Everything You Need To Know About Your Skin {Part Two}


You Need to Care About The Simple Science Behind Your Skin

If you want great skin, that is. Don’t worry, this should only take about 5 minutes!

“Skin is huge. It’s now a sign and reflection of wellness. I call skin the new rich. How well you’re doing, how well you’re sleeping, what your joy factor is, is all about the tonality of your skin.” 

--Moj Madhara, CEO BeautyCon

You and I both know that the biggest secret to success with anything in life, is understanding and comprehension; breaking things down to their smallest parts, and then putting it all back together as a system. 

If you’re ready to nerd out with me, it would be my absolute pleasure to pull back the curtain, and teach you everything that you need to know about the science behind skin, how to discover what it is that your skin needs, as well as the different ingredients that will help you get to your skin goals!

If the word science makes your eyes glaze over, just hold on with me for a few more minutes, because this is science is sexy as hell! Why? It’s going to keep you gorgeous! If nothing else, allow your own narcissism to continue reading…

Your skin is your largest organ, and I want you to start looking at it as such.  You, my new friend, take great care to pass up a Snickers Bar in favor of a granola bar, so why are you putting junk food on your face in the form of petroleum products, bulky fillers, and ingredients that are literal junk for your skin? 

Well, because nobody taught you to care for your skin the same way they stress about caring for the rest of your body. When we begin to look at our skin for what it is: an organ that needs quality vitamins, nutrients, and water, we care for it as such. 

Let’s start with a quick rundown of your skin’s regeneration cycle. By the end, you will understand why there is only one basic unifying factor to correct and maintain all skin conditions, and I bet you’re not doing it!

So, are you ready to nerd out with me? Awesome! Let’s get to it!

There are three major divisions within the structure of human skin: the Epidermis, the Dermis, and the Subcutaneous (though today, we are only going to be touching on the 2 uppermost layers, the Epidermis, and the Dermis).

Within the Epidermis, there are five different layers, (don’t worry to keep your eyes from glazing over, we won’t go through each of the 5 layers right now). Fresh, brand new skin cells are made at the very bottom of the Epidermis, the layer closest to the Dermis. As new skin cells are made, they're pushed through the remaining 4 layers of the epidermis until they reach the top layer of the skin. As they go through these layers, the skin cells themselves are slowly dying and keratinizing (which means they're getting harder) and by the time they have completed their life cycle and reached the surface of your skin, they're already dead.

This is what we see on the surface of our skin, tightly packed dead skin cells. Every 28 days our body is naturally desquimating, which means it is naturally shedding these dead skin cells, and the entire process starts again. In fact, your body gets rid of 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells a day (that number sounds like a lot, but consider that there are over 19 million skin cells per square inch of the human body)!

To help you visualize this, I bring to the table exhibit A: my sister’s brand new baby, and my niece, Emory. Have you ever noticed that newborn baby’s skin always looks dry, and flaking? One reason is that babies are growing at such a rapid rate, that their skin cells are working in overdrive to keep regenerating, to keep up with the total growth of her entire body (I mean, imagine if it didn’t, and her bones and other organs outgrew her skin!). 

Ok! Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because as we get older--specifically once we reach our late 20’s-- this 28-day process slows down per 10 year age increments to every 38 days in our 30s, every 48 days in our 40s, etc…

Do you know what I’m going to say next? This is the part that’s really exciting to me because it is the connecting factor that solves most of our individual (and collective!) skin concerns.

Assuming that your major area(s) of skincare concern is one of the following (and this is true for the vast majority of people): texture, acne, aging, or hyperpigmentation, it can all be solved with different forms of exfoliation, and exfoliating ingredients.

This is seriously the one thing that will change your skin. Seriously.

Exfoliation is literally the one thing that 90% of women who come to me are not doing correctly if they are doing it at all! And I’m not being facetious, or over embellishing the facts when I tell you that this one thing is going to change your skin forever. 

Before moving on to that, I have a little bit of homework for you that really must be done before moving forward. Maybe you already have an idea to the answer to this next question, but maybe not:

What is it about your skin that you want to improve?

For some, this is a very obvious answer. However, I find that many women don’t know what it is that they want to improve in their skin, they just know that “so-and-so” has THE MOST beautiful skin, and they want to feel the same way about theirs!

Whether you immediately know the answer or not, let’s do this quick, 5-minute exercise together to discover your skin type and condition.

Your skin type remains the same throughout your lifetime and will fall under one of three categories: normal, dry, oily or combination.

A skincare secret is this: generally speaking, the size of your pores dictates your skin type. So, larger pores generally dictate oily skin, and small, nearly invisible pores generally dictate dry skin. 

Your skin condition will change throughout your lifetime. Your skin condition refers to the current season that your skin is in.

Think about it like this, perhaps you have an oily skin type but during the winter, your skin’s condition is dry due to the harsh weather conditions, and dry heat coming through our pipes.

Or you could a have dry skin type, but with fluctuations in hormonal changes throughout your lifetime, you could have different acneic conditions.

Are you still with me? Great! Let’s keep going! 

First thing tomorrow morning, I want you to take note of your skin as you awake, and before you do your morning routines. As you stretch and move your face around, take notice; How does it feel? Does it feel dry? Oily? Normal? A combination of normal and oily, with more oil in some places, like your T zone (forehead through your nose and chin), or butterfly zone (imagine the areas under your eyes, and across your cheeks as butterfly wings)?

(**HINT: there is no such thing as combination dry and oily skin type. Why? Because dry skin refers to a lack of oil, whereas dehydrated skin refers to a lack of water. Dry skin is a skin type whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition. So if you have oily skin, but are feeling dry, your skin has a dehydrated condition. More on skin conditions below DOUBLE HINT: we are all naturally dehydrated just from being alive**) 

Next, let’s talk condition.

I want you to gently but firmly run your hands all along the surface of your entire face (first WITHOUT looking in the mirror).

How does it feel? Does your skin feel bumpy, or smooth along your forehead? What about your cheeks? Does your skin feel firm, or a little loose? Does it feel soft, or rough? Do you feel wrinkles?

Now look in the mirror. How does the color (the tonality) of your skin look?

Is it relatively even across the entirety of your face? Do you see changes in pigment from sun damage, yellowing from age, or dark spots from acne? Do you see wrinkles, crows feet, or laugh lines?

When you raise your eyebrows, smile, frown, and pinch your skin, do you see your elasticity snapping back quickly, or is it lingering a little as it goes back to place, and beginning to show fine lines?

Are there visible changes in texture when you look at your skin through natural light? When you look closely, can you see your pores (yes! Get out the 5x lighted mag mirror that you swore you wouldn’t obsess over anymore!)?

Are the size of your pores large, medium or small? Are they visibly clogged?

(**HINT: If you’re not sure if your pores are clogged or not, as you look in the mirror, run your hands across your face again. Do you feel a difference in texture as you move to different areas? For example, from your chin to your cheek? If you STILL can’t tell if there is a difference in texture, I want you to feel with one hand the smoothest body part that you have [your butt, boob, arm, thigh, calf--whatever] and use this inherently smooth part of your body to compare to the skin in question. Does the skin on your face feel similar to this super smooth body part?**).

As you go through the day, does your skin remain the same, or does it become more or less oily, or dry? 

Take a moment, and let’s be real with ourselves!

There is no judgment here, because we are in the process of making changes, and you can only actively change what you are aware of!

Make a note of everything that you want to improve. Write it down, and better yet take pictures! 

Although some improvements in our skin can be seen literally overnight, most improvements in our skin are gradual and incremental, it is often hard to see it change day-to-day.

A before and after picture (taken without makeup, and in natural light) is vital to track the true success or failure on your skincare journey.

I love to show clients month to month or quarterly improvements of their skin, because they are always so shocked to see how drastic the changes are.

Gradual. And incremental. AKA patience is so necessary. 

This homework is the first, and most important step before moving forward on your skincare journey, because we need to know what it is within your skin texture, type, tone, and condition that we are trying to correct, before taking action. I also want you to go into your treasure trove of products because I know you have them, and I want you to look at your general weekly regiment. What do you do each day, morning and night, step by step?

As a bonus, I’m including a little download of each step to a complete skincare routine, along with descriptions!

If you are loving what you’re reading, please leave a comment below, or send me an email! I want to answer your biggest questions so feedback is vital to me serving you as best as possible!

And stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for more in this continuing series Everything You Need To Know About Your Skin.