Over the course of my career as an esthetician I have heard a lot of “what ifs.”
What if I hadn’t spent my late teens and early 20s worshiping the sun, drenched in coconut or baby oil? What if I had listened to my esthetician and not picked at my skin? What if I hydrated? What if I had worn SPF more?
Or, what if I had spent that extra money in purchasing quality skin care? What if I spent the extra time to make a plan and stick to it?
Everyone is looking for a reversal solution for their skin issues and everyone wants a fix for the errors of their youth. The legend of the Fountain of Youth has been a point of interest since as far back as the fifth century. Modern science has been working on their own version of “everlasting youth” in the form of products and procedures for decades. Everyone is searching to maintain their youth—and the first step you can take towards preserving that youthful glow is understanding the true value of investing in one’s skin. Women are willing to color their hair on a regular schedule and buy a new handbag every season, but sometimes investing in regular skin maintenance can fall to the wayside.
What do Telomeres have to do with it?
One of the most important effects of investing in one’s skin is slowing down the shortening of telomeres. Telomeres are DNA complexes on the end of chromosome strands. Telomeres prevent the deterioration and separating or even joining of other chromosome strands—when telomeres lose their grip on chromosomes, aging is accelerated. I like to envision telomeres as a knot on a ship holding a sail steady. As the knot loosens over time, the sail can’t do its job of keeping itself in the position it needs to be.
When the ends of the chromosome are no longer protected, they can’t do their job of keeping you looking youthful. How to avoid this? Invest in the right products, even if it means spending more, and invest in the time it takes to commit to a routine. This way, you can lengthen the life of your skin and slow down aging.
“Invest in your skin. It’s going to represent you for a very long time.”
When clients present themselves with these “what ifs” at my spa, we discuss a strategy, or a plan of attack on their aging path. It is important to mention that not everyone’s skin path can bounce back. Sometimes the lack of investment or the negligence done in their past leads to a very minimal ability to redirect the appearance of aging. Remember, investment means spending the necessary time, too.
Wrinkles, discoloration, and loss of elasticity can’t be controlled without the investment. Your skin’s health can become a lottery of disappointment and chance without the proper care and time that skin deserves. I always tell my clients: “Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” My advice is a daily reminder that what you put on your face, and what choices you make will impact the “what ifs” in the mirror all your life.
My top 4 rules: the “Best Investment” basics
1. Obviously SPF and shade. Don’t forget the timing for reapplication. Clients often surprise me with the lack of knowledge of reapplication. There are really two kinds of SPF: physical and chemical. With chemical sunscreens you have to reapply every 2-3 hours—with time, they lose efficacy. I prefer physical sunscreens—even in the heat, they’re less likely to rub or sweat off. They also reflect and redirect UV rays. In my opinion, they build a stronger barrier. Of course, my favorite sun protectant is shade!
2. Be a regular client of your esthetician (make sure they are qualified). Clients always need to know that part of the investment is checking back in and continuing the work you are doing on them. Just like exercise and a good diet, you need to stay on top of regular facial maintenance. Remember, it takes at least 20 days to see a significant change in your skin’s appearance. Do not expect a miracle in one appointment. I recommend monthly visits to get facials. Receive a series of peels annually, based on your age, need, and exposure to the environment.
3. Hydration. Hydration. I always say, “Hydrate to regenerate.” Our spa discusses with clients that a good rule of hydration is making sure your water intake matches ½ of your weight in ounces. For example, if you are 110 lbs you need to drink at least 55 ounces of water a day (regular-sized water bottles contain 16 ounces). If you drink coffee regularly or partake in spirits add one extra glass of water per drink. If you find water to be a tad boring, our spa suggests the additions of herbs and fruit splashes. My personal favorite is water with fresh basil and strawberries.
4. Remove makeup nightly. Wearing makeup to sleep leads to early aging. It’s probably the easiest step to adhere to, but I continue to be surprised by how many clients forget it.
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