Monday, April 5, 2010

Younger Skin in 9 Days

It takes only nine days to look younger and less stressed, says dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Reverse Stress Aging and Reveal More Youthful, Beautiful Skin. Dr. Wechsler shares her nine-day skin renewal plan, which she says will improve the overall appearance of your skin.

Day 1: Simplify
Dr. Wechsler says many people come into her office with a bag full of products they use daily, but she says all you need for your skincare routine are these three items:
  • Gentle cleanser
  • Moisturizer with antioxidants
  • Sunscreen made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
Once you simplify your beauty routine, focus on getting at least eight hours of sleep. "When you are sleeping, that is when the beta endorphins and growth hormone are at their highest—the healing hormones essentially," she says. "That is why we are always told you heal in your sleep, you grow in your in your sleep. It's true—the more time your body can spend sleeping, as opposed to being awake and stressed out, the better."

Day 2: Relax
Put yourself first and try to unwind. Dr. Wechsler says these are great ways to relax:
  • Book a massage
  • Have sex
  • Try yoga or breathing
Day 3: Go Green
Get out into nature and enjoy yourself, Dr. Wechsler says. "Get out of the office for 10 minutes and look at the sky and the tress—it's relaxing," she says. "There are some studies that show that physiologically, your stress hormone levels go down if you can get outside."

Day 4: Eat Clean
By concentrating on eating well, stress will dissipate, Dr. Wechsler says. "When people are stressed, they are driven to eat high-carb, fatty, fried foods with high sugar, and they binge eat more when they are stressed," she says. 

Day 5: Exercise
Take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise, Dr. Wechsler says. You don't have to do an extreme workout—just move your body, she says.

Day 6: Foster Friendships
Make plans to see your friends, Dr. Wechsler says. "Not just texting and e-mailing your friends, but actually making plans to see a friend in person—we don't do that enough these days," she says.

Day 7: Pamper Yourself
You don't have to go out to an expensive spa and get a massage to indulge, Dr. Wechsler says. "Just do a [face] mask at home," she says. Mixing whole milk and honey together as a moisturizing face mask is something Dr. Wechsler says you can do in seconds.

Day 8: Sleep In
Try to sleep in or take a 20-minute nap, Dr. Wechsler says. "Plan it. If you are a working mom or stay-at-home mom, plan with your partner to let you sleep in," she says.

Day 9: Reflect
Think back on the nine days and determine what worked for you and what didn't. "What can you take with you for the rest of your life that seemed to help?" Dr. Wechsler asks. "We are talking about this more as a whole life renewal plan, not just a nine-day plan."

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