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Your face and skin are windows into your health. Skin issues and other undesirable facial flaws are often thought of in terms of how they’re unpleasing to the eye and take away from a person’s natural beauty. But this way of thinking disregards the important fact that circles under your eyes, red cheeks and unusual acne that pops up in places such as your ears or along your forehead can tell a tale about nutritional deficiencies and the health of your organs.

What your FACE can tell you about your health (including spotting if you need to go on a diet based on where your blemishes and wrinkles are).

 

Acne/Breakouts

Adult acne or breakouts can be caused by all sorts of issues, but are most directly related to hormones and stress. Genetics can play a role in adult acne.  Acne can be caused from hormonal changes or imbalances related to birth control, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and peri-menopause. When stress levels rise the body produces more stress hormones, which cause over production of oil and thus a higher chance of a breakout. Lifestyle choices like exercising and sweating may help to get circulation and blood flow going.

“Chin or jawline breakouts are typically hormonal acne. Try exfoliating more on the chin and forehead and be aware of any hair product that may be getting on your forehead. Always clean your cell phone anything that may touch your chin.  Clean all makeup brushes as to not spread bacteria.”  Dr. Gary Goldfaden

While food doesn’t cause acne, it can attribute to it and make for an unclean, unhealthy appearing complexion. Glycation is the main enemy of skin and the aging process of the body.. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin, which excels the aging process. Foods that feed glycation/cause inflammation in the body/skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Puffy Eyes + Dark Circles:

Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent. Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention, Allergies Sinus problems, Dehydration, Fatigue and lack of sleep, Stress, Crying, and Aging that can cause inflammation and swelling.

Puffy eyes could also be related to kidney problems, and these should be investigated by your doctor.

Redness:

Blood vessels are more apparent in people who genetically have thin skin, but red skin can also be the result of aging and skin damage. Sun exposure can increase redness, inflammation, and eventually skin cell damage all over the face.

Dr. G says increase anti-inflammatory, cooling and soothing ingredients /foods

  • Red Tea (Rooibos)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Green Tea
  • Oatmeal
  • Cucumbers

If excessive redness does happen, try applying a cool compress, splashing your face with very cold water, going indoors and allowing your body to cool off. Wearing a little concealer on areas that do tend to get red can help too.

You are what you eat:

Diet: “Eat a diet high in anti-oxidant rich foods such as leafy greens and berries and foods high in essential fatty acids (salmon and almonds). Stay away from foods that can encourage and cause Glycation. Some people may benefit from cutting dairy products out of their diet.”

“Overall signs of loss of elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging may be caused by Glycation. The Glycation process (sugars from food and alcohol, that break down the collagen fibers in the skin) speeds up the aging process. Foods that feed Glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol. “

“Smoking can attribute to dull and sallow looking skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, enlarged pores and an overall unhealthy complexion.” Dr. Gary Goldfaden

 

 

Dark circles and puffiness under the eyes result from blood escaping from tiny facial capillaries that have been compromised. Topical products in conjunction with a few easy DIY tips can get your eye area healthy, hydrated and bright!

 

Do It Yourself ideas:

Dr. G says, “Sleep with your head slightly elevated. Fluid retention occurs while we sleep because we are lying flat and circulation can be affected. Excess sugar, salt and alcohol will add to fluid retention. Consumption of all these pollutants can escalate swelling and puffiness to the eyes and face.”

OR

  • Try sleeping on a silk pillowcase. This will keep skin from drying out as cotton absorbs oil.
  • Sleeping on silk pillowcases or wearing a silk eye mask can also help reduce face lines/creases in the morning and not tug on the skin as you move throughout the night (less wrinkles)!
  • Put a cool air humidifier next to the bed to keep skin hydrated
  • Ice in the morning can help relieve puffiness
  • Lymphatic drainage (start near the tear duct and massage upwards and across the brow bone. Pay attention to the sinus area as well)
  • Try keeping Red tea bags in the freezer. Red Tea helps with inflammation and redness!

Ingredients to look for in topical eye treatments

  • Arnica + Vitamin K- Arnica is used for muscle soreness and inflammation and Vitamin K is helps to stop bruising and bleeding under the skin. A powerhouse combo!
  • Soy + Rice bran peptides- have been shown to inhibit elastase and collagenase, (these break down collagen and elastin in the skin) and can help the skin retain its natural firmness.
  • Quinoa seed extract-high levels of Riboflavins-protein to rebuild thinning skin
  • Caffeine- depuffs!

The skin under the eyes is quite different from the rest of your face, and as you age, it reveals aging signs up to 20 percent faster than the rest of your face (yes, scary!). That’s because of a whole confluence of disheartening factors. The skin here is extremely thin, with the lowest elasticity, firmness, and oil production, the worst barrier function (i.e. limited absorption of actives and poor protection from environmental stressors) and , and often times develops the deepest wrinkles. Here’s what you need to know and practice with your eye treatments through the decades.

20’s – Prevention (and late night recovery repair)

Woke up looking as rough as you feel? 20’s are a decade of work hard, play hard.

Treatment: In need of a quick fix to telltale signs of overindulgence and under-sleeping, like puffiness and dark circles, look for eye creams that contain anti-inflammatory fighting ingredients like Vitamin K, Arnica, Caffeine and/or soothing tea extracts.

30’s – The first signs

We begin to see some signs of aging in the early 30’s. These changes include hyperpigmentation or”dark circles” around the eyes. Additionally, we may begin to see some fine lines and textural changes around the eye area due to the thinness of the skin.

Treatment: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory creams containing vitamin A, C and E can also help to ward off free-radicals and give an extra boost to collagen production (hello enhanced plumpness to the skin). By building collagen the treatments help to minimize the appearance of dark circles that are in-part caused by blood vessels close to the surface of aging, thinner skin and reduce inflammation around the eye area.

40’s – Age is here to stay

Throughout the 40’s, dark circles may become more prominent, along with more visible lines. Even after getting ample sleep (8 hours), your eyes are giving you that “tired look” even when they feel fresh; we’ve all been there!

Treatment: Retinol creams or for those who can tolerate them, gentle prescription-strength retinoids can be helpful. These creams help to increase cell turnover thereby minimizing dark-circles and textural changes. They also can help stimulate collagen production thereby preventing volume loss down the road.

50’s +- Soften Wrinkles

Say no more…

Treatment: In addition to continuing to use products that contain retinol, anti-oxidants and skin rejuvenating properties, peptide-based eye creams often present an effective alternative (especially if you have sensitive skin) if you’re looking for a way to avoid dermal fillers or plastic surgery. Peptides are designed to provide collagen-boosters (say goodbye to those stubborn fine lines) to your skin and improve circulation, so you can often expect reduced darkness and an increase in skin plumpness and elasticity.