Information & insights for graceful living.
Ballerina Habits For Beautiful SkinApril 1, 2016
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Ballet dancers typically don’t have the resources to spend on fancy products, facials, or treatments. But the lifestyle of dancing ballet does promote some very good habits for maintaining a beautiful body inside and out.
These 8 simple ballerina habits will keep your skin healthy and glowing.
1. ALWAYS wear sunscreen.
Ballerinas are not allowed to have tan lines, so I was always covering up with hats and sunscreen well before it was generally recommended. I didn’t want to have to wear body makeup to cover up tan (or more likely for me, burn) lines, but the net effect was that I developed the habit of protecting my skin from the sun. The key is to choose a formula that is comfortable to wear for the activities you do and then apply it liberally.
I prefer non-chemical sunblocks because my eyes are sensitive. My favorite sunscreen for face is Shiseido SPF 50+ lotion. It has micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that go on super smooth and stay in place, even when I sweat! The fact that it’s so long lasting and easy to wear under makeup makes it well worth the $40 price tag! Shiseido also makes an SPF 38 version that I sometimes use in winter.
For body, I like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch sunscreen because it feels less greasy to wear, but I also cover up under hats, t-shirts and cropped pants if I’m out for a long time. For outdoor sports, I wear long-sleeve SPF shirts so I don’t have to wear so much sunscreen.
2. Drink lots of water.
Staying hydrated is the key to so much of our beauty and well-being, including keeping the largest organ in our bodies (the epidermis) in optimal health.
I never felt so “clean” as when I had spent hours sweating in the ballet studio! Sweating opens the pores and makes us thirsty for more water. Just be sure to have a quick rinse in the shower after a heavy workout to wash away the salty film that can make you feel grimy. And for those who think sweating is stinky business–your sweat flushes out waste and toxins. Provided you shower afterwards, sweating more means you’ll stink less!
4. ALWAYS remove makeup and gently cleanse skin before bed.
Years of performing most often meant removing heavy stage makeup each night. Old school cold cream and tissues is a great way to remove everything from base to eye makeup. Just be gentle and don’t rub too hard! After initial makeup removal, a light wash with a mild cleanser (I use Cetaphil) always left my skin feeling comfortably naked.
5. Moisturize appropriately for your skin type.
My skin tends to be dry so I apply moisturizer both morning and night (except in high humidity conditions). For night, I use a heavier product. A winter favorite is Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. For daytime, I apply a light moisturizer such as Neutrogena Hydro Boost or Cetaphil Lotion before putting on sunscreen. It’s just important to give your moisturizer a minute or two to absorb before layering on sunscreen.
6. Wear less makeup.
Because a lot of my work involves sweating, I typically don’t wear much makeup. A little under-eye concealer, a light dusting of blush, and a creamy lip color make me feel composed but also free enough to not worry about how my makeup looks. I highly recommend choosing a makeup routine that lets you worry less about your appearance! An added benefit of keeping my makeup light and simple is that when I do play dress up with my face, it is more satisfying, fun, and impactful!
7. Eat a nutritious diet.
In ballet it’s so important to eat foods that serve your energy and activity levels. Sugary foods send your energy soaring then crashing. They also contribute to every athlete’s worst enemy–inflammation. We feel it in our muscles and joints, but inflammation also takes its toll on your skin. Eating to dance–which includes lean proteins, good fats, complex carbs, and fruits and veggies with only modest amounts of sugar, processed foods, and alcohol–also makes good skincare sense.
8. Get more sleep.
Sleep (or lack of it) significantly affects our well-being. Getting adequate rest will not only improve your brain and body function, but it will also help you look your best. On days when I haven’t slept well, I try to recharge with a little cat nap. Just 20 – 35 minutes of rest can drastically alter my energy and outlook.
Paying attention to your overall health with some simple good habits goes a long way towards helping you look and feel your best.
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