The health of your skin is determined by many factors – diet, nutrition, skin care, muscle tone, habitual facial expressions, stress, exposure to pollutants, lifestyle habits and sun exposure. Oh my, right? The American Academy of Dermatology declares November National Healthy Skin Month. In reminder to take good care of your skin, let’s KISS – Keep It Skin Simple!
Your skin is the first defense against disease and infection, protects internal organs from injuries, helps regulate body temperature, and helps your body remove excess water and salt. It is the largest organ in the body and it requires some TLC to keep it healthy all year long:
• Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits & vegetables, preferably raw, and healthy fats & oils. Your body needs high-quality fat to nourish the skin. Not enough fat, the skin becomes dry. Too much fat, heavily processed fat and oils in the diet, the skin breaks out.
• Drink at least 2 quarts of water every day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This helps to hydrate the skin and flush away toxins.
• Change those unhealthy lifestyle habits of smoking, alcohol and caffeine. All of these dry out the skin, which is already dry during these winter months with all the indoor heating and low humidity. Make sure to tell your smoking friends & family they’re pursing their lips hundreds of times each day, a habitual facial expression that forms crease lines often becoming early wrinkles.
• Protect yourself from overexposure to the sun, specifically the ultraviolet-A rays (UVA), our skin’s worst enemy. It dries out the skin, erodes the elastic tissue and leads to the making of free radicals (molecules) that can damage skin cells. Worse, the effects of overexposure to the sun are cumulative and may not be obvious for many years. This overexposure to sunlight is not to be confused with limited, controlled exposure to UVB rays necessary for your body’s Vitamin D production.
• Exercise your body to increase the circulation of nourishment-carrying blood to the skin.
• Exercise your face to stretch and tone the muscles. Practice extending your jaw in an exaggerated chewing motion, or repeatedly miming A – E – I – O – U in an exaggerated annunciation. Pay attention to facial expressions that you make over and over, like squinting, frowning, raising your eyebrows, pursing your lips (that bad smoking habit) and others. They’re potentially wrinkle-inducing.
• Practice good skin care – cleanse gently with natural soaps, creams and natural oils to remove dirt and makeup avoiding harsh soaps; use a facial sponge or loofah several times a week to remove dead, dry skin cells and stimulate circulation; apply moisturizer after cleansing while skin is still damp to keep your skin well lubricated, especially if it is dry; use witch hazel or an herbal product to tone avoiding alcohol-based products.
• Choose skin care and cosmetic products carefully. Natural Healthy Concepts recommends you select products containing natural ingredients and only tested on humans while avoiding those containing petroleum, mineral oil, or hydrogenated oils. Do your skin a favor…and your budget too, take advantage of our 35% off November 2010 Pangea Organics sale.
More words from a national skin care expert:
Dr. Al Sears, M.D., a skin care expert and one of our health care resource specialists, has traveled the world to uncover natural ways to nourish and repair your skin keeping it glowing, radiant, and healthy. He and his team of experts have created Pure Radiance, a natural blend product line of the world’s most powerful nutrients. Dr. Al Sears offers excellent skin-nourishing nutrition, anti-aging exercise tips, and professional expertise to help you achieve vibrant-looking skin and hair… naturally.
Important Nutrients the skin needs:
Linoleic Acid – found in primrose oil or black current seed which, in dosages as directed on label, are good healers for dermatitis, acne and other skin disorders
Vitamin A – necessary for healing and new skin tissue (RDA of 25,000 IU daily for 3 months then reduce to 15,000 IU daily; if pregnant, do not exceed 10,000 IU daily.)
Carotenoid complex (Betatene) – promotes antioxidant production (as directed on label).
Selenium – another antioxidant producer that works with Vitamin E (200 mcg daily; if pregnant, do not exceed 40 mcg daily). Our skin cells have naturally occurring antioxidants that remove excess free radicals (molecules). When antioxidants are in short supply, common in aging skin cells, free radicals remain in excess and can damage skin cell membranes and eventually break down collagen, a connective tissue protein. The result is skin inflammation, aging skin and wrinkles.
Vitamin E – protects against free radicals that can damage the skin and contribute to aging (use the d-alpha-tocopheral form)
Vitamin B complex – an anti-stress and anti-aging fighter (as directed on label) plus extra Vitamin B12 (1,000-2,000 mcg daily)
Vitamin C with bioflavonoid – necessary for the formation of collagen, a protein that gives the skin its flexibility PLUS fights free radicals and strengthens the capillaries that feed the skin (3,000-5,000 mg daily in divided doses)
Topical Vitamin C with bioflavonoid – studies have shown that applying Vitamin C to the skin promotes collagen productions, improves skin tone, and can slightly reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles (as directed on label)
Silica – important for skin strength and elasticity plus it stimulates collagen formation (as directed on label)
Zinc – for tissue strength and repair (50 mg daily not to exceed a total of 100 mg daily from all supplements); zinc plus copper (3 mg daily) balances zinc
Kelp – supplies balanced minerals needed for good skin tone (1,000-1,500 mg daily)
Other helpful nutrients for healthy skin – there are many from calcium and magnesium to topical collagen and elastin creams, and herbs.
Take good care of your skin this month, National Healthy Skin Month, and all year long. KISS it – Keep It Skin Simple!
P.S. About wrinkles – they form when the skin thins and loses its elasticity. Practice good skin care and keeping the skin supple so those crease lines won’t deepen into wrinkles. Some amount of wrinkling is a result of aging and is probably inevitable. The skin becomes thinner and dryer as we age. No matter what you do, you will develop some lines if you simply live long enough.