What is Skin Care?
When most of us think of the term, “skin care,” the facial area may immediately come to mind. Depending upon what our particular issues are and even our age, we may equate it with clearer, blemish free skin, or we may immediately think of those steps we can take to prevent or reverse the signs of aging.
No matter what our particular issue(s), skin care encompasses a wide range of steps we can take to ensure that our skin is as healthy and attractive as possible. However, this can mean different things to different people; the saying, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is most certainly true.
First – Your Skin
First, we need to briefly address what function our skin serves. Our skin is the largest organ and it provides a protective barrier from microorganisms, insulates our muscles, bones, ligaments, and internal organs, and helps eliminate toxins and wastes from the body, as well as protecting against environmental assault. Our skin also helps to minimize ultraviolet radiation by producing melanin, a protective pigment.
The skin is comprised of several different layers: the epidermis, the outer most layer of skin, the dermis, (where collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid are produced), and the subtacaneous layer, which is comprised of fat and muscle.
Then – The Care
The term “skin care,” could be defined as using products which enhance the appearance of the skin, whether that entails moisturizers, exfoliators, sun block or products which help blemish prone skin. This could also include professional in-office procedures such as peels and dermabrasions, which must be performed by a physician or other licensed professional.
It could also entail things such as whole body exfoliation in order to facilitate the release of toxins from our bodies. And as noted above, the use of a daily sunscreen or sun block may help reduce the incidence of skin cancer in addition to preventing the signs of aging. It could also involve using products which promote general hygiene, such as the use of deodorants, etc.
And, of course, skin care can also entail the use of cosmetic products such as make-up to enhance one’s physical appearance. Many products on the market today (e.g. liquid make-ups) include anti-aging ingredients, such as antioxidants to help ward off the signs of aging. Whether or not sufficient concentrations are used to fulfill this purpose is dependent upon each manufacturer’s formulation.
Skin care can also encompass cosmetic surgery as well as fillers such as restalyne and rejuvederm, which help increase collagen levels for a more youthful appearance.
The Connection Between Skin Care and Beauty
It goes without saying that many of us take pride in our appearance (both men and women alike), and taking steps to ensure that we look as healthy and attractive as possible can promote a sense of well-being. However, taking things to an extreme can be another matter entirely.
We live in a society that places a significant emphasis on youth. As a result, many may feel an enormous amount of pressure to look much younger than their chronological ages. Cosmetic surgery is on the rise and we have seen some cases (particularly with celebrities) of facelifts which look unnatural or are done in excess. We are also seeing an increase in plastic surgery for younger woman such as those in their 20’s. For example, some young women are getting plastic surgery to carve out a more sculpted appearance on their eye lids. Responsible and ethical plastic surgeons will take the emotional health of their patients into consideration before embarking on unnecessary procedures.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), a recent study revealed that Americans had nearly 9.5 million cosmetic surgeries and procedures in 2010. At the top of the list was breast augmentation, followed by liposuction, eyelid surgery, tummy tucks and breast reduction.
I personally do not feel there is anything wrong with procedures such as cosmetic surgery or injectable fillers. However, having said that, I do think there is a place for aging “gracefully.” To me, that does not mean avoiding these procedures, but rather doing them in moderation if that is what you choose to do. Each person must decide what works best for them.
When we look in the mirror, do we need to see a face that is perfectly taut with no lines or wrinkles? Do we need to see a face that looks 35 when we are 50 or older? I think maturity can look very sexy if we learn to own and embrace it.
Dr. Teri Dourmashkin holds a doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University. She is the owner and founder of La Vie Celeste Skin Care, Inc. La Vie Celeste formulates the finest all natural anti-aging skincare suitable for all skin types and ages. To learn more, visit: www.laviecelesteskincare.com.