Beauty From the Outside In - Page 2

By Kristen McGuiness 06/30/11

What if you've kissed the all-nighters goodbye and still resemble the haggard hard partier you used to be? The Fix explains how to look as good you feel.

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Recovery is more than skin-deep

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Felicia has been committed for the last 10 years to finding the best way to treat her troubled skin. “I switched from using chemical to all natural products,” she says. “Instead of using harsh creams, I started using tea tree and lavender oil and hippie cleansers. I became a lot more aware of what I was putting on my skin instead of doing just what the doctor told me. I have come into my own and gotten to know myself. I trust my own instincts and am pro-active about what I do for my skin and body.”

When trying to turn around a long-neglected beauty regiment, Hilling says it’s first important to be realistic about what your lifestyle is. “If I tell you there are seven things you need to do to be lineless, and you tell me you can only do two of them, that’s okay,” she says. Secondly, look for a professional—whether that’s an aesthetician or nutritionist—to examine your diet and stress levels in order to put together a nutritional and exercise program that will help detoxify and restore your health. Then: detox! “Whatever skin you see at first is dead, old skin,” Hilling says. “That’s why it looks dehydrated. But if you use an Alpha Hydroxy Acid of some type, you’ll dissolve it away.” She also suggests looking at anti-inflammatory solutions, like salicylic acid, and anti-bacterial agents, like glycolic acid, to help with the acne detoxifying can cause. Finally, be consistent with your regime. You should plan to clean your skin in both the morning and the evening, keeping in mind that it’s about three steps: cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. “It’s also crucial to keep in mind that there isn’t one solution that works for everyone,” Hilling says. “Just because your friend has gotten Botox, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Everyone should look for their own solution.”

I know when I began treating my skin with consistent care, it responded, but like all things, it took time. “It takes a new cell 72 days from the day your skin creates it to when it comes to the surface of your skin,” Hilling reports. “90 days is the best expectation for improvement. People will take two weeks and if they don’t see a change, they quit. But the good news is if they have never done anything and they are finally taking care of their skin, it might show immediately.”

And seeing it show can mean a lot. For Felicia, taking care of herself in sobriety has changed her whole perspective on who she is. “I love myself today,” she says. “I used to not be able to look in the mirror without picking myself apart, criticizing every little thing. But it was about being egotistical, not self-confident. Now, I am happy with that person I see in the mirror and I treat her right.”

Kristen McGuiness is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Fix who wrote previously about the 13th step and dreaming about drinking, among many other topics. She is the author of 51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life

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