The Important Truth About Natural Skin Care
By Marcus Laux ND.
From childhood, the importance of image subtly weaves itself into our lives. The face we see every morning in the mirror is the visible result of our age and experience. Unlike our liver or stomach or heart, we can see when our skin loses its glow and vitality. Worse yet, others can see when youth has surrendered to the worries and destruction of the years.
People with a healthy vanity, who take the time to care for their appearance, are more likely to care for their entire body. They're often aware that beauty is more than skin deep, and that the skin often acts as a system barometer to help detect the early signs of problems in other areas of the body.
More than Just a Pretty Face
For example, excess toxins, poor digestion, or hormone imbalances can result in acne, skin rashes, paleness, circulatory, and other problems. Your skin is your body's biggest organ. It defines your physical boundaries and is the first defense against foreign invaders. The skin helps regulate the body temperature, creates and stores vitamin D and provides other important functions, without which, our bodies couldn't survive.
By now you should be getting the idea that your skin deserves more than just cosmetic attention. It's an integral part of your whole structure that requires, deserves, is served by, and responds to, both inside and outside nourishment.
The outdoors may be the most readily available, and inexpensive treatment you can use to restore youth to your skin, mind, and body. Regular exposure to air, water, and sun has a way of rejuvenating the soul, revitalizing and refreshing the skin and adding sparkle to the eyes. Reasonable exposure to sun, air, and water will translate into a more youthful appearance, more energy, and better health.
* Expose yourself to sun and fresh air. The skin benefits from them and releases wastes. This is why it's also important to wear natural fabrics. Humans are the only animals that wear clothing, obstructing the natural flow of skin respiration. Once you find a place of beauty and serenity fill your lungs with the cleanest, freshest air you can find and breathe in its healing benefits.
* Take the proper steps to safely soak up sun, but be aware that studies supported by data from the National Program of Cancer Registries, show that the incidence of malignant melanoma is much lower in sunny states like Louisiana and Hawaii and much higher in the northern states of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Researchers theorize regular exposure to sunlight (in sunny states) lessens occasional severe burning—a likely cause of increased skin cancer risk. The benefits of regular, mild to moderate sun exposure far outweigh the risks.
* Water is essential for radiant skin. Both external bathing and internal consumption of water contribute to youthful appearance and increased energy. Water acts as an internal moisturizer supporting proper digestion, temperature control, and joint lubrication. Consume plenty of healthful hydrating beverages (fresh, pure water, fresh juices, and herbal teas) daily. Limit your intake of dehydrating beverages (coffee, carbonated soda with caffeine, and alcohol).
* The dirt on soap: Some commercial and deodorant soaps can be cosmetic danger to your skin. Soap surrounds oil and dirt so it can be washed away. But most soaps also take your natural oils and leave behind a drying residue that can prematurely age your skin and dull your appearance. I recommend natural soaps that contain healing nutrients and mix better with water. They still remove natural oils, but they do not leave a drying residue.
* Melanin naturally protects the skin from ultraviolet rays. Ten to 45 minutes in the sun during non-peak hours will safely afford you the many benefits of sun nutrients. Increase your exposure daily in small increments until you reach your comfortable tolerance level. You'll have to determine what is most appropriate for your skin type.
* Oral tanning activators got a bad name in the U.S., because, besides turning palms orange from too much synthetic carotene, they typically contained the pigment canthaxanthin. There are only a handful of products that don't have canthaxanthin, and even fewer that have mastered the natural carotene balance needed to produce a natural tan.
If you're going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, choose the right sun protection:
* A good pair of sunglasses that has both UVA and UVB blocking capabilities.
* A wide-brim hat to protect your eyes and face.
* UV-protective clothing to shield your skin
* Long sleeves and full-length pants.
* Avoid open weave or mesh fabrics that can let sunlight get through to your skin.
Slow Down Aging
There are several ways to counter environmental damage and nourish and protect your epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous skin layers:
* Alternate the parts of your body that are exposed to the sun. When mowing the lawn put sunblock on your face and arms but let your legs and torso soak up the rays. Next time protect your legs and torso and expose your face and arms. You won't overexpose any one part of your skin.
* Provide your skin with skin-care products that are nourishing and rejuvenating, and contain natural vegetable oils, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that will help reduce cell damage.
More of Nature's Skin Nutrients
Skin nutrients correct issues deep down and restore shape, texture, and moisture to your face and body. Some can be taken internally and some used externally. Here are a few to consider:
* Supplement before exposure with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and others. They fight the free-radical damage caused by ultraviolet rays.
* Borage oil, evening primrose, and black currant oils are rich in essential fatty acids. Taken orally, essential fatty acids provide a number of benefits including improving complexion, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, and hydrating dry skin. Borage has the highest concentration of GLA.
* The fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E can soak into the skin and protect cells from oxidative damage. Internally it neutralizes age-accelerating free-radicals. You can find a commercial cream for topical use or break open a vitamin E capsule and apply the liquid directly to your skin.
* Vitamin K reduces the appearance of under eye circles and facial bruising, apparently by stimulating blood flow to these areas.
* Vitamin A helps improve the skin by supporting cellular regeneration, and reduce free-radical damage. It is also indicated for acne, dry skin, eczema, and other related conditions.
* DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is an anti-aging adrenal hormone. Supplemental DHEA may help reduce the signs of aging. Studies indicate an improvement in skin, libido, and bone health in both men and women. Remember that DHEA is a hormone and should be treated with respect, especially by individuals at high risk for hormone-related cancers. Talk it over with your doctor before starting.
There are all kinds of beauty—some of it is silicon, surgically created, or plastered on the surface. True youthful beauty happens throughout the body and the skin can become the messenger of that beauty.
Respect your skin's functions, its delicacies, and its complex nature. Embrace the benefits of nature, protect yourself from chemicals, and nourish your skin with natural oils, vitamins, and minerals. You'll find your reward in the mirror.
Author Marcus Laux is a licensed naturopathic medical doctor.
Skin Care Topics include age spot removal, acne remedies, skin cancer, and dry skin remedies.