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Turn Back the Clock by Healing Skin!

Turn Back the Clock by Healing Skin!

As time starts taking a toll on our skin in the form of lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness, many of us start turning to so-called anti-aging skincare to reverse the damage. But while some products may help temporarily improve skin’s appearance by adding a cosmetic sheen, or superficially plumping up creases, they cannot make significant changes because they merely coat and address the skin’s surface and don’t address the underlying causes of these issues.

The truth is that from an anatomical perspective there are similarities between wrinkles and wounds and, like trauma, skin is equipped with everything it needs to heal them.  It’s just that these abilities decline with age, illness and environmental damage. 

When we’re younger and healthy skin is injured our bodies spring into action sending blood cells to help clot the cut, form a barrier, fight infection and deliver essential nutrients. Next, fibroblast cells enter the wound, dropping off collagen, which forms connective skin tissue to replace what was there before. In addition, natural moisture factors kick into high gear to help the wound stay lubricated, which is vital to the healing process. 

As we get older, it may take longer for abrasions to heal, just like it may take longer for pillow case depressions to disappear from our faces after a night’s sleep. This is because the same internal systems that heal skin also keep it firm and smooth and they start to wind down with the passing years.

So, the most effective anti-aging ingredients are going to be the ones that help “upregulate” and support the skin’s natural healing mechanisms. And the list of scientifically-substantiated anti-aging/healing ingredients is short and sweet. Your most effective clinically proven skin healers and age erasers are simply Retinol and Vitamin C.

High quality and potent doses of retinol have been confirmed by decades of research to stimulate collagen synthesis and the production of healthy cells. Retinol is quite stimulating but can cause irritation if applied directly to wounds. Vitamin C, in it’s fatty or “lipophilic” form, can be quite soothing and at the same time accelerate healing. Vitamin C is a confirmed heavy hitting collagen booster that also bolsters good circulation, fights damaging free radicals and stimulates crucial natural moisture factors. But don’t be fooled. There are different kinds of Vitamin C and they are not created equally. For example, ascorbic acid, which is the water soluble version of Vitamin C, can sting and oxidize. For this reason I don’t use ascorbic acid as in ingredient in my formulations.

Thanks, 
Ben

Boost Blood Flow and Get Glowing with Vitamin C!

Boost Blood Flow and Get Glowing with Vitamin C!

Winter’s almost over and as it exits we can say goodbye to the season’s cold, dry air and parching indoor heating that can leave our skin dry, our lips crackly and our complexion looking sallow and fatigued.

There’s actually a biological reason for that wan-winter look. Our bodies are built to survive the cold. When the temperature drops our blood vessels constrict and blood flow is reduced to the skin and to our extremities and is shunted to vital organs to keep them insulated and protected.  And while this may be a smart survival system, it also likely results in icy hands and feet along with pale, blotchy and puffy-looking skin.

To improve circulation to the face and get glowing during skin-fatiguing February and all year round, try engaging in aerobic activity that gets your heart pumping and blood circulating. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. You can also massage skin gently every night for a few minutes when you apply your skincare product, preferably one with vitamin C.

Vitamin C has been proven to maintain the tone of blood vessels and promote good circulation. It also conquers other winter skincare woes. For example, vitamin C is noted for helping to prevent trans-epidermal water loss and to stimulate the skin’s natural moisturizing functions to help combat and ease dryness, creating a firmer, dewier look and feel. Not to mention Vitamin C’s proven fine line and wrinkle-fighting powers.

Even if you feel less thirsty during the colder months, keep drinking plenty of water, at least 4 glasses a day. H20 plays a major role in healthy blood circulation and is crucial for maintaining vibrant, youthful skin.  And because skin-hydrating moisture is trapped and bound in the collagen matrix use connective tissue building hyaluronic acid, glucosamine and bone broth.  These nutritional tips will help soften and plump cartilage. If you’re dealing with arthritis, they will help improve the elasticity and resilience of your blood vessels. And you’ll notice they contribute to a smoother, brighter and more even-toned complexion. 

Thanks,
Ben

Skin Looking and Feeling a Little Sluggish? Try Putting it on an Ingredient Diet!

Skin Looking and Feeling a Little Sluggish? Try Putting it on an Ingredient Diet!

According to researchers, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. They’re a January 1st phenomenon as common as midnight kisses, bowl games and hangovers.  This is logical, after a holiday season of indulging in late nights, rich food and maybe more wine and eggnog than are completely healthy, you may wake up on New Year’s Day not looking and feeling your best.  Understandably then the common reaction is to resolve to reduce alcohol intake, cut out junk food and quit smoking. 

These are all great ideas but I would suggest adding one more thing to a January to-do list: reduce your interactions with unnecessary and often unhelpful skin care ingredients.  Typical skincare products can contain 20-30 ingredients and some even go as high as 40, 50 or even 60.  And the truth is that most of these additives are not beneficial to our skin.  Waxes and emulsifiers, found in almost all creams and lotions, may keep products stable but they provide no benefits and can cause allergic reactions.  Oils can oxidize, accelerating skin aging.  Fragrances may smell nice but they can be toxins and allergens, while preservatives kill all cells: bacterial, fungal and unfortunately human ones too.  And the combination of these chemicals manifested on a laundry list of impossible to pronounce ingredients can be a witch’s brew of chemistry that with chronic use cannot possibly do anyone’s skin any good.  

That’s why the kindest skincare will contain only a handful of focused, functional ingredients. My Truth Treatments, for example, have just 9 or fewer ingredients, including potent doses of our signature skin-soothing, collagen-boosting fat soluble Vitamin C.  There are no preservatives, dyes, waxes, fragrances emulsifiers, oils, silicon, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates or formaldehyde. 

We all know that the skin is an organ. It’s alive with cell activity and constantly dynamic and this livingness mandates great care.  We need to treat it gently and judiciously and we should always be aware of what we’re putting on it.  Doesn’t a topical ingredient diet sound like resolution you might want to try out this year?

Thanks,
Ben