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Get the best from your skin care

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Article by Ananda Mahony

Ananda Mahony - Naturopath & Clinical Nutrition Profile | Email | Website
Ananda Mahony - Naturopath & Clinical Nutrition As a naturopath and clinical nutritionist Ananda's practice focus is twofold: chronic skin conditions and integrated pain management for both acute and chronic pain.

Acute and Chronic Pain including migraines, trauma and injury associated pain, reproductive pain conditions, neuropathic pain, low back pain, IBS, fibromyalgia and pain matrix conditions

Skin Conditions including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea.
Clinics in Ashgrove and St. Lucia
Ashgrove and St. Lucia
Australia 4000
0400 223 949

Get the best from your skin care

by ©Ananda Mahony ND

Get the absolute best from your skin care now ... and from this point forward!

As I flip through the latest women’s magazine I see numerous skin care advertisements all promoting the latest in anti-aging, miracle in a jar products that will make you look 12 years younger in 2 weeks (yes that is actually one claim!).

We are marketed to, given hope in a jar and promised miracle results. Sometimes skin care miracles occur. More often than not we put another jar in the bathroom cupboard and watch it gather dust. I think it is time that we, women in particular but also men become empowered when it comes to the skin care we use. It is time to stop following trends and find out what our skin really needs.

So how do you see through the hype and work out what is the best skin care for you. First and most important is to work out what you really want from your skin care. Set some “skin care goals”. Goal setting is an interesting idea in relation to skin care and to establish what I really want I ask myself these three key questions:

1. Does my skin look like I want it to right now? If not, how do I want my skin to look?
2. Are there any skin issues I would like to resolve?
3. How do I want my skin to look in 12 months time

Of course the obvious answer is "fantastic" or "I want to look the same in 5 years time as I do now" or "I want my skin to be completely clear with no blemishes". These well may be realistic goals or they might need some refining.

Write your skin care goals down. Ask yourself, how important is it to me to meet these goals? One example I can think of is a 45 year old skin care client that said, “I want my skin to be more hydrated. I don’t want to look 21 anymore but I want to look really good for my age”.

I have outlined some areas you may want to consider when coming up with your own goals:

Anti-Aging – anti-aging skin care is the biggest category in the cosmetic market. While some products and active ingredients do actually help with slow the aging process, many that claim to don’t. When buying anti-aging products I recommend choosing products with ingredients that have been tried and tested such as Vitamin C (magnesium ascorbyl palmitate), green tea, zinc oxide (for sun protection), retinal palmitate (vitamin A), alpha lipoic acid and DMAE. All of these have established effects on aging...and they are also all natural ingredients. If you want to read more about specific anti-aging ingredients and supporting research click here.

Natural Skin Care – a rapidly growing sector within the cosmetic industry, natural skin care is a viable alternative to synthetic and petrochemical based products. Ranging from aromatherapy, to nutrient based, organic and cosmeceutical treatment based natural skin care, you can get the same if not superior performance from natural ranges when compared to standard skin care ranges. Be cautious of “green washing” and read labels - this applies to both natural and conventional skin care alike. For more on “green washing” click here.

Problem Skin – skin can be too dry, too oily, acne prone, red, sensitive, dehydrated, congested and more. These issues need to be addressed to re-establish your normal skin health. If left, they can lead to you thinking you have “bad” skin when in fact, it may just be relatively simple to manage.

Priorities –While it is important to “multi-task” with skin care (ie have a moisturiser that includes as sunscreen thereby having a dual effect) I have found that to achieve real results, treat the most acute or immediate issue first and then concentrate on longer term issues.

Daily Routine – some people have a basic skin care routine consisting of a cleanser, toner and moisturiser whereas others have daily or weekly routines that include masks, eye creams and treatment products. I don’t recommend falling into the trap of buying products that you just won’t use. Establish what you are prepared to do to support your skin health and know that this is what works for you.

Sun Protection – as we age the effect of the sun is the most significant factor in overall skin health. Let’s be real, we need exposure to sunlight for vitamin D levels, our mental health and for plain enjoyment of the outdoors. However, excessive sun exposure such as tanning or extended exposure in the midday is not good for skin health in the long term. Use your common sense, and get sun exposure in the morning and afternoon. If you are out and about during the middle of the day or at the beach, wear a hat and SPF 30.

The next important step is to identify if the skin care you are currently using supports the goals you have identified?
If you are unsure, the next step is to find out. How? Well there are a number of things you can do:

1. Critique your own skin care - sit down with all the products you use regularly and read the labels.

  • What are the claims about the product?

  • Does the label claim tell you how the product really supports your skin health? Keep in mind that there is a lot of marketing “hype” in the skin care industry.

  • Does the label even indicate what the product does?

  • What are the ingredients and are they relevant to your skin?

  • Are there any ingredients you don't recognize?

2. If you don't know or can't work out how your skin care is supporting your goals, speak to someone that does know such as a beauty therapist or a skin care specialist.

3. If your current skin care regimen is congruent with your goals - fantastic. If not, then make the change over to products that do suit your goals. One product at a time as your current range runs out or all at once. Whatever your preference, at least you will know that your skin care is working for you.

21 Aug 2012

Article/Information supplied by Ananda Mahony

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.