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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #021 -- Skin care begins on the inside
December 28, 2007

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Week of December 30, 2007

Table of Contents

* Healthy And Glowing Skin Begins On The Inside *

Healthy And Glowing Skin Begins On The Inside

When it comes to healthy and flawless skin, the average person thinks of skin cleansers, creams, exfolliates, and other topical applications. But the answer to a healthy complexion begins on the inside--not on the outside.

An easily understood example will serve to explain why an inside to outside approach is the only way to permanent, healthy skin. Imagine falling to the ground and scraping your knee. You immediately go into the house and place a band-aid on the scrape. All you have done is to cover a dirty wound.

Not having first cleaned the injury, you leave yourself open for a possible infection. The same applies to the skin, with the exception that the results may not be as disasterous. You can treat yourself to the most expensive facial treatment on the planet. But if you don't first address the internal organs responsible for health, all you will have is poor skin masked by expensive chemical treatments.

Topical creams and ointments and facial treatments merely address the symptoms of aging skin. They don't target the cause. The cause of unhealthy and aging skin is inflammation. (Read...)

Inflammation is the result of free radicals roaming the body. Free radicals are created from intense exercise, polluted air, hormonal imbalance, smoking, high sugar consumption and our refined and processed diet, and stress. The cure to the destructiveness of free radicals is something which is missing from the American diet--high levels of antioxidants. (Read...)

A healthy and glowing complexion begins with nutrition. Your body's liver and kidneys are responsible for waste removal and detoxification. Every day these two organs must detoxify your blood of heavy metals (lead, mercury), unhealthy fats such as trans fats, excess sugar and artificial sweeteners, and refined food. In order for them to do their job properly, they must be well nourished.

Eating too much sugar will lead to wrinkles and aging skin. Sugar ages the skin in a natural process known as glycation. Glycation happens when the sugar in your bloodstream attaches itself to proteins and DNA, and forms harmful molecules known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs.) The greater your intake of sugar, the greater the number of AGEs that develop.

Skin proteins collagen and elastin support skin's firmness and elasticity. AGEs damage these proteins and results in sagging and wrinkly skin. The American diet is literally saturated with sugars and artificial sweeteners. Manufacturers liberally place sugar in breakfast cereals, diet products such as mayonnaise and salad dressings, ketchup, bread products, etc. Sugar is very additive and it makes you eat more and more of the products containing it.

Read product labels very carefully. Avoid ALL products containing high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharine, and Sweet n'Low. All ingredients ending in '-ose' are also sugars. There are many: fructose, maltose, dextrose, etc. Make sure that products which contain these sugars do not list them as the first four ingredients on the label. Better yet, do your best to avoid these products.

The standard American diet (SAD) is a contributing factor towards unhealthy skin. It is loaded with refined carbs and trans and saturated fats. At the same time it is completely deficient in essential nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, and fish such as salmon and sardines.

Jamison Starbuck, ND, a naturopathic physician and lecturer at the University of Montana recommends an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging diet. This diet should consist of generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats may ward off wrinkles by boosting the skin's natural defenses against sun damage. These foods contain high levels of antioxidants which fight inflammation. According to published research, the skin is a major target of oxidative stress.

Water is important for a healthy, glowing skin. Drink plenty of filtered water. How much is enough? If your urine is a pale yellow, chances are you are adequately hydrated. Water naturally present in fruits and vegetables count. Water in coffee, soft drinks, and fruit juices and drinks do not count. Soft drinks should be eliminated from your diet as should fruit drinks. Keep fruit juice to a minimal (make certain it is high fructose corn syrup-free.)

What about skin health and sun exposure? With media attention being paid to sunscreens and skin cancer, people are afraid of the sun nowadays. Michael Holick, MD, Ph.D, is one of the world's foremost authorities on vitamin D and a full Professor of medicine, dermatology, biophysics and physiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. According to him, "the notion that we have to protect ourselves from the sun all the time is misguided and unhealthy." Dr. Holick further states that American's unjustified fear of the sun is responsible for thousands and thousands of premature deaths every year.

Sunlight is essential for the body's production of vitamin D. Of course excessive sun exposure on unprotected skin should be avoided. However the body needs sufficient sunlight for vitamin D. The darker your complexion, the more sun exposure you need. Avoid sunburns. (Read...)

Once you have a strong foundation, and you have that now, you can proceed with topical skin applications. I suggest avoiding all skin care products made with synthetic ingredients, and use only products containing natural ingredients. These products can be found in stores such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.

Here are a few skin preparations you can prepare from items you may have in your kitchen:

Papaya Exfoliant Mask: Place a papaya in a blender. Apply the crushed fruit to your face and leave for at least 20 minutes. You can also add ground herbs or other fruits and vegetables.

Honey Lavender Rose Mask: Take one (1) ounce of lavender and one (1) ounce of rose and ground into a powder. Mix into consistency of honey so that it can easily be applied to your skin.

Facial Salt Scrub: Good for all skin types; this scrub uses a rubbing action. Add salt to your cleanser or soap only at the time you will be using it.

Vinegar Peel: Not for sensitive skin! Good for dry, flaky, or oily skin. The vinegar removes dead skin cells. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 cup certified organic (with the Mother in it, the floating sediment is important to quality vinegar) to one (1) cup of pure water. Take a washcloth and cut out holes for your eyes and nose. Soak the washcloth in the vinegar/water mix and place of your face while lying down. Leave on for up to 25 minutes.

Body Salt Scrub: Good for all skin types and to be used as needed. It removes dead skin. Place 2/3 cup of olive or almond oil into a small bowl. Add about the same amount of sea or table salt. Add enough to have a consistency to be able to rub it all over your body. Next add several drops of your favorite essential oil. Apply the mixture while seated in your bathtub. Shower the mixture off.

Have a blessed holiday season.

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    Another name for type 2 diabetes is adult-onset diabetes. That’s because it used to affect mostly adults. Not any more. Rising obesity rates are afflicting children with this terrible disease. Overweight and obesity is expensive. It costs America about $123 billion per year. The average medical costs for an obese patient is approximately 25 to 35 percent greater than for a non-obese patient!

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    Age Range Mid-1970s 2003-2004:

    2 thru 5 5% 14%

    6 thru 11 7% 19%

    12 thru 19 5% 17%

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  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Stress
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  • Fast Foods
  • Visceral Fat
  • Fructose
  • Understanding Calories
  • Fat ‘Skinny’ People
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  • Get Your Protein
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid
  • Understanding Low Fat/No Fat
  • The Glycemic Index
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Understanding Nutrition Labels
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  • The Need to Exercise
  • Benefits of Exercise
  • Cardio and Weight Training

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    I hope that the information contained in this ezine was helpful. If you have any questions or comments concerning this week's topic(s), please go here...

    Until next week...

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