SKIN BASICS Perfectly smooth, flawless skin: It is the most highly desired element of beauty, but, for many, the most elusive. If you were born with and have maintained lovely skin, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of us, though, the quest for a good complexion often proves frustrating, as so much of what affects our skin is completely out of our control. Genetics plays a big part. No potions or lotions will ever change the basic genetic makeup of your skin. Your skin’s allergies and its sensitivities to ingredients and pollution is something you can react to but not easily alter. Stress is another detrimental factor. Yes, we’d all like less of it, but it is part of all of our lives. Stress can have the effect of overdrying already dry skin and triggering breakouts in oily or difficult skin.
I believe in taking charge of the skin-care issues over which you do have control. Good skin is clearly not just about what you put on your skin but how you conduct your life. I see a giant difference in my face when I am rested and relaxed. Getting adequate sleep helps one deal with stress. Drinking plenty of water and doing physical activities help contribute to a clearer, smoother complexion. (This is one of the reasons I try to exercise at least five times a weekâ”see chapter 3.) And I can see a definite difference in my face on the days I get to class or do a half hour on the StairMaster. Now, a few things notXo do …
Smoking, besides its grave medical consequences, is one of the worst things you can do for your face. A regular smoking habit in your twenties and thirties can age your skin by as much as ten to fifteen years, but may only become visible in your forties. The pursing lip action you apply on cigarettes will result in permanent lip lines all around your mouth. Skin takes on an unattractive yellowish cast, and dark circles become more prominent. Working as a makeup artist backstage at the fashion shows and on photography shoots, I exist in a world of smokers. Models smoke because they hope it will help them stay thin and look coolâ”and because they are bored: There is so much downtime in this business. Thankfully, even when I was younger, I was never seduced by the so-called glamour of cigarettes. I am pretty militant in asking people not to smoke around me or my kids.
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