- Refill that cup so you can be there for others,
- we can’t give what we don’t have,
- Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.
We’ve heard all the quotes and seen all the memes - so why is it so difficult to justify self-care?
I am diving deep into the difference between self-care and selfishness and giving you solid justification to care for your skin along with some cold weather skin care tips in this 7 Day Glow podcast.
SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH
We post regular posts on social media encouraging our followers to take time out for self-care - emotional and physical. About every seventh post will eventually have a troll-like comment stating something along the lines that Self Care is selfish.
This is a real issue for so many of our customers - is there a correlation between self-care and narcissism or selfishness? No, not at all.
So why do so many of us feel so darn guilty when we take steps to care for ourselves? There are lots of reasons for this and we will dive deep on that topic in later episodes, but for now it's enough to recognize that if you are feeling guilty for taking time to care for yourself you are not alone. And it’s understandable to have that feeling - but you really need to address it and conquer it. I use the mantra “Self care is not selfish” when guilty feelings slide in.
It’s natural, I think especially for women and young mothers, to feel guilty for taking those moments of “me time”.
But taking care of ourselves is truly essential - in fact, it is your responsibility to care for yourself. What happens if you stop caring for yourself? You become unhealthy, your body deteriorates, your emotional self degrades.
This is not as simple as a cute meme - this is serious stuff.
We MUST take time to rest, eat well, and especially care for our skin. Skin health, defending the act of self-care, and giving easy to use strategies to incorporate self care into your daily routine is at the very heart of the 7 Day Glow podcast.
So...what counts as self-care? Anything that boosts your health, whether it be physical or psychological health. That covers a huge range of topics which we’ll be tackling over the many coming weeks of podcasts here at 7 Day Glow.
Today we are going to tackle one of the most primary self-care acts - why your skin needs special attention and self-care.
Just by virtue that skin is your body’s largest organ, you can justify self-care in this area. That makes skincare a great place to jump into the self-care pool.
I know if I say the words “Skin Biology” all of your memories of high school biology will jump into your mind and you will immediately zone out. You are thinking "booooriiing".
In order to take control of your skincare self-care you have to UNDERSTAND how your skin works and why caring for your skin is essential. Once you understand how your skin functions you'll be EMPOWERED and will be able to make decisions for yourself about your skincare.
A large and important body system, skin comprises 12 to 15 percent of an average person’s weight and is made up of approximately 19 million cells. Your Skin sheds 30,000 - 40,000 cells per day and works continuously to replace these lost cells with fresh, new cells.
Your skin is a vital organ that must maintain a delicate balance between the body’s internal functions and the external forces we interact with each day.
Some of what follows may seem like a lot of "techno babble", I've tried to keep this as simple as possible but at the same time there are key words you need to understand so that you can decipher what skin companies are talking about in their advertising.
By appreciating the layers of the skin and the remarkable work it performs daily to protect and support our internal organs as well as present a beautiful face to the world, we can better appreciate the importance of skin care and why a holistic approach to skin care can support your overall health and wellness.
First - The Outer Layer – It’s called the Epidermis. The epidermis acts as a protective barrier for the body. It is this layer that we see when looking at our body.
This hard-working layer prevents things like water, ultraviolet (UV) rays, dirt, and harmful microorganisms from gaining access to our body. As an independent system, your skin undergoes a complex series of processes to recycle new and dead cells every 14 to 28 days.
The process of recycling skin cells starts deep within the skin with layers of fresh, new cells. As new cells move outward toward the surface of the skin they flatten and look kind of like building blocks.
Upon reaching the uppermost layer of the skin, cells are discarded through natural exfoliation as they reach the end of their lifespan.
The “skin barrier” (or stratum corneum) is the very outermost point of the skin. Protecting this outer barrier is an essential element to healthy skin as this barrier protects new cells underneath.
We can think of the outer layer of skin as a wall composed of dried out cells. Lipids hold these outer cells in place, much like cement holds bricks.
The dried out skin cells in the outermost layer of our skin die and slough off regularly when we are young. As we age, this process takes longer, which is why we must assist our skin to rid dead cells through cleansing and exfoliating.
The next layer is the Active Layer called the Dermis. This layer is made up of a vast network of essential elements. The dermis houses the essential fiber proteins called collagen and elastin, both of which are crucial to the strength and elasticity of the skin.
Elastin makes up the skin’s connective tissue, allowing skin to stretch and bounce back when needed.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is what makes skin look naturally plump and smooth when we are young. Collagen breaks down and depletes more and more as we age, causing sagging skin and a reduction of the youthful “plumpness” we see in younger skin.
Supplementing and supporting collagen is essential to fighting the effects of aging.
Also present in the dermis are nerve endings, hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands that produce oil to lubricate skin. Thin blood vessels called capillaries lie in the dermis, helping to transport nutrients and sweep away waste by-products.
The deepest layer of the skin is called the subcutaneous layer. This layer is made up of fat cells that help control temperature and provides support for veins and internal organs.
The subcutaneous layer is where water and body fat are stored. It is where the padding for muscles and bones exist and where new skin cells are formed from nutrients transported by the capillaries. Connective tissues in this layer connect skin to muscles.
There you have it - the most simplified explanation of the layers of the skin possible. I know that was a lot to digest at one time. If you want to review this, we’ve included it all in the show notes on our website at 7dayglow.com along with some visuals to help you better understand.
So now, understanding how the skin is built, you can see how important the skin is for protecting the rest of your body! You can understand why caring for your skin is essential to your overall health. Also add in the benefits of aromatherapy, massage, and routine that comes with regular skin care, and you can call it multi-tasking!
WINTER SKIN CARE TIPS
Winter in a cold weather climate can mean sub-zero temperatures, harsh winds, winter heating, and less time outdoors. Dry. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of Winter. Temperature fluctuations and dry air can sap skin’s natural oil supplies, leaving it dry, stressed, or looking dull.
Living in northern Wisconsin, I really enjoy outdoor Winter sports and ice fishing so my skin can take a real beating in Winter. As early as October my skin gets drier and my fine lines are more noticeable.
Even if you stay indoors during the Winter, indoor heating, wood burning fireplaces, those long, hot showers….seriously the only time I feel truly warm all day long...all of that contributes to dry skin.
So the key to beautiful Winter skin is adding hydration and protection anywhere you can!
The first steps I take in Fall are to turn on my in-home humidifier and to drink more water and tea throughout the day. Well hydrated skin begins with a well hydrated body and environment.
Start by increasing the humidity in your home with a humidifier. Added Humidity will help your skin to feel softer and more supple. It helps skin retain moisture and reduce the flakiness that comes with dry skin. 60 percent humidity is ideal to prevent dry skin but setting your home humidifier to 40 percent humidity might be a more practical goal for home humidity. If you can’t add a whole house humidifier at least add a small, inexpensive unit in your bedroom. I was able to find one for about $15 dollars at Walmart. You do need to keep refilling the water well but if you keep your bedroom at a good humidity level you will have conquered half the battle as you sleep.
Another easy change is to drink more water or add warm herbal tea to your routine. Look for tea blends that support skin health for an added boost. We will get into foods and teas that support skin health in later podcasts - for now look for teas that include hibiscus, rose hips, and green tea. I love to breathe in the steam from a hot cup...it’s like a mini humidifier for my sinuses!
You’ll want to aim for about half your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 200 pounds shoot to drink 100 ounces of water. Coffee and anything caffeinated doesn’t count since caffeine is a diuretic and dries you out.
This is the time to make some changes to your skincare routine to prepare skin for the coming Winter weather.
I’m going to give you a disclaimer here. I own and designed the formulas for 7 Day Glow’s oil based skincare line so I will be referencing these products in today’s podcast - but I will also be giving alternate instructions for those of you who prefer water based skincare alongside my personal preferences. I just want to share what I do personally, and 7 Day Glow is what I use so you will be hearing about it in my podcasts.
First: Double Cleanse for a clean slate. Instead of using super-drying alcohol based make-up removers or wipes opt for an oil based cleanser or pre-cleansing oil. An oil based pre-cleanse formula will loosen debris and help sweep away make-up while nourishing skin with botanic infusions and rich seed oils. Follow with an oil based or moisture boosting cleanser.
Here’s a tip: To keep the oil out of your hairline tie a scarf or purchase a terry cloth headband to hold your hair back. Stop applying oil about an inch from your hairline. As the oil heats it will migrate outward on its own to cover the remaining distance.
I personally use 7 Day Glow’s Clarify BHA Hydrating Cleanser morning and night. The light oils and salicylic acid in Clarify keep my pores clear without drying my skin.
I double cleanse to remove makeup in the evening. When I talk about double cleansing I mean I remove my make-up and do an initial cleanse then go back and cleanse one more time. Winter dryness can require the need to exfoliate more frequently. Double cleansing helps with this. It also clears the skin so face oil and all the good stuff that comes after cleansing can sink in more deeply.
With an oil based cleanser I might opt to just lightly rinse to keep more of the hydrating oils on after I’ve cleansed. If I’m wearing makeup I’ll wipe off the entire cleanser, then do the second, double cleanse, and just rinse on the final cleanse.
Here’s another TIP: After rinsing your oil based Cleanser from your face DO NOT dry your face, immediately follow with face oil. The oils in the face oil will trap the remaining water onto your face and provide even more hydration for your skin.
Next: Draw moisture to your skin.
Indoor heating and harsh winds can wreak havoc on your skin. Moisturizing is more important than ever if you live in a cold climate during Winter and while the holidays are fun they can be stressful, which also takes a toll on your skin. Be extra diligent about applying moisturizer and staying hydrated.
Apply moisturizer at least morning and night. Pay extra attention to underneath your eyes, your cheeks, and your forehead because that’s where we see lines first and have the driest skin.
I personally use 7 Day Glow’s INFUSE moisturizing oil with Ceramides and Collagen. It is built with oils that are meant to sink in quickly and deeply. And if you will recall from the first part of today’s podcast - your skin needs added collagen support as you age.
It will not leave your skin feeling oily like many facial oils. For this reason, we sometimes hear from customers that their skin is feeling dryer than expected after using INFUSE. No worries! This just means your skin is drinking in all the amazing ingredients in this moisturizing oil.
If you love water based skincare products you might want to consider switching up to a heavier, jarred cream during the winter. Or use your regular lotion in the morning and the heavier cream moisturizer at night or maybe try a face oil. You could even add a few drops of face oil to your lotion or cream to give it an extra boost!
A hydrating mist or toner could be sprayed on right over makeup! One with Hyaluronic acid can be really nice to boost moisture at any time. Natural Hyaluronic Acid draws moisture to cells and works to hold it there, where it can help hydrate parched cells. Or I sometimes make a hydrating mist by simply adding a few drops of face oil to a small mist bottle of distilled water. I just shake it and spray it on. It’s nice to apply to a dry scalp too.
Sometimes dry air and harsh winter weather can cause breakouts for me. If I’m having breakouts, I break out a Resurfacing Treatment!
I use 7 Day Glow’s Boost Glycolic Resurfacing Treatment like a spot treatment and apply it directly to the affected area, then I leave on for 10 minutes and I rinse it away.
Or for an all day treatment when my skin is leaning toward being too dry, I’ll mix a drop or two of Boost with Infuse Moisturizing oil and apply it to any spots. That way I can just apply the mixture under my makeup and not have to think about it. Be sure to spot test your mix before leaving it on for a full day to ensure it is not too strong for your skin type. It’s important to space out use of AHA products because they can dry your face out and actually make it rougher if used too much.
Don’t skip Exfoliatng. Dead, dry skin cells can build up during Winter months, leading to dry skin, a dull complexion, clogged pores, or even Winter break-outs. While you may think of Exfoliating Treatments and Masks as drying, Masks and Exfoliating treatments are essential to having glowing skin in Winter. Removing dry, dead cells makes way to nourish skin deeply to allow your other products to be more effective.
If you have not exfoliated in a long time your skin may actually feel rougher after using an exfoliator for the first time in awhile - don't stress, this is just those dead skin cells sloughing off. They will break away as you wash your face and your skin should be glowing in no time.
The key to success with any skincare routine is to get to really know your skin and its needs. You can only really know your skin if you work with quality skincare products and take regular, daily care of yourself. It takes 6 weeks of consistent use to see change in your skin so don’t stop, don’t give up, keep going!
Simplify your life, but not at the expense of your skin health. Note what works for you, jot down or save our seasonal tips. Experiment! Before long you'll have your 7 Day Glow locked in 24/7.
If you've not had a chance to try 7 Day Glow yet I highly recommend starting with the 7 Day Glow Sampler Set. It includes free shipping and Free enrollment in our online 7 Day Glow skincare course. This course teaches everything you need to know to get started with your new products and even includes a 20% off coupon at the end of the course.
Thanks for tuning in today! I hope I helped you to learn more about your skin and why skincare self care is such an important part of your day. The simple changes to your skincare routine that we shared today will have your skin glowing through Winter. Keep in mind you may not see immediate results, it takes up to 6 weeks to see real change in your skin. But knowing that, if you start making changes now you can be Glowing by the holidays.
I am the natural skincare formulator, biologist, certified clinical aromatherapist, and obsessed self-care advocate who founded 7 Day Glow's holistic, simple skincare approach. I'm on a mission to empower women with the tools they need to find and maintain their Glow simply and with confidence.
Notice: These statements and blog content have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in our articles and podcasts are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice. The content of these blogs, podcasts and associated products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using products or following blog/podcast advice.