Archives for posts with tag: damage

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!

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The development of uneven skin tones during middle age leads many consumers to seek out skin lighteners or brighteners as a solution. Commonly seen as a sign of aging, the formation of brown age spots has been associated with poor health in addition to being considered unsightly. Clear and even skin tones are seen as the epitome of youth and health so trying to recapture that look is considered to be a reasonable approach to this problem.

Uneven skin coloration is not a problem that is strictly associated with old age however and many people combat hyperpigmentation throughout their entire lives. By learning more about your skin and proper skin care treatments, you can make informed decisions as a consumer. Beginning with the most basic information: your skin color is determined by the amount of melanin present in your skin. There are two main determinants of your skin coloring and they are constitutive and facultative.

Constitutive skin color is determined by genetics and heredity. Facultative skin color is the result of sunlight, the environment and hormones – factors beyond genetics that impact the appearance of our skin color and can change over time. By developing a clear understanding of why your skin’s appearance is changing, you can develop a plan to reverse the damage and prevent further occurrences.

Hyperpigmentation is a factor of facultative skin color issues – this could be exposure to UV radiation, prescription drug use, pregnancy, etc. Outside influences that alter our skin’s appearance and cause discolored “spots” to form. Age or liver spots (lentigines) are flat discolorations on the skin and they are usually harmless. These are different from freckles (ephilides) which are typically flat and appear as a result of sun exposure – these will typically fade during the winter (although this is not always the case for extremely pale skinned people).

Treatment options for hyperpigmentation have sparked a variety of debates or the past few decades. The most effective treatments are skin lighteners containing the active ingredient hydroquinone (in concentrations up to 2%). There are concerns however about possible safety risks because as much as one third of the population may be allergic to hydroquinone. There is also studies that suggest it is an extreme sensitizer and cause more skin conditions (including hyperpigmentation) to develop after use. Although the FDA has considered banning the use of hydroquinone because of these possible complications, they have not done so yet and it is available in many over the counter products.

Because of these issues there are some steps you can take when using a product containing hydroquinone including always wearing sun block when going outside. Your skin will be especially sensitive to environmental influences and proper precautions should always be taken. Follow all instructions with any product and contact your physician immediately if you notice any type of adverse reaction.

Alternative skin lighteners are available that do not contain hydroquinone. This is a great choice for mature or sensitive skin because there is a lower risk of negative reactions to treatment. These skin lighteners may take longer to show results but can have longer term results than their more potent counter parts containing hydroquinone. Just a thought for those who may be seeking long term solutions and don’t mind waiting a little longer.

Many people consider hyperpigmentation to be an unattractive development on their skin and will take many extreme measures to reverse this problem. Keep in mind that most skin discolorations are generally harmless and treatments should be used as directed and not overused. Research any skin lightener or brightener carefully before use and test it on a small area of your skin before applying to a larger area such as your face. Remember that skin irritations are a common side effect when using any new skin care product and it is better to err on the side of caution by testing new products first.

Final thought: although there are many skin lighteners available on the market today the best option is prevention, not intervention. Try to always use sun block when going outside and cover your skin appropriately. It is much simpler (and more cost effective) to stop the problem before it starts. If you have lighter skin naturally, freckles and spots may continue to be a problem even after treatment because of the skins natural reaction against the environment to protect itself. Keep your skin healthy and happy by taking care of it and if possible, don’t sweat the small spots.

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Make up is perhaps the ultimate catch 22.By covering uneven skin tones, adding eye catching lipstick and making your eyes “pop” with the perfect lash enhancing mascara, you can magically transform from ordinary to extraordinary! But what about at the end of the day when you come home and the last thing you want to do is stand in the bathroom for twenty minutes scrubbing your face clean? Do you just go to bed and worry about it in the morning? Anything meant for your face can’t be that bad for your skin, right?

The answer is NO.

Make up is extremely detrimental to your skin and can cause havoc on your efforts to keep your skin healthy and radiant naturally. Make up can only go so far to cover common skin problems (such as uneven coloring, blemishes, fine lines) but at the end of the day, proper skin care is going to be your greatest ally in keeping yourself looking beautiful in the years to come. If you want to wear make up during the day, remember to time into properly taking it off at the end of the day.

Use a basic make up remover A cleanser specifically designed to remove make up is a great way to break down the oils and other ingredients used in most cosmetics to keep them on and prevent smearing during the day. A good eye make up remover should be used because these will be specifically designed to prevent irritation during use and gently remove build up from mascara and eye shadows in the fine lines surrounding the sensitive eye tissue.

Use: Apply remover to cotton pad and gentle wipe across skin (so not apply pressure around eye). Allow remover to dissolve make up and may need to be repeated.

Remember that although you may have removed all the visible traces of make up from your skin, trace amounts of grimes and oils are still embedded in your pores and it is important to cleanse properly to remove these as well. Build up in the pores leads to acne, break outs and unhealthy build up of dead skin cells over time. Keep your skin clean and happy by using a daily cleanser, exfoliate and toner. Dirt, grime and debris are the last think you want covering your skin before going to bed at night and will not leave you feelinf refreshed and beautiful in the morning. Remember it’s call beauty sleep for a reason!

Want to hear a secret? Did you know that proper skin care can reduce or eliminate the need to wear make up entirely? No joke!

Skin care products meant to tone and target many common skin complaints can be used to eliminate these problems completely. Think of all the time and money you could save by developing a daily skin care routine that would give you the beautiful and vibrant skin you have always dreamed of (without cosmetic enhancement). Check us out online to learn more great skin care tips and solutions!

The “Sunless” Tan

Its summer time and that means shorts, tank tops and flip slop sandals but anyone who lives in colder climates knows that winter weather and gray skies leads to pale and pasty appearing legs and arms. Although it is tempting to run outside and lie in the sun for a few hours to correct this, we have all heard about the dangers of SUV rays and the potential for skin cancer down the road. This leads to the catch-22: wanting a tan but not wanting to risk getting a tan.

Backing up a moment, let’s take a look at what a tan is exactly and how it affects the skin in the short and long term. The skin itself has two main layers called the epidermis and the dermis – tanning (sunless or traditional) involves the epidermis. Tanning is actually the skin’s natural defense system against overexposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Your skin is actually trying to protect your body from the potential damage when you begin to sport that bronze glow.

Frequent exposure to the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps have some definite down sides that have been extensively researched. The link between skin cancer and tanning alone should be enough to dissuade this activity but since the effects are not seen right away it is easy for some people to dismiss the real danger they are exposing themselves to on a daily basis. This is not to say that exposure to the sun is bad, on the contrary it is actually very important to maintaining a healthy body, but how much is the question.

A more immediate (and visible) effect of the damage the sun can cause is the sun burn. Redness, itching and sensitivity are all problems that come from overexposure with no protection. If that is the short term damage that can happen in one day, can you imagine what frequent tanning is doing to your skin’s health over several years even without burning?

Other potential damage to your skin includes dryness, premature wrinkling, decreased defenses against free radicals….the list goes on and on. So the only real question is….is it really worth it?

Options!

So now what? You understand tanning is not good for you but you still want to have a nice tan anyway. Don’t think you will be the exception to the damaging effects, instead think smarter and find alternatives! The sunless self tanner has become a revolution in the consumer market because it provides all the benefits of a tan without the damaging repercussions.

Sunless self tanners have a bad reputation for producing unnatural or uneven tones in the skin. This is entirely possible if you do not take the time and care to read all instructions and apply your sunless tanner correctly. Here are a few simple steps to help ensure a wonderful and even sunless tan this season and all year round:

1) Prepare your skin!
Shave, cleanse and exfoliate! You want your tanner to go into fresh and healthy skin – not clinging to dead skins.

2) Do Not Use Other Products!
Don’t risk weird product interactions by moisturizing before or after applying your tanner – remember that the goal is a smooth and even texture, not a blotchy pattern.

3) Use Gloves!
Tanner is meant to penetrate the skin and the more applied to one area, the darker that area will be. Using gloves will prevent your hands from looking like you just played in the sand and forgot to wash up/

4) Make a System!
Even color is essential to avoid the “fake” look most tanners are criticized for. Begin with one leg and go from top to bottom in sections. Follow the same plan for legs, chest, stomach, back, etc. Do not apply to random areas and risk forgetting where you have already completed.

5) Ask a Friend!
Okay, maybe you don’t want anyone to know your faking it but big blotchy patches on your back will be a dead give away anyway. Ask a buddy to help you with any areas of the body you cannot reach or see easily to prevent missing an area.

6) Time is Important
Applying a tanner can be time consuming and rushing through the process will lead to mistakes and terrible results. Give yourself time to apply the tanner thoroughly AND time to allow it to dry.

Give your skin that fresh summer glow without the damage! Try a sunless self tanner this year and have all the benefits without the worry.

Looking back over the years of abuse you put your skin through and its no wonder one day you wake up and realize you don’t recognize the face staring back at you in the mirror. There may be fine lines around your eyes, a slight sagging in your cheeks or perhaps your skin tone is no longer even in color. Youth may be wasted on the young but knowledge and experience has given you the key to living a healthy and happy life so why let your face look old when you are in the prime of your existence?

Anyone who watches Sex and the City knows that being forty or fifty doesn’t mean slowly down and accepting a slow and inevitable decline. Take back your life and know that once the kids have grown and retirement is on the way, this is the time to seize life and live it to the fullest! You’re not ready to slow down so why shouldn’t you look your best at any age?
There are two types of aging that both men and women should be aware of: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is the natural and genetic process of aging that begins in the early to mid 20s. Most of this aging is determined by our genetic roots. Ever hear the expression “if you want to know what a woman will look like in twenty years, look at her mother”?
Extrinsic aging are factors that have been influenced by the environment such as smoking, pollution, sun damage, etc. This area includes anything that we have exposed our skin and bodies to throughout our entire lives! Yes, this includes all those fabulous tans from your twenties.

Fine lines and wrinkles are perhaps the most obvious sign that our skin has lost some of its former elasticity and collagen. The hallmarked “crow’s feet” around the eyes, wrinkle between the brows and laugh lines all reflect hours of joy, sorrow and stress in our lives, but who wants those reminders all over their face? Fight this foe with products specially designed for mature skin and target these problems. There are several high quality moisturizers available that will boost collagen production and restore some of the lost elasticity which will help diminish the appearance of lines on the face.
Uneven skin tone is characterized by the formation of darker areas of skin, brown spots or variations in color predominantly on the face and hands. This can be the result of a variety of factors but the result is the same – discoloration of the skin that can be embarrassing and unsightly. There are many simple home remedies including serums, masques and creams that will help even out the skin when used correctly.
Dry or rough skin is a common problem for many people (young and old) but fortunately has a simple remedy. As we age our ability to shed dead skins cells decreases dramatically. Over time the dead cells on the surface of our skin build up and make the skin appear dry, rough and flaky in appearance. Removal of those skin cells will help to alleviate this problem and reveal younger and smoother skin in a short amount of time. A good exfoliant will clear up this problem but remember the skin only needs to be exfoliated occasionally (once or twice a week) – overexfoliation can lead to irritation and cause more problems in the future.

Take care of your skin by either taking preventative action in your twenties or restorative action when you realize you no longer look like you did when you were twenty. Try to add one or two new items into your daily skin routine, mix and match products until you find a combination that leaves your face feeling smoother, younger and a better reflection of the person inside. Now is the time to put your best face forward!

Getting Your Vitamin C…For Your Skin?

Everyone knows that vitamin c is essential for a healthy diet but did you know that it can benefit your skin too? Not by eating foods rich in Vitamin C however, by topical (applied directly to the skin) treatments. Learn something new every day, right?

So how can you maximize the benefits of vitamin c and use it to its full potential?

            Before running out to find a product rich in Vitamin C and rubbing it all over your body, it helps to understand why Vitamin C is so good for you to begin with. In simple terms, Vitamin C can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also having a rejuvenation effect on the skin. Although many skin care products claim to do these same things, products rich in Vitamin C have the research to back this claim up.

What does is it do exactly?

Vitamin C is best known for its capabilities as an antioxidant. It is nature’s best defense against free radicals that attack the skin (these can range from environmental factors such as pollution to smoking to prolonged exposure to the sun). By counteracting the effects of free radicals your skin will appear healthier, with better texture and tone.

An added bonus is Vitamin C and its role in the production of collagen. As the body ages it no longer produces collagen as effectively and the skin (especially on the cheeks and neck) will begin to sag and droop. By using an effective Vitamin C treatment it is possible to boost production and help prevent this from occurring. The natural aging process does not mean being doomed to have terrible looking skin.

That’s great, but what is the catch?

The “catch” is Vitamin C is an extremely unstable and can oxidize easily. Once Vitamin C oxidizes is no longer combats free radicals and may actually begin to increase free radical production. Most Cosmeceuticals have begun using derivatives of Vitamin C which may not have as high an efficacy but will last longer in their products.

Where Should I Look…?

Many products will use Vitamin C as an active ingredient but a great place to start using Vitamin C rich moisturizer. This is a simple way to apply Vitamin C directly to the skin and begin to see many of the benefits. Benefits will include smoother skin, a more even texture and an increase the collagen in the cheeks, necks and areas around the eyes.

Another great choice is a lip treatment that will help repair cracked and damaged lips. Over time lips begin to thin and pale – these effects can be counteracted with a simple lip balm (many contain SPF also to protect against sun damage)!

Vitamin C will show up in a wide spectrum of products that will benefit many consumers with skin problems. From a solution for hyperpigmentation (freckles, sun spots, etc.) to anti aging serums, Vitamin C will benefit people of all ages and all skin types.

Final Thoughts on Vitamin C

Always remember to read all instructions carefully when beginning any new skin treatment. Maintaining a diet rich in vitamin C as well as using topical skin creams and products will aide in receiving all the benefits Vitamin C has to offer the body. With any treatment consult a doctor or esthetician if you have any questions or concerns. Discontinue use of products if any negative reactions develop such as redness, itching or rashes.

Get your daily dose of Vitamin C in more ways than one and let Mother Nature be your ally in your battle against aging and damaged skin!

Want to learn more? Check us out online at www.bellanina.com!