Skin Perfection Series: The Lipid Barrier

Skin Perfection Series:                                                            The Lipid Barrier

Did you know that healthy barrier function is perhaps one of the most important aspects of skin health and aging?

According to medical skin experts, optimal skin health reflects the following key elements:

  • Healthy Barrier Function

  • Flexibility and Strength

  • Even Color 

  • Good Circulation

  • Hydration

  • “Bounceback”

As our skin's first line of defense to the outside world, the outer layer of skin, the Stratum Corneum (CF), is a protective, waterproof shield consisting of dead, protein-rich skin cells containing Natural Moisturizing Factors (NMF) which help bind water to the cells. Surrounding these cells are lipids such as ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acid. Together this protective matrix of protein, water, and oil function to prevent water evaporating from the skin and from external threats and irritants entering our skin. If our barrier has been impaired by over washing, exfoliating, harsh ingredients, excessively hot showers or neglect, we are vulnerable to invasion of pathogens, environmental pollutants including chemicals, heavy metals, EMF's and other sources of damaging particles.

Complexion Perfection

Complexion Perfection

Do you ever wake up feeling on top of the world, look in the mirror and think, "WOW!! My skin looks AMAZING!!" BEST. FEELING. EVER!! Wouldn't you agree?! I wish this for everyone. From personal experience, I know how debilitating skin problems can be. In my early 20's, I dealt with painful cystic acne that kept joy, freedom, and inspiration at arms length. All I could think about was how much I hated my skin. Luckily, it cleared within 6 months, but I will never forget how self conscious and unlovable I felt.

This is why I've devoted my life's work to helping others achieve skin that reflects vitality and well-being. Because when we are healthy on the inside, our skin radiates health on the outside. I call this Complexion PerfectionAnd that is something we can all strive for.

Trapped Emotions and the Skin

Trapped Emotions and the Skin

Have you considered releasing trapped emotions as part of your beauty regime?

Flawless skin, vibrant health, That's what we want, isn't it? Some of us will do just about anything for it. You could say I'm in that camp. I've had leech facials, mud baths, carbon dioxide injections, ozone therapy, cryotherapy, fibroplasma ... just to name a few. I'm up for just about anything beauty or health-related (if it's holistic).

Recently, one of my dear clients asked how I stay so young looking. Um yes… at 45, that is sweet music to my ears!!! Although genetics plays an important role in the aging process, if my goal is to stay as young as possible for as long as possible, I believe my fate lies in my hands. Staying accountable for self care rituals and strong foundation of diet, exercise and sleep. However, even if all these things are on point, a much larger part of staying young is releasing toxic energy. Nothing ages us faster than stress and negative emotion build-up.

Emotions can become trapped in the body and create resonance with surrounding cells, tissues and organs. Even if you haven't heard the term "trapped emotion", we've all been impacted by the heaviness of lingering negativity and the liberation of emotional relief.

Curing Eczema and Other Mystery Rashes

Curing Eczema and Other Mystery Rashes

Eczema. UGH!! What a pain in the butt! Especially with this heat wave! Is there no mercy?! Some people have dealt with bouts of sporadic, itchy, red, scaly skin since early childhood. It's hard to imagine. So what is eczema and why does it erupt? Eczema is actually an umbrella term used to identify a wide range of "rashes" and "dermatitis-like" skin conditions. Just like "inflammation" is a general term used for redness, irritation, or swollen reaction to an infection or injury in the body or on the skin. There can be a plethora of reasons for inflammation, and the same holds true for eczema.

Anyone who has suffered from eczema knows that symptoms can be downright debilitating physically, emotionally and spiritually. Painful rashes, sleepless nights, shame, and feeling disconnected from life and other people.

You may even have heard that eczema is an incurable condition that can only be managed with cortisone, Benadryl and topical steroids. I believe that is misguided information. If you're like me, someone who likes to get to the bottom symptoms rather than suppress them, help is here.   

Nutrition for Stress

Nutrition for Stress

Stress is being called The Black Plague of modern times and is the leading cause illnesses, depression and anxiety. Stress is a simple fact of life for most of us, and can sometimes serve as motivation to meet challenges or goals. But when gone undetected and unmanaged,  constant daily stressors such as long commutes stuck in traffic, relationship/family problems, financial or work pressures can wreak havoc in our lives, eventually stealing our joy, health and beauty.

The “fight or flight response” we have while under stress is our body’s natural survival mechanism to a perceived threat.  Today’s stressors don’t commonly involve live-or-die situations like our ancestors faced.  Unfortunately, our body doesn't know the difference between "perceived" and  "real life" threats.  When we are in a continual state of  chronic stress, our immune system is overtaxed and depleted making us susceptible to premature aging, a plethora health issues and ultimately a shortened life span. Sadly and all too often, coping with modern day stress involves self medicating with drugs or alcohol, comfort foods, watching hours of mind numbing TV.

Allergic Reactions

Allergic Reactions

I love trying new products, exploring new foods and am always searching for the most advanced ways to reduce the effects of aging.   I’ve learned the hard way that while being adventurous is a positive trait, there are some things to consider before diving in.   It may not seem like a big deal to introduce something new, but adverse reactions can be scary and embarrassing.  

I always start with research.  I want to know it’s purpose, how it interacts in my skin or body,  and understand possible side effects or contra-indications.   And of course any qualified reviews or referrals will help me decide whether I feel confident in trying it personally. 

In a perfect world, the best way to get accurate feedback on a new product is to introduce it while all keeping all other variables the same.  If you have a handful of new factors to consider,  dealing with adverse reactions can be frustrating and misleading.   In a controlled study, ingredients or products are isolated to provide accurate correlations of cause and effect.  Rarely in life do we have such a sterile environment.  Thank goodness!  Rather, our worlds routinely consist of fluctuating stress levels, diet quality, water intake and other variables.  Unless the cause and effect are without question,  I always test a product 2-3 times if I am suspicious of it to ensure no other factors are involved.   If I do experience a skin flare-up, I allow my skin to recover (approximately 3-7 days) then I reintroduce the product while keeping all other variables relatively consistent, while eating clean and drinking lots and lots of water.   The best time to check for reactions is first thing in the morning or after wearing all day. 

So how do you know if a product doesn’t agree with you?   Signs of an Adverse Reaction

Travel Health Tips

Travel Health Tips

Have you ever gotten back from a relaxing getaway only to feel like you needed a vacation from your vacation? Have you ever wondered why plane rides make you feel so dehydrated? If you love to travel but don't like feeling jet-lagged, bloated or fatigued, the following tips will help you stay healthy and on track so you can easily and effortlessly re-integrate back into your life.

1) Protect yourself from radiation exposure. When we travel by plane, we are exposed to high levels of solar radiation, which gone unprotected can cause free radical damage to our cells and DNA. Radiation exposure can cause health issues and symptoms like lethargy, achy joints and muscles, dehydration and breakdown our immune system.

Understanding Food Cravings and Addictions

Understanding Food Cravings and Addictions

I think we’ve all experienced emotional eating at some point whether it was to ease boredom, soothe uncomfortable emotions or even celebrate, rather than to satisfy REAL hunger. We may even have felt powerless to our cravings. Unfortunately, emotional hunger can’t be satisfied with food and perpetuates a self defeating cycle of guilt and shame.

How can you spot emotional hunger and what can you do about it? Emotional hunger usually pops up as sudden craving for a specific food, often resulting from a specific situation or emotional trigger. Another clue is a feeling of not being satisfied even after being full.

If you pay close attention to your cravings, you can create a practice of replacing your "unhealthy comfort foods" with more nutritious versions, while also satisfying your cravings.

Yes, Toners Are Necessary

Yes, Toners Are Necessary

1.  Toners are crucial to the cleansing process.  Toner removes the final residue of make-up, dirt & oil leftover cleanser and unless you are using filtered water to cleanse your skin, there is chlorine, calcium, flouride and other heavy metals in the water that will be left on the skin.  When the chemicals dry, they shrink, leaving a white film, and ultimately leaving you feeling tight and dry.   If you put a moisturizer directly on top of these chemicals, you will continue to dull and dry the skin.  The film must be removed with toner using a cotton pad. 

Middle Aged: Crisis or Comeback?

The wrinkles and less defined jawline. Less camera love and jeans that don’t fit like they used to.  Mystery bumps and lumps popping up like ground hogs and gray hair sprouting like wildflowers.  AHHHH.  The joys of middle-agedom. I’m a 44 year old grandmother and things are starting to get real.   I recently found myself keenly aware of the lightning speed in which years fly by, pondering life’s existential meaning.   After obsessively scrutinizing the loss in volume in my face and neck, it dawned on me that I’m the youngest I’m ever going to be RIGHT NOW.  And that NOW changes incredibly fast.  So I may as well embrace it and enjoy the ride.   As an esthetician and health coach the quest for eternal youthfulness is not only a passion but also a core part of my life’s work and mission.  I’m responsible for keeping my clients young and vibrant, and truthfully I want to age as gracefully as possible.  When our personal passions are married with our life’s work, it’s magic.  I vigilantly research new skin rejuvenation techniques, ingredients and products that both safely turn back the hands of time, and preserve our reserves for the long haul.  I love it.  But these things are only part of the equation.  Growing old gracefully means continually loving every part of ourselves as things inevitably change while doing everything we can to promote healthy aging physically, mentally and spiritually.