What then is the "yoga of skincare"? An effective skincare regimen is like the parenting we read about in books: consistent, nurturing and effective. Like tough love, it should foster strength and independence. Effective skincare involves retinols, anti-oxidants and peptides that reawaken the skin. Under their influence, cells get strong and productive again.
The epidermis is an elaborate and intricate system, adapted to meet our needs. No exotic oil or expensive face cream (no matter how sustainable, organic or bioengineered) can substitute for this system which is essentially a factory in constant operation. The ongoing production and maintenance of the epidermis begins with cells dividing and growing at the bottom layer of the skin. The cells mature as they move closer to the surface and die in the uppermost layers of the skin. When they die they release products that create a barrier to water loss and factors that orchestrate their own organized shedding. That process of cells maturing from the bottom layers to the surface layers takes at least four weeks. Retinols work at the basal layer of the skin, repairing the cellular DNA among other activities. Those cells will then "act younger" but you don't see them until they've made their way to the surface. More dramatic improvements in the skin are seen after 3 cycles of 4 weeks. This is the point where a person is too active and productive to be sitting in her recliner, worrying about whether it's soft enough.
More to come on retinols. In the meantime, know that they are uniquely effective because they prime your body's own factory, restoring it to its youthful level of productivity.