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How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

Water GLass

Seems like a simple question, but the answer isn’t as simple. Most people have heard the “eight 8 ounce glasses of water” advice, but according to the Institute of Medicine, there isn’t any scientific evidence behind that “rule”. It’s just easy to remember and isn’t far off their own recommendations. Getting adequate water intake is one of the most important things you can do to achieve your skin care goals, but it’s also necessary for your whole body’s well being. So how much should you bet getting every day? Here are some guidelines to make sure you’re achieving proper hydration levels!

1. The Institute of Medicine recommends 3 liters (about 13 cups) for the average healthy male, and 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) for the average healthy female.

2. If you exercise and sweat, you need an additional 1.5-2.5 cups of water for each hour of exercise. However, if you are engaging in a more intense long lasting activity, such as running a marathon, you need to replenish not just water but also sodium, so a sports drink may be a better option. Make sure to continue to replace fluids after you’ve finished exercising.

3. If you live in a hot or humid environment, you will also lose body fluid due to sweating. An additional cup of water can help counteract the loss of fluid. If you live at a high altitude you’ll also need additional water to help out with the increased loss of fluids and more rapid breathing often associated with the thinner air.

4. Pregnant and breast-feeding women also need additional fluids. The recommended daily intake for a pregnant woman is 2.3 liters (10 cups) and 3.1 liters (13 cups) for breast-feeding women.

4. Drinking alcohol, sodas, and caffeine also dehydrates the body, and will increase the need for water intake.

As a fairly active healthy adult woman who enjoys a glass of wine from time to time I try to drink about 12 cups of water a day. If you don’t enjoy the taste of water, I recommend drinking small amounts throughout the day. Take a sip when you walk past a water fountain. If you have a water cooler in your office, have a small cup every time you walk by. If you just need a little flavor, there are some really cool infusion water bottles you can add sliced fruit to.

Like these:

Water Fruit Infusion bottle

Have a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning and during and between meals and you’ll be well on your way to getting your daily water intake!

Drink up!

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DIY Magnetic Makeup Board

DIY magnetic makeup board

 

Makeup Board

Photo and board by Meredith Brister

Do you often find yourself digging through a cluttered makeup drawer, or feeling like you just have too much on your bathroom counter? Here is an easy, and attractive, solution for all my fellow makeup junkies! It’s a magnetic makeup board, so you can have all your must haves at your fingertips, without all the clutter!

Materials & tools:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Sticks
  • Metal Sheet (12″x18″ works, but whatever you feel you need)
  • Cardboard Sheet (same size as metal sheet) *
  • Fabric of Choice
  • Duct Tape
  • Magnets
  • Frame
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Most of these items can be obtained from your local crafts store. The metal sheet can be purchased at any home improvement store. I suggest purchasing the metal sheet first, so you can ensure it fits nicely under the frame of your choice.

*optional

Method:

1. Check the fit of the metal sheet inside your frame.

2. Measure the fabric around the metal sheet, mark with pencil. The cut fabric should be about two inches longer on each side. So for a metal sheet of 12”x18” your fabric should be cut to 16”x22”. Remember you can always cut more material away, but you can’t add it back on.

3. Pull the fabric snuggly around the metal sheet and glue it to the back of the metal sheet. Make sure the corners are pulled tightly.

Makeup Board Fabric Glue

 

photo by cityline

4. Secure the now fabric covered metal sheet inside the frame. Place the cardboard behind the metal sheet for a better fit inside the frame. Duct tape the metal sheet and cardboard to the frame securely. Be sure not to tape over the hanging apparatus on the frame.

Makeup Board Duct Tape

 

photo by cityline

5. Affix magnets to the back of the desired products you wish to store on your board.

6. Hang and enjoy!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

 

Razor Burn Rescue!

Happy June 1st! I hope a lot of you were able to break in your swimsuits and enjoy some sunshine this weekend, sunburn free, of course. I’ve talked a lot about sunburn and how to avoid it, but today I want to talk about a different kind of burn – razor burn.   Razor burn happens when shaved hairs become ingrown, causing comedone (pimple) look a likes to pop up. Often several at a time. It’s not the same thing as an actual comedone, it’s simply irritated skin around a hair that isn’t growing out of the skin properly. So here are some tips to help avoid razor burn!

 

1. Never shave “against the grain”. Try to shave in the direction of hair growth. I know it’s not a smooth that way, but that’s the point. When you shave against the natural direction of growth, you run the risk of cutting the hair below the skin line. As the hair grows, it may get stuck in the skin and cause ingrown hairs.

2. Exfoliate the shaved area 24-48 hours after shaving. Removing any cells that could block the hair from being able to grow out can help keep razor burn at bay. If you shave every single day, exfoliate the area two times a week. You should be using an exfoliant with jojo beads or seeds as the ingredient that does the scrubbing.

3. Use an aftershave product with tea tree oil in it. It helps discourage bacterial activity and keep down inflammation. You can also use tea tree oil on any existing razor burn to help heal the skin.

4. Change your razor often. If a razor dulls or gets little micro nicks, instead of shaving the hair smoothly it can catch the hair, pull, and break it instead. The broken hair is so short it goes below the skin and can become ingrown.

5. For legs and body, instead of using a shaving cream, try using an inexpensive conditioner. It helps moisturize the skin and keep it healthier! Shaving creams can occasionally dry out the skin.

6. If you have thick or curly hair, use men’s razors. I’ve found they tend to work a little better than the lady versions.

7. After shaving, rinse the skin off with cool water. It helps close the pores and keep out any bacteria or environmental debris that could cause irritation around the hair follicle.

 

If you have a lot of problems with razor burn or ingrown hairs, it may be time to explore a different option of hair removal. Waxing, threading, laser, and electrolysis are all widely available options that may work better for you. I hope you all have a safe and happy weekend! Enjoy!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

The Sunscreen Guide

getty_rf_photo_of_sunscreen_in_sun_pattern_on_back

What Does SPF Mean?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number helps you determine how long you can be exposed to the sun before burning.

The formula is: Minutes it takes you to burn x SPF number.

In other words, if you burn in 10 minutes without sunscreen, and you apply SPF 15 – you should be able to be in the sun for 150 minutes without burning. However, you’re supposed to reapply every 2 hours. That’s why using SPF 100 is sort of pointless; it’s just over exposure to the chemicals in sunscreen. You’re not going to spend 1000 minutes (over 16 hours!) in the sun without reapplying. For most people, the range should be SPF 15- SPF 50 depending on the day’s activities.

 

Common Myths:

Wearing sunscreen can cause vitamin D deficiency. Few dermatologists believe wearing sunscreen causes vitamin D deficiency. Also, vitamin D is widely available in the form of dietary supplements and foods such as salmon, eggs, enriched milk, and orange juice.

If it’s cold or cloudy outside, you don’t need sunscreen.
 Up to 40 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth on a completely cloudy day. This misperception often leads to the most serious sunburns, because people spend all day outdoors with no protection from the sun.

You get 80% of your sun damage before 18, so it’s too late to do anything about it now.
 If you dropped your cell phone and it got a little crack, would you then take a hammer to it because it’s already damaged? No, probably not. So wear your sunscreen.

If you have darker pigment in your skin, you don’t need to wear SPF. While people with darker pigment are certainly less likely to get a sunburn, they still need to protect themselves from harmful UVA rays that cause aging and the possibility of skin cancers.

 

What SPF Number Should You Look For:

SPF 15: This is the minimum you should be looking for. It’s fine for day to day activities like grocery shopping, driving, going to work, or a lazy Sunday around the house. You should be wearing at least SPF 15 every single day. UVA rays can penetrate glass, so unless you’ll be spending the day in a lead lined cave, there is no reason to not apply SPF.

SPF 30: If you plan to be outdoors for a picnic, walk, or working in the garden – you need to up your SPF. If you’re going to be in water, or you might be sweating, consider getting something waterproof as well.

SPF 50: This is as high as you need to go. Keep in mind the ingredients that are blocking UV light are chemicals not health products. If you’re going to the beach and are very sun sensitive, you may want to go this high; otherwise SPF 30 will be sufficient.

 

SPF Ingredients:

You want to choose a sun protection product that is broad spectrum, meaning it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The number on the front of the bottle usually only refers to the protection factor from UVB, so you want to be sure you’re getting UBA protection too. UVB’s are the rays that cause burns, where as UVA’s are the rays that lead to aging of the skin. I keep it straight by thinking A for aging and B for burning.

 

UVA Sunscreen Ingredients

  • Avobenzone
  • Benzophenones (Oxybenzone, Dioxybenzone, Sulisobenzone)
  • Mexoryl SX, also known as Ecamsule
  • Menthyl anthranilate, also known as Meradimate
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

Of these, Avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, and Zinc Oxide, provide the most extensive UVA protection.

UVB Sunscreen Ingredients

  • Aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  • Benzophenones (Oxybenzone, Dioxybenzone, Sulisobenzone)
  • Cinnamates (Cinoxate, Octocrylene, Octyl Methoxycinnamate)
  • Menthyl anthranilate, also known as Meradimate
  • Mexoryl SX, also known as Ecamsule
  • Salicylates (Homosalate, Octisalate, Trolamine Salicylate, Octisalate)
  • Padimate 0
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

These sunscreen ingredients all provide extensive UVB protection.

Here is a visual breakdown:

 

 Sunscreen-Chart

Toxicity:

There is some concern about chemical sunscreen components. This chart can help you understand the possible effects of the sunscreen you choose:

ewg-table-2

 

The Bottom Line:

1. Wear sunscreen every single day. Period.

2. Apply liberally.  1-2 ounces of product for your whole body.

3. Choose a broad spectrum product that will protect from both UVA and UVB with an SPF between 15 and 50.

4. If you want to use a physical instead of a chemical sun protection, look for Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.

5. Buy new sunscreen every year. It does expire!

6. Enjoy some time outdoors!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

What Moms Wish They Knew When They Were Younger

 

Mom and Me

Me and my beautiful momma!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Experience is the greatest gift of age, and I’m so thankful for everyone in my life who has shared their experiences with me so I didn’t have to find out for myself.   The saying “Mom knows best!” really does ring true often! So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share some pearls of wisdom I’ve gained from the moms in my life. These are 5 things they wish they knew when they were younger.

 

1. The tan is not worth it.   I remember hearing tales, from my mom and aunts, of covering their bodies with butter or olive oil and lying in the sun. While the memories of their youth are fond, if they could go back, all of them say– skip the tan. A tan completion wasn’t popular until the 1920’s, when fashion icon Coco Chanel got an accidental sunburn on her vacation to the south of France. When she returned to Paris, with tanned skin, it became a status symbol to be tanned. It’s almost 100 years later, lets let that one go!

 

2. Apply your moisturizer (and other products!) to your neck and décolletage – not just your face.   Do you ever see people with faces that look 10 years younger than their neck and chest? Yeah, it’s not a good look. Pay attention to your neck and décolletage before it becomes a problem.

 

3. Your children are important, but so are you! Often I hear mom’s say they have no time for taking care of themselves. It only takes 2 minutes a day to do everything you need to take care of your skin. Take that time for you. Often the better you look, the better you feel!

 

4. Start using eye cream early. Don’t wait until you start to see the fine lines and crows feet. It’s much easier to prevent than it is to undo.

 

5. Relax. Get some sleep, let go of the things you can’t change, and don’t worry so much! All that anxiety ages you, and can cause other health problems. Life is good, enjoy it!

 

Thank you to all the mothers out there for all you do! You are beautiful and loved!

 

As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Many of us have read lists of wardrobe must haves: Little Black Dress(LBD), pearl earrings, white button down shirt, nude heels… etc. So, I wanted to share my list of must have makeup items!

I have a lot of makeup. If Sephora or Ulta sells it, I’ve probably tried it. Not only do I have makeup for myself­­, I have makeup to suit almost any complexion, because I’ve freelanced as a makeup artist. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I’ve used thousands of products, but my favorites can easily fit into a small makeup bag. So, if you’re looking to try something new, all of these items can be used by almost anyone, and flatter most skin tones and types!

Inner Light Aveda

Aveda Tinted Moisturizer: As a rule I don’t use heavy foundations, but I want something that can provide some coverage if needed. My skin can be sensitive, and break out easily with most facial makeup. I also hate to feel makeup sitting on my skin. I love this product because it checks all my boxes! It’s light, never breaks me out, and always looks great – even when my skin is struggling. It comes in a variety of colors (my color is beechwood) to suit most skin tones, and a tube for $28 usually last three months. I follow it with a light dusting of Aveda Inner Light mineral loose powder, and it looks great all day!

Nars blush

NARS Blush: You’ve probably heard of a NARS cult favorite blush called Orgasm. It’s wildly popular for its claim to leave you with a post…fun…glow, but I actually prefer a slightly lighter shade called Deep Throat. Hey, I don’t name them!  I’m actually blushing a bit just writing this. Hmm…maybe that’s part of their ploy? Anyway, NARS makes a fabulous product with 31 gorgeous shades. They last forever, don’t crumble easily, and are worth every penny of their $30 retail price.

Naked Basics Palette

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: Six neutral shades that can create a simple natural look – all the way to a sexy smoky eye.   If you’re traveling light, and need a simple palette that can do it all, this is it. I actually discovered it when I realized I left my makeup bag at home, after arriving for a week at the beach. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, and $28 later I was set for the week!

 

Definincils

Lancome Definicils Mascara: You want length? You want volume? I know you do. Especially for your lashes, right? With this mascara you get both! Practically fake lashes in a tube. At $27.50, it’s much more cost effective than lash extensions and goes on beautifully. If you really want to boost the lengthening of the lashes, apply Lancome’s Cils Booster XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base before your mascara.

 

MAC_lipgloss_Top_10

MAC Cremesheen Glass: Sticky lip-gloss is a big pet peeve of mine, but that can be a trade off for shinier lip-glosses. This gloss gives a beautiful shine, without having to pry your lips apart every time you need to open your mouth. It’s also kiss friendly, and comes in a variety of fun and sexy shades to compliment different looks. You can pick it up for $18.50 anywhere MAC products are sold!

 

So those are the makeup items I can’t go without, and I hope you love them too! As always if you have any questions please send them to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and check out the fan page at www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

 

 

Happy Easter!

easter-lily300x225

 

I hope you all had a beautiful and restful Sunday. This week is a rest week for me, as I celebrate Easter with family and friends. I’ll see you all next Sunday!

 

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com, check out the Facebook fan page, http://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

Warm Weather Skincare

Young woman enyoing summer.

Just two weeks ago, as I sat down to write, I looked out the window to huge snowflakes falling. Since then, the sun found its way out of hibernation, flowers bloomed, and many of us began to spend time outdoors! However, looking at my neighbors today, it appears many of us forgot fresh air and sunshine also leads to fresh sunburns. So, with the seasons finally changing, it may be time to make some changes in how you are taking care of your skin! Here are some tips to help you thaw out and enjoy the outdoors without wreaking havoc on your skin.

 

1. Your Sunscreen Has An Expiration Date: That “first time out sunburn” isn’t just because it’s been a while since you’ve been in the sun; it also could be because your sunscreen isn’t working as well as it did a few months ago. Believe it or not, sunscreen has an expiration date—usually about one year from the time you first open it. So, last year’s sunscreen won’t be as effective as you’re expecting for this year. In addition, regardless of when you opened it, your sunscreen expires by the date on the bottle. So go ahead and throw out your old stock, and get a new bottle for fun in the sun in 2014!

2. Don’t Forget Your Lips: Your lips take sun damage too, so don’t forget to put SPF on them as well. There are a lot of lip balms with SPF in them, so just find one you like and apply it before heading out. Otherwise, you might end up looking like this.

sunburned-lips

3. UVB/ UVA SPF Protection: The SPF number on the front of your sunscreen bottle only tells you part of the sunscreen protection story. Believe it or not, SPF number only describes the level of protection from UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn. You also need protection from UVA rays, which are actually the stronger of the two UV rays. They penetrate all the way down to the dermis, break down collagen and elastin, and cause sunspots and age spots. In other words, UVB rays give you sunburn but UVA rays age your skin—B for burning, A for aging! So, make sure you see “broad spectrum” on the label to ensure you’re protecting yourself from wrinkles and age spots, not just sunburn.

4. Change Your Moisturizer: Did you know that many people can benefit from a change in their skincare routine products the weather changes? During the winter, the humidity levels are usually much lower than the summer months, and things like wind can batter your skin. As a consequence, most people tend to have drier skin during the colder months. However, once it begins to warm up, the same products that were making you feel hydrated during the winter will suddenly become overkill. If you feel like you are suffering from this problem, try a lighter moisturizer—one that feels physically lighter and less viscous to the touch. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel! Also, if your current moisturizer is only SPF 15, consider upping it to SPF 30 because the sun’s rays are more intense during the summer months.

5. Drink More Water: Warmer weather can lead to dehydration fast, so you’ll want to make sure you’re drinking plenty to make up for what your body is losing. The general rule is 1oz of water for every 2 pounds of body weight. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you want to aim for 75oz of water a day. Gatorade, lemonade, Kool-Aid, and flavored water don’t count. The only substitute for water is ice water.

6. Need For Vitamin D is NOT An Excuse To Tan: Yes, you do need vitamin D. No, that’s not permission to “lay out” and get hours of sun damage. Moderation is the key! You only need 10-15 minutes of sun exposure a day to get healthy vitamin D levels.

7. Wear Sunglasses…With UV Protection: Your eyes take a beating from the sun, too. First, if you don’t wear sunglasses, all that squinting can lead to crow’s feet. However, your eyes can suffer from sun damage, too, and believe it or not, you can even get difficult-to-detect and deadly melanomas (a type of skin cancer) on your eyes! So, grab a few pairs you like and keep a pair in your car, your purse, your house, and at work so you’ll always have a pair handy and ready to put on!

 

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com ,check out the Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

Make sure you check in for a very special collaboration post with The WAKE UP Project!

https://www.facebook.com/Wakeuplivethelifeyoudream

See you next Sunday!

Q & A : Wine, Chocolate, Makeup and more!

Image

 

It’s been almost three months since I started this blog journey with you all, and each week I hope I’ve brought you interesting information and maybe a laugh or two. I love what I do, and I hope it shows!

In 3 months this blog has seen over 3000 views, and I have all of you to thank for checking in each week and sharing with friends and family! Thank you for encouraging me to share my passion with the world!

I have never wanted this to be a one-way street, however. I always like to hear from my readers and answer specific questions people have. Truth be told, just like back in school, if someone has a question then a lot of others probably have the same question! So, you’ve been asking me your questions for months, and I’ve decided the best thing to do is to start doing a Q&A the first Sunday of each month to address the most popular questions!

Without further ado, here are this month’s questions, concerns, and in some cases, yes, validations.

Make sure to check out the bonus information at the end!

 

1. Can I use a washcloth to wash my face?

Many people use washcloths to help get their skin extra clean, or provide extra exfoliation, but the trouble is…washcloths just aren’t clean. They collect dust and usually have traces of laundry detergent on them that can irritate your skin. If you’re someone who gets more than one use from your washcloth, you’re basically wiping a bacteria rag across your face. Yeah…won’t be using one tonight, will you? On top of all that, even the softest-feeling wash clothes pull at the skin, leave microtears, and can cause inflammation— all of which leads to rapid aging. So just use your hands. They are softer, cleaner (you just put cleanser on them right?), and always available.

 

2. What foods cause breakouts?

None. Next….

Seriously, there is not one single food that absolutely causes breakouts in everyone. Often, foods like chocolate get accused of causing breakouts, but they tend to be consumed when we are stressed or during holidays when we may not be eating well as a whole. The overall health of you body and stress levels are really the things to blame for the breakout, not the chocolate.

Now, if you have sensitivity to a particular food, yes it can cause breakouts. Food sensitivities range from the usual suspects like gluten and dairy, as well as shocking culprits like chicken or spinach. So you have to listen to your body. If every single time you eat a particular item you break out, please stop eating that item. And if you’re really concerned there might be a connection between breaking out and a particular food, start tracking your meals and see if they match up with your breakouts!

 

3. My makeup has SPF, so why do I have to have a moisturizer with SPF, too?

Because you’re probably a normal person who doesn’t put your makeup on your ears, down your neck, behind your neck, and on your décolletage (google it). You need SPF in all of those places, not just your face. The other problem is that makeup doesn’t really get absorbed into your skin and has a tendency to wear thin in the places you need SPF most, like your nose and tops of your cheeks.

 

4. I use a tinted moisturizer/BB Cream/CC Cream as my daytime moisturizer, is that ok?

 

Nope. Sorry. No matter how it’s packaged or advertised it’s still makeup and won’t give you the protection a moisturizer will. However, I strongly prefer using these products to other types of facial makeup, so you’re doing great there!

 

5. I LOVE wine, please tell me it’s good for me?

Yes, red wine really is! It’s full of antioxidants that neutralize damaging free radicals, which play a large role in aging and disease. Red wine also contains polyphenols, which protect the skin from UV light damage and help keep it elastic. Polyphenols also strengthen the cross-linking of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Red wine drinkers also have fewer incidents of cancer lesions. One glass at night can be one of the best things for anti-aging and even overall health. Can’t drink alcohol? You can also gain these benefits from grapeseed oil scrubs made from red wine grapes and their seeds. You can get antioxidant benefits from eating blueberries, pomegranates, and YES….dark chocolate!

 

6. Did you just say chocolate is good for my skin too!?

Yes, dark chocolate that is. Dark chocolate is chock full of flavonoids that protect skin from UV light as well as the antioxidant properties we talked about with wine. However, it is high in calories so try to keep it under 3 ounces of dark chocolate per day for benefits without the less desirable side effects.

 

Bonus: Red Wine and Dark Chocolate At Home Facial Directions

Red wine and dark chocolate can provide excellent benefits topically as well, so if you’re feeling extra fancy, here is a recipe and directions for a DIY chocolate and wine facial mask.

Mask Ingredients:

1/2 cup of yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of honey

3 tablespoons of red wine, any red wine is fine

1 tablespoon of raw cacao.

Small bowl and a spoon to mix everything together.

Mix all ingredients together into a smooth creamy mask

 

Instructions:

1. Cleanse your skin and pat dry

2. Apply mask evenly on face. You’ll want it to be fairly thick.

3. Leave on for about 15 minutes

3. Rise the mask off thoroughly with lukewarm water.

4. Pat skin dry

5. Apply your favorite eye cream and moisturizer

You can repeat this as often as once a week! Enjoy!

 

Thank you again for being part of this exciting journey with me. I love sitting down on Sundays to write, and hearing feedback from all of you!

As always please send any questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com ,check out the Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty, and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/MegJacobsBlog.

See you next Sunday!

Skincare: Going from 20’s to 30’s

dorothy

 

So you’re 30something, and that same skin care routine you started when you were 19 doesn’t seem to be giving you the same results it used to, right?  Maybe your skin seems different, or you break out now even though you never did in your teens and 20’s? It may also feel drier, the pores may seem larger, and…wait…is that sunspot or a wrinkle?!  Blemishes, and sunspots, and wrinkles, OH MY!  Well calm down Dorothy—you might not be in Kansas anymore, but no one’s dropped a house on your face. You’ve just changed a little.  So lets follow the yellow brick road and get to know your new skin, and learn to care of it now that it’s out of Kansas…I mean, your 20’s.

The Breakouts:  The most common breakouts I see in 30somethings are hormonal breakouts around the chin.  It’s a lie that women go through puberty, and then it’s smooth skin sailing.  Our hormones are constantly changing, and on top of that, we eventually get to experience “second puberty”— menopause.

What to do: If you’re dealing with this type of breakout, see your doctor. The best way to deal with hormonal breakouts is to get those hormones under control, and your doctor will be able to guide you in the right direction. Outside of prescription help, you can also do yourself a favor by avoiding foods that contain hormones. Try to get hormone free meats and dairy, milk and butter from grass-fed cows, or try alternatives like almond milk.

 

Sun Spots: Remember that amazing tan you got every summer in college? Or even, bless your heart, year round thanks to the tanning bed? How about all those fun days a kid playing outside in the sprinklers?  Guess what—They’reeee baaaacccckkkk!  Most people actually get 80% of the sun damage in their lifetime before turning 18, it just takes a while for it to start showing. On top of that, for every decade that goes by, we lose 8-20% of our melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in our skin.  Of course, they don’t disappear in a nice, neat, and orderly manner…so this leads to skin looking uneven and mottled in some areas. Hooray aging!

What to do: Use products with high quality vitamin C and treatment serums containing hydroquinone.  Kojic acid and alpha hydroxy acids work well on darker skin as well. If you’re looking to really attack those spots, consult a doctor about IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments or a chemical peel along with your at-home treatments. And don’t forget your daily SPF.  No need to add extra sun damage!

 

Wrinkles: As we age, our cellular turnover rate decreases.  When you’re 20, the rate your cells turn-over can be 20 days or fewer.  By 30, this rate can be 30 or more days.  The faster your cells turn over the less likely they are to be damaged before they produce new cells, keeping cells fully functional, healthy, and less likely to form wrinkles. Collagen cells form rope-like bundles under the skin in organized patterns in smooth skin. Damage in your collagen cells can lead to the more disorganized structure that is found in wrinkled skin.

What to do: Use a retinoid at night. This helps to increase cellular turnover rate and improve collagen production.  SPF also helps prevent the UV exposure that damages cells…so wear sunscreen.

 

Large Pores: Remember that cellular turnover rate we just talked about? Yuuup, it’s causing this issue too. Because your cells aren’t shedding as rapidly as they used to, that sluggishness leads to excess oil, skin cells, and other environmental debris getting trapped in your pores.  All that stuff gets stuck in there and expands your pores.  Silver lining—great blackheads for your esthetician to extract. 🙂

What to do: Using a retinoid at night helps here as well.  You should also try exfoliating 1-2 times a week to help with the cell shedding process and avoid buildup in your pores.

 

Dryness:  Our skin naturally gets drier as we age.  Not too many people in their 80’s complainof excess oil. If you had oily skin as a teen and in your 20s, it may be hard for you to wrap your mind around the idea that you’re just not oily anymore.   If you always had a tendency to get dry, it may get worse.   It also gets more difficult for our cells to hold on to water as well as lower oil production, which can make the dryness issue more complicated than just putting on a moisturizer.

What to do:  Don’t be afraid of oil.  If you’re dry, give your skin what it needs!  Try an oil cleanser. You may be surprised how much you love it!  If your current moisturizer doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, try something a little thicker.  I would recommend that you use a hydrating toner to keep the water balance in your skin, as well.

Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and an overall representation of your health.  As you age and your hormones change, decades of environmental damage starts to manifest, and your body starts to slow down, your skin will inevitably begin to start exhibiting outward symptoms of all of these effects.  That’s ok—it happens to all of us. The key is to keep updating your skin care routine to be as effective as possible for the stage of life that you are in.  Find products that really make your skin feel great instead of just using what you’re used to.

One of the best ways to get great advice on what products to use is to schedule a facial and let your esthetician help you!

 

As always if you have any questions or ideas for future articles email me at megjacobsblog@gmail.com

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See you next Sunday!