Travel Beauty recently interviewed renowned New York City Dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline. When asked what younger women in their 20s and early 30s can do in the way of preventative care, Dr. Kline replied:
Underappreciated is the benefit of rest, diet and supplements that truly affect the way the skin ages and damages. The science is astounding and soon will become part of prevention rather than treating problems that develop.
Old Is New
The movement towards prevention as a mode to protect against illness has been prevalent in this country for some time. As a society, through media coverage and increasingly public policy, we are educating ourselves to eat healthier, exercise more often and even decrease the stress levels in our daily lives. While to many, this notion sounds so basic, it is something that has not yet seeped into the American psyche with relation to skin and personal care.
American Attitudes Towards Personal Care
Typically Americans wait until they see signs of aging, sunspots, blemishes or develop a skin condition, like rosacea to become serious about a skin care routine. Similarly, they wait until they experience hair loss or have serious dandruff issues to establish healthy hair care habits. Even more prevalent - women typically start using body firming lotions and scrubs after they give birth or are presenting with cellulite. Perhaps you’ve heard that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? All I have to say is #TRUTH.
A 360 Degree Approach to Beauty
In Europe the approach to personal care is different. Europeans appreciate skin for what it is – the largest organ of the human body – and an important one at that. It is the only protection our bodies have from the elements. All that stands between our blood, veins, internal organs and tissue and the outside world is skin.
This approach not only includes eating right, getting enough rest, taking supplements and regular facial treatments but using quality skin care products early on. Effective ones that prevent the type of skin damage that results from pollution, climate and aging, before we start to see the effects in the form of wrinkles, fine lines and sunspots.
A Lifelong Obsession With Beauty
I became interested in personal care products at a young age. I traveled with my mother frequently overseas and the most anticipated stop of the trip was the charming, local European pharmacies.
My earliest product memories star Erno Laszlo’s Sea Mud Soap – revolutionary when it first hit the scene - My mother had all sorts of serums and potions in lovely glass jars stored on an elegant, old world sit down vanity. It was so glamorous.
My mother also always used body lotion. This annoyed me as it took her, what seemed like a year, to get dressed. When I asked her why she insisted on this long drawn ritual (we once missed a bus that ultimately crashed because she was running so late – THANK YOU BODY LOTION) – she said the only reason she didn’t look like an old bag is because she’d been using body lotion her entire life and if I didn’t want to look fat and saggy skinned I better think about doing the same. My mother is not one to hold back.
Forming Healthy Habits Early On
I started having regular extraction facials when I was 12. When I think facial, I don’t conjure a picture of lounging in a robe, cucumber water in hand. In fact, many spas of lesser quality play up this piece of the experience to makeup for the mediocre quality of their treatments. Not to say that you should be having a facial in a dingy back alley. It should be a lovely, tranquil place but the most important part is a knowledgeable, experienced aesthetician that works closely with dermatologists and plastic surgeons, understands product and is not a one treatment fits all practitioner. Facials should be akin to clinical treatments – parts of which can be painful – hello extraction! They can be likened to teeth cleanings. You have your teeth cleaned at least every six months to prevent tooth and gum decay. So to, regular facials keep your skin in check. Yasmine Djerradine is the only person that I trust with my skin.
To that end, here are some exceptional products that approach personal care through a preventative lens. They are not only extremely effective but are aimed at keeping skin and hair healthy. If you have healthy skin and hair, they will look great and these products are the proof.
Skin Care That Works At The Cellular Level
Sapelo Skin Care, a revolutionary, all natural line from Savannah, Georgia combines high concentrations of plant extracts, indigenous to the region, with powerful, scientifically proven peptides that nurture the skin at the cellular level turning back the hands of time. These products protect the skin from the elements and are formulated without harsh retinoids and acids. Sapelo is ideal for sensitive, dry and/or mature skin. This is an anti-aging skin care line bar-none. My mother is 67 and since she started using this line 6 months ago, has never looked better. Her skin looks like she has a microcurrent facial daily.
What About Sunspots?
The foundation of protection is applying a product that counteracts the body’s chemical reaction to Ultra Violet radiation or sun exposure. Sapelo Skin Care’s Rejuvenating Cream contains anti-oxidants and platinum peptides, biochemically designed to halt UV injury before sunspots occur. The system was designed to replicate the skin’s healing response to injury. If used twice a day, Sapelo works 24/7, at the cellular level, to stop UV damage – which causes ugly brown spots.
Skin Care With Ayurvedic Roots
Cosmetics 27 by M.E. SkinLab leverages the restorative nature of Centella Asiatica extracts, a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 3,000 years to strengthen the skin’s ability, at the cellular level, to fight the factors that cause it to look old and dull, on its own. Michèle Evrard, the founder of Cosmetics 27, is a pharmacist by training and has worked in product development for years. She approaches beauty in a holistic manner also offering a nutritional supplement, Supplément 27, to be used in conjunction with her skin care line. It contains active anti-oxidant and anti-free radical ingredients, Centella Asiatica, Vitamin A, C and E and Selenium which combat cellular aging, reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses while providing the skin with the elements it needs to regain its beauty and radiance. It visibly reduces the signs of age and helps maintain the skin’s natural equilibrium and beauty from the inside out.
Preventative Hair Care
World renowned hair and scalp Trichologist, Philip Kingsley takes a similar approach. At his clinics in London and New York City, Kingsley’s team runs a full blood work up, examines eating habits and digs into clients’ daily routines to determine the types of stress they might be facing. Believe it or not, all of these factors impact the condition of the hair and scalp. Once you have been examined, Kingsley’s team, or if you are lucky enough to see Kingsley himself, devise a custom treatment of products just for you – that really work.
If you can’t make it to the clinic, Kingsley has formulated a retail line that addresses different hair and scalp concerns from dandruff, to thinning hair, to serious frizz.
Holistic Body Care
Mio Skincare is an all natural body care line designed to work in conjunction with regular exercise and healthy eating habits. Products like the Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Motivating Gel contains ingredients like Arnica Montana to sooth and bring down the swelling that overworked muscles may experience due to intense workouts. The A Cream creates a soothing shield to combat dryness and boost elasticity, fighting the damaging effects of sun, pollutants and free radicals. It balances, deeply moisturizes and strengthens skin. These happen to be skin firming products but the truth is, the earlier you start moisturizing your body, the more supple it will be.
So that next time someone asks you if any of your products really work or do you just have great genes, you can confidently say, I am sure my genes do play a part, but I take care of myself and that makes all the difference.
By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie