&nbsp American Skin Association

Did you know? MELANOMA is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes, the skin coloring cells in the epidermis. The deadliest form of skin cancer due its ability to quickly spread in the body, melanoma is the third-most commonly diagnosed form of skin cancer (4% of cases), killing one American every hour.

Healthy Skin

Skin Protects Us

The skin, along with hair and nails, is the protective covering of the body. In addition, the skin prevents germs from entering the body and damaging internal organs. Skin supports the life of all other body parts and plays a role in maintaining the immune system.

Skin also helps to regulate body temperature through the sweat glands. When the body becomes overheated, sweat glands give off moisture (perspiration), which cools the body as it evaporates. As the body part responsible for the sense of touch, the skin works with the nervous system to alert the body to potential dangers by detecting pressure, pain, heat, and cold.

When exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, the skin manufactures Vitamin D, an essential vitamin for healthy skin. Vitamin D promotes the body's absorption of calcium, which is essential for the normal development of healthy teeth and bones.

Skin: The Body's Largest Organ

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It consists of three layers of tissues: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer. The epidermis is the paper-thin outer layer of the skin. The outer layer of the epidermis consists of dead cells that are always flaking or washing off. These are replaced by new cells manufactured in the lower portion of the epidermis, which move upward to the outside of the skin. As they do so, the cells harden and die. This cycle of cell production and replacement takes about 28 days.

The structure of skin

The epidermis also contains melanocytes, the cells that contain melanin — the pigment that gives skin its color. Skin color is determined by the amount of melanin in these cells, not cell number. The more melanin, the darker the skin.

The dermis, the middle layer of the skin, contains blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, sweat glands and oil glands. It makes up about 90 percent of the skin's thickness and is made up of collagen and elastic fibers that give the skin strength and elasticity.

The subcutaneous layer, the deepest layer of skin, is mostly composed of fatty tissue. It also contains blood vessels and nerves. The fat insulates the body from extreme heat and cold and provides a cushion to protect the body from injuries.

Hair & Nails Protect Us, Too

Hair and nails also protect the body. Hair keeps the head warm, while eyebrows and eyelashes protect the eyes from direct light. Hair also serves as a barrier to keep dirt from entering the eyes and nose. It is made up of keratin, a type of non-living protein made by living skin cells. Hair grows out from hair follicles.

Nails are protective structures made of hard keratin, a type of non-living protein made by living skin cells. Their job is to protect the sensitive area of the toes and fingers and to give the fingers and hands a grasping function. Nail cells form at the base of the nail in an area called the nail matrix (the lighter "half moon" on our fingernails).

The Importance of Making Healthy Choices

Your skin reveals to the world how healthy you are - and how old you are. Positive lifestyle behaviors keep you healthy and your skin looking younger. The following lifestyle behaviors can impact the skin:

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol enlarges a person's blood vessels, which can temporarily redden or flush the cheeks. When blood vessels are severely damaged by chronic drinking, the palms and soles also become reddened.

Chronic drinkers develop larger oil glands and blood vessels. This process results in the enlargement of the skin's pores, particularly of the nose and chin. Chronic drinking can cause liver disease, including cirrhosis, which changes the skin color to yellow.

Body Piercing

Much of the same advice about tattooing applies to body piercing. Infection is possible if the piercer does not follow proper health procedures, such as washing hands, wearing gloves, disinfecting surfaces, and using a new sterile needle. Infection is also possible if the individual does not care for the hole properly. About 15% of the population is allergic to nickel, a material common in body jewelry. These people may experience rashes as a result of exposure to the metal.

Depending on where jewelry is placed, body piercings can cause problems with speech, eating, hearing and other body functions. For example, body jewelry can be torn out during contact sports. Dentists are particularly concerned about the dangers of tongue piercings. Among the things that can go wrong as a result of tongue piercings are swelling of the tongue that can interfere with breathing, cracked teeth, choking on loosened or unscrewed jewelry, and infection with hepatitis, HIV or bacteria.

Exercise

Exercise contributes to weight maintenance, which helps maintain the smooth appearance of the skin. However, some forms of exercise can also damage the skin. For example, weightlifting to increase muscle size can produce "stretch marks" because of breaks within the connective tissue of the dermis. When a person loses weight too rapidly, his or her existing stretch marks will grow.

Exercise also increases sweating and skin temperature. Infections caused by bacteria and/or fungi may occur if proper hygiene is not performed after exercise. In addition, some clothes and shoes used while exercising can lead to blisters on the hands, feet or body.

Hair Products

Some hair dyes can cause allergic reactions. Be sure to test the dye on a small area of your skin (behind the ear or inside the elbow) and wait 48-72 hours before making a change in your hair color with these products.

Permanent waves can damage the hair, so take care not to perm your hair more often than every three months. If the perming solution is left on too long, is too strong or is applied to hair already damaged by dyes, the hair could break and the scalp could become irritated. Frequent tight braiding or tight ponytails, as well as hair straightening agents, flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers, can also cause hair loss or broken hair.

Hygiene

Hygiene impacts the health of the skin. A basic hygiene routine includes washing the face in the morning and before bed with soap/cleanser, warm water and a clean wash cloth, taking a shower or bath daily using warm water, soap and a clean wash cloth, cleaning nails, and washing hair regularly (e.g., every 2-3 days).

Nails & Manicures

If you manicure your own nails, be careful not to cut, remove or injure nail cuticles. Their job is to prevent infection and protect nail-forming cells.

Nail polish and nail glue can cause allergic reactions. Use a polish that is labeled "hypoallergenic" and nail polish remover that is acetone-free.

Sculptured nails - those that are custom-made to fit permanently over your natural nails - can cause severe and painful reactions. Doctors recommend that people who wear artificial nails take them off every three months to allow their natural nails to breathe.

Nutrition & Water

Eating a well-balanced diet helps insure that your body gets all the vitamins it needs to maintain healthy skin. The following nutrients help the life of your skin:

Vitamin A - Helps maintain healthy, smooth skin and hair

Riboflavin (B1) - Helps prevent skin disorders, especially around the nose, lips and mouth

Niacin (B3) - Helps prevent skin disorders, especially on parts of the body exposed to the sun

Vitamin B6 - Helps prevent skin disorders and cracks around the mouth

Vitamin C - Helps in healing of skin

Vitamin D - Helps keep skin healthy. (This "sunshine vitamin" is also manufactured by the skin with the help of sunlight.)

Water is the most important nutrient we consume. The human body is anywhere from 55 to 75 percent water. Without water, we could not survive. It is recommended that people drink 8 glasses of water a day.

Perspiration

Through the skin's process of sweating, the water we drink helps to cool our bodies in warm weather. When the body gets too warm, water seeps out through the sweat pores of the skin. Sweat evaporates from our skin using heat from the body to turn the liquid into vapor. It is harder for the sweat to evaporate quickly on a humid day, which is why we feel warmer than we do on a dry day at the same temperature.

Smoking

Smokers have more wrinkles around their eyes and mouths, especially since they're continually tightening their lips around cigarettes. Tobacco and cigarettes can cause the skin to turn an unhealthy, unnatural color.

Smoking and chewing tobacco can also hurt the skin through the development of lip cancer, mouth cancer and/or emphysema. When emphysema in the lungs causes shortness of breath, the skin may turn bluer due to lack of oxygen.

Stress

Stress plays a role in skin care, especially because many habits associated with stress hurt the skin. For example, lip biting can tear and damage skin. Rubbing and scratching the skin can cause a skin condition called dermatitis. Picking at the cuticle skin around your nails can also produce infection. Additionally, if you shower with very hot water to relieve stress, your skin may become dry and itchy. Stress can also play a role in the development of various skin ailments.

Sun Safety & Indoor Tanning

Limiting your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation while protecting your skin is the single most important thing you can do to maintain healthy skin. Please click here to visit our Sun Safety & Indoor Tanning page.

Tattoos

Tattooing has been performed as a decorative art form since ancient times. Today, it is growing in popularity and is also being used as a form of permanent make-up.

Tattooing involves injecting dyes into the skin with multiple injections from one or more needles. It can take several hours to complete a tattoo and the procedure may be painful. It may also cause some bleeding. It takes about 7 to 10 days for the tattoo to heal.

Tattooing received a bad reputation in the past due to tattoo artists who neglected health and safety concerns. This resulted in outbreaks of infectious diseases and banning of the practice in some states and localities.

The two biggest risks in getting a tattoo are allergic responses to the dyes and exposure to bloodborne pathogens. The dyes are made from chemical compounds ranging from metal oxides to synthetic organic dyes. The most common infectious diseases associated with tattoos are atypical mycobacteria and hepatitis B, although hepatitis C and HIV are also possible. Proper disinfection and sterilization procedures must be followed. Someone thinking of getting a tattoo should check with the state or local health department to see which regulations exist in the area, such as a requirement that only new sterile needles be used. Also, check to see if the tattooist has been certified by the Alliance for Professional Tattooists.

Dermatologists report that over 50% of the people who get tattoos eventually seek to have them removed, usually after they have entered the work world. Although tattoos can be removed, the process is very expensive and painful. It may take several months and could result in scarring.

Try These Tips for Better Skin in 7 Days

Better Skin in 7 Days: Here’s Every Tip You Need to Get Glowing By Emily Chiang | Sep 24, 2019

Is your beauty cabinet overflowing with skincare and makeup products that you purchased in hopes of achieving a flawless complexion? We know the struggle. The endless battle of trying to get perfect skin while pimples, fine lines, blackheads etc. - keep appearing overnight gets tiring. However, stress no more! Team Wander has put together a simple, no-fuss routine that will give you glowing skin in 7 days.

Day 1: Good Skin Starts With Good Habits

Starting today, it is important to practice good daily habits. We’re going to keep it simple and focus on cleansing, toning and moisturizing, morning and night.

Why These Three Steps?

Cleanse : Your face collects oil, dirt, and dust throughout the day so it is important to use a gentle cleanser to wash all the debris off.

Tone : Using a toner after cleansing ensures that there is no residual gunk left on your skin.

Moisturize: It is important to moisturize your skin regardless if you have dry or extremely oily skin. Using a good moisturizer will help to prevent water loss and keep your skin supple. Moisturizing helps maintain oil balance.

One our favorite moisturizers is the Hidden Glow Brightening Cream. It is a two-in-one skincare and makeup hybrid that instantly brightens skin with light diffusing optics and brightening extracts. It helps to give skin a smoother, younger looking appearance while diminishing the appearance of dark spots and fine lines. It can be used to prep skin for makeup or worn alone for a more radiant complexion.

Day 2: Eat Beauty-fully

On day 2, we are going to focus on what you eat because internal health is crucial in achieving glowing skin. Drinking water and eating nutritious foods is a great way to keep yourself hydrated and your skin happy from the inside out. Your skin reacts to what you are putting in your body, so the better you are eating, the better your skin will look.

Don’t forget to cleanse, tone and moisturize daily, morning and night in addition to eating healthy foods and drinking water. It is important to maintain this routine to ensure that the dirt your face collects is being washed off to prevent your pores from being blocked which causes pimples, blackheads, etc.

Day 3: Add In Exfoliation

Today is exfoliation day! It is important to remove dead skin cells so that your skin can be more receptive to your skincare products. There are many different types of exfoliators and different methods of exfoliating. It’s all about figuring out which is best for your skin.

Start your routine by cleansing.

Then, follow up with an exfoliator of your choice. It is important to choose an exfoliator gentle enough for your skin type. And you don’t want to over-exfoliate!

Next, follow with toner and moisturizer after all grime has been washed off.

It is important to remember that you should not exfoliate consecutive days in a row. Over-exfoliating your skin can work against your glowing skin process and cause more breakouts and dry patches.

Day 4: Mask On, Mask Off

Mask day! The day after exfoliating you may notice that your skin is smoother and softer. However, this does not mean that you can ease up on your routine! You should still cleanse, tone and moisturize your face daily and drink water and eat nutritious foods.

Adding a mask into your weekly routine is a great way to draw out any impurities and/or add additional moisture to your skin, depending on the type of mask.

The best mask to use the day after exfoliating is a hydrating mask.

Day 5: Sleep Your Way To Better Skin

By day 5, your skin should be visibly brighter, smoother, and you should definitely be on the right track to a glowing complexion. Don’t forget that it is important to sleep at least 6 to 8 hours daily. Not only is it good for your health, your skin will thank you too!

Day 6: Ready For Lift Off

It’s mask day again! On day 4, you will have noticed that you already used a mask and you might be wondering, why should I mask again? There are many different types of masks and today we are going to be using a peel off mask.

A peel off mask is perfect for removing gunk in your skin to reveal a brighter and smoother complexion. A peel off mask will actually pull debris and impurities from your pores, while a hydrating mask works to add an extra dose of hydration to skin.

Day 7: Your Glow Has Landed!

Congrats Wander Beauties! You’ve reached the week mark. By now your skin should appear more radiant, hydrated, softer, and smoother. However, just because you’ve reached day 7 doesn’t mean you can stop here. In order to maintain your glowing skin, you have to remember that it is important to cleanse, tone and moisturize daily. It is also essential that you remember to exfoliate 1-2 times a week and use face masks 1-2 times a week as “boosters” to your routine. Don’t forget the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Beauty starts from within so make sure you take care of yourself internally as well. Health is wealth!

Your 7-Day Skincare Schedule

Day 1 Cleanse Tone Moisturize Day 2 Cleanse Tone Moisturize

*Remember to drink water and eat nutritious foods!* Day 3 Cleanse Exfoliate Tone Moisturize Day 4 Cleanse Tone Mask Moisturize Day 5 Cleanse Tone Moisturize

*Don’t forget to sleep at least 6 to 8 hours daily! Your skin will thank you!* Day 6 Cleanse Tone Mask Moisturize Day 7 Cleanse Tone Moisturize

*Remember to maintain these good habits to ensure your skin stays glowing!*

Ready to challenge yourself to glowing skin? Update us on your 7 day journey to glowing skin by sharing your before/after @wander_beauty!

10 Beauty Hacks to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Glowing at Home

10 Beauty Hacks to Keep Your Skin Healthy and Glowing at Home

Local pros offer their at-home tips and treatments, including DIY face masks and scrubs.

For going on three years, our faces have been at the forefront of our daily lives. With so much attention on our skin (hello, masks and Zoom calls), it might feel like it’s time to give it a little extra love — after all, prioritizing healthy skin is not just about getting glowing skin, but also about maintaining our overall health.

Because we don’t all have the time (or the budget) to always run to our local esthetician for treatments, these 10 tips and hacks from local beauty experts are here to help you improve — and keep up with — your skincare routine from the comforts of your home. Bonus: A step-by-step guide on giving yourself a no-tools-needed face massage.

Use SPF daily, not just when you’re down the shore

While the sun’s rays provide essential nutrients and vitamins our bodies need, across the board our experts agree that protecting against overexposure year round is the most important part of maintaining healthy skin, reducing premature aging, and protecting against skin cancer. Sure, no one wants to have a greasy face all day, but according to Becky Fenlan, practice coordinator at About Face Skin Care, you don’t have to. She says there are plenty of tinted moisturizers, powders, and other products in which SPF is already included (so read the label to make sure the one you’re using or buying includes it), and that many oil-free products are so light you will forget you are even wearing any.

Another great way to protect your skin against the sun is to use a vitamin C product, says Viviane Aires, local esthetician and founder of Viviane Aires Skin Wellness. While it might be tough to remember to reapply SPF-included products every two or three hours, she says ones that feature vitamin C will help build immunity to catch and protect against anything coming into contact with your skin when the SPF might have worn off.

Wash your face!

While sometimes it might feel easier to take a full shower than wash your face before bed, don’t skip this step. That’s because throughout the day, our faces are exposed to endless bacteria. Luckily, “our skin is composed of many layers which act like a factory both keeping bacteria and harmful substances out of the body, while simultaneously excreting toxins out of the body,” says Jewellee Williams, owner of Crown Jewel Esthetics. At night, the pros suggest cleansing your face twice, once with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then a second time with your typical cleanser to remove any residual up.

Tirzah Blair, owner of Kári Skin, recommends adding a pea-size amount of clay to your cleanser for a deeper cleanse, or incorporating some baking soda for added exfoliation. She says it’s important to exfoliate the skin two to three times a week to ensure products absorb into the skin.

Reduce inflammation the easy way

We are all guilty of washing our face with warm water to “open our pores,” but the increased absorption of products from this method is a myth. Aires recommends splashing your face with cold water to better eliminate toxins. “Doing so helps to stimulate the receptivity of the skin, which enhances the absorption of products and also increases blood flow,” she says.

Cold products are also great for reducing inflammation — think ice packs on an injury. If you can’t book a cryo treatment, Aires recommends using beauty products such as eye patches, creams, moisturizers, face masks, and jade rollers in the fridge to keep them cold and better reduce inflammation. (Just don’t forget they are in there!)

If you need to reduce some inflammation around your eyes, Blair suggests placing thinly sliced cucumbers on your eyes for 15 minutes. The vitamin C and hydrating nature of the cucumbers can aid in brightening and de-puffing the area. You can even try green tea or chamomile tea bags instead; incorporating some caffeine into products works to constrict blood vessels, which in turn, can reduce inflammation and brighten the eyes.

Stop picking!!!

While watching extraction videos online might inspire the need to pop your own blemishes, don’t! Our experts agree at-home extractions can lead to lasting damage, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. Instead, Williams suggests icing your blemishes.

Get naturally plump lips

Fillers are an option, but if you don’t want to go that route, Blair says adding five drops of peppermint oil into your regular lip gloss will plump your lips at home. She also recommends maintaining hydrated lips by using petroleum-free products and exfoliating two times a week with a dry washcloth on damp lips.

Utilize your pantry for DIY treatments

Sure, your pantry has been keeping your belly full, but it can also be a huge resource for nourishing your skin. (Just be aware that some ingredients might not be appropriate for your specific skin type.) Julie Featherman, owner of Juju Salon, offers this weekly foot exfoliating treatment: Crush six to eight aspirin and dissolve in lemon juice. Stir in two tablespoons of honey to thicken into a jelly-like substance. Apply the mixture to the bottoms of your feet, paying extra attention to the callus prone areas. Cover with a warm cloth, elevate your feet for 10-15 minutes, then rinse.

For an anti-aging DIY face mask, Skin House owner Shireen Mustafa combines yogurt and honey to gently slough off old skin and leave you glowing, soft, and hydrated. (Skin House actually uses a higher concentration of this in their peels!) To create, mix two tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of raw honey in a small bowl. Apply to the face and let the mask dry for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.

To wake up your skin in the morning, the team at Freedom Apothecary recommends a simple body scrub of sugar, coffee grounds, and oil. Combine one cup of already-brewed coffee grounds, ¼ to ½ cup of brown sugar, and a dash of olive or coconut oil. Right before turning off the water in the shower, gently apply this mixture all over your body except your face — a product this coarse is too abrasive for the skin on your face — and rinse.

For an at-home facial, Blair suggests starting with a vigorous cleansing of the face, then steaming your face over a pot of boiling herbal tea for five minutes with a towel over your head. Next, beat together raw egg whites and paint over your face. Rest with cucumber slices over your eyes for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and moisturize into damp skin.

Change the way you’re showering

As much as we love long, hot showers and sudsy soaps, they actually take away from our skin’s natural thin layer of oil. Featherman says you should brace yourself for shorter, more tepid showers, reach for a gentle lotion-based cleanser, and use deep-hydrating body lotion or oil immediately after. Plus, you should “look for key ingredients like calendula, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and borage” when buying shower products.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

While slugging — the skincare method trending on TikTok that involves lathering the skin in a silicone-based product like Vaseline — is not for everybody, our experts offer other ways to moisturize and absorb. Williams suggests using high-concentrated serums to keep your skin cells functioning and healthy. Adeline Koh, owner of Sabbatical Beauty, recommends doing a multi-step regimen to target the various layers of skin. Use a six-step Korean beauty method, or simply start with a toner, then oil, and finally your moisturizer. “Think of it like a wardrobe,” Koh says. “The layers of hydration will keep skin plump and hydrated and you can take them on and off just like you would in different seasons.”

You can also use some at-home staples like olive or coconut oil, or honey to replenish your skin, as they contain hydrating humectants and naturally occurring antimicrobial properties, according to Rescue Spa founder Danuta Mieloch.

Focus on your insides too

In our busy lives it is easy to forget that what we put into our bodies is as important to our skin as what we put on it. “So much of our food is processed with hormones and preservatives,” Williams reminds us. “Anything that you digest can directly affect your skin health and the way your cells are functioning.” She suggests limiting your intake of dairy, alcohol, processed sugars, and saturated and trans fats to reduce inflammation and improve your skin’s overall health.

Additionally, our experts emphasize how proper hydration is essential in aiding the elimination of toxins from the body. Blair and Aires both say that adding a humidifier to living spaces is “life changing.” It will add moisture to the air, which helps to hydrate the skin from the outside in.

Adding collagen to your diet is another easy way of properly nourishing your skin. Collagen is the protein that makes up our hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints, and according to Fenlan, “after the age of 25, our body’s production of collagen starts to diminish.” The team at About Face Skin Care recommends adding a scoop of flavorless collagen powder into your water, coffee, or smoothies so you can seamlessly incorporate it into your diet.

Learn how to massage your face like a pro

When you are in need of a little extra glow and lift, face massages are a great way of increasing blood flow and assisting in lymphatic drainage, which helps to eliminate toxins in the body and improve the circulation of nutrients to vital organs. Below, Aires provides a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Breathe

It is okay to relax for a minute. The way we move through the world (starting at our phones, computers, tablets, etc.) causes us to hold a lot of tension in our necks, contributing to the lymphatic stagnation we experience. By taking three long breaths, you send a message to the brain preparing your body for relaxation and released tension.

Step 2: Oil your face

Warm an oil in your hands and apply it all over your face, moving down towards your neck and décolleté. Make sure you are creating a good glide, otherwise you will pull at the skin, creating damage.

Step 3: Scissor fingers

Separate your index finger from your middle finger and place the scissor shape around your ear with your index finger below your earlobe and your middle finger above it. Lightly massage the area in a circular motion to begin stimulating the lymph nodes. This will help to eliminate any stagnation. Repeat seven to 15 times. This will also help to stimulate the absorption of products. (Make sure to maintain your breath as you do this — we are relaxing here.)

Step 4: Knuckle sandwich

Take your index and middle fingers again, but bend at the knuckles as if you are making air quotes. Keeping your fingers in this position, sandwich your jaw bone at your chin between your two knuckles. Slowly move your hands up your jawline towards your ears, ending with the knuckle of your index finger below your earlobe. Repeat three to five times. This will help to define your jawline while also stimulating your glands. Repeat this same process, this time sandwiching your cheekbone between your knuckles, ending with your middle finger towards your temple.

Step 5: Brow lift

There are a lot of acupressure points in the eyebrow, so it is important to give love to this area. Following your brow bone, move your knuckles over the area focusing on an upward motion.

Step 6: Forehead

Moving from the center of your forehead down towards your temple, move your fingers in a circular motion over the area, pulling gently upwards.

Step 7: Back to the neck

Finally, take your hands and put light pressure on either side of your neck, pumping them lightly, five times.

By the end of this massage, your skin will be so relaxed that any products you apply should absorb more quickly and effectively. Finish with a facial moisturizer over your face oil, layering your products for the best results.

This guide contains additional reporting by Laura Brzyski.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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