Dry Skin and Your Health
5 Targets for Beautiful Skin
Skin, soft and supple to the touch. Don't we all want it? Millions of dollars are spent annually on dry skin care products. Yet for 8.4 million Americans, it seems unattainable and they seek the help of a physician. If you have dry skin frequently than I encourage you to look at why. It is important to treat the problem and not only the symptom. The condition of your skin is a reflection of what is happening internally. Healthy skin, is well nourished skin. Topical creams are temporal and don't have a lasting effect. Let's focus on obtaining healthy skin from the inside out.
How important is skin to our well-being?
Skin is the body's largest organ. It acts as a barrier between the body and millions of foreign substances in our environment. It also teams up with your kidneys and bowels to excrete toxins. Maintaining the health of your skin will automatically improve your overall health.
What You Need:
1. Antioxidants - Visualize antioxidants like warriors against disease. Protecting us from free radicals that would otherwise create cancer, infections, and other disorders in our bodies.
Vitamin A and Carotenoids - Essential for new cell growth, development and maintaining moisture. Best sources : Green leafy vegetables, potatoes, fish liver oil, beef liver, chicken liver, yellow and orange vegetables. Some herb sources are kelp, borage leaves, alfalfa, hops, lemongrass, paprika, sage.
Vitamin C- Functions by neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage and age your skin. Additionally, Vitamin C is necessary in the formation of collagen aiding in the strength and elasticity of the skin. Best sources : Orange juice, oranges, green pepper (raw), grapefruit, strawberries, broccoli (raw), cantaloupe, potato and tomato (raw). Some herb sources are alfalfa, chickweed, fennel seed, hops, kelp, peppermint, parsley, rose hips, and yarrow.
2. Omega 3-Fatty Acids: The amazing Omega-3 works on a molecular level preventing and treating many health problems including skin disorders. It is found in every membrane of every cell in our bodies! The body cannot make fatty acids so it has to come from our diet.
Best Sources: Canola, fish, flax seed, eggs,soybeans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Stop right here. Vitamin supplements are very popular right now. I must warn you that overdosing on Vitamin A can be extremely toxic and dangerous to your health. Never take supplements unless it has been approved by a medical doctor or registered dietitian. Food sources give you a much better fighting chance at better health. It provides fiber (improving the digestive system) and satiety so you are less likely to over eat.
3. Water, lots of water! The most extreme example is that if you don't drink water you die. Water plays a critical role in the physiology of the body. If there is a lack of water the body goes into survival mode. Brain, liver and kidneys get their portion and the rest of the body suffers. Not drinking water will result in poor nourishment and an increase of toxins; thus, promoting poor health and dry skin.
"I hate drinking plain water". Your not alone. The following is a list of acceptable hydrating beverages:
- Herbal teas
- Skim milk
- Flavored water
- Soy based beverages
- Ice water with lemon or lime juice added for flavor
- Vitamin water
- Sports drinks
"What about soda, coffee and tea?"
Am I hitting home yet? The Big Gulp, Starbucks, and that wonderful Earl Grey (with a twist of lemon) are part of our daily lives. You don't have to boycott the soda isle at the grocery store or offer your coffee pot at the next rummage sale, just moderate. Balance is the key here.
Small changes tend to have more staying power:
- Decrease your intake of caffeinated drinks by half.
- Use smaller cups or mugs
- Try alternating hydrating and caffeinated beverages throughout the day
- Drink a glass of water before each meal.
4. Exercise for your skin.
It can be assumed that exercise benefits the whole body. But what many people don't realize is that staying active benefits your skin. Getting that body moving around increases circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin cells. This helps the skin produce collagen and support fibers that keep wrinkles at bay. Another benefit is that well nurished skin excretes toxins more efficiently.
How much do I need to exercise?
The answer would vary depending on your age, health and fitness level. There are some guidelines to follow if your just getting started.
- See a physician first; have a physical if it has been more than a year since your last one.
- Once you get the green light, start!
- Plan to exercise. Choose times and days for exercise and fit it in your weekly schedule.
- Choose activities that fit with your lifestyle. Try new ways of getting your body moving. Change the location if possible to keep it interesting.
- Start slow, 20 minutes three times a week. Increasing the length and frequency as the weeks go by.
5. The fried foods blues
Doesn't fried food taste good? There is a whole world of fried foods available at every market and eatery. Make a hardy effort to reduce them in your diet or cut them out all together. Fried foods change the chemical make-up in your skin. Increasing free radicals which breakdown the elastin in your skin. This causes your skin to age faster.
Focus on complete health and your skin will glow. Implementing nourishing foods into your diet, being active and staying hydrated can be done with simple modifications. Cut back on unhealthy habits and adding some good ones in its place.