We humans are living longer, yet poor diet choices plus environmental changes are negatively affecting our bodies and our skin health.

The skin is usually the first organ to show dramatic changes due to stress, hormonal fluctuations, poor nutrition, lack of hydration, and/or excess alcohol or caffeine consumption.

An imbalance in thyroid hormones can cause skin changes such as flushing, uneven skin tone, redness, dry, cracking skin, fine lines and wrinkles. The skin can become coarse, thick, or puffy from fluid retention. The nails and hair are affected as well. If you suspect a thyroid imbalance, your doctor can check your TSH, T3 and T4. Sometimes a mild imbalance can be improved by a corrected diet.

Holistic esthetics in skincare embraces the European approach to promoting healthy, radiant and beautiful skin. The whole body is part of the picture. Lifestyle questions, sleep habits, stress levels, and digestive or circulation problems are addressed.

A basic training in anatomy and physiology and the relationship between overall health and skin patterns is part of that holistic experience. Understanding the function of the muscles, the lymph and circulation system is helpful in order to employ techniques such as acupressure and manual lymph drainage.

Essential oils and aromatherapy can also address client wellness concerns. Fatigue, water retention, pain management, plus sleep and energy levels may all be helped with the proper blend of aromatherapy oils.

Holistic skincare goes beyond the usual esthetics toolbox of peels, microdermabrasion, and chemical procedures, to understanding a potential underlying systemic problem that may require referrals.

A relaxing facial including neck and shoulder massage reduces stress, promotes circulation, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, aids digestion, and leaves the skin soft, hydrated and radiant.

In Chinese medicine, the ear is often referred to as the fetal child in reverse. Massaging the spine of the ear aids in digestion and elimination. Try this maneuver on yourself for a stimulating, relaxing effect.