The Power of Beauty Sleep

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 “Beauty sleep  is the deep sleep you need to feel healthy, function properly and look bright and attractive.

Young people do not get enough sleep.  Although this is no surprise to any of us, it is a serious problem associated with risky behaviors. 70 % of high school students are not getting the recommended hours of sleep.  Even worse, this age group is least likely to believe that lack of sleep can cause all kinds of physical and psychological problems.

Fatigue, alcohol abuse, hazardous driving, smoking, fighting, lack of physical activity and acting out sexually are all side effects.  Add to that feelings of being sad or hopeless and even having suicidal thoughts.

Visible signs of sleeplessness such as dark circles and dull skin are obvious, but there is more damage below the surface.  Sleep affects the way we look, our bodies release growth hormones that are released at the beginning and in deep stages of sleep. These hormones are the ones that produce beautifying effects on our skin.  This growth hormone aids in the stimulation of skin cell production, collagen formation and decrease protein breakdown. In other words, it is the surge of growth hormones that stimulates skin repair during the night.  These hormones are only released during deep sleep, when the body and brain are able to fully recover from the day’s activities.

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Young people are always fighting acne and other skin blemish problems, however we may be missing the real cure for complexion woes: sleep. The idea of “beauty sleep” isn’t new, but it  has become harder to achieve as current sleep disruptors such as laptops, the web, video games, emails, facebook and smartphones follow us to our bedrooms. The effects are real: A 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who had a full night of sleep (8 hours or more) compared with sleep ­deprived individuals, were rated by observers as healthier and less tired (obviously), but was also seen as more attractive.

                                    Sleeping Beauty’s

Does sleep guarantee perfect skin? Not exactly. However, since the skin is highly reactant to products applied right before bed, your nightly skincare regimen can be the extra boost to a flawless complexion.

When we skimp on sleep, our bodies can’t release the growth hormone, but it does release more of the stress hormone (from adrenal gland) “Cortisol.”  An abundance of stress hormones can increase inflammation and break down collagen leading to lines, wrinkles and increased acne formation.  Sensitive skin may also be a symptom of lack of sleep.  Depriving yourself of adequate sleep affects the skin’s natural barrier function which can lead to dryness, irritation and increased skin sensitivity.  When this happens the epidermis (outer layer of skin) cannot protect itself from chemicals and pollutants in the environment.

Creativity, ingenuity, confidence, leadership, decision-making; all of these can be enhanced simply by getting more sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skin Care-Skin Color

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All research indicates that skin color has nothing to do with the skin-care products you need for healthy skin.  Dark, light and every color in between, need the same vitamins and nutrients to produce healthy skin. Color differences don’t impact what products you should be using. The condition of your skin is influenced by a variety of factors, including age, ethnicity, environmental factors (sun exposure, diet, personal habits), and heredity (family history).

Regardless of ethnicity healthy skin requires a healthy diet. Different skin types require their own unique regimens to maintain a beautiful glow.

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Specialized products prescribed for Black, Latina, White, Asian and Southeast Asian, weren’t specially created for any of those groups, instead the focus was directed to skin conditions those women were likely to have due to their race, as discussed below.

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Darker skin needs are the same as for everyone, there are some issues that darker skin tones are more likely to experience. For example, African-Americans may be more prone to skin issues like keloidal (raised) scarring, pronounced hyper-pigmentation and ingrown hairs. Black women should avoid harsh cleansers and exfoliators because dark skin is more prone to certain issues and need customized routines to keep it looking at its best.

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White skin is susceptible to early sun damage (freckling and wrinkles), and also to dry skin. Rich moisturizers are a must because as light skin thins, it gets drier. White women have the highest rate of getting melanoma(skin cancer) second only to white men.

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Latina skin is more likely to be oily and prone to acne and blemishes. The worst part about this is that it can last well past teenage years. Hyper-pigmentation (i.e.manchas). Latinos also get dark spots at high rates and many are usually allergic to benzoyl peroxide. Because they age slower and have oily skin, they are less likely to develop wrinkles at an early age due to sun exposure.

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Asian and Southeast Asian women have collagen-rich skin (so wrinkles come later) but it’s temperamental. Studies show that Asian skin is more sensitive than other types. Asian skin is extremely sensitive to sun, hormonal changes and harsh scrubs or peels. Any reactions, such as redness or bumps, generally take a long time to heal and can cause long-term pigment problems.

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For African American, Native American, Asian, Hispanic or Southern European, consider avoiding certain treatments. Those with sensitive skin should be especially cautious. If you use products with alpha-hydroxy acids, hydroquinones or tretinoin you may risk hyper-pigmentation(chemical reactions that can cause the creation of extra pigment, which could result in darker spots). If you have darker skin, plan to use a treatment that contains Kojic acid or vitamin C.

  Aging Skin

No matter who you are or what your ethnicity may be, your skin will require different care as the years go by. Chances are that as you age, you will experience increased dryness, changes in facial contour, changes in hair growth and decreased sweating. These are the impacts of the aging process.

The Skin We’re In

Skin is color blind when it comes to skin care. Although we must protect our skin from sun damage with spf products and sun hats when necessary, we don’t require any special products. There is no research that states we have to have any special skin care regimen just because we are African American. Yes, we have varying tones of skin and physiological characteristics however that does not change the type of products you should be cleansing or treating your skin with.

Do we need special skin care products?

No matter what  color, skin is skin. We all have dry skin, oily skin, occasional acne, wrinkles, sun damage, oily skin, and uneven skin tones. These are issues that affect everyone and  products that address these problems can be used by everyone regardless of skin color. Care for all skin color and tones involve : gentle cleansing, sun protection and products for your skin type. Please avoid ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, and natural or synthetic fragrances. Exposure to irritants always will worsen any skin regardless of color.

Must do 

  • Use a gentle, water-soluble cleanser (avoid bar soaps; they are too drying, can clog pores and cause skin to look ashy and feel dry).

  • Use products that are appropriate for your skin type (i.e. gels and serums for oily or combination skin; creams and lotions for dry skin).

  • Use a  sunscreen / moisturizer during the day (the most typical cause of uneven skin tone for women of color is sun damage.

Skin color is not a skin type

Basic skin-care needs are the same for everyone. Research shows that the only real difference between African-American skin and Caucasian skin is the amount and distribution of melanin (the cells which produce our skin’s pigment). More melanin means darker skin color; less means lighter skin color. Having lots of melanin gives women of color an added advantage when it comes to how their skin handles sun exposure and how soon the damage becomes visible. Essentially, the more melanin your skin has, the more natural defense we have.