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The Holistic Approach Toward Aging

Lydia Sarfati August 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine

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Currently, the United States’ inhabitants include 78 million baby boomers—those who were born during the great population increase after World War II—and they spent $6.4 billon on anti-aging products last year.* How well you understand the needs of this market segment will determine the success of your business during the next two decades.

The holistic picture

What is the holistic approach toward aging? Most people are born with a beautiful complexion. However, what you do and how you take care of yourself and your skin will affect how you appear. When I first opened my spa in New York in 1977, one of my first editorial interviews was about holistic care—a subject that was not covered very well at that time. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and, although it normally is thought of as ending at the neck, any discussion about skin care must include the entire body. Skin serves as a barrier—it keeps out bacteria, sunlight, germs, heat, cold, dirt and gases while keeping in water, blood, minerals, vitamins, hormones and proteins. (See Main Functions of the Skin.) I always took a holistic approach toward beauty by incorporating health, wellness, and face and body care. This also includes the importance of nutrition in the anti-aging process.

Bogus buzzwords?

The skin has two main layers: the epidermis and the dermis. Without it, you could not live, yet it is abused on a daily basis by overexfoliating, overirritating with chemical and physical peels, and overexposing it to the sun. The past two decades have brought many new discoveries in the fields of cosmetics and esthetic medicine. At times, new discoveries can be rushed into without a firm understanding of the consequences and without the benefit of in-depth knowledge. Buzzwords such as “cosmeceutical,” “medical-grade” and “pharmaceutical-grade” ingredients have penetrated the professional skin care arena, causing confusion and creating misconceptions. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), none of these categories are recognized legally. Products either are cosmetics or pharmaceuticals, available by prescription or over the counter. It is important to understand the facts, to share them with your clients and always to obtain information from reliable sources.

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Main Functions of the Skin Protection.

Protection.The skin protects internal organs from injury and infection. Keratin in the outer cell layer prevents germs from invading the body. Skin’s elasticity withstands physical pressure and reduces injuries.

Regulation. Sweat secretions evaporate on the skin’s surface, thereby cooling the body and regulating its temperature.

Sensation. The skin is a sensory organ. Nerve endings in the epidermis respond to heat, cold, touch, pressure and pain.

Secretion. Skin secretes sebum from the sebaceous glands. Storage. Skin stores vitamin D.

Top 10 Skin Care Dos and Don'ts

Top 10 Skin Care Dos

  1. Take better care of yourself on a daily basis.
  2. Wear sun-protective clothing.
  3. Apply sun protection with SPF and antioxidants, such as green tea, white tea and red tea. Thermus thermophilus helps to shield the skin from heat damage.
  4. Enjoy rejuvenating facials at least once a month.
  5. Don’t go to bed without soaking for 15 minutes in a seaweed bath. Relax.
  6. Exercise daily using calisthenics and yoga. Breathe deeply.
  7. Cleanse and tone the skin twice daily.
  8. Always use a moisturizer and a nourishing cream.
  9. Sleep with a silk eye mask to relax your eye area and prevent you from frowning in your sleep.
  10. Use a nourishing cream all over your body daily.

Top 10 Skin Care Don’ts

  1. Avoid indoor tanning. It can cause skin cancer and premature aging.
  2. Don’t smoke. It can kill you.
  3. Stay away from the sun from 10 AM–4 PM, when its rays are at their most damaging.
  4. Avoid stressful situations. Proper planning prevents anxiety.
  5. Don’t eat junk food.
  6. Avoid processed foods with a high nitrate, sugar and sodium content.
  7. Don’t eat fried foods.
  8. Don’t use soaps, and avoid benzoyl peroxide, hydrogen, retinoic acid and glycolic acid because they reduce the protective barrier of the skin.
  9. Don’t pick and scratch your skin. It removes a barrier and may cause infections.
  10. Don’t overdo anything—remember that less is always more.

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