possible.

Botanical Moisturizer: Although removing excess oil and debris from your skin is essential to keeping it healthy, your skin thrives when it is well hydrated. After removing the natural oils it is important to rehydrate the skin with a light way, non greasy moisturizer. Using a moisturizer without excess grease and oils will prevent the skin from becoming clogged and leading to break outs. Bellanina moisturizer is great for all skin types.

Bellanina Body Lotion: Skin varies in different areas of the body and has different needs. Bellanina body lotion is a wonderful solution for dry hands, neck, chest, back and legs. Applying a thin layer after your shower or bath will rehydrate your skin and leave it feeling smooth all day long. The convenient travel size makes this easy to carry around during the day should you need a second application.

Bellanina Eye & Throat Crème: The skin around your eyes and neck is especially delicate and prone to wrinkles. Apply this lightweight moisturizer with your pinky to avoid pulling at the skin and causing damage. Massage in thoroughly and it will help to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. **Bonus Tip: Excessive squinting or grimacing can lead to wrinkles and premature aging in the face – try to remember to avoid doing this habitually to keep your skin looking smoother and younger.**

Bellanina Advanced Protection SPF30: Whether you are lying on a beach or hitting the slopes you need to cover up! The sun is detrimental to the skin and although you may be in a cold environment the sun can still cause burning. Apply at least an SPF30 every two hours (or following a swimming or showering) to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember that a beautiful tan today is leathery wrinkles ten years down the road.

Organic Lip Balm SPF15: Keep your lips smooth with this great organic lip balm. Dry lips can occur at any time during the year and this spf15 lip balm is a great way to protect your skin and give your lips the hydration they need to stay smooth and beautiful

The Bellanina Basics Travel kit comes in its own bag and can be easily added to your luggage or carry on bag. Don’t leave for your trip without these great essentials. It also makes a great holiday gift for friends, co-workers and family!

Have you ever sat down to study your complexion in the mirror and been less than satisfied with what your looking at? Your complexion is natural color, texture and appearance of your skin. Skin can look radiant, smooth and healthy or it can appear sallow, discolored and sickly depending on your state of health and how well you take care of your body and especially your skin.

The history of how a “good complexion” has been measured dates back to as early as ancient Greece and some of the most affluent philosophers of that age. The complexion was thought to be the result of four fluids that permeated the body. Later this was transformed into theories about balance in the body and temperaments. Health of an individual was determined by complexion but since complexions can vary between different individuals there was no one best complexion to have.

Your individual complexion is the result of biology. Skin color is determined by melanin in the cells and causes variation in tone. The overall health and appearance of your skin is determined by a variety of factors including your heredity and external factors like exposure to sun, chemicals or even the food you eat. Your skin is sensitive to the environment (both inside your body and outside) and taking proper care of your skin is an important step in maintaining a healthy complexion.

Improving your complexion doesn’t have to be a stressful task. Incorporating a simple skin care regimen into your morning or nightly routine can take years of stress and premature aging off your face. Start slow and build a routine that is custom tailored to your skins needs.

Tricks of the Trade:

1) Moisturize Daily – nothing is better for your skin than staying hydrated. Moisturize in the morning after cleansing the skin and at night before going to bed.

2) Exfoliate – Removing the dead skin cells that build up naturally over time can make a big difference in your skins natural ability to look fresh and smooth. Use a gentle exfoliant on your face and body to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles from developing.

3) Correct now – Don’t wait for problems to become too significant to treat at home. If you notice dry patches, oily regions or uneven coloring use some preventative treatments designed specifically for your skin issue. Leaving a problem to “heal itself” can be more costly and time consuming to fix in the long run.

4) Protect Yourself – use a sun block even in the winter to protect your skin from sun damage.

5) Eat Right! Your body needs nutrients to stay healthy and your skin will reflect a balanced and healthy diet filled with vitamins, protein and minerals. Some natural ingredients (such as Vitamin C) will improve the overall look of your skin and they are frequently used in many skin care products.

Have you ever woken up in the morning, looked in the mirror and wondered what happened to your face during the night? It’s not just the lines on your face from a wrinkled pillowcase you notice but wrinkles on your cheeks and around your eyes and a puffiness that leaves you looking worse for wear despite a restful night.

Look at the culprit before you blame your age. Even youthful skin can fall victim to this common habit: poor sleep positions. Think about it in practical terms: if you are asleep an average of seven to eight hours a night (we can hope, right?), your skin is reacting to whatever position you assume during the night. Cramming your cheek into the pillow may feel most comfortable but stay like that for eight hours straight and it’s no wonder you wake up in the morning with wrinkles starting to form but on just one side.

Think there is no proof to back that up? Think again.

Side Sleepers

When we sleep on our side many things happen. Most important is a restriction of blood. Your skin thrives on blood and oxygen being distributed evenly thoughout the cells. Remember that your skin needs blood and oxygen to go through its normal process of developing new skin cells and exfoliating the old cells. Sleep is a great time for this process to occur because your skin is not being affected by external influences such as environment or being touched, scratched or wrinkled through normal everyday movements. When we sleep our skin and muscles relax, allowing them to rejuvenate the next day. When you nod off on your side you are placing pressure on one area of the skin and preventing this process from occurring.

Stomach Floppers

Some people can only sleep on their stomachs. There is absolutely no other way they can get comfortable and this is truly one of the worst ways to spend the night. Not only from a cardiovascular standpoint as sleeping on the stomach causes stress on the heart and chest but because it also restricts normal respiration. This impacts all areas of the body (not just the skin) and can have detrimental effects on your body and organs. If you want to think about what it is doing to your face it can cause puffiness, redness and because of the restricted blood flow, result in wrinkles and fine lines forming as early as your twenties. You will wake up looking like you just pulled a week worth of all night study sessions.

Back Drifters

This is truly the best position to sleep because it removes stress from the face and doesn’t place any undo stress on the skin. While a slightly tilted position isn’t the worst thing ever, the flatter you stay the better off you will look in the morning and in the long run. This will allow your skin to receive optimal oxygen and blood flow while releasing the normal tension the will create “blocked energy” on the face and release repetitive facial holding patterns many of us have during the day (such as furrowing the brows or frowning). It is these common behaviors that lead to prematurely aging skin and a disturbing image waiting for you in the mirror in the morning.

Simple Tricks

Many of us have one sleep position that is the most comfortable and no amount of research will change the fact that when we want to go to bed at night, it’s one way or no way. There are ways you can help “retrain” yourself to sleep on your back and start on the road to better skin.

Use pillows to hold your body in place. The body turns several times during the night so even if you end up falling asleep on your back you may very well wake up on your stomach. Try strategically placing a few pillows on your sides, around your legs or even your neck (beware any suffocation hazard if you are a heavy sleeper or take any medications that induce drowsiness) to prevent moving during the night.

If you absolutely cannot sleep on your back and need to sleep on your side, try switching to the softest fabric available for your pillow and sheets. Course fabrics will be more prone to damaging the skin and holding it in place. Smooth fabrics will free movement provide less stress on the skin.

Give your skin a running start by maintaining good hydration during the night. Dry skin is a common root of wrinkles so properly moisturizing before turning in for the night is a good way to prevent future damage. Try a light weight, oil-free moisturizer such as the Calendula Oil-Free Moisturizer to prevent the build up of uneccesary oils in the pores.

Remember that “beauty sleep” can be just that. Sleep is your body repairing and restoring itself for the day to come. Your skin needs to relax just as much as your tired feet or back so don’t overlook how you sleeping. Try to maximize your sleep so you wake up feeling and looking as refreshed as you want to be.

As an esthetician or skin care professional, you may have heard some controversy over the matter of performing extractions during a routine facial service. What may seem like a relatively simple procedure can actually raise great controversy in the world of esthetics. Some estheticians regard extractions as a matter of providing a complete service while others see this as inflicting trauma to the skin. Learning more about both sides of the issue can help you as a professional in making an informed decision and explaining the issue to your clients.

What is an extraction?

As a basic review, an extraction is removing impurity (plug of dead skin or oil) from a pore or pimple. It is the removal of both blackheads and whiteheads from the skin. Extractions occur after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed, exfoliated and sometimes steamed to soften the area prior to extraction.

Why Do It?

Extractions are considered a “must” by many estheticians when performing a routine facial because they want to leave their clients skin looking and feeling it’s best. When done correctly, a simple extraction should be quick and relatively painless. As a trained esthetician it is important to know if your client has sensitive skin which would make them more prone to the damage that can be caused by extractions.

Why Not?

Extractions should only be performed by a trained esthetician and should not be done in excess. Extractions can cause broken capillaries or sin irritations that can lead to more (not less) breakouts. Extractions can also cause discomfort for your client when done incorrectly so you should seek their permission before performing any type of extraction during their facial. Remember your client has the right to know any product or procedure being performed on their skin and make an informed choice.

Who Decides?

As an esthetician it may be entirely up to you or it may be a procedure within your salon to do or not do extractions. It is important to check the guidelines of your employer and know their policies before performing any procedure. Remember to explain extractions and their benefits and possible complications to your client. Trust is an important part of any relationship and your client needs to know you are being open and honest with them. The last thing you want as a professional is a reputation for inflicting unnecessary and unwanted procedures or damage to your client’s skin.

For more great information about home skin care products and acne treatments, check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

Chronic headaches are becoming an epidemic in the United States. Headaches occur to all people at some point in their lives and although sometimes they are related to physical illness such as a cold or flu, often they can be traced to tension, poor posture, jaw problems, constriction in blood vessels or just stress. The average headache can usually be easily remedied with a basic over the counter head medication but what about those suffering from chronic head aches? What options are available to not just relieve their head pain but perhaps prevent it from reoccurring?

Before understanding the benefits that can be provided by massage therapy, it is important to understand types of headaches and why they are occurring. Understanding the source of your pain is the first step towards making changes in your life to end your suffering. Although not all problems can be easily gotten rid of, there are several techniques you can try to not let outside influences leave you suffering in their wake.

What Kinds of Headaches Are There?

Tension Headaches: This is an extremely common type of headache that most people will encounter at some point in their lives. It is usually a dull pressure or ache on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck. This type of headache can range in duration from half an hour to up to a week! Imagine trying to take OTC medication for that long without suffering some ill effects!

The Migraine: Perhaps the most unpleasant to encounter because of the sharp, throbbing sensations sometimes located on just one side or the head or spread across both sides. Most migraines last between 4 to 72 hours and are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light and smell. A migraine, especially frequent migraines, can be very interruptive to a person’s life and ability to function.

The Cluster: This could also be referred to as a sinus headache as well because it is a sharp, throbbing pain that is typically isolated around or behind the eye. It can come on very quickly and be very intense for the entire duration (15 minutes to three hours). Other symptoms can include runny nose, watering eye(s), redness in the eyes and agitation.

Now as was previously stated, there are many reasons for chronic head pain and they should not be taken lightly. If you suffer from severe headaches on a regular basis, consult with your doctor to make sure there are no underlying conditions. Frequent headaches can be the first indication of some very serious health problems.

Once you have established that there are no other medical conditions causing your headaches, it is time to seek treatments that will reduce or prevent your headaches from coming back. There is nothing harder than trying to work, play or rest when a throbbing or dull pain is running through your head. Although medications can work to a point, they are merely blocking the pain until it subsides, not offering a cure.

Massage therapy is a field that can provide a variety of health benefits beyond the traditional pampering experience it has become associated with over the past few decades. Treating oneself to a massage may seem to be a self-indulgent practice but just imagine not feeling sore and tired every day. Picture a life without headaches and then try and tell yourself it’s not at least worth a shot.

What Kind of Massage Therapy Should I Try?

Once you have identified the source of your headaches, it is time to seek the appropriate therapy for that problem. Not all massages are the same and if you are seeking specific relief for an existing condition it is important to let your massage therapist know this in advance. They are trained to help you in choosing the correct massage that will provide the greatest benefit and meet the goals you are setting.

Deep Tissue Therapy is an intense massage designed to free connective tissue that has built up in the muscles because of stress. It may surprise you to learn that although we may clear up a tense moment or problem in our daily lives, the stress it created in our muscles remains long after. Your muscles tighten and this incredible tension can lead to frequent head and body pain. Deep tissue massage will help to alleviate that built up stress.

Integrative Bodywork this is a specific combination of techniques designed to improve posture and alignment. Poor posture leads to the head and spine not distributing weight correctly across the muscles and can build up tension in the neck, shoulder and back muscles. This type of therapy will target soft tissue to and work to remove stress and strain of those areas of the body.

Swedish Massage is perhaps the best known type of massage available. If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, this type of massage specifically designed to release tension and promote a feeling a relaxation may go a long way towards helping you reduce or prevent their occurrence entirely.

Final Thoughts

Headaches may be a daily part of your life but they don’t have to be. Don’t resolve yourself to a life of pain when there options available that can promote relief and bring you the relaxation you are looking for. Remember to seek out those influences in your life that may be the source of tension or stress and try to avoid them if possible. If not, learn new ways to approach these stresses so that the build up will not end up in your muscles and head.

Stepping into a day spa is meant to be a relaxing and soothing experience. The last thing you want, as a therapist or a client, is confusion about what to expect from specific services being offered. Although specific techniques can vary slightly, there are several key benefits of receiving a deep tissue massage. This brief overview will help you decide if this service is meant for you.

The “What”

As the name suggests, deep tissue massage therapy focuses on the deepest layers of muscle tissue. Through a series of carefully controlled strokes and applied pressure, the therapist attempts to release chronic tension stored in the body. Although it is a massage, deep massage is an intense and highly focused therapy that may cause slight soreness during or immediately after your treatment. When done correctly, this soreness should disappear within a day or two.

The “Why”

At this point you may wonder what the benefit is to receiving a deep tissue massage and that curiosity is well founded. When most people are searching for a massage they want a soothing experience and the idea of mild discomfort can be off putting. Don’t be quick to look past this valuable service however because the ultimate benefits can far outweigh those temporary effects.
Sore muscles are frequently the result of inflammation and a build up of toxins within the muscle tissue. During your deep tissue massage the therapist will work the muscles to release the toxins and restore normal blood and oxygen flow to those regions of the body. Note: Because of the release of toxins, drinking lots of water after your treatment is very important.

The “When”

Deep tissue massage therapy is recommended for individuals that suffer from chronic pain, are involved in frequent physical activity (such as an athlete) or patients with physical injuries. This technique is better for clients seeking massage that will stimulate and treat chronic conditions as opposed to one time massage sessions for tension relief. This type of therapy is wonderful for those undergoing physical therapy and seeking additional or holistic pain relief.

The “Who”

Deep tissue massage should not be used on clients who have had recently performed surgery. Clients with cardiovascular disease or heart conditions should avoid this type of treatment as well as pregnant women or recent patients from chemo or radiation therapies. The intensive nature and release of toxins can cause serious ramifications with these conditions and should never be undergone without the specific consent of a physician.

The “Where”

Deep tissue massage therapy is available in day spas and clinics across the country. Don’t be afraid to ask the credentials of your massage therapist. Remember that massage and bodywork is designed to ease muscle relief and can be a very personal experience – trust in your therapist is key to establishing a good and mutually beneficial relationship. Do not trust your body and heath to someone that has not received the proper training or you don’t feel comfortable with.

Conclusion

Learning more about massage therapy and the benefits available to you is a wonderful way to seek out new treatments for your existing and ongoing conditions. Remember that deep tissue massage therapy is designed to be a healing experience for the body and can cause mild discomfort as your therapist reaches the deepest levels of muscle tension to release built up toxins. Learn about your therapist and ask questions about what benefits you can expect from this wonderful treatment!

We have all read and heard about the dangerous effects smoking can have upon our health and bodies. From physical cravings to yellowing teeth and nails, these problems can range from cosmetic annoyances to potential deadly illness. Despite these frequent warnings, however, smoking continues to pervade our society. The damage of smoking can be seen, even years after a person may have quit, because of its long term effects. No one likes to be labeled, but after years of lighting up, sometimes the “smoker” of a group can be identified from a mile away, even without a cigarette in their hands.

It is a fact of nature: if you are a smoker, you will look like a smoker.

Do You Look Like a Smoker?

Your skin is a reflection of your overall health Smooth texture, even tone and the overall elasticity and color are all a result of good health and a conscience effort to take care of your body. Although there are hundreds of reasons your skin may not look its best on any given day, overall when healthy your skin should be firm, toned and even in color.

People who are “seasoned smokers” tend to have telltale signs and depending on how many cigarettes are smoked in a day and how many years the person has been smoking, these can range dramatically in severity. From lines around the lips, eyes and cheeks to a gray coloring of the skin, smoking ushers in premature aging.

It is the toxins within a single cigarette that are absorbed directly into your blood stream and impact the appearance and condition of your skin. The blood cells begin to narrow and constrict, impacting the development of healthy new skin cells. With the reduction of oxygen to the cells, they can no longer efficiently remove waste or regenerate. Over time this will lead to a significant reduction in the collagen production within the skin and cause trademark sagging skin tissue that is associated with extended smoking.

Reversing the Damage?

So you have made the pro-active choice to quit smoking and better your health. Years later your skin still makes you look ten years older than you actually are and you just don’t like the image staring back at you in the mirror. What can you do? Is there a way to reverse the damage?

Repairing the damages from smoking is a long term commitment and will require patience above all else. Remember that years of smoke damage requires years of repair for every part of your body and that includes the skin. Start by providing your skin with what smoking robbed of it for so long – healthy blood to promote healthy development. Exercise and a healthy diet play a huge role in this because it will increase circulation and bring healthy nutrients back to skin.

Dramatic results may not be possible, depending on the level of damage, but there are steps you can take to minimize the effects. Consult with a dermatologist before beginning any skin care program and learn all your options before deciding on a course of action. Remember a well informed decision can save you time and money in the long run.

Understand what the damage is and focus on those key areas. Fine lines and wrinkles can be the result of reduced skin cell production and the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface. Smoking dehydrates the skin so boosting the moisture in your skin cells will be a major component of any skin care plan. A peel or deep exfoliation may be required to remove that excess build up of grime and debris and get your plan off on the right foot.

Expensive skin care treatments are not always an option for the average consumer and there are options still available. Cosmeceuticals are intensive skin care products that are one grade below pharmaceutical options (which require prescriptions to obtain). These products contain alpha hydroxyl and glycolic acid ingredients which are designed to seek out free radical damage and dramatically reverse skin damage. These products penetrate the outer skin layer and begin to repair the skin from the deepest levels.

Remember that you may not be able to reverse all or even most of the damage to your skin but you can take positive steps towards regaining that healthy glow from your youth. Be patient with your body and your skin, allowing it the time it needs to repair itself. Create a plan and stick with it, even if you don’t see dramatic results right away. By learning why your skin is damaged and making the choice to help your skin rejuvenate itself, you have already taken the most difficult step. Commit to your health and to your body by not “looking” like a smoker any longer!