Friday, November 30, 2018

My Gray Hair Story

This, FYI, is not me :+)
Although this was piece was written a decade ago (c.2005, when I was nearly 45), it still rings true for me today and I’m sure going forward as well. In the past year, two friends who are my age (57) have decided to stop coloring their hair and let the gray come through. I dedicate this article to them and anyone who decides to just be themselves—gray hair and all.

I have gray hairs; more and more every day. I am in my 40s and the stray grays started appearing around age 35. It began as just one solitary gray hair I found one day. I didn’t pull it out, I think I marveled at it actually.

A few years later and after a few more gray hairs had appeared, I was getting my hair cut. My stylist was on his way to pulling one of them out and I said, “Stop!” I’m sure for him it was instinctualto get rid of the gray, but for me these hairs were almost indicators I had graduated to a new phase of my life. Even at this early stage I was determined to adopt a different view of aging than most people I had run across. Certainly different than the massesand the media.

1926 gray hair dye ad—!
As the years have gone by, the gray hairs have increased. I could color my hair and get rid of the gray, but that is actually not an option for me. I don’t want the maintenance of having to dye it constantly, and I truly don’t want to mask or cover up what is naturally happening with regard to my own aging process.

For me, it all boils down to choice. I have the choice to love, hate, or be indifferent to my gray hair. I am somewhere between indifference and love. And since I do have a choice, why would I choose to hate my gray? Although the outside world begs us to change the way we naturally are, I dont feel moved to do so. In the end coloring my hair is my choiceand yours!

I am sure some of you think I’m crazy, but I know there are others who can relate to my story. My reality is based on the ultimate truth: I am aging. And to hide it is at best temporary, and at the worst it is a pain in thewell, at least in the wallet. And then theres the element of time. The time and money I save on not focusing on changing my gray hair helps to fund other things I enjoy.

Recently I was waiting in line at a movie theater. The woman ahead of me, probably in her late 50s, had gray and brownish hair. I looked at her and thought that might be what my hair will look like in another 10 years. I thought she looked good. And I always appreciate someone who wears their age as is. It’s a statement of acceptance.

My path, my choice, is acceptance. And along with accepting the gray, I am saying I love it just for good measure. Since I am choosing to keep it, I might as well love it too. Then when I look in the mirror, I have good things I am thinking about myself instead of the alternative.  If on a daily basis I resist the truth and wish or want things to be different, until they are different I will be unhappy.

Obviously this is my way of handling the aging process and may not be (and probably is not) your way. I am certainly not against coloring over gray hairjust my gray hair! We live in a world filled with choices; hair color is just one of many. So go forth and color your gray away or not. Regardless, do try to enjoy the aging process. Some parts are easier than others, to be sure. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

True or False: You only need to wash your face at night

FALSE! You should wash your face morning and evening. Why? You wash in the A.M. to clean off the film that has deposited on your skin during the time you were sleeping—similar to the film on your teeth in the morning. You want to wash your face in the evening to get rid of all the dirt, oil, and debris that has accumulated on your skin from the entire day—even if you never left the house! Not to mention any makeup you may have applied. Make washing your face a twice-daily habit. If you do, you will enjoy cleaner pores, which means healthier skin.

See the following articles for more information:

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Acne and imbalance—What to do

Acne is an exterior sign of internal imbalance. If you have acne, look at your diet, any hormone fluctuations you may be experiencing, and how you are taking care of your skin (or not). All of these have to be in balance in order to control and eventually clear acne.

If you have acne, products and facials—although helpful—are not the sole answer. I believe you must also look to your diet. Please don’t discount the possibility that what you are putting in your mouth is having an effect on your skin. I highly recommend getting in touch with a clinical nutritionist or someone who really understands the relationship between food and skin. I believe you have to go to the source of the problem (in this case, food being a potential contributing factor) rather than merely treating the symptom, which is problem skin. Hormones are the primary cause of skin problems, but food does have a secondary effect.

For those of you with acne, I recommend following The Basics (cleansing, toning, and hydrating with a moisturizer specifically made for problem skin), along with diligent exfoliating with a gel peel (gommage), plus a clay mask. Whenever there are problems with the skin, exfoliating and masking should be done at least two or three times per week.

I also recommend taking a good look at your sugar consumption, something that a lot of people tend to disregard as an issue with skin problems. I can tell you as a practicing aesthetician for more than 30 years and also someone who is sensitive to the sweet stuff, sugar is a major contributor to many peoples’ skin breakouts and also acne. (Although this photo depicts blood sugar issues from sugar, the problems I’m talking about is skin breakouts and oilier skin. But blood sugar issues are certainly caused by ingesting even a little sugar.)

In order to really treat acne, I truly believe you must get your entire house in order. Don’t just look for topical or oral medications from your dermatologist to work miracles on your skin. It really takes a commitment to proper eating habits, a good skin care program, staying away from picking at the skin, and sometimes using prescription topical or oral medications to further reduce the lesions on your face.

I also want to say that if you are a teenager with acne, the element of time is another important component to helping your skin issues to disappear. Sad but true, sometimes you just have to get through the hormone surges your body is going through over time before your skin will clear up. All the other items I’ve talked about in this article will definitely help your skin, so don’t give up!

For further reading, see: