Are you your skin’s best friend or worst enemy?
Whether we take care of our skin or not can drastically affect the age of our skin. Take our quiz to see if you are on the right track to aging fabulously!

The Quiz

1. How often to you follow your skincare regimen?

a) Every morning & evening

b) Just in the evening

c) What’s a skincare regimen?

2. How consistent are you about using an SPF?

a) I wear a sunscreen or moisturizer with an SPF 30 on all exposed areas of my body everyday

b) I think my makeup has an SPF 15

c) I only use an SPF when I’m at the beach

3. When was the last time you updated you skincare regimen?

a) About 6 months ago

b) It’s been a while…

c) Don’t have a regimen, I have no time for it.

4. How often do you treat yourself to professional treatments (i.e. facials, microdermabrasion, peels)?

a) I get treatments regularly, about once a month
b) I go whenever I feel my skin needs it

c) I’ve never had a professional treatment, they’re too expensive to keep up

5. How well do you handle stress?

a)  I never let things get to me

b) Every once in a while something will frazzle me, but for the most part I’m stress-free

c) I’m always stressed and worrying about something

6. True or False: You use a retinoid

7. True or False: You take vitamins on a daily basis

8. How often do you exercise?

a) Regularly, at least 3x a week

b) Infrequently, whenever I have time to squeeze in a workout

c) Never

For every “a” & “true” answer, give yourself 2 points. Each “b” is worth 1 point, and every “c” or “false” is worth 0 points.

Your Score

12 to 16 points:

Congratulations! You know your stuff about skincare. But if you didn’t score a perfect 16, read “A Plan for Healthier, Younger Skin” to keep your skin looking youthful and glowing as long as possible.

6 to 11 points:

Not bad. Seems like you’re heading in the right direction, but your routine could use a little adjusting. Follow the tips in the next article to achieve firmer, brighter skin in about a month!

0 to 5 points:

Your skin may be in need of some serious TLC! It’s never too late to get into the good habit of taking care of your skin. If you want to stop the clock, use the info in our next article to get started.

A Plan for Healtheir, Younger Skin

1. Be consistent! The most important time to cleanse your skin is in the evening. Going to bed with the days leftover makeup, dirt and oil can lead to clogged pores, breakouts and a dull complexion. Cleansing at night also prepares the skin to receive any anti-aging treatment you may be using. Using a cleanser that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) will help to loosen any build up of dry, dead skin that may have accumulated. Serums and moisturizers work more efficiently when they don’t have to fight through dry layers of dead skin. Also, when you sleep at night your body is able to repair damage more quickly and make the most use out of your skincare products.

*Try Ageless Total Facial Cleanser ($26.50) from Image Skincare. This universal foaming cleanser rinses away makeup and oil. It also balances the PH of your skin which eliminates the need for a toner. A blend of gentle AHAs promote exfoliation to reveal smoother skin. Ideal for all skin types.

2. Manage your stress. When the body is under constant stress, the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. The release of cortisol causes inflammation, which can lead to the breakdown of collagen, acne flare-ups, skin irritation and excessive belly fat. Try to take it easy and set aside 15 minutes of “you time” a day. Take a light nap, listen to some relaxing music or take a short walk. This will help to clear the mind and eliminate stress. Still stressed? To cancel out inflammation, chow down on fruits and veggies high in antioxidants. The brighter and bolder the colors, the more antioxidants. Tops picks are berries, oranges and asparagus. What we put in our bodies will make our skin and overall appearance more healthy and radiant.

*Try this recipe from Dr. Perricone, a board certified clinical and research dermatologist who believes that beauty comes from the inside out!

This fruit smoothie can be made with any combination of fruit – and it’s delightful every time.

Ingredients

1 nectarine or peach – pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp lime or lemon juice to taste
1 cup blueberries
1 cup ice
to taste grated lime zest
2 scoops Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate (optional but recommended)

Preparation

Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. Serves 2.

Liked this recipe? Find more at http://www.perriconerecipes.com/

3. Use a retinoid. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids have been proven to speed up cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, which aids in smoothing lines and fading brown spots. Concerned with breakouts and aging? Retinoids also help keep pores clear and fade acne scars! Prescription strength retinoids such as Renova give the fastest results (about 1 month to start seeing changes), yet may cause redness and peeling. Using a milder OTC version that contains retinol will give similar results, but may take up to 3 months to see visible changes.

*Try Ageless Total Retinol-A Creme ($52.50), from Image Skincare. This highly concentrated blend of retinol and polypeptides helps to resurface, rejuvenate and repair aging and acne prone skin.

4. Take your vitamins! Because the soil is so over processed, those of us that eat even the healthiest of diets aren’t getting enough of the nutrients we need from food alone. Some experts claim that you’d have to eat 13 peaches now to get the equivalent nutrients of a single peach from 10 years ago! Make sure you take a multi vitamin daily, along with omega-3 fatty acids. These “good fats” boost hydration, which keeps skin supple and firm. They can also elevate mood, support healthy weight loss by jump-starting metabolism and help maintain cardiovascular health. Look for these “good fats” in foods like salmon, flax seed and almonds. Some health experts recommend taking 1,000 to 9,000 mg of either a fish oil or flax seed oil daily depending on your body’s needs. Be sure to ask your doctor before adding any supplement to your daily routine.

5. Exercise regularly. Studies find that people who work out regularly tend to have firmer skin than those that don’t exercise. Why? Exercise increases circulation which infuses the skin with oxygen and nutrients needed for collagen production. To keep skin firm, make time for at least three 30-minute heart-pumping workouts per week.

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