Clare Westlow – RN, Cosmetics, Atticus Health
Protect your skin
As a child we would often visit my Aunt Freda and stay with my cousin Mable in Sydney. I remember I was only eight years old at the time when I heard my cousin Mable banging on the bathroom door and yelling, “Come on Dimple (my childhood pet name), it’s time for bed what are you doing in there?”
I replied, “No not yet, I have to wash my face and put my cream on!” It seems that Mum’s advice had subconsciously been embedded in my mind, “Always wash your face twice a day and always put cream on straight away!” Years later I still religiously follow her two commandments and in all honesty I cannot recall a day in my life when I have not used moisturiser! Today I’m still preaching her words and as those of you who have attended a skin care consultation with me would know I repeatedly stress, “ Moisturise, moisturise and moisturise!” It truly does pay off! So treat it like your favourite pillow, take it with you when you travel, let it be with you when you retire at night and wake in the morning. I also thoroughly recommend a nice hot shower before bed to allow the steam to open the pores before applying your night cream. Your skin will absorb it like a sponge, while resting and repairing itself during this vital cellular regeneration phase. When your skin retains moisture you wake up with dewy skin, it’s soft and smooth to touch and forms an excellent base for any makeup! Most of all, people notice!
Another simple rule is to keep hydrated. Yes, that means 2 litres of water! My clinical nursing background taught me years ago that the first signs of visible dehydration can be seen in fine lines on the forehead and cracked lips. It’s simple really when you think about it, if you keep the skin supple and moist it’s less likely to crease! Doing this can prevent signs of premature ageing in the future! This isn’t to say that such signs of ageing can’t be mended, they can! With today’s advancement in skin care, anti wrinkle injections seem to have the quickest and most outstanding results.
Know your skin type
Get to know your skin tone and texture so you can match the right products to it. The next time you look in the mirror take some time to examine your skin. For example, some clients who come and see me tell me they have oily skin, when in fact they just have an oily t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) which is quite common. Using a foamy cleanser for oily skin when you don’t actually have oily skin can strip it off its natural oils, aggravating the condition even further. On the other hand for dry skin, a cream based cleanser works best. If you’re not sure what skin type you are, come and see me! Also take time to examine the tone of your skin. For example you may notice your eyelids suddenly appear droopy. Droopy eyelids are a common sign of ageing due to the depleting amounts of elastin and collagen in our skin. If you can identify with this problem, don’t despair we have plenty of products in stock to help you! People seem to forget that the skin around their eyes is the thinnest layer of skin on our bodies and if I could, I would place a sign stating, “Fragile: handle with care.” So rather than rubbing around the area vigorously during cleansing and moisturising use a cotton ball to cleanse and a gentle pat around the eye area is sufficient to apply moisturiser. For the removal of stubborn waterproof eye makeup a dab of baby oil to a cotton ball works beautifully. Not only is it inexpensive but it also has the added bonus of keeping the eye area supple while conditioning and promoting long, thick silky lashes.
Maintain a healthy diet
Being of Anglo-Indian descent, I can thank mum for her cooking and for making it spicy! Turmeric, I recently discovered, is a potent antioxidant while garlic, rosemary and cinnamon also improve the quality of skin. Protein is also an important dietary skin care requirement in retaining skin tone. Common sources are beans, chicken, cereal and lentils. I remember once watching an interview of one of my favourite Hollywood actresses, Audrey Hepburn. When she was asked what her secrets to ageing so beautifully and gracefully were, the Hollywood style icon replied, “ I eat everything in moderation”. I have to agree that there is so much truth to her statement. For example if you can identify with good dietary mono-saturated fats such as butter, ghee, olive oil, nuts and avocados, all consumed in moderation prevent your skin from premature wrinkling. However it is still important to monitor the sugar content in your diet especially refined sugars. Too much sugar can accelerate the ageing process causing collagen fibres to lose their elasticity. So if you have a sweet tooth (like me!), indulge in a piece of fruit instead. Oranges, kiwifruit and dark berries are rich in antioxidants. Don’t discard food around the home in a hurry. An overripe banana, papaya and avocado make excellent face packs. Left on the skin for 15 minutes, they are natural moisturisers and their oils act as excellent skin emollients. On the subject of fruit, interestingly enough my latest research in skin science led me to the fruit camu camu, which many claim to be the fountain of youth. It was discovered in flooded areas of the Amazon, Brazil and Peru. It contains a potent source of vitamin C and is very high in antioxidants. Although the bright orange fruit is not readily available in our local markets for consumption, it is found in skin creams such as the Akin’s anti ageing skin care range.
So if you think you’ve been neglecting your skin start investing in it! It is surely the best suit you were given and is the first thing people notice. Look after it!
Thanks Clare – very useful! Clare consults from live dream energise on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:30am – 5:30pm. Skin consultations with her are FREE, bookings are ideal. Call 97733333