A Skin Healing Company facebook link twitter link LinkedIn link

Shopping Bag

Skin Care 101: Ten Things You Can do to Help Yourself.

Michelle Y. Graves, CEOLinked In Icon

Michell Graves Portrait

I am often asked how my skin stays so supple and healthy at my age (I am in my 60s). You can have healthy, beautiful skin at any age. I am living proof. When you are young, like everything else, your metabolism is at peak performance, and your skin is radiant and glowing. Its neglect can become a habit. After all, who, in their 20s, has time to worry about wrinkles, brown spots, and lackluster skin? Tanning beds, lots of sunshine (including sunburns), and a general disposition to disregard skin care does lead to damaged skin as young people age. For older women, it is not too late, but you must be diligent. Expect to see results over six weeks. Expect to see major changes in the tone, texture, and softness of your skin in three to four months. E-Mail me with your progress.

My Philosophy:

  1. First, I do not use a lot of cosmetics, and, with the exception of special occasions, my beauty regime is quite simple. I do not purchase ‘brand’ labels, as I have found that most formulations are quite similar. I am, however, a FANATIC about skin itself.
  2. Second, I do not compromise on ingredients. I only use organic ingredients.
  3. Third, I follow a specific skin protocol. My skin must always be clean, hydrated and moist for optimal results.
  4. Finally, any and all skin formulations I use must be preservative- free. That is a tall order. Most skin formulations are water-based. Why? Because water is cheap. Even the use of aloe vera can be problematic because it is primarily water. Whenever you have water, you are going to have challenges with bacteria and product deterioration. Water is and will always be a bacteria magnet. It is the source of all life and bacteria is a form of life. Manufacturers know this and to avoid product liability (who wants to be sued from mold and bacteria in the product itself), and to be compliant with shelf-life requirements by FDA, they use chemicals and preservatives. I am not defending them, I simply understand their motive---profit with minimum risk.
  5. The sooner you apply these recommendations, the longer you will enjoy healthy, beautiful skin without the prospects of botox or, heaven forbid, plastic surgery as you grow older. As an aside (trust me), most men do not like heavy amounts of makeup and simply tolerate it to keep ‘peace’ in the relationship. They would much rather see your real beauty in the form of healthy skin.

Top Ten Skin Care List

  1. Keep your skin clean. Because of the pollutants and allergens in the air, your skin will become dirty as the day progresses I wash my skin with SheOlogy Organics “Luxury” superfatted shea soap twice a day, upon arising and before going to bed. I do not use over-the-counter soap because it is actually a ‘detergent’ formulation with salt and other chemicals as base ingredients---very drying. Make sure to remove all makeup (EV Olive Oil is excellent and relatively inexpensive) before cleansing. Removing makeup is an often overlooked step but is a must. Cosmetics lock in damaging free radicals that have attached to the skin during the day. Skin repairs and rejuvenates at night while you are resting. You want your skin clean.
  2. Keep your skin moist. In Western culture, many woman (and men) never use anything on their skin. While this regimen may work for babies (they are born with a hefty dose of fat in their bodies), as we age, the skin will lose water through respiration and sweat. This loss will cause the skin to dehydrate and dry. This ongoing absence of oils to lock in moisture and rehydrate skin is a primary cause of wrinkling and permanent collagen damage. Collagen is the muscle that connects the skin and keeps it from sagging.
  3. Exfoliate carefully and regularly. Exfoliation sloughs away dead skin cells, smooths fine lines, and improves skin texture and tone. But FDA studies have shown that overusing chemical exfoliants, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) found in glycolic or lactic acids, increases sensitivity to UV rays. Limit chemical exfoliants to twice a week. For manual exfoliation, try a gentle microbead scrub.
  4. Avoid lotions. I do not recommend or use the popular ‘lotions’ because they are primarily formulated with water and petroleum with additives and preservatives. Petrolatum, which goes under other names (petroleum, Vaseline jelly, mineral oil, baby oil) is the processed residual from crude oil (yep, the gasoline you use in your car). It is cheap and used in formulations because it is ‘occlusive’, it acts as a moisture barrier, preventing the skin from losing moisture. However, scientific studies have consistently validated that petroleum is toxic and tumergenic. I have used the Healing Balm for many years for day and evening. With our most recent formulation, Sun Balm, which is a day moisturizer with wonderful oils and a ‘skin’ screen, I find myself using this everyday with happy results.
  5. Moisturize immediately after showering, before water evaporates. Never towel dry your body. Use a moist wash cloth to dry off your body and apply oil right then. I apply Paradise Oil to my entire body. Also, avoid taking long, hot showers. Shower in tepid water. Most of the tap water in the United States is chlorinated to destroy many disease-causing bacteria. But chlorine leads to other health problems including dry, irritated skin. Heat activates chlorine so, unless you have a shower head to eradicate this chemical, stay clear of long, leisurely showers and bathes. While you are showing, don’t forget to push back your cuticles and scrub your feet. The cuticles should never be allowed to dry and crack as they are portals for bacteria. In fact, this ‘door’ leads straight to your heart. Generously oil both areas. I use the Healing Balm for both. If my feet are really calloused, I use the Foot Balm. The Sea Buckthorn oil in the Foot Balm works miracles on my dry digits.
  6. The skin needs water…lots of water. Keep lots of alkaline water in your body. Note that I did not say ‘water-substitutes’ such as soda, sports drinks, and alcohol-based drinks. Our body is primarily water and it needs water to protect internal organs, to clean out toxins, and to respirate properly. The skin, which is the largest organ, needs water as well. Rule of thumb: Divide your body weight by 2 and drink that amount in water daily. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you would need to drink 75 ounces of water day day, around nine 8-ounce glasses. Also, explore the benefits of alkaline water and why it has been used in Japan for several decades both medically and commercially. I personally drink Kangen water after having been introduced to it by a water specialist.
  7. Eat Healthy. While I am not a Vegan, I am getting closer and closer to becoming on, because of what Big Ag is doing to our animals. Plus I garden and grow many of my vegetables and herbs. I love flaxseed oil and whey. Both are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids which moisturize the body and the skin while fighting wrinkle-causing inflammation with their high levels of antioxidants. On the subject of antioxidants, I drink lots of green tea and fruits such as blueberries, black raspberries (when in season) and pomegranate. P.S. You can also apply them topically with wonderful results for your skin. Omega-3 can also be found in salmon and walnuts. Citrus fruits and spinach enhance collagen production. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, red bell peppers, pink grapefruit and watermelon, protects against sun damage. I avoid all forms of sugar like a plague. I do use stevia (and grow it as well) and it works just fine to meet my sweetness needs. By the way, heightened levels of sugar in the bloodstream cause a process called glycation -- one of the principal causes of cellular aging and wrinkles.
  8. Stress Less. What can I say about stress that others have not said? Stress does affect your skin and does facilitate skin flare-ups by compromising your immune system. Do yoga or try deep breathing exercises. Make sure you get enough quality sleep. This was a big challenge for me with the long hours in the laboratory doing research. But, at least an hour before bedtime, hit the "off" switch on everything that has one. Turn off the television, turn off the radio, put your cell phone on silent, and sleep in the dark for at least 8 hours a night. Make sure you practice ‘stress-minimization’ by avoiding friends, family and situations that keep you edgy and unhappy. Practice sleeping on your back to minimize wrinkling. In the morning, not only will you awaken refreshed, but your skin will look rested.
  9. Exercise. Some people work out at the gym. I take daily mile-long walks and garden. The point is this. Whether in a gym, as a part of a group workout, or simply walking, DO something physical daily and watch your skin glow afterwards. Make sure that you shower afterwards to remove the sweat and clean your skin, and, don’t forget to moisturize.
  10. Protect your skin with hats and sunglasses all year round. Damage from UV radiation is real and the sun is not going to disappear anytime soon. The suggested protocol is sunscreen, avoiding sun exposure and more sunscreen. Yet, the verdict on sunscreens is not good with ratings from www.ewg.org suggesting that the majority are ineffective and some even dangerous. So, I use my Sun Balm, cover my face with a hat and wear sunglasses all year round. It is important to choose a pair with 99 percent UVA and UVB protection. Less squinting equals fewer fine lines and crow's-feet and (senior citizens pay attention to this) less risk of cataracts.

View Product Page Graphic