by Tish Jackson,
It’s the dog days of summer, and if your skin could talk, it might say, “It’s hot, and I’m thirsty!” During this time of year, it can be tough to stay hydrated. Dehydration occurs when water loss in your body is greater than water intake. Your skin can lose up to a pint of water every day, and your body can lose up to two quarts of water daily, depending on physical activity.
Dry or Dehydrated?
First, it’s important to understand the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. “Dry” refers to the amount of sebum (oil) in your skin and “dehydrated” refers to water content. These conditions resemble each other, as both result in wrinkles, fine lines, flaking, and premature aging. All skin types; dry, oily, and combination, can suffer with dehydration.
The Problem with Dehydration
Interstitial (between cells) fluid is carried through the blood and capillaries to all the cells of the body, bringing water and nutrients which are vital to cellular function. This fluid also collects waste, which is eventually removed through the lymph vessels. This exchange of nutrients, water, and wastes is necessary to keep the cells from dying.
This interstitial circulation occurs in the lower layers of the skin, and the outermost layer (the epidermis) cannot draw moisture from below because circulation ceases where epidermal cells become keratinized. The epidermis recieves moisture when the lower cells move upward with adequate amounts of fluid, or through topical moisturizing. Therefore, water intake by itself will not correct existing surface dehydration.
What Causes Dehydration?
Obviously, insufficient water intake causes all of the body to be dehydrated, including your skin. But also, your skin itself can lose moisture. One of the primary functions of our skin is to be a barrier; to prevent invasion of micro-organisms or other particles that could harm us. The skin produces sebum (oil) which coats the skin in what is called the “acid mantle” because is has an acidic pH. The acid mantle prevents moisture loss by actiing as a kind of seal. When we strip this protective barrier from the epidermis, water loss occurs.
- Harsh cleansers: Cleansers that leave the skin “squeaky clean” have removed the acid mantle, leaving the skin unprotected and subject to moisture loss.
- Astrigents: Alcohol-based products also break down the oil barrier.
- Sun Exposure: Too much sun causes damage, which affects the skin’s ability to transfer moisture from the dermis to the epidermis, and the skin takes on a withered look.
- Air conditioning: The air produced by air conditioners is dry and may cause moisture evaporation from the skin.
- Hot showers: Hot water removes the oil barrier, and may also cause capillary damage.
- Diet and lifestyle: Alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, and salt are a few of the top items to be avoided if you want to retain a healthy level of hydration.
How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated
- Drink water! We all know by now that we should consume two liters of water per day.
- Use a good moisturizer. This helps dry skin retain more oils, helps oily skin produce less oil, and prevents the evaporation of water from the skin.
- Apply a hydrating mask twice per week. This applies to everyone, even those of you with oily skin. To help you do this, we are offering discounts on our hydrating masks for the next month. Try Yon-Ka's Masque N* 1 or Hydratant 60 for 25% off until September 15.
- Get a hydrating facial. Take advantage of Center MedSpa's current special! We are offering a 90 min Yon-Ka Hydralessence Facial for $10 off. Our experts can assess the level of dehydration in your skin and pamper you while treating it. Call us today at 423.643.1980 to book your appointment.
Listen to your skin. Although it can’t talk, it can tell you that it’s thirsty by showing signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, flaking, itching, and loss of elasticity. Come in and let us help you keep your skin hydrated during these hot summer months, or any time of year.
Don't Cheat Your Feet!
by Kelly Mantovani,
As the summer season ends and the transition from sandals to boots is near, take some time to treat your feet.
Reflexology, a centuries-old modality that involves applying pressure to reflex points on the feet, is a great way to start. The theory behind reflexology divides the foot into zones which correspond to specific areas of the body. The reflexologist covers every part of the feet from heel to toe, using several techniques to stimulate reflex points and awaken corresponding areas.
During treatment crepidus is broken up, toxins are squeezed from the muscles, and congested areas are flushed free of build up. The result is softer, healthier tissue which allows the foot to stretch to its full length, leaves more room for the toes to spread, and creates more stability in the arches. The enhanced flexibility allows for greater ease in movement, an additional benefit of an already amazing treatment.
The individual attention placed on every part of the foot during a session leaves a body feeling lighter, more energized, and refreshed.
Clients report feeling more centered and balanced, and walk away from the session with a renewed spirit. Take advantage of this month's special and get 50% off a 30 min reflexology treatment with any massage.