"Nature gives you the face you have when you are twenty. Life gives you the face you have at thirty." Coco Chanel
I have been doing lots of reading into the 'It's not just about wrinkles' book written by Dr Neal Schultz which I purchased recently and I have to say I am loving it. I really do recommend the book if you are a skin care nerd like I am.
Dr Schultz is a park avenue dermatologist who tries to explain that wrinkles shouldn't be the only thing people try to fix and should indeed focus on skin colour and texture. I don't care what anybody says, a skincare routine is a must. But, to have a routine that works, you need to use products that are catered for your skin type which isn't that easy.
DETERMINING YOUR SKIN TYPE
Cosmetic Skin Type
Cosmetic or facial skin types are determined by the relative balance between oil and water in and on your skin. There are 6 different types of skin that fall under this category:
- Oily/Acne prone
One of the hardest things for me is diagnosing the skin type as it's always changing. I'm always having drama with mine and try to go to regular facials so that I can be diagnosed every time to see if anything has changed. But, I now realise that they can't really determine skin type with one look and a microscope in 5 minutes. Dr Schultz recommends washing your face with a mild cleanser and not applying any product for 1 whole hour and then getting a tissue or a brown paper bag and blotting onto all areas to see where and if it's oily. Hold up a mirror and you will be able to see exactly if it's dry, normal and if it has a oily sheen. Watch THIS video to better understand your oil and water skin type and click picture below to help you determine your skin type. There are tons of these quizzes everywhere, but I found this to be the most helpful which I photographed from the book.
Click to enlarge.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type
There are also 6 types of Fitzpatrick skin which were characterized by Thomas Fitzpatrick M.D professor emeritus of dermatology at Harvard University. Determining your Fitzpatrick type is is all about assessing skin-cancer risk factors as well as predicting vulnerability to and thereby prevention of premature unnecessary photo aging. The fairer your skin, the greater your risk. Click HERE to determine your Fitzpatrick skin type. This will help you classify your response to UV light and hopefully make you want to wear SPF.
Skin has 7 layers, the 3 main layers are the Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutaneous tissue. Humans shed millions of dead skin flakes everyday and creates a new layer of skin every 28 days.
- EPIDERMIS - Is the most outer layer of your skin and acts as the body's major barrier against the inhospitable environment, it's thinnest around the eyelids and thickest on the palms and soles. The Epidermis is made of 4 layers, the lower levels are composed of multiple cells that make Keratin. The epidermis is able to completely repair and regenerate itself.
- DERMIS - Is the layer of skin between the Epidermis and Subcutaneous tissue and composed of 2 layers. Structural components are Collagen and Elastin.
- SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE - Also known as Hypodermis is used mainly for fat storage, (this is where cellulite occurs) there are also loosely arranged elastic fibres, blood vessels, lympthatic vessels and hair follicle roots.
Collagen is a group of naturally occurring proteins and the main component of connective tissue which is everywhere in our body. It is produced by cells in the Dermis called fibroblasts which make the collagen into long chains and dispersed into our body to heal skin wounds. It's important for new skin production. Did you know that if you got a spot or injury and it did not go deep into the dermis then no scarring will occur. Hold that thought next time you try to squeeze your spot and end up pushing the gunk further into your skin. Did you also know that even though collagen is great when injected into the skin, when applied topically to the outer layer of the skin through a moisturiser it does nothing? This is because the collagen molecules can not penetrate further than the Dermis to enter the Epidermis (2nd layer of skin) where it's needed.
Elastin is a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin helps skin to return to its original position when it is poked or pinched. Elastins elasticity wears over time, prolonged sun exposure and harsh treatment to the skin will breakdown the coiled filaments of Elastin an no longer function normally which leads to sagging skin. Dr Schultz does not recommend using anti wrinkle creams that claim to eliminate wrinkles for up to 6 hours, as all it's doing is causing temporary swelling and damaging the elastic fibres in your skin.
Did you know that after the age of 25, the collagen fibres in the dermis begin to break down, subcutaneous fat begins to gradually disappear and skin becomes drier and holds less water? Nooo! *Sobs*
WHY DO WE TAN?
Melanocytes are responsible for the tanning effect we noticed when our skin is exposed to the suns UV rays. The darker colour we associate with a tan us actually the manifestation of our skins attempt to protect itself from the mutating and damaging effects of the sun. When the DNA of a melanocyte is damaged, it can lead to the development of a deadly skin cancer called 'Melanoma' WHEN YOUR SKIN HAS BEEN DARKENED IT'S BECAUSE IT'S BEEN DAMAGED.
There are 3 different types of skin cancer, and Melanoma is the worst, avoid it people, avoid it! Use a high SPF and avoid the afternoon sun light.
Vitamins & Minerals to help your complexion?
A few years ago I was addicted to taking Sea Kelp and B vitamins, but I got out of that habit quite a long time ago as I don't believe that anything you put into your body artificially will work. I mean if you want vitamin C, then go and eat an orange. Also, if you are already eating a healthy diet and you are still taking vitamins then you are probably getting too much which can have an adverse reaction to your skin. I am pleased to say that Dr Schultz shares the same opinion which makes me like him even more! :) The best thing you can do for your skin is eat a nutritionally balanced diet and lots of beauty sleep instead of trying to make up for it with a tablet. Also, don't go drinking alcohol or smoking and think that your skin will look pretty 10 years later, it ain't happening and no tablet can counteract that.
Obviously there is SO much more to cover - I could go on and on like I already have done, but I will end it here.Last words... Age gracefully but prevent it as much as you can, slap on the SPF!