Oh I’m stressed!

I watched a documentary about stress recently and it really got me thinking. Stress is incredibly detrimental to our health, causing illness and disease in millions. An interesting study even stated that mothers stressed while pregnant had babies that were effected throughout the course of their lifetimes. (Pre-natal yoga anyone!?)

It made me stop and think about stress and how it relates to the skin. I know personally when I get stressed I usually get a break out and my skins appearance suffers. Because the hormone levels change during times of stress, oil production in the skin can increase causing acne. And lets face it hormones control everything. One dermatological study suggested the skins outer barrier function is compromised during times of stress leading to less protection and healing in the skin. This really had my full attention.

So we know stress is bad for your skin and it’s really bad for your heath. What should we do? I have had my fair share of stress in my life and worry about continuing down a path filled with it. Because after learning about the havoc it causes, frankly it stressed me out. I don’t think we can ever fully escape it but we can try to find healthy solutions to cope (hobbies, exercise, meditation etc). For me, I like to sit back and count my blessings and try not to focus on that which I lack. It helps. Oh and wine. Wine helps.

 

 

 

Flax Seed-Super Skin Food

The second food I will be highlighting in my Super Skin Foods series (Click Oysters to read the first), is Flax Seed. This super food is loaded with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and Lignans. Flax seed has been shown to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of diabetes and even cancer.

In regards to skin health, the benefits include plumper skin due to better hydration, leading to a reduction in fine lines. You can also get the benefits of Omegas in Salmon and walnuts, which is especially beneficial to those of us with dry skin.

Whole flax seeds can be difficult for the body to break down which is why I eat the pre-ground flax seed which you can buy just about everywhere now. My favorite way to eat flax seed is by putting it into my morning Smoothie. It is loaded with tons of antioxidants (protects skin from the sun), Vitamin A (promotes cellular turnover) and of course Flax seed. It’s great for the whole family too.

Super Skin Smoothie:

3-4 servings

Ingredients-

1 cup raw baby Spinach

2 cups water

1 Banana

2 tablespoons of Ground Flax Seed

1/2 Greek yogurt

1 cup Frozen Berries (such as Strawberries, Mangos, Blueberries)

Blend together until smooth. Do not be afraid of the color, it doesn’t always look pretty but it tastes great in my opinion! You can always add honey if it is not sweet enough. If you want to make it creamier you can add 1/2 of an avocado and get even more healthy skin benefits with the essential fatty acids. Enjoy!

 

MythBusters-Skin Care Edition

 

From time to time I hear a friend or someone at a spa say something that is just not true in relation to skin care and cosmetics. Here are some of the doozers I have heard:

1. You need to use the same skin care line for all of your products.

Really, why? I am sure the woman behind the counter at the mall would love you to believe this. Use what works for you, if that means using an exfoliation from Dermalogica and your favorite cleanser from SkinCeuticals, do it.

2. When a product turns color and starts to smell-it’s still good.

Well, as much as you want to believe that your $80.00 Vitamin C serum is still good to put on your face even though you have to hold your breath to apply, don’t do it. Products do not last forever, it is important to remember the date you opened it and toss it out when the product turns. Because at this point the product is rancid.

3. The more you exfoliate the better for your skin.

My friends in the beauty industry are most guilty of this, even though they know better! (you know who you are.) Over exfoliation can lead to a break down of healthy skin, sensitivity and even premature aging! Follow the directions of your products and a good rule of thumb for over the counter peels is two to three times a week.

4. You don’t need SPF on cloudy days.

Come on people, we know harmful UV rays can penetrate though a hazy sky, apply it every day no matter what.

5. Natural Products are the best.

Next time your friend says she only uses “natural products” on her skin ask her what the definition of that is. Just because a product says “natural” doesn’t mean it is. There is no legal consequence for putting natural on a label when it is not because there is no legal definition. I have seen a natural line include fragrance and other items most would not consider natural so read your labels and make your own choices. As for making your own products at home, be careful. You don’t want to be smearing a bunch of bacteria and oxidized food from your fridge on your face now do you?

Do your own research and just remember not everything on the web is accurate when it comes to cosmetics or anything else for that matter. Always consider your source and what their interests are. If you have heard something skin care related you are a little iffy about please let me know!

 

ORGANIC POMEGRANATE ANTIOXIDANT HYDRATION SPF20

I had such a huge response from my last post about 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream I decided to test another product from the line. This time I was looking for a light 2 in 1 moisturizer/SPF combo. The Organic Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration with a SPF of 20 is a perfect lightweight lotion that can be used with so many skin types. Because I am a  dry I layer a richer serum before I apply this and it gives me enough hydration. For an oily/combo skin this would be enough on its own.

The sun protection is mineral based (Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide) in combination with antioxidants such as Pomegranate, White Tea and Grapefruit. And you can’t complain about the price tag at 26.00 bucks! Check out the website to learn more about the product: 100% Pure

 

Le Blanc Spa Resort

I could write a small book of praise regarding my stay at Le Blanc Spa Resort and the total blissful experience my husband and I shared for our honeymoon. However, this is a blog so I will do my best to keep it short although I want to share every last heavenly detail. In the past I have traveled extensively for my jobs with different luxury brands and have experienced many four and five star hotel spas so I was really picky when it came to my personal holiday (this choice took me almost as much time as planning my wedding!).

We chose Le Blanc in Cancun because it is a short (and direct) flight from LA, it is all inclusive, has an amazing spa and they really cater to honeymooners/couples. I had high hopes because I had done my research but was still completely blown away!

If you enjoy going to the spa on your vacation (and who doesn’t?!) you will not be disappointed. We spent quite a bit of time there (that is according to my husband-I could’ve gone every day), each service we experienced was amazing. The staff was highly trained and the facility was spectacular. I loved the water wall, foot massage station and the co-ed relaxation room. The fitness area is state of the art and there is a classroom where you could take yoga, reformer pilates and even personal training sessions (ALL included). We did it all, even a sunset yoga class overlooking the water. At least starting the day in the gym made me feel better about lunch time Bloody Marys and  7 course gourmet dinners paired with wine.

We stayed for 2 weeks and I was STILL sad to leave-it really felt like home. If you are looking for a destination resort for a special occasion please check out Le Blanc Spa Resort. We would have spent quadruple what we spent for the value of our stay. It was truly an experience I will never forget and one I think of often.

 

Oysters-Super Skin Food!

One of my passions in life other than skin care, is food. I love to cook and of course I love to eat! As I educate myself more and more about the best foods to eat and feed my family, I am also learning which foods can be beneficial for your skin. Taking this inside-out approach to skin care when combined with the best topical products ensures the best results. We have talked about the benefits of Lycopene in tomatoes and now we will discuss another ‘super skin’ food.

Oysters have high amounts of the mineral zinc (as well as Calcium and various vitamins) which supports elastin and collagen production in the skins’ dermis. Helping to keep the skin looking “plump” and smooth.  My favorite way to eat them is raw on the half shell with a glass of bubbly in hand. Taking care of my skin is hard work, but I am dedicated.

More ‘super skin’ foods to come!