LaVie Organique Skincare Blog

All posts in category "natural anti-aging"

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Retin-A the Best Treatment for Wrinkles?

What’s the most effective treatment for wrinkles?

This is probably the question I hear most often from my clients. Before answering, I always examine their skin. Frequently my exams of women over fifty turns up similar results. Their skin is red, scaly, and bone dry. When I ask them if they’re using Retin-A (or another topical formulation of the prescription drug tretinoin) they usually exclaim, “How did you know?”

I know because their skin looks unhappy.

Prescription Retinoids: The Downsides of an Aggressive Anti-aging
Approach
While many dermatologists promote tretinoin and other prescription-strength retinoids as the gold standard in wrinkle reduction, I’ve seen the damage they can do firsthand. There are several reasons these products can actually wrinkles worse:

Excessive inflammation and irritation: Prescription retinoids are a very harsh and invasive anti-aging approach that’s only suitable for complexions that can tolerate strong topical chemicals without developing severe side effects. Their negative impact on sensitive or delicate skin can range from an itchy, blistering rash and other symptoms of eczema to “orange peel” skin, enlarged pores, and spider veins. The long-term effects of these prescription formulas are also a concern. People who apply them every day, year after year are courting chronic inflammation. While it’s true that short bouts of inflammation can stimulate collagen growth, inflammation that persists over the long term actually accelerates collagen breakdown. That means wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of skin aging will appear faster than they would without any treatment.

Dehydration: Tretinoin and similar products can overexfoliate the skin, disrupting its acid mantle. This thin film of natural body oils and perspiration protects our complexion from moisture loss as well as bacteria, pollutants, and harsh weather. Products that strip away this protective film can dehydrate and stress skin cells, impairing the flow of fluids and nutrients that enable them to function efficiently and maintain their plump, youthful shape. This loss of structural integrity and healthy functioning gradually reduces the skin’s strength and resilience. As the skin becomes weaker, it loses its natural resistance to lines and creases from squinting, frowning, and other facial movements and expressions.

Extreme sun sensitivity: Dry, overexfoliated skin is extremely vulnerable to the aging effects of ultraviolet rays. These effects stem from a combination of inflammation, free radical damage, and dehydration that wreaks havoc on skin cells. Cellular damage from UV rays is the number one cause of not only wrinkles, but also skin cancer.

Gentle Alternatives to Aggressive Wrinkle Reduction Treatments
Advanced European skincare offers a safer, more gradual path to a smooth, younger-looking complexion:

 

Maintaining a balanced complexion is the bottom line in wrinkle protection.

Maintaining a balanced complexion is the bottom line in wrinkle protection.

Organic serums and face creams that combine a milder vitamin A derivative such as retinol with vitamin C provide the same benefits as prescription retinoids without damaging side effects. Another plus: the nutrient-rich botanical oils and humectants in high-quality organic serums and creams maximize wrinkle protection by hydrating and nourishing skin cells and sealing in moisture.

A series of organic peels gradually improves the appearance of existing facial lines and other visible signs of aging. In addition to providing these rejuvenating benefits, this approach strengthens the skin’s natural defenses against wrinkle formation. By harnessing the anti-aging power of mild fruit acids, multifunctional antioxidants, and circulatory stimulation, this classic European treatment gently exfoliates old, worn-out surface skin while optimizing cellular functioning and increasing collagen production. The treatment process includes a deeply hydrating mask fortified with natural anti-inflammatories to minimize the risk of dryness, irritation, and extreme sun sensitivity. Even so, it’s important to remember that freshly exfoliated skin always requires extra attention to hydration and UV protection.

Timeless Beauty Wisdom
These pain-free skincare options disprove the popular notion that we have to suffer to look beautiful. While “miracle” treatments come and go, the simple truth remains the same. Happy, balanced skin is the keyto lasting beauty and youthfulness.

Supercharge Your Anti-aging Skincare Routine with 5 New Year’s Resolutions

Make 2016 the year you resolve to start growing younger! The key to taking years off your appearance is to make a conscious decision to consistently include healthy skincare habits in your daily routine. Here are 5 New Year’s skincare resolutions that can help you look and feel more vibrant and beautiful.

In the hands of a rigorously trained aesthetician, a monthly deep-cleaning facial lays the foundation for clearer, more radiant skin.

In the hands of a rigorously trained aesthetician, a monthly deep-cleaning facial lays the foundation for clearer, more radiant skin.

Set your intention to achieve a glowing, youthful complexion by adopting the essentials of a disciplined skincare regimen:

1. Always wash your makeup off before going to bed-Even “all-natural” mineral makeup contains other ingredients that can clog pores and irritate sensitive skin.

2. Never wash your face with soap or harsh synthetic cleansers-A gentle cleanser made with plant-derived ingredients protects the integrity of the skin’s acid mantle, preventing bacteria and other contaminants from penetrating the surface. Look for mild cleansing agents like coco-glucoside, as well as for glycerin and other vegetable emollients and soothing anti-inflammatories such as olive leaf and aloe vera.

3. Use a full-spectrum sun protection every day-Even though the UVB rays that cause sunburn are weaker in the winter and on cloudy days, UVA radiation keeps going strong regardless of the weather. UVA rays reach the deeper layers of the skin, causing the bulk of the damage that results in visible aging. For full spectrum coverage without potentially irritating or unsafe chemicals, use a mineral sun block made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Opt for a cream rather than a spray or powder to avoid the risk of inhaling the tiny mineral particles.

4. Get plenty of antioxidants-inside and out-To resist and recover from free radical damage, skin cells need more help than even the best mix of topical antioxidants can provide. Internal support from antioxidant-rich whole foods is absolutely vital. Be sure to include regular servings of foods such as berries, walnuts, red beans and pinto beans, kale, spinach, grapes, and plums in your diet. These anti-aging superfoods help optimize functioning of not only the skin, but also all the other organs that support skin health. Skincare products that contain plant-based ingredients like white tea, red algae, sea buckthorn, and the antioxidant vitamins C and E provide a rejuvenating “meal” for your complexion.

5. Invest in professional organic facials-Sparkling clean skin is a major beauty asset for women of every age. A skilled aesthetician knows how to gently extract the contents of pores and remove whiteheads without causing scarring or infection. Trusting these delicate procedures to an experienced professional is a must! A facialist who’s trained in traditional European aesthetics is a particularly valuable resource. She can advise you on the best salon treatments, homecare regimen, skincare products, and dietary practices for your skin type. You can also rely on her to use safe, effective organic ingredients in your facial treatments. The fresh rosy glow she can bring to your complexion with an expert facial massage is yet another plus. For women in their twenties, a pore-cleansing facial once a season is usually sufficient. Women over thirty should shoot for once a month. Regular visits to an aesthetician who’s truly passionate about healthy skin and consistently dedicated to your beauty goals is a smart long-term investment. With the right combination of services, advice, and support, you’ll see increasingly significant improvements in your complexion over time.

 

Five Stimulating Tips for Radiant Skin and Glowing Health This Fall

November’s waning sun is nature’s invitation to rev up our blood circulation. Vigorous, unrestricted blood flow is one of the keys to not only staying comfortably warm as the temperatures drop, but also maintaining our health and beauty as we age. Here are five tips that are guaranteed to pep up your anti-aging regimen this fall.

Pick up the pace: When chilly autumn winds nip our ears, we’re naturally inclined to walk faster. Be mindful of that tendency and fully indulge it every chance you get. Whether you’re outdoors enjoying the vivid fall scenery or shopping inside the mall, maintain proper walking form. Stand tall with your chest high and your shoulders relaxed, push off your toes, and focus on making your steps as quick as possible. Avoid getting to the point where you become totally out of breath. Compared to strolling, fast walking stimulates greater blood flow, supplying your cells with more of the oxygen and nutrients they need to repair free radical damage. With a small adjustment to a simple routine activity, you can reap a host of outsized rewards from fewer wrinkles and a slimmer body to a reduced risk of heart disease and dementia.

Exercise increases blood flow to all the organs and tissues of our body, ensuring cells get plenty of oxygen and nutrients.

Exercise increases blood flow to all the organs and tissues of our body, ensuring cells get plenty of oxygen and nutrients.

Spice up your diet: Cook a big pot of red beans with chili powder, or add dried chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or Hungarian paprika to a steaming-hot stew of fall root vegetables. These spicy cool-weather meals raise the rate of blood flow to the skin while warming our stomachs and waking up tired taste buds. With their generous supply of vitamins A and C, hot peppers also contribute to the long-term health of our circulatory system by strengthening blood vessels.

Perk up your complexion the Eastern European way: Circulatory stimulation is the core skin repair mechanism employed in classic Eastern European anti-aging treatments. One the most powerful of these treatments, the organic peel, activates this mechanism with a dose of fiery Hungarian paprika. (To learn more about the benefits of fruit acid peels, read my post on Three Fall Skincare Fundamentals. A traditional European facial that incorporates facial massage will also help optimize blood flow to the deeper layers of the skin where new collagen and epidermal cells form.

Go heavy on the garlic: Garlic improves circulation by dilating blood vessels and hindering the formation of artery-clogging cholesterol plaques. The latest research suggests that we can help fend off the diseases of aging by adding two to five cloves of garlic a day to our diet. With simple yet intensely flavorful menu choices from spaghetti with garlic sautéed in olive oil to hummus and roasted garlic spread, people who enjoy Mediterranean-style foods will find it delightfully easy to stick to this health habit. Be sure to let garlic cloves sit for about 15 minutes after crushing or chopping to maximize the potency of the healthful compounds they contain. (Worried about garlic breath? Try chewing a few fennel seeds after a garlicky meal to help remove the pungent odor.)

Pump up your nitric oxide levels: Raising the levels of nitric oxide in our bloodstream stimulates circulation by expanding and relaxing blood vessel walls. A 2014 study by Italian scientists confirmed that we can achieve this effect by eating dark chocolate. This beneficial impact on blood flow is one of the reasons my book Timeless Woman recommends a small square of dark chocolate when your craving for a super-rich treat becomes irresistible. Chocolate with a cocoa content of 70 to 85 percent will give you the most bang for the least amount of sugar and calories. Or if you want to skip those dietary downsides entirely, you can take another page from my book of seasonal strategies.

Among my recommendations for a fall health and beauty routine is regular meditation sessions, a practice that, according to a cardiologist quoted in a recent NPR report, also boosts the body’s production of nitric oxide. So the next time you want to get your blood flowing without breaking a sweat, just sit down, close your eyes, and chill out. You don’t have to twist your legs into a pretzel, chant a mantra, or strain your back. Research shows that simply relaxing in a comfortable chair while listening to inspiring classical music produces the same positive effects on vascular health as traditional Eastern-style meditation. In as little time as 20 minutes, you can feel like a new person, ready to make the most of a season that’s often called nature’s “second spring.”

How Your Hands Can Start Growing Younger This Winter

Maintaining a truly youthful look requires an extra measure of kindness to our hands. The old saying that a woman’s hands tell her real age is based on the fact that our hands age more rapidly than our face. The skin on the backs of our hands is thinner than it is on most parts of our face and has fewer oil glands, so it’s highly susceptible to dryness and wrinkling. Compared to our face, our hands also have less fat underneath the skin. As age causes this cushion of fat to shrink, the hands can develop loose and crinkly skin and a bony appearance. These changes often become more noticeable in the wintertime when frigid winds, low humidity, and frequent hand washing to prevent colds can dehydrate the skin.  The following tips will not only winter-proof your hands, but also ensure they look younger throughout the year.

Invest in Professional Pampering

To get the best possible results from your hand rejuvenation program, invest in intensive treatments from an aesthetician who specializes in organic skincare. Professional hand care services often include the following steps:

  • Gentle exfoliation: Light scrubbing with a mixture of sea salt and plant-derived oils and moisturizers sloughs off rough, scaly skin, bringing fresh, young cells to the surface, and stepping up collagen production.
  • Warm paraffin mask: After your moisturized hands are dipped in warm paraffin, they’ll be covered with plastic bags or gloves to seal in the heat. The delicious warmth maximizes hydration and stimulates circulation, plumping up skin cells and encouraging collagen renewal. This deeply soothing treatment also helps relieve minor aches and pains and reduce the aging effects of stress on the entire body.
  • Hand Massage: By activating acupressure and reflexology points and increasing blood flow, an expert hand massage delivers a multitude of benefits. In addition to improving skin health and relaxing stiff joints, this traditional healing method fosters deep, revitalizing beauty sleep.

Massaging the hands and arms increases blood flow to the skin.

Do Try These at Home

Ask your aesthetician to recommend organic oils, creams, and anti-aging formulas you can use at home to give your hands the royal treatment. Your home hand care routine should include the following products and practices:

  • Healing hand hygiene: Replace irritating synthetic hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps with moisturizing cleansers that include natural antiseptics like aloe vera, lavender, tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract, and rosemary. As potent anti-inflammatories, these ingredients also reduce redness and itching.
  • Nutrient-rich anti-aging serum: Serum ingredients such as sesame seed oil; vitamins A, C, and E; sea buckthorn oil; and white tea protect your hands from the aging effects of free radicals and inflammation. Products with lactic acid and fruit enzymes help fade brown spots and speed cell turnover.
  • Deep moisturizing: Plant-based moisturizers such as olive oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil penetrate the skin’s deeper layers, where they hydrate and nourish newly formed cells. Their superior lubricating properties restore a firmer, more supple appearance to your hands.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Make sure not only your hand care products but also your diet contain plenty of these healthy fats. Wintertime meals that feature oily fishes like salmon and tuna; beans; flaxseed oil; nuts; and spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower help promote softer, wrinkle-free hands.
  • Damage control: On days when you’re not wearing mittens, shield your hands from UVA damage with a mineral-based sun block. Minimize wear and tear on your hands by avoiding harsh detergents and household cleaners. Use safe, plant-derived products instead. Your hands will thank you by looking fresh and feeling comfy all winter long.

 

Three Fall Skincare Fundamentals for Rejuvenating Your Skin

Why You Need a Balanced Fall Skincare Routine

Like every change of season, the arrival of fall places new demands on our skin while also presenting fresh opportunities to optimize its health and appearance. To help you prepare for the rigors of colder weather and take full advantage of the seasonal foods and renewed energy that fall brings, I recommend making the following seasonal adjustments to your integrated beauty and wellness regime.

Fall is the perfect time to revive radiance by shedding old skin cells. image courtesy of James Barker - FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shed your old skin, bring on the new: Get your skin in shape for winter with a fall exfoliation program. A series of professional organic peels will not only help you slough off sun-damaged skin of summer, but also increase your skin’s capacity to absorb moisture. In addition to alpha hydroxy acids from the fall harvest of apples and quince, a traditional European organic peel contains Hungarian paprika to stimulate circulation. This combination of ingredients restores a youthful glow by bringing new cells the surface, while strengthening the skin’s ability to repair and renew itself. To calm, soothe, and protect the delicate new layer of skin revealed by the peel, your aesthetician should apply a mask that’s rich in organic moisturizers and plant-derived anti-inflammatories. Ingredients like aloe vera and white tea not only minimize redness but also help heal UV damage with generous doses of antioxidants. For your homecare routine, choose an organic scrub that contains gentle natural exfoliants such as ground walnuts, fruits, and lactic acid and follow it up with a super-rich night cream. Be sure to consult a qualified aesthetician about the pacing of your exfoliation treatments. A gentle, gradual approach to exfoliation is the key to achieving beautiful results without unattractive side effects. And don’t forget to wear a natural mineral sun block even on gray, cloudy days. Freshly exfoliated skin is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet rays.

Remember your roots: The earth provides the perfect remedy when the colder weather is about to drive us indoors, where our skin will be exposed to dry air and an increased risk of infection. The root vegetables that thrive in fall are packed with minerals and other nutrients from the soil. Increasing consumption of these nutrients now prepares our skin for winter by improving the resilience of the skin’s protective barrier and strengthening its resistance to inflammatory conditions, bacteria, and funguses. High in fiber, root vegetables satisfy hearty fall appetites without adding a lot of calories to a meal. Choose a colorful assortment of seasonal vegetables and roast them with olive oil and herbs for a delicious, restorative dinner. Some of the most nutritious choices are listed below:

  • Beets – High in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and enzymes that bind and neutralize toxic cellular wastes.
  • Yams – A natural source of rejuvenating plant hormones.
  • Onions – Rich in flavonoids that act as anti-bacterials.
  • Parsnips – A good of vitamin C, folate, and other vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin function.
  • Sweet potatoes – High in vitamin A, one of the core active ingredients in anti-aging skin treatments.
  • Carrots – Full of beta-carotene, which helps prevent environmental damage and adds golden tones to the complexion.
  • Garlic – High in allicins with antibiotic and anti-fungal properties; sulfur compounds also benefits skin by promoting circulatory health.

Pump up your exercise routine with fresh air: Recent scientific studies confirm intuitive wisdom. Exercising outdoors is good for both body and soul. According to a New York Times article, new research has revealed that people who take their workout outside not only exercise longer and harder, but also enjoy the experience more. Best of all, people who walked in the fresh air improved their overall sense of wellbeing. On psychological tests, they scored higher in enthusiasm, pleasure, vitality, and self-esteem than people who exercised indoors. They also reported less tension, depression, and fatigue. The energizing effects of cool weather make fall a particularly inviting time to exercise outdoors. Observing nature’s splendors as you walk, run, or do yoga poses on a brisk fall day is a great way to enjoy a natural high and reinforce your commitment to a disciplined fitness routine. From boosting blood flow to relaxing the mind, the benefits of regular exercise translate into a healthier, younger-looking complexion and a rejuvenated spirit.

Summer Skincare Tips

Regardless of your complexion type, protection should be your chief skincare concern in the summertime. Sun exposure not only increases your risk of skin cancer, but is also responsible for as much as 90% of premature aging.

Sun protection is the key to a healthy summer skincare regime <FreeDigitalPhotos.net>.

Practice Sun Sense

To help minimize environmental skin damage, it’s a good idea to limit sun exposure, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and loose, tightly woven cover-ups. Try to stay in the shade. While our bodies need sunlight to synthesize vitamin D, 5 to 30 minutes of exposure without sunscreen, twice a week is usually sufficient (read more about sun safety).

Choose the Right Sun Block

Products that contain micronized particles of zinc oxide and titanium oxide are the safest and most effective option. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours. There’s no such thing as waterproof sun block, so apply a fresh layer of protection immediately after swimming or perspiring heavily

A hydrating organic day cream that contains a mineral sun block protects skin from summertime stresses.

Adapt Your Daily Skincare Routine

Summer weather affects existing skin conditions. Hot temperatures can trigger excess oil production and sweating, which can clog pores and lead to acne flares. Increased dryness from sun exposure can also be a problem. To help your complexion cope with these seasonal stresses, I recommend the following daily skincare practices:

  • Cleanse and tone gently To clear excess oil and impurities from pores without stripping skin of necessary moisture, use organic products with plant-derived cleansers and moisture-binding ingredients. Look for ingredients like soapbark, aloe vera, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Powerful natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories including white tea and sea buckthorn help counteract the aging effects of the sun.
  • Modify your exfoliation program Freshly exfoliated skin is particularly vulnerable to sun damage. The best time for an intensive exfoliation program is in the late fall and winter months. During the summer, you can speed up cell turnover by lightly exfoliating your face with a soft sponge and an all-natural cleanser that contains white willow bark.
  • Balance moisture levels An organic day cream that contains a natural mineral sun block not only shields you from sun damage, but also helps regulate oil production. To keep skin hydrated without clogging pores, choose moisturizers made with pure botanical oils. Ingredients such as shea butter and jojoba and avocado oils deliver moisture and age-fighting nutrients below the skin surface, where new cells are forming. Be sure to protect the thin, delicate skin around your eyes with a cream specially formulated for this area. If your skin is very dry, continue using a super-rich organic skin cream at night.

 

Remember: For beautifully balanced skin all year long, always choose skincare products that are 100% free of parabens, petroleum derivatives, synthetic fragrances and preservatives, and other artificial or impure ingredients.

 

How Massage Stimulates Your Body’s Anti-aging Power

The benefits of massage go far deeper than relief of pain and stress.

Regular massages can boost the power of your anti-aging regime. How? By unleashing two forces that enable your body to counteract the effects of biological aging and environmental stress.

Acupressure and light stroking help revitalize facial tissues.

Reduced Inflammation

When it comes to our health, inflammation is a double-edged sword. The inflammatory process triggered by illness or infection enables our body to heal. But when inflammation becomes chronic or prolonged, it can cause a host of diseases and disorders. Many scientists consider inflammation the prime culprit in the symptoms of aging, including skin damage, weight gain, and muscle loss. Recent research indicates that massage not only helps control inflammation, but also speeds up recovery of injured or weakened tissues by improving cellular functioning.

Increased Circulation

The kneading and stroking techniques used by a skilled massage therapist not only increase the quantity of blood circulating around your body, but also improves its quality by multiplying its store of oxygen-rich red blood cells. By keeping all of our body’s cells properly nourished, healthy blood flow helps fuel the growth and repair of aging skin, muscles, and bones.

Rejuvenating Rewards for Every Taste

Virtually every culture has its own massage tradition. The one that’s best for you depends on your goals as well as your temperament and tastes.

  • Deep tissue massage uses intense pressure to relieve tension and maximize circulation in the layers of soft tissue that lie beneath the surface muscles.
  • Shiatsu means “finger pressure” in Japanese. Shiatsu massage therapists use their hands and fingers to apply light to medium pressure. For more intense pressure, they may employ their elbows, knees, and feet. This tradition is also widely practiced in Europe.
  • Acupressure exerts gentle pressure on various points of the body to release tension and stimulate circulation.
  • European facial massage applies a combination of techniques including light stroking, Shiatsu, and acupressure to increase blood flow to the skin and underlying tissues. It also softens expression lines by releasing facial tension.

 

 

Beauty Challenges: Rejuvenating the Eye Area

Whether you call them crows feet or laugh lines, wrinkles around the eye are something most of us want to prevent or minimize. The right eye cream is an important part of the solution, but the complex challenges of treating this delicate area require a combination of proven anti-aging strategies. Here’s why.

The Problem: Aging Is More Than Skin Deep

As we age, the underlying collagen network, muscles, and bones that support our skin gradually weaken and atrophy. The thin, fragile tissues of the eye area are particularly vulnerable to this process. Its visible effects can include deep wrinkling and creases, sagging, under-eye bags, and the appearance of sunken eyes and prominent dark circles. Invasive procedures can temporarily improve these symptoms, but they don’t address their root causes.

The Solution: A Health-Driven Anti-aging System

An anti-aging program based on traditional European skincare practices offers a vital benefit: It can help slow and even reverse the ongoing tissue changes that make you look older.

To help gradually and safely rejuvenate the eye area, I recommend two wellness-based strategies for nurturing naturally youthful-looking skin:

Strategy # 1: Preventative Maintenance

  • Seek serious sun protection – Zinc oxide serves a powerful but gentle shield from UVA rays. Wear a hat and sunglasses to minimize squinting.
  • Ban chemical irritants – The under-eye area in extremely sensitive to synthetic chemicals, including many popular anti-aging ingredients like Retin-A. Petroleum-derived moisturizers, soaps, and alcohol-based astringents and makeup removers are also common sources of puffiness, inflammation and irritation, and painful allergic reactions.  (Read more about the top three troublemakers for sensitive skin…)
  • Handle with care – Don’t rub your eyes or stretch the surrounding skin.

To restore strength and elasticity, nourish under-eye skin with a balanced diet of pure, gentle botanicals.

Strategy # 2: In-Depth Repair
Use top-quality organic skincare to stimulate collagen renewal and heal inflammation and free radical damage.

  • Professional microdermabrasion and/or fruit acid peels – Make sure the provider you choose has the advanced training required to safely treat the exceptionally sensitive skin around the eyes.
  • An all-natural eye cream – Choose a cream specially formulated for this area. Look for gentle yet potent anti-aging ingredients like white tea, horsetail, rosemary, and natural vitamins A and E. Because the eye region has relatively few oil glands, keep it drenched in botanical oils and humectants. Moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, and jojoba oil penetrate below the skin surface without clogging pores.
  • Practice Facial Fitness – Properly performed resistance techniques increase muscle mass, restoring youthful contours around the eye. By rebuilding the underlying tissues, facial exercises make the skin look tighter and more toned.

Watch this From My Neck Up™ video to learn how facial exercises can firm the eye area.

Adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Eat a diet with plenty of lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy oils.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water to help flush excess fluids.
  • Don’t smoke!

Is there a skincare issue you’d like to know more about? My mission as a skincare provider and educator is help people address challenging beauty issues with wellness-based skincare methods. Let me know what’s on your mind by sending your questions and concerns to the Comments  section of the blog.

 

How Face and Neck Exercises Can Help You Grow Younger

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series: Non-surgicial Neck Rejuvenation

The reason I’m a passionate believer in the value of face and neck exercises is simple. I’ve seen for myself what a well-rounded facial fitness regime can do. The potential impact of advanced muscle toning techniques on the visible signs of aging isn’t hard to grasp. The evidence is all around us. It’s there in the firm abdomens and taut, sculpted and limbs of Pilates and yoga devotees. And we’ve all seen the revitalizing effects of a brisk walk on our own faces. There’s no mistaking the vibrant youthful glow that exercise brings to your complexion. All this rejuvenating power can be directly applied to sagging jaw lines and deep facial wrinkles to restore defined contours and smoother, younger-looking skin.

The Value of Facial Fitness: The Facts vs. the Myths

When the Boston media covered the launch of our salon’s From My Neck Up™ exercise program, the participants expressed confidence in the intuitive wisdom of this noninvasive anti-aging option. Although my own clients and other satisfied practitioners can point to remarkable changes achieved by their regular face and neck workouts, many professionals in the mainstream beauty industry remain unconvinced. Naysayers typically come down on one of two sides. One side insists that facial fitness techniques have no anti-aging effects; the other warns that exercising makes lines and wrinkles worse. Both sides contend that radical cosmetic procedures are the only effective solution. Before you decide if that’s the case, let’s confront the two questions at the heart of the debate about face and neck exercises.

Many women see face and neck exercises as a logical extension of their physical fitness routines. – Click on the video below.

1. Do face and neck exercises work? Generations of women have voted yes. One of the earliest documented success stories is the case of legendary 17th century beauty Ninon de’ L’Enclos (“the Woman Who Never Grew Old”). Her ageless beauty and the amazingly youthful faces of countless practitioners since her time have kept this anti-aging tradition going strong for more than 400 years. While critics argue that longstanding popular support is no substitute for statistical evidence, at least one plastic surgeon interviewed about for a newspaper story about From My Neck Up admitted that the reports of positive results are worth looking into. And few physicians, regardless of their specialty, would deny the proven power of muscle strengthening exercises to reverse the underlying causes of aging:

  • Thinning skin – Increased blood flow to the skin’s dermal layer encourages stronger, more resilient skin.
  • Bone and soft tissue atrophy – Restoring muscle mass and rebuilding thinning bones helps restore firm, youthful contours.
body firming techniques can be applied from the neck up

The same techniques that sculpt our bodies can redefine facial contours.

2. Do facial fitness routines deepen expression lines or distort your facial anatomy? As long as you use proper technique, any risk of deepening expression lines is completely avoidable. Fears of developing big, bulging face and neck muscles are equally unwarranted. Unless you’re taking steroids, muscle growth happens slowly and gradually. And unlike the outcome of plastic surgery, the results of a facial fitness routine are completely reversible and within your control.

How can I help? I’ll be sharing more tips about face and neck exercises in upcoming posts. If you have a specific problem area you’d like me to address or any questions or concerns about maintaining the total health and beauty of your skin, please add them to our comments section. I look forward to hearing from you!

Can This Neck Be Saved? A Deeper Look at Anti-Aging Solutions

For many of my clients, the question of how to maintain a youthful neck becomes increasingly important with each passing year. As a skincare developer and day spa owner with a lifelong commitment to natural anti-aging methods, I always urge people to adopt strategies that support the total health of the skin and the well-being of the person as a whole. This wellness-based approach is particularly critical for the neck and jaw line. The reasons why it’s so important lie in the basic facts of how the neck ages.

Lavinia Borcau

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series: Understanding the Challenges of Neck Rejuvenation

A Topdown View of Neck Aging

Even before we’re born, the genetic code that defines our  anatomy has already dictated the delicate conditions that cause our necks to age faster than any other region of the body:

1. Thin skin – The outer surface (or epidermis) of the neck is even is more fragile the top layer of facial skin.

2. Oil shortage – The underlying layer of skin has no oil glands to help keep it moist and resilient.

3. A fragile foundation – The neck’s skin rests on a fragile structure of  delicate bones and a thin layer of muscles and other soft tissues that gradually wear away with age.

How Chicken Skin, Turkey Wattles, and Double Chins Happen

Depending on our genes and our behavior, our neck usually starts showing signs of wear-and-tear in our 30s. Over the subsequent decades, the impact of gravity, declining cell function, and environmental damage becomes increasingly visible. From our 50s onward, the telltale marks of age may include some or all of the following:

• Irregular coloration

• Horizontal and vertical lines

• Age spots and splotchy pigmentation

• Gaunt, hollowed-out appearance or excess fat

• Broken capillaries

• Bumpiness; leathery texture

• Scaly patches, precancerous and cancerous growths

•Deep creases and wrinkles

• “Turkey gobbler” neck (loose, hanging skin flaps)

• Protruding muscle bands

• Jowls, double chin

Going Natural vs. Going Too Far

The choice between invasive and noninvasive anti-aging strategies is a highly personal one. Regardless of the method you’re considering, however, a healthy dose of realism is the key a satisfying outcome. It’s crucial to remember that nature imposes certain limits on every neck rejuvenation strategy. The greatest obstacle to success is the ongoing decline of skin and connective tissue. Laser resurfacing, injectable fillers, and surgical procedures can compensate for this problem – temporarily. But the visible signs of aging will inevitably return with a vengeance as these tissues continue to age. The farther this deterioration progresses, the more extensive, complex, and risky the cosmetic procedures needed to address the problem become.

Various worst-case scenarios of multiple radical neck makeovers include permanent nerve damage and other serious medical complications. The cosmetic consequences can be equally deadly. Reputable plastic surgeons routinely warn plastic surgery addicts that serial surgical “fixes” can ultimately ruin the structures they’re trying to preserve. In addition to severe scarring, overaggressive treatment can ultimately result in “cobra neck deformity,” a look that recalls the reptilian neck of the extraterrestrial species from the Alien movies.

Prognosis: Serious, But Hopeful

Despite the best efforts of anti-aging scientists, nature’s bottom line is still set in stone:  There’s no magic pill, miracle in a jar, or high-tech silver bullet that can permanently stop the aging process or make a 60-year-old neck look 17 again. But once you accept that reality, there’s plenty of hope.

Extending the Lifespan of Youthful Beauty: How to Limit the Flaws of an Aging Neck

The good news is that every one of us has the power to restore and maintain a firmer, more youthful neck. And you don’t need surgery to do it. The key is to eliminate two of the major causes of wrinkled, sagging necks:  abuse and neglect.

Stay tuned for more details of a safe, effective neck rejuvenation strategy in my next post.