In life we are constantly striving for balance, whether it’s with work, relationships, food…so why should beauty be any different? Here at mbg, we take an inside-out/outside-in approach to beauty because we believe that the more we take care of ourselves, the better we feel. This week, we’re focusing on the self-care rituals that help you take care of your skin. Instead of treating skin care as a chore or an indulgence, try embracing it for six days and enjoy the act of caring for your skin, and thus yourself. We bet you’ll be surprised at how good it feels. Let us know!
While you're sleeping, your skin is at its restorative best. "Sleep, which you hopefully do for six to eight hours a night, is a period of rest for all the cells in your body, including the skin cells," says Dr. Sarah Villafranco, natural skin care expert and Osmia Organics founder. "It's a unique period in which your skin cells can repair and regenerate themselves, without the onslaught of sunscreen, makeup, pollution, wind, and your germy hands touching it all day long. It's also the perfect time to apply potent, pure skin care products that support the skin during its restorative process. Conversely, it's the worst time to apply unnecessary chemicals, or to leave on products that have been exposed to pollution and germs throughout the day."
Follow this six-step plan and you'll be waking up to a more beautiful morning! We can guarantee it.
Go to bed with a clean face, and be especially meticulous about taking off eye makeup. "Eye makeup, when left on overnight, can break down into small particles that get into the eye, causing irritation and redness, says Dr. Villafranco. "Mascara can also make your eyelashes brittle and prone to breakage when left on overnight, and nobody wants stumpy lashes! What's the easiest and cheapest technique for removing eye makeup? "Massage a few drops of sunflower oil into the lids and lashes, and wipe with a warm, damp cotton ball." And don't forget your face! "It's especially important to remove foundation and eye makeup before sleep. Leaving foundation on can clog pores, but it's also a contaminated layer by the end of the day, exposing your skin to more microbes than necessary."
The single best thing you can do for your skin at night is keep a humidifier in your room—especially in winter, why? You'll hydrate your face (and body) continuously while you sleep. "Be sure to use a cool mist humidifier and to clean it regularly," says Dr. Villafranco.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
"Think about what your skin is doing overnight—repairing and regenerating," says Dr. Villafranco. "The most important things to supply for your skin are antioxidants, to help repair DNA damage, and water, which the skin needs to retain in order to maintain its health." Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients that sounds terrifying (Acid? Near my face? No thanks...), but the reality is far less dramatic. It's a clear, sticky, sugary substance that occurs naturally in the body, where its job is to keep things well-hydrated. "Consider a product with hyaluronic acid or rose of Jericho extract, both of which help each skin cell retain water, combined with an antioxidant-rich oil to facilitate cellular repair," says Dr. Villafranco.
Skipping on alcohol and salt will ensure no next-day puffiness and dehydration. "Your body regulates water, in part, via the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH) by the pituitary gland," says Dr. Villafranco. "Alcohol inhibits the secretion of ADH, resulting in the loss of water through increased urination. Translation? Alcohol dehydrates you, and dehydration is bad for skin. It's the holiday season, so when you do have a hot toddy, make sure you have a full glass of water for each one!" Instead try one of these delicious and healthy booze-free cocktails that we can't seem to stop drinking...
"Look for eye cream that contains vitamin E to nourish, hyaluronic acid to hydrate, vitamin C for collagen support, and licorice root or vitamin K to diminish dark circles," says Dr. Villafranco. "Also, remember that the skin under your eyes is extremely sensitive, so look for products with fewer ingredients and no fragrance."
Tip: We love Healgel Eye Gel, formulated with two types of hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and arnica to reduce inflammation and puffiness. Then there's African Botanics Résurrection Eye Crème with potent actives like restorative African marula oil, free-radical-fighting green rooibos tea extract, and firming tetrapeptides—our delicate orbital skin will be defended against winter's harsh climate in a jiffy.
Getting good rest could help you look, well, just downright happy! "Incorporating high-quality essential oils into a bedtime routine can help establish a rhythm in the body over time: When your olfactory nerve registers the aroma chemicals, it sends a message to the rest of the body that it's time to rest," says Dr. Villafranco. "Try a diffuser with lavender oil in a far corner of the bedroom, a cotton ball with a few drops of lavender near your head, or using an aromatherapeutic body oil designed to ease you into sleep after your nightly shower." Another reason to get enough shut-eye? Lack of sleep increases cortisol levels in the blood, which leads to water retention and increased appetite—good sleep decreases cortisol and decreases both of these effects. Night!
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