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Jacki Curcio: Combatting wrinkle-causing skin factors

Skin La Curcio Style

Posted: August 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 5, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

To combat facial lines and wrinkles, it is first necessary to understand how they develop.

There are many contributing factors, including sun damage, dehydration, moisture loss, stress and toxins, dead skin-cell build up, facial expressions, wind and excessive cold temperatures and inadequate cleansing and moisturizing.

Let’s discuss each one to determine the best ways to protect oneself from too much of any of these potential contributors.

Sun damage
For numerous potential skin problems, the most serious being skin cancers, a broad-spectrum water-resistant UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is a good baseline protection number. This daily protection from potential sun damage also prevents and minimizes wrinkling from over-exposure and possible burn damage.

If you are pregnant, nursing or in the care of a dermatologist, physician or health care professional, you must follow their advice and recommendations, period.

Dehydration
Your skin is hydrated from the inside out first, so it is vital to consume adequate amounts of pure quality water daily. Remember, your body is more than 70 percent water. It just makes sense to ensure you have enough water in your daily diet for good body function. It’s buoyancy will also give you that glow and a bit of plumping that we all crave.

Moisture loss
There are two types of moisture in the skin: water and oil. Moisture loss refers to the inadequate amount of oil in the skin for balanced moisture.

You can determine the type of moisture needed for your skin type and age from a licensed skin care professional. Because of the numerous blends and formulas available today, if you wish to get the most out of your moisturizer, such as state-of-the-art technology, multifunctions and age-defying ingredients, such a recommendation is a must for long-term benefits. I always say, “It is much easier to maintain your skin’s beauty long term than to play catch-up later.”

Stress
Recent studies show that stress is a leading contributor to aging of the skin and skin cells.

It’s time to take control of these daily stressors that can be eliminated, minimized and reorganized to lift unnecessary stress from your daily life, not just for your skin but for overall health and mental well-being.

Take the pressure off. Relax. Take breaks. Breathe. Enjoy the beauty around you. Enjoy your life, your family, your friends and whatever helps to get recharged and relieve stress.

This can include facials, which will relieve direct stress on the skin, or therapeutic massage, reflexology or aromatherapy. Your licensed skin care professional can suggest many other facial treatments specific to your skin type and specific needs. Ask them.

Toxins
Toxins directly damage the DNA of skin cells. Food and products that contain toxins will contribute to this damage. For the healthiest skin possible, seek professional products that include natural plant derivatives and nontoxic ingredients in its formulas.

Dead skin-cell build up
Dead skin-cell layer build up over the years creates fine lines and creases in the skin. Millions of dead skin cells build up daily. Common daily cleansing is ineffective in removing the majority of these dead skin cells, and, over time, they really accumulate.

To effectively remove them requires gentle daily exfoliation with a scrub or preferably with a gentle daily alpha hydroxy acid product application or a retinol (vitamin A) product application to more effectively remove the dead skin cells and help resurface the skin tone and texture.

The other bonus effect to either of these products is that they will incite the skin to produce fresh, new skin cells. Again, it is imperative to seek and follow the advice of your licensed skin care professional.

More serious options for skin cell removal include medical-grade acid peels, medical laser resurfacing treatments, medical thermal treatments with ongoing new developments and treatments for smoothing and firming available at a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist’s office.

Facial expressions
It is true that facial lines also develop from smiling and people who are very facially animated. It is a tribute to one’s life, although some may feel that their expression lines and wrinkles are too many or too deep for their liking.

Great news: Besides Botox (which temporarily “freezes” the muscles surrounding the wrinkled areas), there are peptides and hyaluronic acid to help reduce expression lines. Peptides tell the skin to produce collagen, thereby plumping the skin by making it thicker. Hyalruonic acid is absorbed into the skin and holds moisture wherever applied thereby moisturizing and plumping the skin. Both yield fantastic results.

Wind and excessive cold
Wind and excessive cold temperatures are more drying and dehydrating than most anything else. You may notice that when there is a lot of wind present that your flowers and plants suffer quickly and require more water then ever to recover and stay supple. The same is true of your skin.

In fact, many women find that they will use a different moisturizer in the winter months than in summer. Some may even need to layer hydrating lotions along with a deep, rich moisturizer on excessively cold days. This past winter was one of the coldest we have ever had here in the valley, and required increased moisturizing for most.

Inadequate cleansing and moisturizing
Ideally, you should cleanse and moisturize your skin each morning and evening. In the morning, your moisturizer should reflect your skin needs and type of activity you have each day. In the evening, your moisturizer should be a renewing formulation to bring back whatever has been lost during your busy day.

If this is impossible every day for whatever reason, then I recommend that you choose the evening for this routine so as to effectively cleanse off the days dirt, oils and environmental elements. After cleansing, layer your daytime moisturizer, then your evening moisture cream on top. This will give your skin a chance to rest, replenish and renew overnight.

Remember, maintaining your beauty is more than possible, it is simply crucial. Use the highest-quality products possible so that your skin responds quickly and gives you the timeless results we all desire.

Jacki Curcio is a skin care expert, nationally published health and beauty writer, and the owner and developer of La Curcio Skin Care Collection, available exclusively at Balance Point Spa and coming soon to LaCurcio.com. For more information, call (661) 713-9679.

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