Monday, March 29, 2010

Say Chao to Under-Eye Circles


Surgery won’t fix them, Botox won’t hide them, and so, what do you do with those tired eyes? I’m the recipient of the under-eye circle of drama! My lucky parents do not have under-eye circles so I did not inherit them. I personally think that we all have areas where we put our stress. For some it is a recurring ulcer, for others skin conditions. I know that when I am stressed, my eyes are the first to show it. I mean, let’s face it; there are more “ism’s” about the eyes than I care to remember. But I will say that if eyes are the windows to your soul, then lets leave the shutters off them!


This is not really as bad as it sounds. I am fortunate to be an esthetician and make-up artist so my job is to conceal what nature tries to reveal. There have been many weddings for which I was hired to make-up the beautiful bride who hadn't slept the night before. And I would never let a bride be less than gorgeous. Yet one of the hardest things to correct (or disguise) is tired and stressed eyes. There is the issue of redness in the eyes, under eye circles and puffiness (which also exacerbate the crow’s feet). The good news is I have made the sleepiest of eyes look good. These tricks of the trade are easy enough for anyone to do. But before this…let’s explore a little more about the culprits that cause raccoon eyes!


The fact is that the eyes really do show so much about ones health and state of mind. There is a study of the eyes called iridology which I find fascinating. I once had my eyes read and wouldn’t you know it -my hazel eyes are really a dark blue. I always wanted to have blue eyes and I was told that if I cleansed my body, and improved my health, the color of my eyes would change. Interestingly enough, when I do get a good night sleep often enough, and when I eat properly, my eyes are much clearer and maybe there is a tinge of blue! Well a bit of wishful thinking. What I do know is that there are many Naturopathic doctors who read the eyes, and the skin as a tool to help them diagnose the health of the body. When the body is in good health, the skin responds well, and aging is slowed down.


If I were to sum up aging as simply as possible it would be the breakdown of collagen. Collagen needs a water abundant area to grow and many of us lack sufficient water in the cells. This in turn inhibits the growth of collagen and increases skin inflammation. Both of these are leading causes of premature aging during the pre and post menopausal years. The first major change is usually around age thirty. So many times I hear my clients say how great their skin was until they hit 30. Voila-a shift in the hormones certainly shows up on the skin. The first signs may be weight gain, or overall puffiness. Many women combat weight gain caused from a change in hormones by eating a low fat and low caloric diet that is often lacking in nutrients. A poor diet can tax the lymphatic system. When the lymphatic system is overloaded the drainage process becomes damaged and too much fluid can cause swelling in the connective tissue. This can contribute to skin bloating, under eye circles, and uneven or ashen skin tone.


So what do you do when had a sleepless night and your Cortisol levels have sky rocketed? Or when you didn’t skip that extra glass of wine? I’ve got a few skin care tips that will de-puff, awaken your skin and start the day with a glow. Take a wash cloth soaked in warm water and gently circle it around the skin. This exfoliates dead skin. Next run your sink water until it is ice cold. Splash your face ten times with this cold water. Pat your skin dry. Put on your moisturizer and eye cream. Take a teaspoon and put it in the freezer for a minute or two. While this is cooling, drink a glass of room temperature water with a slice of lemon and cucumber. Take out the teaspoon and press the it on the under-eye area from the outer corner to the inner corners. In less than thirty minutes your skin and eyes will look great.


And lastly I will offer this. There is a Buddhist adage that says when the soul feels hardened soften it. Soften your heart, soften your mind. When the eyes, the windows of the soul, are open they reveal your soft and open and beautiful spirit. This is my best beauty trick of all


Age Rebelling Citrus Zing Juice:
1 grapefruit
1 orange
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
Grate the ginger (use a cheese grater) hand squeeze or use a juice to fresh squeeze the orange and grapefruit. Add ginger and juice to a cup. Stir and enjoy.

Marlene Katz is the founder of Intelligent Skin Sense Boutique, Spa and Product Line. She is the author of the upcoming book “Age Rebel” which features her many beauty tips and spa recipes. When Marlene is not concocting skin care she is home cooking for her family (and dogs.) www.intelligentskinsense.com
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Zen and Chaos meet again


Give me at least bragging rights for my efforts...it is not for lack of trying or even for lack of knowledge that I stumble upon chaos when I try to be Zen. Do you know how many times I've read Marianne Williamson's Gift of Love, or reread paragraphs from Gangaji in You are That? I've got the beginners guide to Buddhism and Hatha Yoga at my fingertips. I will tell you that despite my sincere wishes to have peace, I have chaos all around me. The dogs bark at 6 am. My seven year old daughter creeps in the bedroom at wee hours. My husband patiently awaits his morning coffee which if you haven't guessed, I am preparing. I vowed to give myself private time, so I set my alarm for 5:30 am. I tip-toe out of bed, and feel the peace entering my body, until BOOM, my husband appears, the dogs and my daughter all wondering if everything is OK? Well I can joke about this now, but at the time I wanted to cry. But Gangaji made a point in saying that the calm can be found in a NYC packed elevator. So I realized this recently that Chaos is to Zen, as labor is to birth. I finally am embracing that both can coexist and I don't need to have one or the other. Just need to explain to the dogs that licking my face is not a part of my meditation!