So far most of my focus has been on the face, but what about our bodies? Does it do us any good when we have a pretty face and the rest of our body is looking rough? I know what you’re thinking…the cold weather is here so I’m all covered up. Well, I say now is the time to get to work! Just think how nice you’re going to look when Spring comes.
This brings us to asking…what is the best treatment for aging skin? We’ll have a look and see and we consider what to do – and not do – and what treatments are available.
What Causes Aging Skin
Of course there’s the obvious one…aging. Not much we can do about that and as I’ve said before…better than the alternative, right? The other cause is one we can mostly control. That would be environmental – like excessive sun exposure, smoking, and an unhealthy diet.
The experts say there is nothing we can do to reverse the damage to our skin, whether from age or the environment. We can, however, slow down further aging and take steps to make our skin appear more healthy. So…we don’t cry about water under the bridge, but we can take our future skincare into our own hands.
How to Take Care of Our Skin – Some Important Facts
Here are some do’s and don’ts. Some are obvious, but some you may not have thought of.
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when out in the sun. Don’t forget sunglasses with UV protection.
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Get plenty of exercise. This even helps with stress, which can take a toll on your skin.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Keep skin moisturized.
- Use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel when shaving.
- Use a moisturizing body wash instead of a bar of soap if your skin is dry.
- Don’t tan in the sun or a tanning bed. Experts now say that a tanning bed is actually worse than the sun.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t consume too much alcohol.
- Don’t take long, excessively hot baths or showers. This will draw out the natural oils that keep your skin moist and glowy.
- Wear gloves when cleaning, washing dishes, or handling other harsh chemicals.
Treatment Options – Time to Relax
Now is a good time to stop (but don’t go too far) and add a gift certificate to your local spa to your Christmas wish list. Believe me, you won’t regret it! This is not a complete list, but it should give you an idea of some treatments available. These treatments will also vary by spa and location.
Body Treatments from a Spa
- Full body massage – Massaging increases blood flow, which carries oxygen to the skin. Oxygen helps with the production of collagen, which creates elasticity in our skin.
- Chemical peel – Chemical peels are designed for circulation and to detox skin. It works as an exfoliant to remove the dead layer of skin, leaving it softer and cleaner. You can purchase your own product and do it at home for the face, neck, and hands, but you’ll want to visit a spa for a full body peel.
- LED light therapy – This treatment uses colored LED light to also stimulate the production of collegan and works against acne.
- Microdermabrasion – This treatment is used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and improve pore quality. I just did a review on an at home microdermabrasion kit where I recommend it over going to a spa, but a full body treatment is a bit much for at home. This will take a long time and well worth the cost.
- Body scrub – Salt scrubs are very popular at spas. The salt is used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin and clean pores.
- Body wrap – A body wrap is preceded by an exfoliation, such as a body scrub. You are covered with a substance and wrapped in plastic, then covered with a blanket. Seaweed or mud is used as a detox and aloe or some type of lotion is used to soften and hydrate the skin.
Out of all these, the body scrub is something that you can manage at home in the shower. One of the most popular and easy to make scrubs is the sugar scrub. There are many recipes online and on Pinterest. Here’s one I found on Pinterest from Cultured Palate that looks easy.
- 1 cup sugar (for a coarser scrub, add more sugar)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 20 drops wild orange essential oil ***
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional but gives a Creamsicle scent that is delicious)
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Place in an airtight container.
- Dip a small amount into your palm.
- Rub into your skin for 30 – 60 seconds using a circular motion.
- Rinse with warm water and use a facecloth to remove any residual scrub.
***She (and I too) use doTerra Essential Oils. If you use any other brand, be make sure they are high quality, 100% pure essential oils. There are many over the counter brands that are actually harmful to you and your pets. Do NOT skimp on price when it comes to essential oils.
Hey…why not do one for Christmas. Here’s one from live.love.texas on Pinterest.
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil room temperature
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 6-10 drops red food coloring optional
- Mix together sugar and coconut oil until soft and well combined.
- Add peppermint oil and stir.
- Split sugar mix into two batches and add red food coloring to half of it.
- In a small wide-mouth jar (about 8 oz.), alternate equal layers of the red and white sugar scrub. (Like a candy cane)
- She didn’t list instructions for use, so I would just use the instructions for the wild orange sugar scrub I listed above. Using these scrubs are pretty standard.
There are tons of recipes to choose from. As you can see by these two recipes, they’re pretty easy to make. You can even decorate the lids with ribbon or twine and gives as Christmas gifts.
Oh, one more thing. Be gentle when scrubbing. This process is to remove dead skin, not several layers. You don’t want to mess with the moisture and natural oils working underneath.
What Ingredients to Use – Let Your Products Work for You
You need to pay attention to your skin when it comes to products. As we’re learning with food, we should be looking at ingredients. What we put on our body is just as important as what we put in our body.
There are many products to choose from, so look for ones with ingredients that will meet you needs. Most of us in our 50s have dry skin, but that’s still not the case for some. If you still have breakouts you’ll need a different product.
Don’t forget that ingredients are listed in order by the amount included. This means that the first few ingredients have the most concentration of those ingredients and the ones listed at the end are the least amount. This also means don’t just take what the advertisers say as face value. They oftentimes promote an ingredient, but there will only be a small amount. Don’t let them trick you.
Here’s a list of what you should look for and why:
Retinol – Retinol is used to boost collegan production through vitamin A. It will help smooth out wrinkles because collegan reduces fine lines and wrinkles and will even make skin plump. Be careful with this ingredient, however, if you have sensitive skin. Test it on a small area of your skin first. If you don’t have any reactions, then start using it once or twice a week and slowly build up using it until you feel comfortable that it won’t irritate your skin.
Hyaluronic Acid – There has been a lot of talk about hyaluronic acid and with good cause. This ingredient helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because it helps to hold in moisture. Our skin naturally produces hyaluronic acid, but smoking and unhealthy eating, as well as age, will reduce its production. Here’s an extra tidbit for you…hyaluronic acid is also produced in our joints, so it is used to relieve pain from osteoarthritis when injected. Hyaluronic acid is oftentimes listed as Hyaluronate Sodium or other similar names in the list of ingredients for a product.
Cosenzyme Q-10 – This ingredient helps produce collagen and elastin, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps to rid our skin cells of free radicals. Cosenzyme Q-10 is also something that our body slows in producing as we age.
Peptides – Peptides are a string of amino acids that help with the production of collagen and help fight against wrinkles, dry hair, and brittle nails. Because they help with the production of collagen, peptides will work to plump the skin.
Green Tea Extract – This is a good ingredient to look for if you have sun damage to your skin. It can also be used under a sunscreen to further protect your skin from further sun damage. Green tea extract contains a nutrient called polyphenol, which works as an antioxidant. This nutrient may sound familiar because it is also thought to help treat cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, digestion, and weight management.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps restore the collegan and elastin we lose as we age. Adding vitamin C to your skin care regimen helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, brighten skin, and to heal scars.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – Alpha lipoic acid is something else our body produces and also decreases with age. This natural chemical works to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and pores.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – AHAs, actually a category of acids, includes glycolic, citric, lactic, and tartaric. These acids help with exfoliation to improve fine lines, age spots, and even out skin tone. As with retinol, test it and build it up slowly if you have sensitive skin. These acids will also make your skin more sensitive to sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be outside.
Some other things to consider:
- Be aware of the amount of acids you use if you have dry skin. Too many can dry your skin further. Consult your dermatologist if you have a diagnosed skin condition or extremely dry, itchy skin.
- Try to avoid products with scents. Perfumes can further irritate dry skin. So can added colors.
How to Get the Best Results – Maximize Your Efforts
We have a list of do’s and don’ts and ingredients that help get the best results with our skin. Now let’s look at some additional actions we can take to maximize our efforts.
- Pat your skin dry with a towel after bathing instead of rubbing. This will help retain some moisture.
- Wear a sunscreen or a product that has sunscreen included.
- Apply moisturizer a few minutes after bathing while your skin is still moist.
- Apply moisturizer in gentle downward motions instead of up and down or in circular motions.
My Final Thoughts – Where to go From Here
We’ve covered some pretty important information here. Yes, our tendency is to ignore our skin during the cold weather, but it is actually the best time to take notice. The colder, drier air outside and artificial heat inside really does take its toll on our skin. I say take action now!
I will follow up this article with a review of body lotions, so I hope you’ll come back. As a matter of fact, you can sign up on the email list (see it on the right side of your screen?) in a matter of seconds. This way you’ll be notified when new articles are posted.
I would also love to hear from you today. Just leave me a comment or question below and I’ll get back with you.
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Can’t wait to see you next time!