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Clear, Smooth, Even Skin

16 Oct

The conditions involving skin clarity can be broken into the following physiological categories:

Environmentally Damaged Skin

Environmentally damaged skin results from a history of overexposure to environmental elements.  The sun is responsible for 80% of aging!  Fibers that maintain the skin’s structure and elasticity (collagen and elastin) break down and slowly diminish, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and loose, sagging skin.  UV light can damage the DNA in the skin cells which can lead to different forms of skin cancer.

Other environmental factors include:

    • Harsh weather conditions which destroy the skins moisture barrier resulting in rough, dry, uneven skin tone and texture).
    • Cigarette smoke results in free radicals which break down collagen fibers and cigarettes limit the skin’s oxygen supply.  This results in deep lines, wrinkles, leathery skin, and a yellowish appearance.
    • Pollution causes free radicals, which breaks down collagen fibers resulting in fine lines and wrinkles.

Hyper-pigmented Skin

An over production of melanin in the skin results from:

  • UV light causes melanocytes to produce too much pigment.
  • Hormonal Imbalances

Preventing hyperpigmentation should start with sunblock.  ALWAYS wear an SPF when outside, and reapply as needed!

Fixing hyper-pigmentation involves chemical peels and/or laser (usually Intense Pulse Light-IPL).

Problematic

Caused by a number of factors, including genetics, stress, and hormonal imbalances resulting in:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne
  • Oil production (too much, not enough)

Reducing the build up of excess oil and dead skin cells, and normalizing the function of cell renewal, helping reduce inflammation and prevents bacteria formation deep within the hair follicle and pores.

How to Maintain Clear, Smooth, Even Skin

Refer to blog posts Step 1: See a Professional and Step 2: Spend wisely.

Clear, smooth skin starts with a healthy lifestyle.

  • Eating a nutritious diet (avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and salt)
  • Regular exercise
  • Adequate hydration
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Avoiding weather extremes (wearing sunscreen EVERY day)

Keeping clear smooth skin doesn’t just involve topic solutions from over the counter.  In fact, they should NEVER involve over the counter products.  Good skin care products recommended by a professional should be used in the morning and evening (especially before bed; your skin restores itself while you sleep).  A professional deep cleanse should be done every 4-6 weeks.

For serious dermatological issues, see a dermatologist!

Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths

14 Oct

A LESSON IN ART

When composing a sketch of the human face, artists follow a guideline referred to as “The Rule of Thirds and Fifths.”  Remember, naturally no face has perfect proportions, and the following is a mere guideline.

The Rule of Thirds

The face can be horizontally divided into thirds.  From the hairline to the glabellar line (eyebrows) is 1/3, the brow to the base of the nose 1/3, and the base of the nose to the chin one-third.

The Rule of Fifths

By using the width of the eye from corner to corner as a point of measurement, the face can be vertically divided into fifths.  Starting from the very outside edge of one ear to the other the face ideally would be 5 eye widths apart.  The width of the base of the would be a fifth.

Subdividing the Rules

Unless you are an artist, it really isn’t necessary to know the rest of the ideal facial proportions.  But each feature has an ideal mathematical relationship to the rest.  If you want more info, check out this post: Beautiful Proportions of the Face.

 


Symmetry

10 Oct

The Biology of It All…

Among studies across the animal kingdom, the most important characteristic in for mating is symmetry and balance, and thus can be argued the most important “attractive” characteristic for us as well.  Symmetry reveals genetic diversity; the more heterozygous the individual, the more symmetry is noticed in the face.  This is important because of the ability for these individuals to resist disease and withstand environmental factors.

But remember… no face is perfectly symmetrical.

Etiology of Asymmetry (from Wikipedia.com)

Congenital defect

  • Facial hemi-trophy or hypertrophy of superfacial tissue , muscle & bone.
  • Mandibular Condylar hypoplasia due to intrauterine or birth trauma.
  • TMJ Ankylosis, the mandible moves to the affected side.
  • Mandibular body or ramus hyperplasia, the mandible moves to the unaffected side.

Traumatic

Zygomatic process fracture & followed infra orbital depression.

Inflammatory

Abscess – cellulitis – cyst

 Muscular

a- Atrophy of facial musculature following Bell’s palsy.

b- Hyperplasia of masseter muscle in clenching habit.

c- Patients using only one side in chewing

Salivary Glands

Inflammatory as mumps or neoplastic.

Neoplastic

Ameloblatoma – lipoma – osteoma

 
I read articles about dentistry when I was writing this. I started noticing (while watching hockey) how people who have had broken facial bones are less symmetrical and less physically attractive. Or maybe it’s because they don’t shave. Anyways… they at least up the sexy-ness factor through having gorgeous bodies.

 

Beauty Defined

28 Sep

What makes a person beautiful?

It is a combination of inner beauty (psychological factors) and outer beauty (physical attractiveness).  Beauty is defined with individual, cultural and universal standards which every single person desires to achieve.

Universally Beautiful

Throughout time and across cultures, there are several characteristics of physical attractiveness.  Boston or not, beauty is:

Boston Culture

Although we are ranked as one of the countries most intelligent cities, we don’t fare so well in the areas of physical attractiveness (or friendliness for that matter!).  It’s 2011 Boston!  You can be both smart AND beautiful.

Individual Ideals

We look in the mirror over 30 times a day focusing on “flaws” that do not fit our individual standard of beauty.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – not your best friend, not your husband, not your mother – if something bothers you, it is significant.  Our conservative culture makes it difficult to attain our individual goals in beauty.  We have questions, but don’t know where to seek answers.  So, we rely on our best feature – our intelligence – and go on the internet, or read magazines.

The Beauty Industry

We spend half our paychecks trying to look good, we invest so much hope and money in the “next best thing” to fix our appearance, and continuously feel let down.  Companies and products capitalizing off a basic human need is a 14.5 billion dollar industry, and as a nurse, reminds me of our healthcare system!  The best of contemporary science and medicine offers the ability for us to achieve outer beauty.  As a provider of both healthcare and aesthetics, and as a woman who idolizes Barbie (not just because she’s blonde) it is my individual goal to help educate about aesthetics in a way our culture Boston culture understands – through science! 

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