Shape Up! Does Your Skin Need A Workout?
September is here, and it's officially National Skin Care Awareness Month!
Many people overlook addressing skin as a whole and don't truly understand the importance of having skin that is in SHAPE! This month we’ve created a 4 part series to help you understand skin, beyond marketing buzzwords and trending products!
Emphasis & education are primarily placed on products designed for our face, giving it an abundance of TLC & spending countless dollars on achieving our idea of a perfect Picasso. In the first of our weekly series for September, we're going to educate on some of the essential functions of the skin and why it's crazy important to be able to identify your skin's needs, as well as dispel popular skincare myth (do pores open and close).
Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and it has five primary functions: secretions & sensations, heat regulation, absorption, protection, & excretions; SHAPE! When any of these functions aren't working correctly, it disturbs our homeostasis, causing an influx of issues on the interior and exterior, so addressing skincare EVERYWHERE is vital!
Everyone has pores while many of us wish they'd magically disappear, we need to understand that our pores are what aid our bodies with secretions (sebum/oil), excretions (lactic acid, urea) & heat regulation (sweat).
Your pores undergo an intense, daily amount of stress from fragrances, friction, sun exposure, and even internal factors (like drinking alcohol and eating sugary foods). So while often hated for their sometimes more prominent or stretched-out appearance, we owe it to them for the heavy lifting they do that helps keep our body functioning.
Without pores, your skin cannot excrete sweat and toxins, and while sometimes these pores trap dirt and become clogged, which may inflame & enlarge them, solutions are much easier to figure out when you can quickly determine there's a problem.
The #1 myth about pores is that they open and close. This statement is false; actually, our pores undergo a "constrict and relax" mechanism. An easy comparison is what happens when you are cold (you cuddle up, grab a blanket & try to trap as much heat as possible) vs. when you're hot (you opt for less clothing, probably sleep with fewer covers, etc.) When we start the cleansing process, it's always with lukewarm or warm water to help "relax" the pores so that we can get rid of our daily build-up. When we want to constrict the pores at the end of our routine, we should use cold water as this helps to minimize TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) and allow pores to be restored so they may function optimally. This warm/cold method used for our face applies to our bodies as well. Now that you have a better understanding of the skin's primary functions, here are a few ways to help you get closer to starting or improving your full-body skincare routine.
Three things everyone should pay attention to when establishing a full-body skincare routine:
- Severely dry or compromised areas: these areas will usually be dry and flaky immediately after bathing or after applying lotions & oils. This condition is a sign of trans-epidermal water loss. It may be experienced on any area of the body by all skin types depending on factors like hard or hot water, products, medications, & other internal factors.
- Burning or stinging sensation when applying products: this also indicates a compromised barrier caused by a myriad of irritants like products, razors, friction, medications, & internal factors.
- Acne breakouts, blackheads, nodules, tenderness: these occur everywhere and often go untreated on areas like the chest and the back, but some even have acne on their legs and arms. Almost every irregular skin condition results from a compromised barrier "poor pore shape" due to pores being impacted or clogged OR stripped of their naturally functioning mechanisms.
- So, where do we begin tackling pesky skin issues like clogged pores?
- First, start taking your full-body skincare routine seriously – this means to establish a routine & think about how you treat your skin on a day-to-day basis:
- Are you washing your face daily to keep it free of dirt, oil, and toxins ⇨ Cleansing is the first step in maintaining or improving a healthy barrier. When pores are clogged, they expand, making skin appear more aged and serving as ground zero for unhealthy bacteria.
- Are you using the right ingredients to keep skin happy and healthy ⇨ Understanding ingredients at a basic level is essential, especially for those who have sensitive or sensitized skin. Some ingredients that are great for keeping the skin healthy may also cause photosensitivity, so it's important to make sure your regimen addresses your skin in its current condition.
- Are your skincare and makeup products free of toxins, unnecessary additives, and drying alcohols ⇨ These products often disrupt the homeostasis of the skin because our skin does a great job of keeping certain sized particles from penetrating; we don't have to worry too much about things like makeup being absorbed in our bloodstream; however, they can cause a ton of damage on the surface of the skin.
- Do you have the right tools and products to treat your skincare needs ⇨? Beauty tools will aid with your: cleansing process (necessary for emptying your pores of debris, pollution, and excess oil), exfoliation process (essential for cell turnover), product penetration (necessary for really pushing those properly formulated ingredients into the skin layers for maximum efficacy) and often do a better job than using your hands.
- Do you regularly wear SPF and protect your skin from sun damage ⇨ This is necessary to preserve ALL skin at the cellular level by protecting the cells from becoming unstable due to free radicals. Once cells are damaged, you open the door for burned skin, collagen breakdown, skin cancer, and a host of other issues that severely undermine other efforts to maintain & attain healthy skin.
If you don't know where to start or cannot answer these questions, start with an Esthetician as they are a great first step at making improvements in your skin without the need for harsh topicals like many Derms often prescribe. If your condition is unmanageable by an Esthetician they may be able to direct you to a Dermatologist.
A full-body skincare regimen is a workout routine for your skin. Get your skin in "fighting shape" to defend itself from pollution and toxins while also giving it the ingredients it needs to stay hydrated, moisturized, and free from pesky pimples and clogged pores – that's beauty done right!
So how will you treat your skin? Share with us on Instagram your skincare tips, routines, and stories for keeping your skin healthy and happy.
Make sure you're following us on Instagram, Pinterest, + join our email list so you don't miss out on the second installment where we'll be discussing the function of products, understanding ingredients & breaking down organic vs natural vs chemical based products!
Team Beauty EQ