We’re all familiar with the notorious “bad hair day”. What we are also pretty familiar with but don’t seem to take much note of is the just plain “bad mirror day”. You know the ones. You wake up and you have several sets of wrinkles that weren’t there yesterday and your skin, which has taken on a pasty or blotchy look just hangs there. Of course, the older you get the worse shockers bad mirror days can be, but the young experience their own version of these things. It’s just as traumatic to be 20 and wake up looking 35 as it is to be 55 and wake up looking 65 (or worse).
If you spent the night before slamming down daquaris or margaritas, the bad morning might not be such a surprise. We all know if we get a bit toasted, that is what our face is going to look like in the morning. Sometimes, though, why we look so awful some mornings just isn’t instantly apparent to us. We may wonder for a few minutes, do some sort of fix or make an attempt to hide the devastation, but in the long run how far do we go in examining why we look so much worse some days than on others?
The truth is that if you are experiencing bad mirror days fairly frequently, it is something you should be taking note of very closely. Your skin is an organ and when it is looking bad, it’s not going to be functioning all that well, either. If your skin is doing poorly, many other organs that you can’t see may be suffering just as badly. The bad mirror day is not something to just blow off and ignore.
When you find yourself frequently waking up badly, you need to start taking notes. There are many reasons that you might be looking worse than usual, or that it is becoming more usual to look pretty bad when you wake up. It’s time to start making a check list for yourself to get to the bottom of the situation. You will want to examine all the things that you can think of that might have a negative effect on your skin so you can see if there is some pattern so you can avoid irritants before the damage becomes permanent.
The first thing to ask yourself is if you drank enough water the day before. Dehydration will take an almost immediate toll on the body. Fortunately this one is easy to fix if you do it right away and don’t allow yourself to repeat the dehydration too often. If your checklist includes a lack of liquids as a usual item, start right there and make sure that you can write it off your list in the future. That may be all it takes to correct the bad mornings. If not, you need to look further.
Lack of sleep is another reason for looking run down that is pretty easy to figure out. Not getting enough sleep once in a while is pretty normal. If you are experiencing lack of sleep too often though, you are putting your whole body in jeopardy. You might need to make some life adjustments to ensure you are able to sleep a bit longer each night. Perhaps you have a job that is too demanding for you and need to find a different company to work for that is not hazardously demanding. Maybe you need to hire someone to take care of a few odds and ends for you that keep you running just a little longer than is healthy. Perhaps your spouse needs to be made to understand that you are having too many demands on your time and you need to have more help or to be left alone to sleep longer. Whatever adjustments would aid you in getting the extra sleep you need should be made. Lack of sleep can do more than make you look like a zombie. It can be deadly.
What did you eat the day before? Did you eat a lot of processed foods or drink soda pop? Write down everything you can remember. You might find a pattern in what you eat and how you look. Processed foods and beverages contain a myriad chemical additives and all forms of sugar and sugar substitutes. By writing down what foods you ate each time you wake up less than prime you may be able to narrow down exactly which foods you are having the worst reactions to and can get them out of your diet before they destroy your whole body’s health. The more of these chemicals and sugars you can cut out of your diet, the more generally healthy you will be and the better your skin will look.
Was your room too hot or too cold the night before your mirror screams at you? If your checklist shows that your room was either hotter or colder than normal when you wake up looking bad, you have an easy solution on hand. A room that is too hot can make eyes puffy and lined. A room that is too cold can just upset good sleep.
Are you exposing yourself to forms of pollution some days that you aren’t always exposed to? When you wake up looking bad, take a washcloth and pour some rubbing alcohol on it and wipe your face. If you are wiping off blackish dirt, think about where you were the day before. If you can avoid going somewhere that always results in black film on your skin, avoid going there any more often than you need to. If you have to go there, make sure to wear a non-toxic makeup foundation when you go. It’s much better to have toxic waste sitting on your makeup than absorbing into your body through your skin. Be sure to wash your makeup off thoroughly when you get home. If you remove brownish residue when you wipe your face, you aren’t getting your makeup off well enough before you go to bed and need to improve your cleansing routine. Even the best non-toxic makeup will still clog pores and keep your cells from breathing freely at night. After you wipe your skin clean with the alcohol, be sure and moisturize with a non-toxic moisturizer. Alcohol is a great cleanser, but it will dry your skin if you don’t moisturize after you clean with it.
Are you getting enough aerobic exercise? Your skin may suffer if you are not. Conversely, if you are exercising daily or most days and your skin is breaking out or otherwise looking bad, your body might be expelling toxins through your skin. Some of the previous points on the checklist will reveal if you are taking in too many chemical toxins. If you can’t correct the problem with better hydration and nutrition, you may have something more serious going on that you need to look into.
Illness can also show up on your skin and if all other points of your checklist don’t show up a problem and you are cleansing your skin thoroughly each night, you might need professional help to find out if you have a deficiency, imbalance, or even an illness you are not aware of in your body that you need to address.
No matter what you do, you will never be able to completely avoid an occasional bad mirror day. By keeping track of your activities though, you can reduce them to a minimum. . A little bit of applied vanity can go a long way in maintaining your body’s optimal health. It won’t hurt your self esteem to look better most days, either.
©2010: Sally Taylor
After I published my articles about soap, I received a question/comment about soap stripping the skin of natural oils. I thought this was an important issue, so here’s my answer to that one.
Will Soap Dry Your Skin Out?
There seems to be some information floating around about the danger of soap drying out skin. The issue can be a confusing one because of all the propaganda that the skin and hair care product industries have distributed in their attempts to sell their products. Unfortunately, much of the information out about soap drying out skin is not real helpful to those who want to keep youthful skin or returned damage skin to health. A quick look at the issues involved with soap use should clear up your skin questions pretty quickly.
Our bodies produce and coat our skin with natural oils. These oils are important in the functioning of our skin cells, but it can cause a few problems for skin health, too. This fact is more important to understand today than ever before. At one time our earth was natural and pure. Today we are exposed daily to over 6,000 toxins in our food, air, water, and living environments. Today we are seeing increases of bacterias and viruses which continue to become more dangerous as they become more immune to our efforts to kill them. As these elements keep hammering our skin to gain entry to our bodies, our skin’s health becomes more and more important to, and more difficult to, maintain and optimize.
Just as oils in our cupboards become rancid, so will the oils on your skin due to exposure to harmful elements. While the oil on our skin is vital to our health, it also makes a great adhesive for environmental toxins and germs. Many toxins do not merely adhere to skin, they actually soak into the body from it and thus gain entry without being filtered through our liver and other detoxifying organs. Toxins that gain entry to the body via skin are therefore much more toxic than those we ingest through our food and water. Germs also adhere to skin oils and multiply, some finding entrance through areas in which the skin integrity is compromised and through our pores. As long as oil which has collected these elements stays on the skin, your body is in a very compromised state. Skin oil needs to be washed off frequently to get rid of the collection of these toxins.
It is also, at this point, important to understand the purpose of soap. The purpose of soap is not to moisturize. It is to clean. A good soap made without toxins will do just that. Anti-bacterial ingredients are not necessary, and actually are poisonous and can cause much havoc to your liver and other vital organs. You do not need anti-bacterial agents. Soap should merely be a tool to help wash away oils contaminated with toxins and bacteria. Choose your soap very carefully and make sure you know what every ingredient in the soap does and make sure it has no toxic chemicals. Wash your skin with a wash cloth, soap and water. Once you are done, you need to moisturize and you need to do that without fail.
Do not fail to realize that skin needs moisture to stay supple, too. Moisture and oil must not be confused. Right after washing you skin will feel and look just a little plumper from the water used to wash. That water will evaporate rapidly though, leaving skin dry and tight. By adding a layer of moisturizer right away after washing, you can avoid that dryness. If you have dry skin, you may want to use a bit of oil after washing, but it is best to let the skin breathe naturally and replace the oils from your own metabolic process. If your skin is dry, that is a signal that you need to fix what is wrong with your metabolism. If your metabolism is running smoothly your body will replace the oils you washed off fairly quickly. Eating enough of the essential oils for your body goes a long way to maintaining the correct flow of oil to coat your cells. Omega 3 oils from krill oil and raw, ground flax seeds will provide vital oils for your body to use to replace skin oils.
Another issue with washing skin is that it takes time for your skin to metabolize Vitamin D3 you get from sun exposure. If you know you can get more sun exposure daily to keep a layer of this vital vitamin/hormone on your skin, washing will not set you back on your supply. If you know you are going to be unable to replace that layer daily, you might have to choose between hearty washing and just a light wash with plain water for a day or so until you can get more sun exposure so as to get rid of as many toxins as you can without disturbing your Skin’s vitamin D resources. If you have been exposed to a lot of toxins, you might well decide to wash heartily and take a Vitamin D3 supplement that day. Make sure you study the facts about your needs for this vitamin and how to take it for maximum absorption. Skin without enough Vitamin D will not stay healthy very long – and neither will any other part of your body.
Natural skin oil is vital to good skin, but once those oils become polluted, they do nothing more than harm your body. Washing your skin with non-toxic soap is a very important part of any skin care regime. It’s not a non-toxic soap that hurts your skin, it is not continuing with a good after wash care regime that will cause any negative long-term effects that you would see from washing alone.
©2010; Sally Taylor: Sals Secrets Revealed
The question crops up again and again. How should I be removing my makeup. It’s a good question, too, because improper makeup removal can be a disaster for keeping skin supple and healthy.
There are two main mistakes people make removing their makeup. One is that makeup isn’t removed completely. The other is that the wrong products are being used for removal. Both can be disastrous for skin integrity. Both will clog pores and coat skin so it can’t breath properly. Makeup removal doesn’t need to be a science, though and can be done in much more skin friendly ways than skin care product manufacturers will lead you to believe. It can be done more cheaply than they will tell you as well.
Many manufacturers want you to believe that soap is harmful to your skin. Some soaps are, but it is because they are loaded with toxins. If you look specifically for soaps that are toxin free, there is no problem with using soap on your face. Soap and wash cloth are very good and effective tools for cleansing makeup and airborne toxins from your skin. Light scrubbing with a wash cloth will remove makeup, dead skin cells, and many impurities that other methods of makeup removal will leave behind. Always remember that soap is not meant to moisturize your skin, it is meant to clean it. Make sure you rinse soap from your skin thoroughly. You can’t be over cautious washing soap away. All the extra water will do is help to flush pores clean of debris.
To make sure you have not left residue on your skin and to close your pores, wipe your skin with hydrogen peroxide to remove any residue that may have accidentally be left behind. A hydrogen peroxide molecule is actually nothing more than a water molecule with an extra atom of oxygen. The extra oxygen in the peroxide can be absorbed by skin cells and will give them a terrific boost. Peroxide can dry your skin on its own, just as soap and water can, though so you must always – let me repeat that – you must ALWAYS use a water soluble, toxin free moisturizer after cleaning your skin. It is important to make sure your moisturizers are water soluble to ensure they are not coating your skin in ways that defeat the purpose of washing your makeup off in the first place.
Never use a cleansing creams to take off makeup or air pollution residue. These products are sold by making people believe that soap is bad for your skin and that their products will keep skin soft and supple. Cleaning and moisturizing are NOT, and never will be, a single step process. You must clean first, and then moisturize. One step processes will leave residues that will choke the vitality out of your skin rather rapidly. You may think you are just aging badly when in actuality you are just completely smothering your skin cells and clogging pores. Removing mascara should be done before general makeup removal and it takes a little more effort to remove it than face makeups do.
Some mascaras can be removed with soap and water as well. If you are like me, you are using more high intensity mascara than that which washes off with water. I don’t savor the idea of getting caught in rain or some quick emotional outburst and wearing black streaks down my face as a result. There are some products on the market that are built for mascara removal, but most are nothing more than oils you can buy more cheaply or they are a mix of some pretty harsh chemicals. If you are using a mascara that can’t be removed without chemicals, it’s just plain time to rethink what you are doing to yourself. If you need more power than soap and water to remove mascara, use olive oil or coconut oil to remove it. Put a generous coat of the oil on your lashes and let it sit for awhile. Adding some warmth to it by blowing heat from a blow dryer can speed up the process if you are in a hurry to remove it.
When taking the mascara off, do not pull at your eyelashes. If the oil has not worked completely even gentle pulling can pull lashes out. Rub the oil off with a cotton ball or wash cloth. Do not use paper towels or toilet paper to do this as there are wood fibers in paper that can clog pores and otherwise irritate your skin. If light rubbing does not take your mascara off, then dab more oil on your lashes and give it more time to work. After mascara is removed, the residual will be removed when you wash the rest of your makeup off of your skin.
No matter how well you remove makeup, your pores will capture and build up some elements over time. It is important to remember to clear your pores once or twice a week no matter how well you take your makeup off. Once debris does get lodged in pores, washing just isn’t enough to clean them out and the result can be very unwelcome. Steaming can help quite a bit to clean pores out. There are also face masks you can use for more heavy duty clogging problems. Masks that have to be washed off are often more powerful than peel off facials. By using a non-toxic facial periodically with a good facial mask, your skin will keep its integrity for years longer than you may be expecting. That kind of surprise is worth the effort.
2010 © Sals Secrets Revealed