Don't wait until summer is here to realize the condition of your skin could use a little help. It was a long, drying winter of cold air, hot showers, and household heat. Now is the time to get your skin ready for tee-shirt, shorts, and swimsuit season. From the top of your head down to your toes, the largest organ on your body requires daily care. No matter your age, if you feed and water it well, your efforts will be rewarded with more supple, sexy skin.
Spring is here and it's never too late to adapt the E-X-H-A-L-E approach every day. All the steps work together to maximize the appearance of your skin, and while it won't wipe away wrinkles, the overall texture will improve. I've been following this regimen my whole adult life and it works for me, so I want to share it with you.
Remember, it doesn't matter how beautiful your make-up or clothing is, if your skin looks dry, flaky, cracked, or rough, nothing you put on will look good. Once you begin to see the results of the 6 steps to exhaling your way to beautiful skin, you'll stick to it all year long... And I bet you'll feel better, too. It's true, when you look good, you feel good.
Take a deep breath and let's get started!
E = Eat Well: Think anti-oxidant rich foods, like blueberries, almonds, and greens. Check out the Mayo Clinic's list of foods for healthy skin. Incorporate items from this list into your diet, or boost the intake of your favorites. It is also important to cut out foods that have no nutritional value; empty calories will only make you fat and won't help your skin or your body.
X = eXfoliate: As beauty treatments go, this is a MUST-Do on a regular basis. Different areas of the body, require different levels of exfoliation. This process helps the skin absorb moisture while sloughing off the old, surface layers of skin that look dull and dry. Pick a schedule and stick to it, you will start to recognize when a particular area is in need of a scrub.
Scrubbing: Always be gentle on the face, neck, and decollete area; look for products that use sugar or are marked "gentle." For the hands, you can make your own hand-scrub using olive oil. The torso, arms, and legs can deal with grittier scrubs made with salt or coffee grinds. Even if you only use a washcloth or a nylon scrubby with body-wash, you must remove the dead cells. $$aving TIP: If you have bath salts you might not use in the tub, put some in a dish and mix with olive oil to use on your elbow, knees, and feet.
Shaving: You may be a fan of waxing, but it is good to shave. Think of it as exfoliation with an extra benefit - you remove the hair and the surface dead cells - leaving behind a clean slate ready for topical hydration. NOTE: No further exfoliation is required after shaving.
H = Hydrate: The jury is out on "how much" water is the right amount to drink on a daily basis. Only you know what your body needs, but be sure to get plenty of it. If you drink beverages with caffeine or alcohol, water will help counteract the dehydration which will definitely be reflected in your skin. Also, hot water is for pasta only! Give up the hot showers - use warm water with a cool rinse - your skin and hair will thank you.
A = Apply: Moisture, moisture, everywhere! From conditioner in your hair to tingly peppermint cream for your feet, you need to add moisture all over. Pick natural based products you like so you are more apt to regularly use them. The more you feed your skin, the more resilience you will see.
L = Layer: The only way to truly protect your skin is to keep it covered. This means clothing, makeup, and sunscreen working together to maximize protection.
Look for SPF treated clothing for long days in the sun, include a hat that you can take anywhere. Besides saving your scalp, and cutting down on squinting, the right size brim will help protect the rest of your face and the back of your neck. If you avoid hats because of the hat-head issue, then check out The Joys of a Summer Hat & How To Avoid Hat Hair.
Find a makeup you like that has sunscreen in it. I like mineral makeup with SPF coverage that powders over a light layer of facial sunscreen. I've tried every combination, and this seems to be the best option so I don't go out looking like a Kabuki dancer. Besides your face and neck, wear sunscreen all over, and reapply as needed. TIP: Don't forget the back of your hands! Buy a tube of hand cream with sunscreen to carry in your purse so you can reapply after hand-washing.
E = Exercise: It's hard to feel sexy when your tushy is mushy. Your skin will benefit from getting the blood pumping and tightening up the muscles that support the skin. Let the sweat glands help clear out the pores and detoxify your body. Whatever your choice of movement, you'll reap the benefits in a multitude of ways, like sleeping better and burning fat.
This beauty regimen works from the inside out. Most women do at least a couple of these steps already, so adding the extras are just a matter of adjusting your routine and choices. The process does take a little effort but the benefit makes it all worth it. So let out the breath to EXHALE your way to beautiful skin. Start today, and you will begin to see more supple, sexy skin tomorrow.
BONUS: To hear more about the EXHALE program, listen to Fall and Winter 2011: Beauty Tips & Fashion Trends.
[The claims made about specific products or procedures on or through this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. The reviews and opinions provided are for informational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. Please consult with a health-care professional before taking or administering any new product or treatment to yourself or anyone else.]