July 29, 2014

Best beauty tips for minimizing open pores for a beautiful smooth skin

orange peel skin open poresOpen pores are probably the most misunderstood skin type or skin condition I have come across. Everybody would love a smooth, pore-less skin like you see on the beautiful models in magazines or on TV.

Sadly, pore-less skin is an illusion, a beautiful piece of artwork achieved by skilled make up artists, clever photographers and advanced photo editing software.

As a beauty therapist I have come across only a handful of people over the past 23 years that had a perfectly smooth skin with barely visible pores. It was almost always in a young skin, that peaches and cream type. But these people had their own problems. They suffered with thin, delicate, dry skin, sensitive skin, premature aging, redness, capillaries and sun damage.

The truth is, we all have pores because pores are there for a reason. Granted, some people have smaller pores and other people have larger pores. We all have pores, and very few of us have a skin that may appear pore less, but that's just an illusion and I'll share some tips on how you can minimize your open pores and make your skin appear smooth and more even. But first, let's find out more about open pores. 

There are two different types of pores in our skin. Sweat pores and hair follicles.

Sweat pores excrete sweat to cool us down, and expel excess waste from our body. There are other functions for sweat but let's just keep it to that for now.

Cross section of the skin hair follicle
Hair Follicle
Hair follicles are pores where hair grows out of, which provides our skin with insulation and protection. Hair follicles have an attached gland that secretes sebum, a natural skin oil which lubricates the hair and our skin. It is a type of natural skin moisturizer.

Open pores are very important for our skin health. Yet we have this aversion to open pores. I believe this is mainly driven by cosmetic fashion, and cosmetic companies promoting their products using images that have been airbrushed.
Do pores open and close? No, pores do not have muscles to allow them to open and close. Can you get rid of your pores completely? No, it is physically impossible to remove open pores. But is it possible to reduce the size of our pores so they are less visible? Of course you can! 

So here is where the truth lies. You can minimize and smooth, but if you have open pored skin you will never completely get rid of it. It's just not possible. And knowing the important function of our pores why would you?

I have come across several different types of 'orange peel' or open pored skin and each had to be treated differently if my client wanted to achieve a smoother, more even textured skin.

types of open pores how to minimize open pores

So what are the options to treat open pores?

Discover professional advice and beauty tips to treat open pores in the following articles:

1. Oily shiny skin open pores
2. Clogged open pores

3. Scarred open pores 

4. Ageing saggy open pores

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July 19, 2014


1. Not doing anything at all for their skin

The Younger skin may get away with neglect, and due to the nature of the skin being young, it is plump, firm and bright, it does not start showing damage until later. However, an aging skin undergoes many changes that impact on its ability to repair and regenerate, hydrate, lubricate, and protect itself from the damaging effects of free radicals, glycation, and inflammation. 

How you age is really up to youBeyond teenage years, the skin's natural oil production starts to slow down, and most women experience very dry skin after the symptoms of menopause kick in. The collagen production slows down by the time we hit our mid-20s, and the skin starts to look visibly thinner by middle age. The amount of elastin in the skin peaks in early adulthood then starts to decline. 

Factors that accelerate aging include free radical damage from UVA, smoking, stress, and toxins; glycation as a result of high sugar diet; and inflammation of the tissues due to poor lifestyle choices and skin care abuse or neglect. Environmental and lifestyle factors can affect how quickly the skin ages, and not adapting to the changes, or not caring for the skin at all, can accelerate the aging process. Once the symptoms start to appear, the damage has already been done.

5 good reasons to apply sunscreen every dayOne of the best anti-aging creams you can ever use it a well formulated, high protection sunscreen. Look for sunscreens formulated with physical blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Physical blocks reflect the UV whereas chemical filters absorb the UV and convert it to heat, which can contribute to skin inflammation. The best formulas will also contain antioxidants, no matter how high the SPF is, some UV still gets through, around 3%. This explains how you can go on a holiday for a couple of weeks, wear your sunscreen diligently, yet still manage to get a mild tan. So antioxidants will act as a backup system to the sunscreen ingredients, helping to neutralize free radicals from UV, and as they are also anti-inflammatory, will help towards keeping inflammation down. 

Did you cleanse your skin last night?
See what happened when this woman did not clean her skin at night for a month
One last thing, going to bed with makeup can be detrimental for any skin, but an aging skin even more so. Because the skin no longer repairs and regenerates as well as a younger skin, having the extra burden of makeup clogging it overnight will make the skin look sallow, tired and can contribute to breakouts and skin sensitivities. Eye lashes are especially vulnerable, mascara left on overnight can contribute to eyelash breakage, and because our lashes get thinner as we age, we should really protect all the lashes we have. I find as I am getting older my eyes are more sensitive than they used to be, and I need to use a specifically designer eye make up remover. 
Read: Did you cleanse your skin last night? 

2. Using the same products they did when they were younger 

As the skin changes, so do the skin needs. Basic moisturizers are no longer enough to support the aging skin and to protect it's depleting collagen and elastin. Using foaming and gel cleansers or soaps may have been fine while the skin was young, oily and hydrated, but as the skin dries and thins out, harsh cleansing can lead to the skin being stripped of its protective oils, dehydration, and skin inflammation, and contribute to the breakdown of the skin barrier, which will just accelerate the aging process. 

We all heard what happens when the young woman borrows her mom's anti-aging moisturizer, she breaks out. It's just too much for a younger skin. The same applies in the reverse, skin care formulated for younger skin is just not enough to support the needs of an aging skin.

What should you look for in a good poisturizer
Ingredients to look out for to slow down or protect an aging skin are Vitamin A to stimulate cellular turnover, vitamin B for anti-inflammatory action, Vitamin C for collagen production and pigmentation problems, Vitamin E for its potent antioxidant and skin softening effects. Peptides and skin communicating ingredients are a must, as are cell repairing and skin-identical ingredients such as ceramides and fatty acids for barrier repair and protection.  

Mature skin benefits from regular gentle exfoliation, because as we age, the rate the skin turns over slows right down and can cause an accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface. This will make the skin look dull, make the open pores and wrinkles appear deeper and more pronounced. However, aging skin should avoid harsh or strong exfoliants, as the inflammation they cause can accelerate aging. The rule of thumb is, if it hurts, if it's uncomfortable, if it makes your skin red, or flaking, choose a gentler option. Preserving the skin's barrier and keeping it healthy is even more important as the skin ages. Be patient, results will be a bit slower to show, but the skin will reward you in the long run. 

3. Not getting enough sleep

not getting enough sleep
Aging bodies can no longer cope as well with having to stay up all night and working all day. Every hour of sleep you miss will show up on your face. Because the skins defense systems and repair mechanisms are depleted, the body need a longer and more consistent period of rest. 

4. Skipping on exercise

how to stay younger with exerciseIf you are waking up in the morning all puffy, the only thing that will help is to get the body moving. Muscle movement pumps the lymphatic system which regulates the fluid in the tissues. Exercise not only flushes excess fluid from the skin but helps drain away toxins and waste. The increased blood circulation delivers fresh nutrients and feeds the skin from inside out. Muscle movement keeps the muscles toned and provide a good base for a firm skin. 

5. Overdoing Botox and fillers

botox and fillers
Botox and fillers can be very helpful to soften the signs of aging, but sadly some people think more is better and end up achieving quite the opposite of what they intended. Overdone Botox and filler can actually age a person well beyond their years. This is especially true when I have seen younger women in their mid-twenties have so much Botox and fillers, they look like a woman in her mid-40s trying to look younger. It instantly ages them and it is such a shame. We can easily get caught up in overdoing things, so listen to your friends and family, they will be the first to let you know if you start looking strange and nothing like yourself.  

6. Using the wrong makeup

make up aging skin
Skin care is not the only thing that will need to be adapted to the aging skin; makeup will also need to be looked at. As the skin ages, heavy makeup is very aging, powdery foundation no longer flatters it, nor do strong, bright and vivid colors. Aging skin looks it's best with fine textured, lightweight foundations that will not look cakey and collect in skin's creases making wrinkles look that much more obvious. A silky, lightweight foundation with good coverage and light reflecting technology to cover up brown spots, capillaries and uneven skin tone works best. 

make up tips for aging skinLipstick colors in deep and dark colors no longer work on thinning lips, so choose beige/browns, berry or peach colors. If you really like dark colors, choose sheer tint lipsticks. 

Concealer is a must once we pass a certain age. When the shadows start to appear, a good concealer will take years off the look of the skin. 

Smoky eyes may be too much for a mature skin and can emphasize wrinkles and sag of the eye lids. Softer colors in browns work best. 

The best mascara for thinning eye lashes is a lengthening formula with a fine brush to separate and define each lash. Thickening mascaras just look clumpy on sparse eye lashes, instantly adding years. 

As the skin ages, it starts to lose some of its color and luminosity, and as the skin looses elasticity, the cheeks drop. A great way to give an instant lifting effect is to use a soft blush just under the cheekbones. 

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Have a beautiful day!
Jana x

July 4, 2014

SKIN benefits of drinking Lemon Water

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Skincare / Beauty Educator, Salon Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Writer, Blogger, Author.

I help people develop clear, engaging and persuasive content for their websites, blogs, magazines, newsletters, training, marketing materials and social media.

Read Jana's full bio here: janaelston.com