I believe that all of us, in the midst of the chaos and months of confinement and seclusion, experience different emotions and feelings. Some weeks were filled with extreme worry, anxiety and sadness.
But I can say that I have also had happy, creative, productive days full of good energy. It was a privilege to be able to take a forced break, from home, and create a daily routine of yoga, cooking, eating well, reading, watching movies, taking online courses, watching “lives”, cleaning the house, taking care of my skin, hair and body.
With time to spare, I had fun doing several days of "home spa"! I was able to try out face mask recipes, moisturize my hair with coconut oil, use my dry brush. I drank lots of water, herbal teas and, many days, managed to get the 8 hours of sleep I deserve. Of course, as the weeks went by, I noticed some good results.
Since I like to try new experiences and it had been a month since I left home, I underwent a 7-day detoxification treatment with green smoothies, which turned out to be a wonderful experience for my body, my soul and, of course, my skin. I can tell you that spending 7 days alone with smoothies is not easy and I do not recommend it to just anyone.
But the "most radical" habit change, with the most surprising result, that I set out to make in this quarantine was to do away with the daily use of makeup once and for all in my life. This was unimaginable for me, since I started having acne-prone* skin at the age of 30 and I had not spent a day in my life without using at least one makeup base on my face to hide my acne.
And it is this liberation (or would it be a victory?) that I would like to share with you. I can say out loud and with great pride that:
I'm a "MAKEUP FREE" woman and I want to celebrate that! Because in the times we live in, that's not easy, it's not for just anyone. With so many impositions from society for us to be "superwomen" or "women with perfect skin and bodies", who dares or who manages not to wear makeup?
That doesn't mean that I don't like to wear makeup and that I'll never wear makeup again. I'm a professional actress and, many times, in plays, movies or TV, wearing makeup is part of the job.
How has the pandemic helped improve my acne-prone skin?
When I couldn't leave the house, I ended up spending days and days with a basic facial care routine: cleansing my skin with a toner and moisturizing it on some days with Per Purr's facial oil and on other days with my mixed-dry skin moisturizer.
After going 3 months without using a drop of makeup on my acne-prone skin (I can already say: my skin is no longer acne-prone), the result is really amazing. I never imagined getting rid of makeup (Could makeup be an addiction? A way of hiding ourselves?) Nor did I imagine the difference its daily use would make to the health of my skin.
Anyone with acne-prone skin knows what I'm talking about. Some spend years and years in the incessant struggle of fighting pimples, trying all sorts of products and treatments people recommend, going to countless different dermatologists and almost never having satisfactory results, or any hope.
Well, the truth is that it seems it has taken a pandemic for me to discover alone and confined to my house that the combo food + what you do or don’t put on your skin is your "secret tip" to having healthy skin and no acne.
Now that we are slowly returning to the rhythm of before, but with (perhaps) a change in mentality, a desire to do things better and a real thirst to stick to the new habits cultivated in lock-down, it is time to put our plans into action.
The truth is that everything I'm talking about is related to the notion of constancy. Experiencing doing something every day. Even if it's just a little, but sticking to it, until the action becomes a part of you and eventually it doesn't require any effort.
I can already tell you that for me it takes no effort to eat well, do yoga and not wear makeup every day. They are just simple, constant daily tasks.
So, I invite you to try a new habit that makes you feel good. But take your time. Don't forget that as long as a little day-to-day practice makes a difference in your mind or body, you have to embrace it and practice it.
*One of the causes of acne in adult women is "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome", which can also cause a hormonal imbalance. In this case, changes in diet and the use of cosmetics may not have the same effectiveness. We encourage you to consult a medical specialist.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle by causing drowsiness and lowering body temperature through sensitivity to ambient lighting. It works best at night with the natural circadian rhythm. While sleep is incredibly important, melatonin also operates directly with the central nervous system, which ultimately really puts us to sleep.
In the 1990s, it was discovered that melatonin had other functions in our bodies, such as the elimination of free radicals, which makes it an endogenous antioxidant. Need more?
It can cross cell membranes and also the blood-brain barrier, a filter that regulates fluid and materials that enter the central nervous system. Upon entering, and unlike other antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione, it does not undergo the “redox cycle”. The redox (reduction-oxidation) cycle occurs when an electron-poor antioxidant, such as those mentioned above, donates its electrons to cancel the effects of free radicals (highly reactive molecules that cause damage precisely because they do not have paired electrons, and molecules that need electrons to stabilize). Because they don't have a lot of electrons to donate, they can become “pro-oxidants”.
Melatonin is an electron-rich molecule and can interact with free radicals through an additive reaction, forming various stable-end products excreted in the urine. From this point of view, melatonin can be considered a terminal antioxidant. Many already know that its production is directly related to sleep cycles. But what few know is how good it can be for the skin.
From the age of 30, the synthesis of melatonin begins to decrease, which explains the insomnia crises of adulthood. Melatonin deficiency is also related to depression and obesity. But what does it have to do with beautiful skin? As we said before, melatonin decreases cell oxidation endogenously, being one of the most powerful antioxidants ever found in nature.
Antioxidants in turn decrease the premature aging of cells and, consequently, the skin; smoothing and preventing wrinkles and eliminating the "tired" appearance that we dislike so much. It also helps control changes in skin pigmentation by adding melanin to melanocytes, causing the skin to change color. This interaction is also responsible for the paler color of the skin of the elderly and people suffering from insomnia.
In addition to skin pigmentation, it is also related to melanoma control, because melatonin receptors are expressed in various skin cells, including keratinocytes (keratin-producing cells, predominant in the epidermis) and fibroblasts (cells related to healing and other functions). Melatonin can also suppress ultraviolet (UV) light that causes damage to skin cells, exhibiting strong antioxidant activity in cells exposed to UV rays. Therefore, melatonin synthesized locally or topically applied* could neutralize environmental stress.
Our skin acts as a barrier between the environment and the grand organism (our body), since it is constantly subject to the actions of solar, thermal, mechanical energy, chemical and biological agents. Evolution has allowed it to develop unique properties to deal with these stressors, making it endowed with abilities to recognize, discriminate, and integrate specific signals within a highly offensive environment and integrate them into a neuroendocrine and stress response system. Further, the skin has the ability to generate new vessels, cellular tissues, and rehabilitate scars and wounding.
Melatonin is not yet used in sunscreen creams, probably due to incompatibilities with the substances used to protect against UV rays, which require a very high pH to be stable. But the use of its properties for topical purposes is already being used in humans: melatonin in a pliable cream formulation can form a deposit in the first layer of the skin from which is continuously released into the blood vessels. Thus,the skin becomes a target organ, not only for the treatment of local routes, such as topical application, but also allowing a transdermal supply (that passes through the skin) reaching our circulatory system, creating internal treatment through this constant within the skin.
We leave you a list of foods that help in the production of this hormone: oats, berries, corn, red wine, tomatoes and oranges, potatoes, nuts and rice.
Easy, right? Nothing outside of our usual diet.
In addition to the food, to have a better production of melatonin, we must monitor environmental factors: seasons, temperature, ambient lighting, and endogenous factors such as stress and age. The story that you shouldn't sleep with the lights on, or with the TV on, can be considered correct. If there is a minimal light source in the room or if the temperature is not pleasant, you can have an uncomfortable night or a series of them. It must have happened to you, right?
Melatonin in supplement form is easily found in drugstores.
1- Wake up early
It’s the best way to start the day! Waking up early helps you be more productive and feel less stressed, so you can organize your day calmly ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than waking up startled by your alarm.
Tip: Choose a pleasant alarm.
2- Breathe, stretch and meditate
In order to start your day relaxed, it is quite important that you give yourself time to breathe calmly, meditate and stretch. By dedicating this small amount of time in the morning, you’ll be able to energize yourself and face any kind of situation that comes your way.
Tip: Spend 1 minute doing 7 breaths, inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 6.
3 – Move
Morning exercise improves blood flow to your brain, increasing productivity and performance throughout the day.
Whether it’s 15 or 30 minutes of exercise, the idea is to move your body and leave laziness behind!
4 - Don’t skip breakfast. Ever.
We all know this, but... when we’re in a rush, we skip breakfast. Make time for breakfast during your morning, nutrition is the first step to well-being.
5 - Prepare your day in advance
Making too many stressful decisions in the morning can drain your energy. Look for ways to automate some decisions, such as choosing your clothes, preparing your gym bag or making lunch the day before.
Tip: We take it to the next level, and recommend avoiding social networks in the morning… you can check them later in the day.
6 - Priorities. Yes, priorities.
Choose a few priorities for your day and you will see that you can be more productive. Start with questions like: What do I want to do today? How do I want to feel today? What would I like to avoid today?
Tip: It may help to write them down.
7 - Stay positive!
Attitude plays an important role in our day. Deciding yes! – I am going to have a good day – is the key to a good start in the morning. Unexpected events may arise, but you can’t control everything.
As Sartre said, “Man is free in a given situation and through that situation he chooses what he will be.”
So, how are you going to start tomorrow?