We've all had times when life was crazy and out of control, and not always in a bad way! Maybe its school time and life is hectic with kids, and homework, and sports. Maybe you're getting married! Whatever is causing your stress, it can take a serious toll on your health and show up on your skin in a variety of ways. When my son became sick, I wasn't sleeping, my diet was whatever was quick, the gym was nill, and I survived on coffee. I looked in the mirror and saw dark circles, and my cheeks had lost their rosy glow. I was sallow, and my forehead showed all my worries through its lines. On my rib cage was a psoriasis patch that was spreading like wild fire.
So what can we do to maintain our radiance and youth?
Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate.
Regular exfoliation will not only remove damaged skin cells, but it will also increase circulation in the skin and bring back that rosy glow and radiance, soften lines and wrinkles, and help curb acne. Personally, I believe in exfoliating daily during stressful times. Make sure you choose a product that is gentle enough to do so, and always moisturize afterwards.
When should you exfoliate?
This is where your own experimentation comes in. Estheticians are trained to exfoliate after cleansing, however it can also be done before cleansing on make-up free skin, or even replace cleansing all together. My morning beauty routine consists of exclusively exfoliating with Skin Renaissance Advanced Dermafoliant and moisturizing with Skin Renaissance Calming Moisturizer. In the evening I remove my make up with Skin Renaissance Balancing Facial Cleanser and a clarisonic brush, and follow with Skin Renaissance Rejuvenating Facial Oil.
There is a lot of controversy over exfoliation, if you can over exfoliate, and if it could be damaging. Its true that exfoliating can strip the essential moisture out of your skin and disrupt the protective layer. This is why moisturizing with organic plant oils is the most ideal. Plant oils, unlike their synthetic counterparts, repair the protective layer and feed the skin essential vitamins and nutrients. They are non-comedogenic, and prevent skin from becoming dehydrated.
What about body care? Oh that pesky psoriasis or eczema patch… that has to go too! There are amazing products made specifically for healing these skin conditions, and extra love and care should be taken to those areas in need. The most important thing is not to let your skin add to your stress! One of my favorite de-stressing beauty rituals is a salt bath. Magnesium salts, Dead Sea salts, Pink Himalayan salt, all contain essential minerals to nourish skin, relieving pain and itching as you soak. Don't have time for a bath? Find a salt scrub that has fine grains in it, and be very gentle on those delicate and irritated areas. When finished, apply a body oil or cream to damp skin to seal in additional moisture. These skin concerns can be serious, and usually take longer to heal. With any health concern you should always consult with your doctor.