You know how it can be challenging as Indoor Cycling Instructors to convince those in the weight room that it's important to cardio train in addition to lifting?
Sometimes it's the same way for me about skin care, sunscreen and convincing people of our skin's importance in general.
I worked with an instructor other day that wanted to do something about her age/ sun spots. I was excited to see her and had great products in mind that would help reduce her current spots and prevent new ones from forming. When I mentioned sunscreen was the #1 thing she could do to prevent new spots from forming, she said, "No way, I never have, and never will wear sunscreen".
Hmmm, I wondered. Why no sunscreen, ever? (Too psychological for me to figure out). But I did wonder...if we thought about caring for our skin like we do our cardiovascular system, it might hit home.
So, here's a quick look at our skin:
-It's our largest organ and needs to be taken care of!
Age spots, sun spots, or any new unwanted skin occurrence, is a sign of trauma and onset of skin weakening. Just like we would address high blood pressure/ sugar, weight gain, chest pain, etc., we need to address noticeable changes in our skin. A note here: if you recognize a new mole, change in an old mole, or any troublesome spot that won't heal, please consult your doctor immediately.
- It's the first line of defense against pollution into our body!
The 'invasion' if you will, of pollutants- free radicals, elector-magnetic rays, UVA and UVB rays and all the other unidentified pollutants flying around. I used to scoff a bit at this pollution thing (living in Minneapolis and all), but I don't anymore. All I need to do is look at my car after it's been parked all day downtown Minneapolis. The build up is rather amazing. It didn't take long to correlate the fact that this build up was also happening to me...us...on our skin. Yikes! If our skin is compromised through years of abuse (as mine has been), it can't do a good job of protecting us against pollutants getting into our system. The good news is it's never too late to help it repair and restore itself- much can be done. We can also use products to add additional protection. These products do not have to be expensive to do a good job.
-It's complicated and has many facets:
The top layer of our skin is the epidermus and the layer underneath it is the dermis, followed by the subcutaneous layer.
Cosmetic products work at the dermal/epidermal junction (DEJ). This is significant because, at the DEJ, the bloodstream and lymphatic system is not affected. (However, cellular renewal and transformation is still greatly effected at the DEJ.) Prescription (Rx) products work beyond the DEJ, going into the bloodstream and lymphatic system. For all intents and purposes, we will be discussing cosmetic products working at the DEJ here at PRO/STYLE.
As I tell my daughters, it is SO much easier (and less expensive) to prevent aging (i.e. compromising our skin) than it is to reverse aging (which is possible at different levels depending on the damage).
We have such an amazing and unique opportunity to be in the elements practicing and honing our trade. Whether it's biking, running, walking, swimming, skiing...whatever we're doing, I'd love to hear from you about what's worked and hasn't, what you love and don't, or any questions you have.
And, as always, let me know what you'd like me to post about. Thanks!
Please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment below.
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I find the skin care products confusing, misleading and at times just silly and useless.
I am guilty of not taking care of my skin at all. But this comes after several failed attempts to find what product works best and I can tolerate.
I hate the feel of stuff on my skin. Particularly oily stuff.
I would like to have a better understanding of what works and what is snake oil.
If you could educate us on what to look for on skin cleaning and protection from the elements and razors in a way that we, mere mortals, can understand it would be great.
The only thing I currently do is I clean my skin with witch hazel once or twice a day after shower.
I think a lot of skin care products are just what you said: confusing, misleading, silly and useless!
I hope I can help you find things that work well and that you can tolerate.
I don’t like oily feeling things at all, probably because I had oily skin when I was younger, and still do at times now.
Washing our face can be kept very simple- a french milled soap for example, or a basic liquid facial soap picked up at Target or Walgreens. The most important thing is keeping our skin clean, not necessarily what we wash it with!
You are instinctively doing well with Witch Hazel and if your skin tolerates it well, keep using it. It’s a great plant astringent/ anti oxidant and acne fighter used in many aftershaves!
Sunscreen is one of the things that has been proven to prevent skin cancer and all the dark spots/ aging spots we see as we get older, especially if you are fair skinned like me.I kinda talked about it adnauseum here:https://www.indoorcycleinstructor.com/icipro-instructor-training/you-scream-i-scream-we-all-scream-for-sunscreen/ because I have seen too many of my friends suffer the horrible effects (and even death) from skin cancer.
Many men use the Clarins sunscreen I mention in the post because you can’t see it, smell it or feel it, yet it really works.
I personally shave with cheap (Suave, bought at Target) hair conditioner. So do my kids. However, I sell a lot of Clarins Men Ease Shave Gel: http://www.clarinsusa.com/ClarinsMen-Shave-Ease-Oil/C070100004,en_US,pd.html?start=1 if you feel like spending $25 instead of $1.99! 🙂
I also see men buying a lot of Kiehl’s products at Nordstrom when I am working there, although many of the Kiehls products feel ‘heavy’ (oily) to me.
Hope this helps a bit and I hope, as a mere mortal myself, to bring some clarity to this crazy cosmetics industry.
Let me check on the razors John currently uses. He orders them online and like them a lot. The girls and I like them in the shower after he ‘discards’ them. I’ll get back to you!
Thanks for your reply.
I’ll be picking up some of the Clarins at my local Nordtrom. Is this the one you recommended?
Did I read correctly? You shave with hair conditioner?
Haha, you did read correctly, we do shave (our legs) with cheapy cheapy hair conditioner. I know quite a few men that find it helpful in shaving their face.
YES, that’s the right sunscreen! Let me know how you like it. Give it a good shake to mix up the titanium dioxide and cantaloupe extract. Remember the tops of your ears. If you have any left on your fingers, use it on the top of your hands, or on the back of your neck.
Macy’s also carries Clarins if that is easier for you to get to.
Amy, I got the sunscreen just in time for a foggy, cloudy day here in my neck of the woods :/
I will use it anyway. I want to see how it feels on my skin while riding.
Also, I am still curious to learn John’s shaving blades source.
Thanks Amy, I love this new segment.
I have very sensitive skin and most sunscreen makes me breakout. I only use it on my face when I know I will be outside in the sun for several hours. Can you recommend a sunscreen for sensitive skin?
I have the same problem with moisturizers. I only wear moisturizer in the winter if my face feels dry. Can you recommend a good moisturizer too? I am over 40 and now I have to choose between wrinkles, sunspots, or acne!
John uses Xtreme 3 by Schick and has for some time. He orders them on line at Amazon (he is a BIG fan of Amazon Prime…free shipping).
How did the Clarins UV40HP feel on your skin? You are right to use it even when it’s cloudy- we still get sun through the clouds. UV40HP also protects against free radicals and elector magnetic rays, so we are covered!
I’m so glad you like PRO/STYLE! Thanks for letting me know.
I know…this over 40 thing is something else…wrinkles or zits, but both is just too much!
I only want to speak to what I know works well and what I can recommend with integrity, so here’s my product knowledge for sensitive skin (my boss has extremely sensitive skin):
Clarins Gentle Day/Night cream and Gentle serum is for very, very sensitive skin. It’s designed as a 2-3 month program to ‘calm the merkel’. You can read about the merkel and the Gentle products here:
They were very helpful to me when I just could not calm my skin down.
My boss has never been able to ‘graduate’ from the Gentle protocol, although it’s designed as a temporary program. However, she’s been able to ADD IN Clarins Double Serum without any flair up. Double Serum has tremendous anti-aging properties, so now she has anti-aging (i.e. big time anti wrinkle!) and moisturizing that doesn’t flair her super sensitive skin. I really, really like Double Serum. In fact, I freelanced for a new line today at Ulta, and the education coordinator commented on how nice my skin looked…huh? My skin….:?
My boss also uses UV40HP sunscreen (as do I)without any trouble. I suspect it’s because it is Titanium Dioxide and Cantaloupe- natural ingredients vs. chemical compounds. I always, and I mean always broke out from sunscreen before this one. Every time I got home from a beach vacation I could count on a massive breakout!
I get nothing from Clarins for suggesting their products. I’ve just found they work very well for sensitive skin.
Licorice and Lavender are the main ingredients in the Gentle line to calm and sooth. Clarins is certainly not the cheapest, but it’s not at the top of the cosmetics price list either and a little goes a very long way. It’s super concentrated. Also, if for any reason you don’t like it, the retailers (Macy’s, Nordstrom) stand behind the product.
I would love suggestions from you Kathy on other topics you’d like me to talk about at PRO/STYLE and thanks again!
Check out http://www.ewg.org for some safe skin care options and information. EWG = Environmental Working Group. A non-profit.
Thanks Karin. They have some great information. Appreciate your input!
The Clarins felt great. Or should I say I did not feel it on my skin at all.
I am very picky with stuff that coats my skin. Specially the types that make me feel like a cheap fry from a greasy spoon.
Thanks for your insight!
‘Cheap fry from a greasy spoon’. What a perfect description of how my skin feels with most sunscreens Alan!
So glad the Clarins UV40HP is what you were looking for. Use it in good health! 🙂
You are so welcome.