facial

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

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

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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!

The 5 Skin Care Products You Should Stop Using

The world of cosmetics is full of choices, and it can be hard to choose the products that are best suited for your skin. However, there are a few products I would outright ban if I had the chance because they are wildly popular, but often responsible for skin issues I see in clients. I’ll admit— I’ve been guilty of using every single one of these products at some point in my life, too! Almost everyone is using at least one of them, so take a look and see what skin sins you may not even know you’re committing!

st.-ives-apricot-scrub

1. Apricot Scrub

I’ll admit— I used this exfoliating scrub every day for years.  It’s like a drug, right?  I used to think apricot scrub was the only thing keeping my skin from the brink of real disaster, but it turns out it was a major reason I had problems at all.

Why?  Well, if you are using this product daily you’re probably also having issues with blackheads, redness, flakiness, combination skin, or large pores.  See, it’s ok to exfoliate your face 1-2 times a week with light pressure, but you want to make sure the little particles that are doing the scrubbing won’t damage your skin.  If you look at the crushed shells and seeds in your apricot scrub under a microscope, they will look like little shards of glass and pebbles, and guess what? They tear up your skin just like little shards of glass and pebbles would. Even with light pressure, these particles leave tiny rips and tears in the skin and break down your skin’s natural barriers and defenses to environmental damage, which leads to rapid aging and unwanted redness. In addition, it over-strips your skin of the natural oils it needs.  This leads to oil over-production that can cause combination skin issues, blackheads, and larger pores.

Ideally, your exfoliating scrub contains something called jojoba beads/seeds, instead. Jojoba beads/seeds are made by mother nature and are rounded, smooth spheres that will remove dull, dead surface skin cells but won’t tear or rip at your skin in the process.

However, still don’t want to throw your apricot scrub out?  No problem! It makes an excellent foot scrub!  Just don’t put it anywhere above your shoulders.

What to use instead: I like Murad’s AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser* and Aveda’s Tourmaline Charged Exfoliating Cleanser. However, what you’re really looking for is an ingredients list that includes jojoba beads or seeds, so use any scrub you love that contains them

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2. Cetaphil Cleanser

This product isn’t actually bad, but using the wrong cleanser for your skin is. There are far more people using this cleanser than their skin types call for. It’s a clear gel cleanser, which means it’s fairly high in surfactant. If you skin feels tight or squeaky clean after using this product, it’s just not right for you.  Try switching to a light cream cleanser.

What to use instead:  Click here for a guide to choosing the right cleanser for you.

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3. Chapstick

From time to time, especially long cold winters like this one, our lips dry out and could use a little help.  Unfortunately, many lip balms contain ingredients like camphor, phenol and menthol that can actually dry the lips out further and discourage your lips’ natural ability to rehydrate and lubricate themselves.  This can lead to your lips being “addicted” to lip balm, because you need more and more of it to keep feeling normal! Quite the marketing racket, eh? Chapstick, arguably the most popular brand of lip balm, is notorious for this.

What to use instead: Aquaphor, Vaseline (petroleum jelly), and even coconut oil are great ways to give your lips temporary help and relief without the addictive side effects. Have a really bad case of chapped lips?  You can also buy Bag Balm at local drug stores.  Yes, I know it’s udder cream for cows, but it’s udderly fantastic and can provide relief for even the worst case of chapped lips. There’s probably no butter product on the market, unless I’ve made a miscowculation.  Ok, I don’t want to get cheesy and milk this pun pasture tolerance levels. 😀

Deep-Cleansing-Pore-Strips

4. Nose Strips

This was another skin-sin that was hard for me to give up.  It’s just SO satisfying to pull the strip off and see all the stuff that comes out of your pores!  However, repeated use of nose strips tends to create more blackheads than you would have had in the first place.  The strips don’t just remove blackheads, but they also remove a thin layer of skin and tiny hairs, which leaves you with open pores that are perfect for bacteria to settle into.  Natural oils get stripped away, as well, which leads to extra oil production that further clogs the open pores. This combination of oil and bacteria usually leads to even more blackheads.

What to use instead:  If blackheads are your concern, pick up a hydrating toner instead.  The water it adds to your skin will help cut down oil production, and therefore your blackheads.

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5. Extraction tools

Extraction tools are verboten for all the same reasons as nose strips, with the added bonus that if they’re misused (and if you haven’t been trained to use them, you’re probably misusing them), they have the ability to break, bruise, and to cause bleeding in the skin.  These tools are designed to be used by a professional on a client. Even as a trained esthetician, I cannot properly use the tool on myself; the physics just don’t work.  So stop using them!

What to use instead:  Your esthetician.  Schedule a facial, and they will properly extract for you!  If you really want you, you can always ask to see what comes out of your skin!

As always, please send any questions or suggestions for future posts to megjacobsblog@gmail.com

Check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next Sunday!

*Disclosure— My spa carries the Murad product line.  However, I am not directly compensated by any manufacturer, including Murad, for recommending their products on my blog.

Here Comes The Bride….and everyone else with a big event!

Bridal Skin

You’re getting married and you have a million things to do.  Planning your wedding can be one of the most exciting yet stressful times in your life.  All that excitement and stress (remember, excitement can register in your body as stress as well!) can take a toll on the skin and cause unwanted breakouts, inflammation, cold sores, and eczema flare-ups just when you don’t want them the most.  In order to avoid the unknown and unwanted, you need to have a plan so you’re as beautiful and healthy on your big day as you’ve always dreamed of being.   Even if you’re not getting married, these same tips are great for any major event like class reunions, major presentations, or “running” into your ex. 😉

Here’s the key, though:  You have to start planning far in advance, ideally longer than six months out!  If you’re only a few days or weeks out from the big day, there are only limited options available to you— and more importantly, a few big last-minute no-no’s.

One Year-Six Months From the Big Day

Good for you!  You’ve started thinking about this far enough in advance that you have a lot of options!  With a little bit of skin-TLC and some professional help, you’ll look even more amazing for your Big Day!

Do start getting facials.  The longer you get them, the better the results.  Starting this early before your Day gives you time to try different facials and get used to the products your esthetician uses.  Word of warning, though— not every esthetician is created the same.  Try a few out, pick one you feel comfortable with, and whose advice works for you.

Do get any advanced treatments now.  If you’re looking to do something more advanced, like a chemical peel or IPL laser to address fine lines, wrinkles, or sun damage, start those treatments now.  Do not do these within six months of your wedding and honeymoon. You want to give your skin plenty of time to recover, especially if you’re planning a sunny honeymoon! But, here’s the most important part about advanced treatments— you must go to a medical professional (do not go to anyone without formal medical training, regardless of whether they are certified or not!!!) for a consultation and to have the procedures done. Do not buy a Groupon or trust someone without medical credentials to do advanced procedures on your face (or anywhere else, really).  It is not worth the few bucks you’ll save to risk permanent damage to your skin because someone isn’t detail oriented, properly trained, or working with improperly calibrated equipment.

Do get on a daily skin regimen. Your daily routine should take you about two minutes, twice a day.  Cleanse, Tone, Treat, Moisturize and Protect. Your esthetician can and should help you pick out the products that will work best for you after giving you a thorough skin consultation. You can read a detailed outline for daily skincare here.

Do call a doctor if you have skin problems as a result of a medical condition.  If you have a skin issue that needs a doctor’s attention, call your dermatologist now.  It can take months to get an appointment, so don’t wait.  In my experience, it often takes at least three months for results to really show from prescription treatments, so you’ll want to get started as soon as possible.

Do start exercising.  I know this doesn’t sound like a skin care tip, but it is.  Your skin is your largest organ, and whole body health matters. Sweat helps flush toxins from the body and exercise is a very healthy outlet for your excitement and stress! I’m sure you’d rather turn that extra energy into a smoking hot body than unwanted breakouts, so get that body moving!

Dont worry.  If your wedding is within the next six months and you’re just now reading this, that’s ok.  All this advice can carry forward – just get started now, and hold off on the advanced treatments that can take a while to heal from!

Three to Six Months Out

Do drink water.  You should be getting 1oz of water for every 2lbs of body weight.  So, if you weigh 150lbs, you should be getting 75oz of water each day.  The only substitute for water is ice water.  If you’re adding lemons, crystal light, anything else that isn’t just ice, or drinking water that comes in a bottle with an adjective in front of it (like fitness, vitamin, etc), your water isn’t water anymore and doesn’t count.

If you hate drinking water, I suggest doing shots.  Of water, not liquor.  Every time you walk past a water fountain or the water cooler at work, drink a shot’s worth.  These small amounts really add up, and once your body starts to get hydrated, you will start craving H2O.  Your whole body will thank you, not just your skin!

Do start thinking about diet. Lots of brides are on a diet, but that’s not what I mean.  You need to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.  You need to be eating the healthy foods that provide macro- and micro-essential nutrients for your health, and your skin health! Click here for a list of very skin healthy items to add in!

Don’t starve yourself.  I cannot stress this enough.  Your body needs fuel to meet your goals.  Depriving your body of its needs will lead to sallow, unhealthy looking skin.  You don’t want to look sallow, do you?  That word just sounds horrible.  Sallow.  Not to mention, if you don’t eat, you’ll be a very grumpy person all the time during what should be a very happy time! So eat. It’s vital to your happiness and reaching your skin goals.  No excuses.

One to Three Months Out

Do say goodbye to CRAP. Caffeine, Refined foods, Alcohol and Artificial sweeteners, and Processed foods are not your friends. At this point, you should already be used to a healthier diet, but it’s time to get strict.  Stop sneaking the Jordan Almonds and calling everything a “taste test”.  If it’s your actual wedding taste test, or your bridal shower, please enjoy those events fully!  If it’s just you picking food for yourself, cut the CRAP.

Do try Spray Tan.  If you want a bronze glow, a spray tan is a relatively healthier option than a real tan.  Schedule an appointment for a trial about six weeks before your wedding date. Your tanner will be able to suggest the best directions for the week of the wedding, but in my experience it’s best to get it done two days before the date. So, if your wedding is a Saturday, get sprayed on Thursday. Important caveat— a spray tan does put a lot of chemicals into your skin, so don’t go overboard and get spray tans every week, now.  I only suggest them relative to the damage an actual tan causes— the healthiest option is no tan at all, and have your photographer give you one in post-processing. 😉

Do your make-up trial.  You want to be sure your makeup plan not only looks the way you envision, but also ensure that your skin doesn’t react to the products your makeup artist uses.  If you’re thinking about using airbrush makeup for your wedding day, I totally recommend it. I’ve seen brides with airbrush makeup get dunked in oceans, and the stuff doesn’t move. With that in mind, make sure you have an oil facial cleanser.  You’ll want to use that to remove any airbrush makeup, since water and regular cleanser don’t cut it.

Don’t cut corners. You might be starting to get busy and bogged down in your checklist.  Family drama may be taking up your time, and it may seem like an extra step to do your skin routine, make it to the gym, or even bother making yourself dinner.  Take care of yourself, and don’t lose focus on all the hard work you’ve already done.

One Month Out

Don’t try new things.  This isn’t the time to get creative and try that beauty product you keep hearing about, or that mask you keep seeing on pinterest.  Also, don’t make the executive decision that since using a product once a day is working well, using it three times a day will be three times as good! You have your routine, stick with what you know.  You don’t want to risk reactions and inflammation this close to the Big Day.

Do get your last facial. Do not treat yourself to a facial the week of the wedding.  Get your last one done 10-15 days out. On the day of your wedding, you’ll likely be wearing more makeup than normal. If your skin is still sensitive at all from your facial, irritation is very possible. Also, if you are insisting on getting a real tan, DO NOT TAN WITHIN 48 HOURS OF YOUR FACIAL.  This very often leads to a rash that will not be gone before your wedding.

Do take Bachelorette Party precautions.  If you know you’re going to be consuming larger than normal quantities of alcohol start the evening by hydrating in advance.  Anecdotally, I’ve also seen that taking 200mg of ibuprofen before you start drinking can help manage inflammation.  Have a great time, but remember to alternate your drinks with water. Once the night is over drink some more water before bed, and consider another dose of ibuprofen. Your skin, body, and head will be very appreciative.

The Week Of

Do get sleep.  It’s easy to think everything must be done right now by you, and you alone, but this attitude can take away from your ability to take care of yourself. Unless the crisis you’re handling is stopping a meteor from hitting the earth or a missile attack, it can wait until tomorrow or be delegated to someone else. Pack it in and get some shut-eye.  You don’t want to be covering huge, dark eye-circles on your wedding day.

Don’t forget whats important.  You’re getting married. If, at the end of the day you are married to the person you love, your wedding is a success.  If the wrong flowers show up, if someone is trying to make the event about them, if your beautiful outdoor wedding is showing forecast for a hurricane, or if you’ve followed my advice and you still have an unexplained breakout….let it go.  All the worry and stress won’t change any of these things, but it will aggravate your skin, general happiness, and take the focus off the important part— your new life with your wonderful new spouse, and the hilarious stories you’ll have if things “go wrong.”

The Day Of

Do exfoliate.  This is the only time I will ever tell anyone to exfoliate in the morning.  You want to give your makeup artist the smoothest pallet possible to work with, and that means a freshly exfoliated face. However, that doesn’t mean you can go overboard and scrub your face off.  Just do your normal exfoliant from the skin care regimen you’ve been doing for the past few months. Spray your toner, put on a light moisturizer, and leave your face alone.  Your makeup artist will handle the rest!

Do have a great time!  The day is here, you’ve worked hard to look fabulous in all your photos, but no cosmetic or skin care can take the place of a real genuine smile.  So be joyous, it will make you glow!

After…and the days beyond

Do use an oil cleanser. No matter what your skin type, you’ll need an extra step to get the larger than normal amount of makeup off.  If you’re worried about the oil on your skin, feel free to follow with your normal cleanser.

Don’t stop now!  You’ve spent the past few months learning great habits for beautiful skin and a healthier body.  Keep them up, and enjoy the benefits for life!

As always send questions to megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check us out on facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

7 Weird Things That Could Be Causing Your Breakouts

skin-woes

Is your skin behaving badly, and you can’t figure out what is going on?  You’ve read my blog, switched up your facial products, increased your water consumption, changed your pillow cases, even swapped out your detergents for fragrance-free ones… but your skin is determined to keep breaking out!

Well, it turns out that sometimes life throws you a curveball.  It’s not just about how well you take care of your skin, sometimes there are outside elements that prevent you from having the skin you work hard for!

Here are seven wild-cards that could be behind your skin woes:

1. Your Calendar – You know, that big date you have circled is coming up.  Maybe it’s a wedding, vacation, business trip, or a big presentation at work or school.  You’re excited and also nervous and can’t stop thinking about it.   It turns out, your body can misinterpret that excitement for stress when it last for days at a time.  So, the very same excitement you have over the big day ends up causing the same physical response as stress!  It dehydrates your skin, causes inflammation, puts stress on your immune system ,and can cause a break-out over night.

calandar

What to do: Take a 200mg dose of ibuprofen, another 4-6 hours later, and then one more the next day will help calm the inflammation and give your skin a break.  Just three doses total though.  If you’re a chronic stresser-outer this isn’t a lifetime fix.  A few grams of fish oil supplements can also do the trick (4000mg per dose!).

2. Your Hair – Well, technically your hair products.  People often miss the connection because it can take up to 4-6 weeks for a blemish to fully form. By the time the breakout shows up, you don’t think of a change that happened over a month ago. Hair products often cause breakouts along the hairline, so your sexy new chin-brushing bob could break-out the jaw line, or those bangs like Zooey could be wreaking havoc on your forehead.  Don’t worry, its not your new haircut itself, just your hair product coming into contact with your skin.

Hair-Styles-For-Long-Hair

What to do:  If you started trying a new product, see if cutting it out of your routine solves the problem.  If a new haircut is causing your hair to touch your face the best way to solve it is keep it tied back. If that’s not an option, try keeping your hair products to a minimum and slowly introduce products back to your routine to see which one might be causing the issue.  Hey, I didn’t say it was an ideal fix, sometimes a girl’s got to pick her poison!

3. Your Man – Scruff can be adorable, and lots of great fellas participate in “No Shave November”, or Movember, but that scratchy beard is no good for your sensitive facial skin.  His facial hair is like an exfoliating pad on your skin every time you kiss him, and this leads to red, irritated, and possibly broken-out skin around the mouth.  If his beard is a little longer, he may also be using hair products on it that don’t mix well with your skin. Of course if he keeps his face smooth as Fabio’s bare chest, he may be using an aftershave or fragrance that you don’t react well to.

fabioflysaplane

What to do: Stop kissing him.  Just kidding, but do hand him a razor….or just wait for it to grow out enough to be soft as a puppy.

4. Brushing Your Teeth – A lot of people wash their face and then brush their teeth, and don’t understand why they keep getting unexplained breakouts around their mouth.  Residue from the toothpaste can get left behind and irritate the skin and cause a breakout.

Woman brushing her teeth-1586021

What to do:  Just switch it up! Brush your teeth first and you’ll get any bits of toothpaste residue off when you cleanse your skin.

5. Your Water – Hard water doesn’t get products off the skin as well as soft water, and that buildup on the skin can lead to clogged, dull-looking skin.

Hard_water_and_drop

What to do:  If you suspect hard water, you can get a showerhead filter for around $30—you don’t have to spend several thousand dollars on a whole home filter for clearer skin! Something like this works great and is super easy to install:

http://goo.gl/kwzd2H 

6. Your Tan – Yeah, I know.  Every time you get a tan your skin looks clearer, but you’re making a deal with the devil. A tan is nothing but a sign that your skin has taken damage and it’s trying to protect itself.  When you take UV-ray damage, your skin increases cell production to thicken your epidermis, and this thicker skin can lead to more clogged pores and breakouts that will haunt you weeks later.—not to mention the wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, and cancer side-effects that tanning brings you.

tan face

What to do: Wear an oil-free SPF protectant on your face every day and leave the idea of a tan being desirable behind.  Sorry.  Tanning is just flat out bad for you, no matter how cute it makes you.  Plus, it’ll age you much, much faster.

7.  Hormones….that aren’t yours – We’ve all heard that birth control can help clear skin, and that is certainly true, but you have to find the right one for you.  A dose that doesn’t work well with your body can cause breakouts, hyperpigmentation, and a general overall feeling of not being yourself. Eating animal products that have been treated with hormones can also wreak havoc on your skin, and unfortunately, hormones are making their way into our water supply, as well.

the pill

What to do: Talk to your doctor if you suspect your hormonal medications may be causing your skin distress and avoid animal food products that have been treated with hormones.  It might also be worth buying a water filter to get rid of any pharmaceuticals that make it into your water supply, too!

Of course, there are other wild cards that the world throws at you, but these are the ones I see most often in clients who come to me exasperated from having tried everything they can think of.  If you have another one, make sure you send me a message and I can do some research for you!

As always if you have any questions email me: megjacobsblog@gmail.com and check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

See you next week!

Eat Your Way To Beautiful Skin

 

Eating for your skin

So you want beautiful skin?  Truly radiant, glowing, and possibly even younger-looking skin?  Then you need to make sure what you put in your body is as carefully chosen as what you put on it! When trying to achieve your skin care goals, it takes more than just what you put on your skin. Relying on products to give you the results you want without taking care of yourself on the inside is as effective as taking diet pills and eating fast food for every meal—you’re simply not going to achieve the results you want!

 

Everything you eat affects your whole body, from the inside out.  Your skin is your largest organ, and how you nourish it shows.   If you starve, suffocate, or deny its needs long enough your skin could end up looking older, sallow, dull, and even cause medical problems like acne or eczema.

 

For optimal skin health from the inside out, most experts agree a balanced, healthy diet goes a long way. Here are five things you can add to your diet (in moderation!!!) to go the extra mile for your skin:

 

1. Vitamin A –  Vit A is a fat-soluble nutritional compound essential for growth and development, helps to support your immune system, and keeps your vision top-notch.  Vitamin A is also your body’s natural source for retinol.  Retinol is sort of like a house-mom for your skin cells. It tells them how look, act, and behave better while keeping other substances from telling your cells to behave abnormally.  This communication with your cells helps prevent and heal blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and general dullness.  It can make your skin a bit sun sensitive though, but you’re already staying out of the sun anyway, right? 😉

 

Best Sources: Whole milk,  yogurt, and other dairy products are arguably the best source for vitamin A, but if you have a dairy allergy or do not eat animal products you can also get vitamin A from sweet potatos, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squash, and swiss chard.  However, for all you skinny minnies who don’t eat any fat, you’re going to need to add a little fat back into your diet when you eat sources of vitamin A, or else your body will be unable to absorb this fat-soluble vitamin.

 

2. Essential fatty acids – These are abbreviated as EFA’s, and they refer to fatty acids that are required for biological processes—you would die if you didn’t have them in your diet!  They are considered “essential” because our bodies are not capable of synthesizing them, which is a fancy way of saying that your body cannot produce these fatty acids by combining other nutrients in your diet.  There are only two known EFA’s for humans: alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). As an interesting side note, EFA’s were originally designated “vitamin F” but research eventually showed they were better classified as a fat than a vitamin.

 

Essential fatty acids are responsible for maintaining healthy cell membranes.  Your cell membranes act as the guardians of your cells, which means that their job is to allow good things in (like the nutrients your cells need) while keeping the bad things out (like toxins), so it’s easy to see why it’s important to have properly functioning and healthy cell membranes.  They also allow waste products to get in and out of the cell, a necessary function to life. The cell membrane also holds water in, so the stronger that barrier is, the better your cells can hold moisture. More moisture in your skin means plumper, younger looking skin. Also, the same inflammatory process that harms your arteries and causes heart disease can damage skin cells. Increasing your intake of EFAs is a critical step to healthier, younger looking skin—and your body in general.

 

Best Sources: Salmon, walnuts, flax seed, sardines, and fish oil supplements (with a high EPA/DHA content!)

inflamation

 

A photo of an older man showing skin inflammation caused by not getting the proper nutrients.  Looking at his plate, it’s not a surprise.  

3. Healthy Oils – Eating high-quality oils helps to keep skin lubricated and looking and feeling healthier overall. It’s best to look for oils labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin to ensure you get all the healthy nutrients and compounds in these oils.  When an oil is commercially processed, important nutrients are often lost via the solvents and heating used in these processes.

 

Best Sources: Olive, palm, and coconut oils. Ghee (clarified butter), duck fat and butter from grassfed cows are skin healthy sources of animal fats—and grassfed butter and duck fat are both rich sources of EFAs, too!  Since these are all very high in fat, moderation should of course be exercised.  I prefer to cook with animal fats and coconut oil—not only are they immensely delicious, but they are stable under high heat.  Olive and palm oils can oxidize when heated, which can be damaging to your cells, as you’ll read right below.

 

4. Antioxidants – These help to prevent oxidation in the body (get it? ANTI-oxidant).  Oxidation is actually a normal, natural cellular process, but sometimes the result is a very dangerous side effect—free radicals. Approximately 1-2% of cells that oxidize get damaged and turn into free radicals.  The science behind free radicals isn’t important here, but what is important is that a free radical can injure other cells and damage its DNA, which has been linked to premature aging and other diseases, including cancer.  Thus, it’s critical to be consuming antioxidants in your diet, which neutralize free radicals before they wreak havoc on your cells.

Best Sources: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, green tea…..and chocolate, but that’s not a free pass!

 

5. Selenium – Selenium is a mineral that helps the skin heal from burn injures and protects from sun rays. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  It sort of plays the role of “Best Supporting Actor” to the other four skin healthy items we mentioned.

 

Best Sources: Tuna, shrimp, brazil nuts, and whole wheat products.

 

Getting your skin to be its healthiest starts from the inside.  Skin care is 80% what you put in your body and 20% what you put on it.  Products and estheticians can only get you so far if you’re not hydrating, and eating essential nutrients to your health.

 

As always, if you have any questions please email me at megjacobsblog@gmail.com, and I’d love to hear suggestions for future posts!

 

Don’t forget to follow on Facebook! www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

 

See you next Sunday!

 

 

 

 

What You’re Probably Doing Wrong In The Shower

Shower

Showering.  It seems pretty simple.  Turn on the water, soap up, rinse, dry off. Most of us do it every single day, and most of us are probably doing it wrong.  Here are five of the most common missteps we all take when we step into and out of the shower.

1. You’re doing it too hot!  It’s a cruel truth that sometimes too much of our favorite things can be bad for us. Food, wine, chocolate, and of course long hot showers or baths. We always hear “everything in moderation,” and the same is true for the heat of the water we use to cleanse.  Here’s the thing: the temperature of the water affects the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis.  Your epidermis is your body’s shield against the outside world. It is composed mostly of keratinocytes, skin cells full of keratin, which provide a tough barrier of defense against the outside world and maintain moisture in your skin. To assist with maintaining that moisture, your body produces a thin layer of oil, and it’s this layer of oil and cells, called the stratum corneaum, that the hot water is damaging.   The heat melts the oil, just like when you use hot water to clean off an oily dish, and can leave your skin red, itchy, and prone to dry patches and flaking. So turn the water down just a smidge, and your skin will thank you!

mordor-hot-cold-arctic-ocean

One does not simply..shower in Mordor.

2. You’re using too much bubbles!  Shower gels, soaps, washes, and general body cleaning products all have a certain level of surfactant. As a rule of thumb, the more a product foams up when you lather, the more oil it strips from your skin—which dries out your skin and can send your facial skin into oil-producing overdrive More bubbles doesn’t mean more clean…it just means drier skin. So, if you’ve turned down the heat and you’re still feeling dry, maybe it’s time to consider a less sudsy soap!

3. You’re not getting it all off.  It can be hard to get all the soap off during a shower.  I know you always try your best, but often when we step out of the shower we leave a little soap behind in the harder to reach areas.  The most common places that product gets left behind are behind the ears, on the nape of the neck, under your breast, and yes…down below in all those places with folds of skin.  Leaving product on your skin can also lead to dryness or irritation, so make sure you get it all off!  Bras are annoying enough, you don’t need underboob soap, too.

4.You’re over-drying while you’re drying.  Ok, so this one isn’t technically IN the shower.  Using a towel to dry off seems simple enough, but believe it or not, you might be doing it wrong.  You step out of the shower, grab the towel, and start rubbing all the excess water off. It’s efficient, but it doesn’t make your skin very happy.  See, your skin actually draws moisture in from your surroundings to lubricate your skin.  Believe it or not, when you apply a moisturizer, the moisturizers mimics this process, as well.  Instead of toweling off after a shower, try patting the skin dry to leave a very light layer of water behind for your skin to use, or to be locked in by using a moisturizer that you apply after showering.

5. Brushing your teeth AFTER you wash your face.  Again, not necessarily in the shower, but still important.  A very common complaint I hear from my clients is that they get breakouts, but just around the mouth. The first question I ask is if they brush their teeth before or after they wash their face.  Almost every time the answer is after.  Toothpaste residue can irritate the very sensitive skin around the mouth and lead to breakouts. So just switching the order of when you brush your teeth and wash your face can help keep unnecessary breakouts away!

Showers should leave your skin feeling refreshed, not stripped out.  Hope this helps your body feel happy and healthy

Also, I have been honored and humbled that the initial reaction from this blog has been so positive.  I already have several hundred weekly readers, and I couldn’t be more thrilled that you all are hopefully learning something valuable!  So, I’d like to open it up—send me your beauty and skincare-related questions at megjacobsblog@gmail.com.  I’ll do my best to answer every question I get, and look forward to tailoring future blog posts to the most common questions!  See you next Sunday!

You can also find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megjacobsbeauty

Winter Weather Warning!

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I was going to write about blackheads this week, but it’s cold.  REALLY cold. Polar vortex cold.  The University of Minnesota is closing its doors due to extreme cold for goodness sakes. Minne-frickin-sota says it’s too cold! So, since your blackheads are probably shriveling up and hibernating, I’ll post that article next week.

However, the cold temperatures bring about a host of other skin issues (other than hypothermia, if you suspect hypothermia stop reading blogs and get to a hospital!), primarily wind and an extreme lack of humidity. Dryness, redness, irritation and cracked lips are the top complaints that occur in these conditions.

By the way…just because you’re in California and enjoying the perpetual 75-degree year-long weather doesn’t mean you can skip this article.  Much of California has an arid climate and is currently experiencing a drought, so you could probably benefit from reading about how to protect your skin in extremely low humidity.  Stop being smug.  So….minus the scarves and wind burn, this advice still applies to you.  Also, I wouldn’t mind visiting if anyone has an extra bedroom…

So, how is a girl (or guy!) to protect themselves from the wind and low humidity?  Here are a few things you can adjust in your daily skin care to help you weather the extreme weather (see what I did there?):

1. Skip your cleanser in the morning.  All you’ve done is sleep, and you should have washed your face last night before bed.  Feel free to just splash your skin with moderately warm water and continue your morning routine without the cleanser.  Your normal cleanser could overdry your skin in these polar vortex conditions.

2. Avoid hot water.  I know…it’s freezing, you really want that scalding hot shower, but it’s going to deplete your skin of the hydration it desperately needs.  I’m not saying prepare for the Polar Bear Plunge, just keep it moderately warm.  Your skin shouldn’t be red from the heat after you get out of the shower.

3. Use your Hydrating Toner liberally. Normally, I recommend that people use it every morning and night, but since it’s basically drinking water for your facial skin, use it whenever you want throughout the day, even on top of makeup (if it’s a spray bottle). Just spritz, blot, and keep on going with your day!  Your skin will benefit from the hydration.

4.Use SPF moisturizer.  Some of the worst sunburns I see are from skiing trips.  The snow reflects the sun, and it’s like taking a day-long swim in the ocean with no sunscreen. You should be using moisturizer with SPF 15-30 every day, no excuses.  I don’t care if it’s negative 40, blizzarding, and you live in a cave.  Unless that cave is lined with lead, apply your SPF.

5. Get a thicker moisturizer. If you have a night cream, use it in the daytime and apply the SPF daytime moisturizer on top. If you already use fairly heavy creams morning and night, it’s ok to mix in a dab of Vaseline to your regular moisturizer to increase the protection against the elements.

6. Protect your lips.  I’ll be honest.  I hate ChapstickÒ. Sorry. Ok, sorry I’m not sorry.  I personally use Aquaphor from EucerinÒ, because it protects lips without the nasty side-effect of your lips becoming dependent on the product and stopping their own natural lubrication.

7. Drink water.  Drink as much as you possibly can, then drink more.  If you live at a higher altitude, this is even more important because humidity decreases at altitude.  Your body needs it, so give your body what it needs.

8. Stop being so smug, California.  It’s not good for your skin.  🙂

Now that you are properly protected from the cold weather, using hydrating toners, SPF moisturizers, and drinking more water, go out and enjoy the winter wonderland while it lasts!  Just think—in a few short months you’ll be complaining how you’re melting under the hot summer sun!