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The Spa Facial ~ The Basics of Skin Care

Skin Care Basics for Your Age Range

The 20's

Condition: Gradual disappearance of baby fat. Complexion loses some of its luster. Skin cell production slows so you get a build-up of dead, rough cells that don't retain moisture. Freckles, uneven pigmentation, enlarged pores.

Concerns: Oiliness (T-zone) from overactive sebaceous glands. Stress induced breakouts.  Stress wreaks havoc on the skin because it triggers the release of cortisol and hormones that cause acne.

Maintenance:  Get serious about sun avoidance. If you use sunscreen regularly, you can reverse a lot of damage before you hit your 30's. This is the decade to establish habits that will benefit your skin for the rest of your life. Try sleeping on your back-sleep creases eventually become permanent wrinkles.

The 30's

Condition: Cell turnover slows dramatically at 30, so the biggest change is often dullness and pigmentation problems. This is when all the damage you did in your teens surfaces! Texture changes, splotchy pigment, sallow skin tone, and fine lines. (unless of course you stayed out of the sun, in which case you still have clear, smooth complexions. Good for you!!!!).

Concerns:  Freckles, sun spots pigmented scars, and splotchy patches start to surface or darken. Prime time for developing rosacea: red, raised, bumpy areas usually concentrated near the center of your face and often mistaken for acne. Fine expression lines usually show up.

Maintenance:  Since nature is putting the brakes on your cell-turnover rate, it's time to start exfoliating about once a week. Choose an alpha-hydroxy acid scrub or cleanser to remove dead surface cells. AHA's have the added benefit of lightening sun damage and uneven pigmentation. Now is the time to start using an eye cream.

The 40's

Condition: The good news is that you may have finally outgrown your acne and a result of decreased oil production. Not so good news: drier skin and rougher texture. There are other subcutaneous changes, too: Your face loses volume because you are losing fat deposits, collagen and elastin. These losses can usher in the era of static wrinkles.

Concerns:  Getting moisture back into your skin should be top priority. (CP serum and rebuilding your collagen and elastin). Dryness may become extreme enough to cause eczema- rough, itchy patches- especially on the cheeks and chin. A thick night cream of facial moisturizer can help hydrate and soothe the itching.

Maintenance:  Almost every person would benefit from the combination of a moisturizing cream and a retinol product. Use a SPF 15 cream in the morning. Daily exfoliating may be useful. And start using a very emollient eye cream. Your eye area has thin skin, so by the time you are 40, you really need to add moisture.

The 50's and beyond

Condition: Fluctuating hormones may cause both dryness and breakouts. The decrease of collagen and elastin over the past two decades has left your skin thinner and possibly more sensitive or reactive to the sun. Wrinkles near your eyes, near your mouth, and on your forehead have become more deeply etched. If you've been practicing good habits, your skin texture will still be smooth and soft, and your skin tone clear.

Concerns:  Increased sensitivity to sun combines with dryness, lines and looseness especially near the mouth and along the jawline. Dramatic weight loss can leave your face sagging so loose weight gradually.

Maintenance:  A simple, sensitive skin cleanser, moisturizer with SPF, and an ultra-emollient Retin-A. In addition to eye and neck creams, there are fade creams for hands. But fast firmers (gel-like ointments that form a film) won't last more than a few hours.

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