The hidden impact of stress on your skin
Even the trees shed what's dead....
Fall is absolutely, hands down, my favorite season of them all. (Not because of pumpkin spice flavored everything either) Don't get me wrong, after a long snowy winter I love the chance to open the windows and hear the birds chirping outside again. I love the promise of longer days and that delicious fresh cut grass scent billowing in the air. And I love the chance to warm myself in the sun all day (wearing decent sun protection of course).
But fall is a time where life gets a little more simple. It's a time of harvest, preparation for the long winter days ahead, and time of quiet for me. My husband jokes that I'm a bear preparing for hibernation, and it actually feels right to me when he says that! I take the time to prep meals for the freezer, stock the pantry, harvest all my plants and herbs that I use to make scrubs and salts, and then help him with all the outside work. Spending time together cleaning gutters and raking leaves is an interesting chore but we make it fun together.
So it got me thinking.
We spend all this time preparing our external self for winter but what are we doing for the internal self and how are we preparing our skin for the seasonal change?
The last few weeks the weather has been a bit wacky, going from cold, to warmer, then humid and now dry again. Your skin works around the clock to maintain a balance. Skin has about 6 main functions:
Sensation, Heat Regulation, Absorption, Protection, Excretion and Secretion
That's a lot to do in a day folks. Especially when the environment we live in is constantly throwing curve-balls. Some of us experience extra dry crackling desert floor skin, some of us have an increase in acne. So how do we help our body not work so hard and create a balance in our skin's workload? (drum roll)
pH Balance and Exfoliation
(I'll save pH balance for another conversation.)
If there is one step in your daily skincare routine that I think is the most important to keep your skin functioning smoothly (pun intended), I believe it is exfoliation. The purpose of exfoliation is to remove the dead, flaky, skin cells from the surface of your skin. This simple act helps your serums, spot treatments, moisturizers and makeup glide on seamlessly. You'll have a better absorption rate because the product isn't just sitting on top of dead cells doing almost nothing. You'll be able to use less product because you won't have to reapply due to it not being absorbed in the first place. Your skin will be smoother and will glow and will be happy!
There are different types of exfoliation: manual (scrubs, micro-beads, microdermabrasion, facial wands, etc.) andchemical (AHA, TCA, etc.). Depending on your specific skin condition one of these may work out better for you.
So here are a few of my professional opinion tips that I've gained over the last several years :
- You don't need to exfoliate every day. Just like your muscles need recovery day from the gym, so does your skin. When we get in deep and do clean up work, we need to take a moment to let the skin build on its' greatness. Sometimes too much is too much and you create more issues, micro-tears, etc. No bueno.
- Pick your exfoliator wisely. Micro-beads are being banned due to negative environmental impact. Wands harbor a boat load of bacteria. Not every product sold to you via internet, side-gig, or fancy shop salesperson truly does what it claims to do. So do your research and always feel free to ask an esthetician for advise!
One of the coolest parts of my facial service is when I can whip out my mag-light and take a peek at the deep layers of the skin to see what direction I'm going to advise we go for exfoliation. That's the reason I perform custom facials and low-grade chemical peels.
Bringing out the radiance that is within, the health of the skin that you already harbor, is what I love to share with you!