Your Personal Beauty Care: A Layered Approach
Isn’t it funny how many of us compartmentalize things? I mean, when it comes to beauty, it’s easy to think only of what we put on our hair, skin and body that makes us look good.
In our in-a-hurry culture, who has time to think beyond the surface, right? But, science, medicine and history have taught us that treating symptoms without understanding the cause doesn’t solve the problem. Same goes with beauty care. It really isn’t skin deep. It starts well below the surface.
Why? Because human beings are complex machines with components and well-timed systems working in tandem. We are multi-layered. When one component within a layer isn’t working properly the whole organism is effected. So, it’s important to think about beauty from a holistic approach not a compartmentalized one.
The Layered Approach Checklist
Layer #1: Your Personal Health Profile
If you’ve had a baby, you may notice your hair grew fast and thick and your skin was flawless while you were pregnant. But six months after delivery, your hair is falling out and your skin is erupting. If you’re over 40, you may notice your hair is thinning and more resistant because you’ve begun menopause. In fact, your hormonal tendencies are hereditary.
Certain medications effect the overall condition and look of your hair and skin.
Your face and hair reflects your health. Period. So, if you’re a cosmetic counter and beauty supplies junkie, you may find your bathroom and dresser are littered with half-used bottles and jars of “special formulas” that don’t really work. That’s because your putting cover-up on a wound rather than cleaning it out. In the end, it could get infected.
As you reassess your beauty regimen take a look at the state of your body and its systems. Take into account the following:
- Medical Conditions and Medications
- Age and Life Stage
Layer #2: Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Health
Did you know stress can cause alopecia — excessive hair loss and baldness? Acute and chronic trauma caused by sudden life changes, crises, abuse and mental illness can upset many of your body’s functions that can show up on your face and hair.
We live in a society that historically places a low premium on the unseen, intangible side of human composition such as mental and emotional health. While the mind-body concept is accepted throughout the world, particularly in other systems of medicine such as Ayurvedic and Chinese, Western medicine has seemed suspicious of the idea and dismissed the concept as superstition. Fortunately, modern Western medicine has come around as research emerges that supports the concept, according to PsychCentral.com.
Therefore, you may need to take a hard look at the what’s going on with you above the neck, including your:
- Family History
- Support Systems
- Life Changes
- Mood Disorders, Mental Illness, Emotional Illness
Layer #2: Diet and Exertion
Years ago, a young high school senior came to my chair in a salon I was working in at the time. She wanted an updo for prom. Her straight, medium blond hair felt like straw. Her skin was rough, dry and pallid. I knew right away she was dieting the wrong way.
She confessed she was trying to flash-drop 10 pounds for the occasion. So, she eliminated all fats from her diet. She didn’t realize she was depriving her body of essential fats necessary for supporting the production of sebum and collagen — the body’s natural oils that lubricate both hair and skin.
When it comes to beauty, diet and exercise are everything! So, make sure you examine your:
- Basic Daily Diet
- Food Allergies
- Exercise Routine
Layer #3: Dietary Supplements
There are many reasons our modern diets alone won’t supply all of our daily nutrients. So, once you’ve evaluated and corrected your diet, then (and only then) research the supplements your body needs.
But beware. So-called experts on YouTube and other social media have pushed certain hair growth supplements such as biotin, MSM and silica. Sure, they are proven to improve hair and skin but they’re not miracles. In fact, uninformed use of these supplements could lead to serious health problems.
So, remember that vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements can be as potent as regulated pharmaceuticals and most should be taken in courses — for a short period of time like antibiotics. Moreover, start out slow with low doses and build over time. Some people overdose because they want overnight results. When it comes to dietary supplements, patience is a virtue.
Layer #4: Skin Care
Once you’ve determined your health, mental/emotional/spiritual health, diet and need for supplements, you may have a better idea what your skin needs. Is it dry or oily? Are your pores large or small? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors? What’s the climate like in your part of the world?
Some people need a more vigilant skin care regimen consisting of regular facials, masks and a 3-step daily routine. Others do best with cold water and a spritz of cold aloe vera juice. And, here’s a tip: your skin changes with age, health, environment and lifestyle. So, as you structure your optimum skin care regimen, consider the following:
- Overall Skin Condition and Appearance
- Skin Type
Layer #5: Hair Care
Good hair care is informed hair care. Knowing what’s going on in other layers of your health can help you target problem areas with your hair’s health.
Remember: no two heads of hair are alike. Just because someone you know loves a certain product or hair style doesn’t mean it’s right for you. The difference between taking care of your hair and a healthy hair care routine is knowledge. Know thy hair and you’ll know exactly what it needs to flourish and perform for you! You need to know your:
- Overall Hair Health
- Hair Type
- Styling and Manipulation
Some of you may be reading this and saying, “this is WAY too complicated! Just tell me what to buy.” Think of it this way: if you’re dehydrated, would you drink cooking oil? ‘Course not. But, sometimes you don’t realize you’ve been doing the wrong thing all along.
The answer lies below the surface if you took a little time to find it. All you may need is a course correction. The result could revitalize your skin so you won’t need to wear much makeup anymore. Wouldn’t that be worth it?
Sure, it may require a lifestyle change and some effort to make that change. But with a little determination and self-discipline you’ll discover it was worth it!