You may wonder why I ask so many questions before I begin your facial. Other than what you're currently using on your skin, does it really matter?
My goal is to help you achieve the best result possible, and having comprehensive information is key to a successful outcome. In addition to examining your skin, having this information tells me which modalities are needed (such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, micro-current, steam, massage or light therapies), and which are not wise to use so that we can avoid an unwanted outcome such as dark spots, injuries to the skin, allergic reactions, etc.
My skin care practice is built on a simple premise - that your skin reflects your health, lifestyle choices and state of mind.
In this article I'll briefly introduce you to some of the factors that I assess when developing a plan for my clients' complaints of acne, acne scars, signs of aging such as wrinkles and sagging, rosacea, sensitivity, sun spots, dark circles around eyes, puffiness, and more.
Health and Medications
The most common health issues I see affecting skin are problems with hormones, digestion and inflammation, which play roles in acne, aging and rosacea. Even muscle tension, TMJ, toothaches, headaches and neck pain affect how the face looks - wrinkles, sunken eyes, droopy jawlines, loss of volume.
Use of medications such as birth control, cold and allergy medications, antacids, steroids and more, also play a role. They can alter skin's ability to to heal, change hormone levels and normal digestive functioning, cause breakouts, dark or discolored patches, dehydrate skin or make skin thinner, more fragile or sensitive.
Exercise or lack of exercise
Exercise is good for overall health and therefore good for your skin. A good sweat flushes out impurities and boosts circulation for a healthy glow. However certain types of exercise will exacerbate skin problems, and modifications may be necessary. Exercise also releases a chemical messenger called endorphins, which signals a sense of well-being in the body. This helps with stress and tension, and when we feel good, we often look good.
Diet and Supplements
Clients often say "but I eat healthy foods". This is a nice start, but are you eating what your skin needs? We need to look at food groups and how foods are prepared and when they're eaten. Many people eat processed foods, which may have hidden sugars, simple carbohydrates, genetically modified ingredients and preservatives. Caffeine is a common daily habit for most people, which is dehydrating to skin. Adequate water intake is necessary for normal health, but needs increase with caffeine, medications, and health changes like illness, pregnancy and nursing. Supplements are also usually helpful for skin care concerns, but some can make you more susceptible to dark spots and acne.
Stress is a major contributor to health and skin problems. There are many ways to relieve stress, however I find that two components are crucial - exercise to raise heartrate and contemplative practice (like praying or meditation). All too often I meet clients who "don't have time to relax" or rely on mindless television, alcohol or drugs to ease stress. Easing the stress has a profound effect on breakouts, rosacea, skin healing and signs of aging.
Lack of sleep shows on your face, but also when the sleep quality isn't adequate. It matters when you go to sleep, in what setting, whether you sleep through the night, and if you dream. Sleep is the time that the body's cells engage in repair activities.
Work and Play
Work and play are the largest part of how we spend our days, and they have an effect on our skin health. For example, a gardener will likely have signs of aging related to sun damage, while the chef who is in a steamy kitchen all day gets very oily during work, and the traveling executive shows signs of dehydration. The particulars of their daily lives influence how their skin behaves. There are many clients whose work and play modes are out of balance, resulting in lacking fresh air and sunshine, or partaking in too much sun.
Exposure to Chemicals
Women's exposure to chemicals as they get ready for the day has been estimated at over 200 chemicals. Shower essentials (soap, body wash, body moisturizers, shaving preparations, etc.); hair products (shampoo, conditioner, detangler, styling gel, hair spray, etc.); skin care (cleansers, toners, moisturizers, spf's, etc.); makeup (concealers, primers, foundation, powders, eye and cheek colors, lipsticks, etc.); perfume, antiperspirants, etc. No wonder so many of my clients feel they have sensitive skin - their skin is always in a state of high alert waiting for the next chemical onslaught. These chemicals are not likely to add anything nutritious to feed the skin, so skin ends up devitalized and sometimes sensitized.
State of Mind = State of Your Skin
Emotions such as anger, fear and anxiety cause skin problems.
Skin actually reacts physiologically to what's on your mind by producing inflammation, hormones that decrease blood flow to skin, tightened muscles, irritated nerves, slowed protective lipid production, and impaired immunity and healing.
These physiological reactions cause a host of skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, wrinkles, lack of circulation, dullness/dryness, hives, sensitivity, damaged capillaries, and psoriasis.
So you see, its not all in your head, your body reacts to your emotions and they can play out on your skin.
More to Come
So you see its worth the time and effort on both our parts to take the time to assess the factors that influence your skin's functioning.
Now you see that its not only what you put ON your skin, but how your physical, mental and emotional health impacts your skin's functioning. I invite you to read more as I continue to add to this blog, and to consider the information with your doctor as we work to improve your skin.
Your Holistic Esthetician,
Growing up with extensive acne was transformational for Joanna. With the help of her Dad who was knowledgeable about natural healing, her acne calmed without drugs or harsh chemicals, but the experience left a passion to help others overcome skin problems by promoting healthy habits, building confidence and focusing on the positive. Now after 25 years of research and clinical practice, Joanna applies those same principles to helping aging skin look its best, including her own.
A Brooklyn-based holistic esthetician, massage therapist and educator with over 25 years of experience, Joanna Tringali's extensive education, intuitive skills and true desire to help has made her an in-demand skin care problem solver. Clients seek Joanna’s customized, transformative, deeply relaxing facial treatments and step-by-step home care plans to highlight their natural beauty and build confidence for a lifetime a beautiful skin.