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Embracing Holiday Self-Care

Written by Vivoderm Admin on . Posted in Diet & Health, Fundamentals, Recent Articles, Skin and Tips

Nurturing Your Well-Being During the Festive Season

The holiday season, often filled with joy and festivities, can also be a time of increased stress and busyness. Amid the gift shopping, social gatherings, and travel, it’s crucial to carve out moments for self-care. Taking time for yourself during the holidays is not only a form of personal nourishment but also a way to ensure you enter the new year with renewed energy and a positive mindset. Here’s a guide to incorporating self-care into your holiday routine:

**1. Set Boundaries: It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but setting boundaries is crucial for maintaining your well-being. Learn to say no when necessary and prioritize activities that align with your values and bring you joy. This might mean politely declining some invitations or opting for a quiet night in when needed.

**2. Create Rituals: Establishing self-care rituals during the holiday season can provide a sense of stability amidst the chaos. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of tea in the morning, taking a quiet walk in the fresh air, or practicing a few minutes of mindfulness before bed, these rituals can become anchors that ground you during hectic times.

**3. Prioritize Sleep: Adequate sleep is a cornerstone of self-care. Despite the holiday demands, strive to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Lack of sleep can contribute to stress and negatively impact your overall well-being. Ensure you prioritize rest, allowing your body and mind to recharge.

**4. Nourish Your Body: Amidst holiday feasts, it’s essential to pay attention to your nutritional needs. Balance indulgent meals with nourishing, wholesome foods. Stay hydrated and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Ensuring you provide your body with the nutrients it needs contributes to both physical and mental well-being.

**5. Unplug and Disconnect: The constant barrage of social media, emails, and messages can add to holiday stress. Take intentional breaks from screens to unplug and disconnect. Use this time to engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s reading a book, taking a nature walk, or spending quality time with loved ones without the distraction of devices.

**6. Practice Gratitude: In the midst of holiday chaos, take a moment each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Gratitude has the power to shift your focus from stressors to positive aspects of your life, fostering a sense of contentment. Consider keeping a gratitude journal to jot down daily reflections.

**7. Indulge in Pampering: Treat yourself to moments of pampering and relaxation. Whether it’s a warm bath with calming essential oils, a spa day at home, or simply taking the time for a skincare routine, these small indulgences can have a significant impact on your mental state.

**8. Reflect and Set Intentions: As the year comes to a close, take time for introspection. Reflect on the past year, acknowledging accomplishments and areas of growth. Set positive intentions for the upcoming year, focusing on personal and emotional well-being.

In essence, holiday self-care is about creating balance, setting boundaries, and making intentional choices that prioritize your well-being. By incorporating these practices into your holiday routine, you can navigate the festivities with a greater sense of calm, joy, and fulfillment. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish but rather an essential aspect of ensuring you can fully enjoy and appreciate the holiday season.

Why Natural Facial Skincare is Best for You

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Our skin is the largest organ of the body and protects the rest of our organs from outside elements and harm. We have all been taught to take care of our skin not only to look good, but also to be healthy.

The benefits of eating organic, whole foods have been getting a lot of press in recent years. If you want beautiful skin, a healthy inside will reflect a healthy outside. Today, natural and organic skin care is the fastest growing area in the skin care and beauty industry.

Why natural? Some facial cleansers and  products have been known to contain many chemicals such as parabens, to preserve their shelf life. Parabens are actually harmful to the skin, and overall health. Organic skin care products are all natural and do not contain any chemicals or preservatives. “Natural skin care” can and might contain some chemical constituents, but strives to be as natural as possible. The key ingredients used to make these products contain few if any toxins or chemicals.

You may then ask, “Do natural or organic skin care products expire more quickly than others?” The answer is no. In order to extend the product’s shelf life, manufacturers recommend you use something sanitary–such as a spatula–to remove products from containers and always close containers directly after use. It is widely agreed upon that once skin care products of any kind are opened and exposed to air, they should be used or thrown out after 6 months.

When natural facial masks and treatments are used to treat skin disorders such as eczema and acne, they are much less likely to cause irritation to sensitive skin. Choosing natural is a beneficial and safe way to take care of your skin and overall health. Today there are many organic and natural soaps and cleansers to choose from, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, make-up and even anti-aging serums. Some organic ingredients you may already have at home are: essential oils like ginger and tea tree, natural plant oils such as grape seed and almond oil, and herbs such as lavender and green tea. You can use these in your bath or make fabulous natural, facial treatments. The internet or your local library has hundreds of great recipes to choose.

Organic fruits such as papaya, apples, citrus and cucumbers are proven to have a healthy effect on the skin, due to the absence of toxic pesticides. As you can imagine, there are many great organic and natural soaps and cleansers available for retail, if you’re not interested in making your own home remedies. However, “natural” doesn’t always mean organic and labels can be deceiving; do some research on ingredients that seem skeptical.

The intent of this article is to help you be aware what you are putting on your skin and what harmful ingredients may be looming in your favorite skin care products. Now that you know more about natural, organic skin care follow the below home recipe for a great glow!

Make sure that your at home ingredients are certified organic.

Moisturizing Avocado Mask:

1 avocado, 1 teaspoon of apple vinegar, 1 egg white, 3 teaspoons of olive oil. Peel and mash avocado. Separate and beat egg white, add to mashed avocado along with other ingredients. Apply to face and wash off after 20 minutes.

Natural Skincare and Lifestyle Tips to Age Gracefully

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Ahh aging. That all-time nemesis of the twenty-first century.  Everywhere you go, people are trying to look younger. We buy all sorts of high-tech anti aging skincare products, try exercise regimes, new workouts, spending hundreds or even thousands on spa treatments, facials and invasive surgical procedures.  Just so they can look 5 to 10 years younger.  And what is the bottom line? WHY are we all trying to erase the signs of our maturity and experiences? Many blame media or modern culture for putting such a high value on youth and vigor that all other valuable attributes have simply slipped away. Indeed, we see evidence of this all too often – from the workplace that lets their oldest employee go for “budgetary” reasons, to the new dating trend preference of of choosing someone 10 to 20 years your junior.

Maybe it’s the inevitable fear of death that keeps most of us clinging to our years already gone by, but our society looses so much of its value and wisdom by simply paying attention to the surface appearance. Doesn’t it make more sense to take care of yourself as best as you can and age gracefully – without regret or expensive ‘restoration work’?

Of course, most of us would all like to live longer and have a better quality of life. To have the gift of good health in your later years, it makes sense to take care of yourself in your youth. Here are some common-sense lifestyle tips and natural remedies to help grow old youthfully.

Drink More Water

Water makes up approximately 60% of the human body, and there is water in every cell of the body. We cannot survive without water for longer than a few days. With age our sense of thirst gradually diminishes, and the water content of body decreases so many elderly people are somewhat dehydrated. Dehydration is linked to allergies, hypertension, general aches and pains and of course, bad digestion.
Use Organic or Natural Skincare Products

Natural skin care goes beyond the application of products on one’s skin. It also pertains to a holistic philosophy surrounding the care of one’s body. This includes the belief that what is ingested will affect all aspects of health, including the health of skin. People who use natural skin care products are less concerned with artificial beauty enhancements, as they feel that natural beauty is healthy beauty.

Some examples of natural skin care ingredients include jojoba, safflower oil, rose hip seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and chamomile. Many of these natural ingredient combinations can be tailored specifically to the individual’s skin type or skin condition.


Eat Healthily

Easier said than done for some, but a healthy diet is essential to your well-being. The old saying “You are what you eat” rings true when we see the rise in dietary related diseases. Don’t be caught digging your grave with your teeth. A balanced diet of fresh, whole (non-processed), organic and preferably raw food should be a large part of your diet.

Basic Guidelines For A Simplified Balanced Diet

* Avoid white flour products
* Eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet etc.
* Avoid sugar – rather use honey, agave, xylitol or stevia.
* Eat a variety of legumes (beans, lentils etc.)
* Avoid all hydrogenated fats (margarine etc.)
* Avoid fried foods
* Include low-starch vegetables preferably eaten raw.
* Include foods rich in omega-3 fats.
* Include low-fat, organic protein sources (fish, spirulina, organic whey protein, quinoa)
* Include fresh organic fruit (especially from the super food range) and raw nuts.
* Avoid colourants, flavourants, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.

Whole foods are better than processed. Refined foods result in both a measurable loss of nutrients and an unbalanced food, which creates imbalance in the body when eaten. Living food (such as fresh fruit and vegetables) are more nutritious and better than “dead food” (such as canned foods). Foods grown in “live soil” (organic food) is better than food grown in “sterile soil”. This has largely depleted trace minerals in foods.

How Does Eating Sugar Make You Old?

Eating sugar causes your body to secrete high levels of insulin. Insulin and the stress hormone, cortisol, are two hormones that can dramatically speed up the aging process. Sugar depresses the immune system; it contributes to atherosclerosis, and it causes oxidative stress by creating AGEs (advanced glycosylated end-products). These accumulate in body tissues such as the skin (causing age spots), arteries, kidneys and brain. In other words, eating sugar makes you old.

Do Exercise

Exercise is one of your key weapons in the fight against premature aging. Medical studies prove time and time again that physical exercise is a key factor in the
prevention of chronic disease as well as beneficial for mental function. The main benefit of exercise is the increased oxygen to the brain, heart and other organs which in turn increases their well-being and functioning. Bouncing on a mini-trampoline is a well recommended form of exercise that can be done in the comfort of your own home and at a time that suits your schedule.

Detox

The body detoxifies itself naturally through the skin and other organs of elimination. Assist your body with its cleansing ability by making some lifestyle changes. You need to minimize your exposure to external toxins: changes like drinking pure water, eating organic food, avoiding sources of air pollution and exposure to tobacco, and limiting consumption of alcohol, preservatives, caffeine, sugar and processed foods.

Simple measures like bathing daily, dry brushing, exercising, keeping hydrated, supplementing with herbal remedies that support the organs (like milk thistle for the liver), deep breathing and eating healthily are good routines to follow.

Get Some Sunshine

Natural Vitamin D is another key weapon in the pursuit of good health and longevity. Sunlight is the best form of Vitamin D and its levels in the body affects the entire body. Modern science is now realizing that vitamin D does more than just aid the absorption of calcium and bone formation. It is also involved in multiple repair and maintenance functions, touches hundreds of different genes, and helps to fight infection by regulating the immune system. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing epidemic across the world and contributes to many chronic debilitating diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and depression, as well as cognitive impairment in older people. Avoid synthetic Vitamin D2 in supplements like fortified foods as high doses have been found to be toxic.

Get More Sleep

Good quality sleep is essential, in fact some say that it’s the best anti-aging tool. While we sleep,the body “recharges” and repairs. The 24-hour circadian rhythm is our internal clock and governs the body’s functions.. This clock helps the body to adapt to the time of day and to environmental changes. Studies have shown a co-dependency between the circadian clock and the body’s metabolism and cellular performance. Disrupted sleep patterns can adversely affect health especially mental health. Some effects include short-term memory loss and impaired creativity as well as weight gain or loss and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Lack of sleep weakens the immune system and may cause decreased production of melatonin, which is produced by the brain during sleep.

Take pleasure in living healthily and make good choices in nutrition, exercise, weight management, mental attitude, work and relationships. This will stand you in good stead for your later years.

References:
1. Science Daily March 19, 2009: How Your Body Clock Regulates Your Metabolism.

2.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/a…

3.http://www.topantiagingtips.com/sle…

4. Bland JS. Improving Genetic Expression in the Prevention of the Disease of Aging – A Functional Medicine Approach to Anti-aging Medicine. Gig Harbour, WA:
HealthComm Intl, 1998

5. Grossman T. The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Living Forever. Golden, CO: Hubristic Press, 2000:127

Understanding Hormones and Your Skin

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“How to achieve beautiful, supple and young-looking skin”. You almost can’t avoid it – splashed on magazine covers, reported in newspapers and marketed on television and radio, the message to improve our skin would appear paramount to how we and others view our looks.
How does our skin age?  Skin aging is influenced by:

* Genetic differences
* Hormonal changes, e.g. estrogen and thyroxin
* Chronic sun exposure
* Wind, pollution

Blame it on hormones

Hormones are mostly to blame for skin changes as we age. Hormones are chemical messengers produced in organs such as the ovaries, adrenal glands, and thyroid glands, and all have an effect on other tissues.

Much of the reason why our skin begins to suffer is primarily due to hormones — and there is a massive industry manufacturing products to try to alleviate the results of these hormonal changes, notably as women reach menopause in their 40s and 50s.

As menopause occurs, estrogen is reduced and while it has a direct effect on thinning bones, it also creates significant changes in the skin. Women find:

* their skin becomes drier with increased wrinkles
* skin becomes more fragile, loses some of its elasticity, and is looser because the production of collagen is reduced
* older skin appears paler as the lack of estrogen reduces the number of blood vessels in the skin
* menopause also causes a reduction in the level of testosterone but not as significant a drop as in estrogen

Hormones and dry skin

Another hormone we have is thyroxin, produced by the thyroid gland, which influences skin appearance. Too much thyroxin shows a warm, smooth, sweaty, flushed skin. Under-activity of thyroxin produces a dry, coarse thickening of skin with reduced ability to sweat.

Hormones affect acne

The oil glands of the skin are in part controlled by the level and activity of the hormone testosterone in the skin. Testosterone is required to produce acne. This outcome can be seen in conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, which produce some elevation in testosterone, which in turn causes increased facial hair, irregular periods and acne. It has also been found that some birth control pills can block testosterone skin reactors to improve some of the consequences of increasing hormone levels. (See Acne Guide for more acne information)
Thinning hair

Hair will thin after menopause. In some women, genetic factors produce significant thinning. Abnormalities in the level of a thyroid hormone, in addition to the amount of iron stored in the body, can influence the volume of hair.

Estrogen encourages hair to stay in its growing phase (Anagen hair). This is seen in the significant thickening of hair towards the end of pregnancy. After menopause, however, the lower estrogen amount allows the scalp hair to grow towards the falling out stage (Telogen hair).
HRT and skin

Post menopausal women will notice that unlike their scalp, facial hairs increase. This is thought to be because estrogen — which opposes the effect of testosterone — drops relatively more after menopause than testosterone.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been used over the last 20 years to combat the signs of aging. HRT can promote a fuller-looking skin because the skin then becomes thicker with less loss of subcutaneous fat. Thinning and drying of vaginal surfaces is also minimized. This can also be achieved by using topical estrogen. The use of estrogen creams has been shown to maintain the elasticity and fullness of skin after menopause, although at this time it is not used extensively because of concerns about side effects and the variability of absorption into the body.

See your doctor or dermatologist to determine which solutions best suits your experience with aging skin.

By Richard Thomas, MD

Harmful Skincare Ingredients in Pregnancy

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By Van Le | Many pregnant women radiate that natural special “glow”, however, hormonal changes can also influence new reactions to certain chemicals. Knowing what, and more importantly, what not to put into your body during those nine months can affect the well-being of you and your baby. What to put on your body is no different. Since some skincare products can seep into the bloodstream, pregnant women should avoid the following ingredients.

Retinoids

Due to the ability to accelerate cell growth and renewal, retinoids (a type of Vitamin A) are commonly found in many anti-aging products. While Vitamin A is vital for growth and development of the fetus, excessive amounts can lead to birth defects. A study conducted in 1995 suggests that women who consume more than the recommended amount of Vitamin A in the first two months of their pregnancy doubled the risk of having a child with birth defects, according to the March of Dimes website. Topical application of retinoids has not been proven to be harmful, but as a precaution, many doctors and the National Institute of Health advise pregnant patients to stay away from skincare products containing this ingredient.

Salicylic Acid

Acne can wreak havoc anytime, but can be especially frustrating during pregnancy. Salicylic acid is a powerful and common remedy to help sooth inflammations and reduce redness caused by acne pimples, however, it can be harmful for the developing fetus. Medical experts have yet to pinpoint the exact amount of salicylic acid to deem as harmful, but believe that it can lead to respiratory problems for both the mother and baby.

Oxybenzone and Avobenzone

Just because you’re pregnant does not mean you can’t have some fun in the sun. As always, sun protection is pivotal, especially during hours of 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are most harmful. During the 1970s the Food and Drug Administration approved oxybenzone and avobenzone as safe UVA absorbers, however, a study done at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York states that oxybenzone may cause lower birth weight in baby girls and has also been linked to cell damage and allergies. Avobenzone is capable of absorbing UVA lights, making it effective in sunscreen products, however, it can be absorbed into the skin, therefore, some healthcare professionals encourage expecting mothers to stay away from products containing oxybenzone and avobenzone. A safe sunscreen alternative is zinc oxide, which is made of organic ingredients that siton top of the skin as a protective barrier. Physical sun protection such as clothing as hats are also effective and highly recommended by doctors.

An expecting mother may not have total control over her cravings or hormones, but can dictate which products and ingredients go in and on her body. Most pregnant women abstain from products that have been proven as dangerous and unsafe, such as alcohol and cigarettes. A commitment to stay away from potentially harmful ingredients can also have long-lasting positive effects for both the mother and unborn child.

Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU paper the Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.

For the latest findings on natural skincare link to ORGANICSKINCAREINFO.NET

Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin

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By: Van Le

The saying “you are what you eat” didn’t happen by accident.  More Americans are realizing that what we put in our bodies dictates how well we think, look and feel.  Eating is the body’s way of obtaining the nutrition and vitamins required in order for the body to function properly.  Consuming the right kind of food can increase our energy level, lead to healthier-looking skin, and boost our self-confidence.  Americans spend billions of dollars each year on beauty products that promise to hide blemishes, cover under-eye circles, and conceal wrinkles; however, these products only temporarily fix what’s on the outside.  In order to have truly healthy skin, we must monitor our food intake and eat food that allows our body to naturally generate that coveted healthy glow.

Water:  Everyone knows that we should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, but not everyone does.  Seventy percent of the body is comprised of water, which is vital to cellular replenishment..  Water also helps flush bodily toxins and regulate our body temperature.   Try to limit caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can lead to dehydration and cause dull, dry skin.  If you think water is too plain, try adding lemon slices or cucumber for a hint of taste.

Low-fat dairy products:  Milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese all contain vitamin A, a key ingredient in most anti-aging, anti-acne and anti-wrinkle products.  Vitamin A strengthens the skin, helps repair and restoration processes and prevents wrinkles.  The recent frozen yogurt craze has helped increase consumption of dairy products, however, it is important to remember that a cup of yogurt topped with candy, caramel, and other processed sugary treats can be counterproductive.  Instead, choose healthier fresh fruit toppings such as blueberries and strawberries.

Antioxidants: Fruits like berries and pomegranates are filled with antioxidants, which have been proven to protect the skin against UV damage such as wrinkles and dark spots.  They also protect the skin from free radicals, which are organic molecules responsible for tissue damage and aging.  According to antioxidantskincare.org, “when free radicals attack healthy skin cells, they cause the cell to decay,” which can lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease and speed up aging.  Antioxidants neutralize the production of free radicals.

Omega 3:  Walnuts, flaxseeds and salmon contain essential fatty acids that prevent harmful substances from entering cells.  They help regulate cell functions and maintain skin elasticity, leading to soft and healthy skin.  A diet filled with omega 3 will result in radiant skin, stronger hair and overall good health.  Our bodies cannot produce omega 3, therefore, it is important to add omega 3 to our diet.

Whole grain:  Wheat products such as bread, pasta, and cereal contain plenty of vitamin B, which can even out skin tone and help the skin maintain moisture.  Whole grain products help replace dead skin by stimulating cell growth on the epidermis, the skin’s outer layer.  Increase your consumption of whole grains by replacing white bread, pasta and bagels with wheat products.  Most likely, you won’t even taste the difference.

Makeup can create the illusion of healthy skin, but true healthy skin starts and ends with a proper diet.  A healthy diet is an essential way to achieve not only radiant skin, but also a radiant lifestyle.

Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.

For the latest findings on natural skincare, you can also link to http://bestskincareforme.com

Rosemary Uses for Health and Skincare

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By Van Le | Rosemary is a widely-used herb in many natural products, specifically natural skin care products.   Its use has been traced back to ancient and medieval times, when it was used as an antiseptic to care for wounds thanks to its restorative properties.  Rosemary is edible and is often used as a spice for cooking.

When added to food, rosemary provides key nutrition such as calcium, iron, and Vitamin B.  What is good for the body is also good for the skin, therefore, rosemary and its oil extracts have been used medicinally for hundreds of years.  In modern times, rosemary has been a wildly popular ingredient in many herbal skincare products and cosmetics.

Rosemary is an evergreen herb that is native to the Mediterranean region, and is known as the “dew of the sea” because it first grew predominantly along the Italian coast.  Today, rosemary can be grown in a typical garden with relative ease.  The leaves can be crushed and used as an herb for cooking, and the health and cosmetic benefits of this herb are plentiful.  Rosemary is popular in the kitchen as spice for fish, meat and poultry.

Outside the kitchen, rosemary oil improves digestion, boosts mental activities, and strengthens follicles for increased hair growth and stronger hair.  It is high in anti-oxidants, making it a key ingredient in the fight against tumors and cancer.  Rosemary stimulates brain activities, fights off free radicals, and is a key component in the fight against cancer.

The health benefits of rosemary are plentiful, but the cosmetic benefits are even more rewarding.

Also known as Rosmarinus Officinalis, rosemary is rich in minerals, has a pleasantly compelling smell, and contains powerful anti-inflammatories.  According to an article by Dr. Winston Craig, “The terpenoids in rosemary, such as rosmarinic acid, rosmanol, carnosol and ursolic acid provide effective anti-inflammatory benefits, while ursolic acid conveys anti-tumor properties.” When used on the skin it stimulates blood flow and helps improve skin functions, resulting in a healthy complexion.

A common indication of skin damage and aging skin is broken capillaries, a condition where capillary walls rip and blood seeps to the surface of the skin.  As a result, fine, red lines appear under the surface of the skin, creating an unpleasant look.  Rosemary has been known to reduce the appearance of broken capillaries.  It stimulates circulation, reduces the appearances of the red lines, which makes it an effective element in anti-aging products.  Rosemary is also effective in reducing under-eye puffiness since it is able to increase circulation and help drain toxins that accumulate in the area directly under the eyes.

Thanks to its antimicrobial and astringent properties, Rosemary is also used to treat symptom of acne.   When used as an astringent, rosemary helps cleanse the skin by clearing clogged pores, removing dead skin cells, and stimulating cell renewal.  It also prevents excess oil buildups that can lead to inflamed pores.

Rosemary can also be made into essential oils, teas, and powders.  Its soothing and rejuvenating properties are commonly used in aromatherapy for overall wellness.  As with everything, moderation is key.  Rosemary should not be used by those suffering from hypertension or epilepsy, and women who are breastfeeding should consult a doctor before consuming rosemary herbs.
Rosemary is a key ingredient in Vivoderm’s anti-acne mask, anti-aging mask, intense moisturizer, facial cleanser, facial toner, body butter and foot cream.

Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.

For the latest findings on natural skincare, you can also link to http://naturalsoapinfo.com

Eliminating Allergens

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3311350200_e2e726a2f2If you suffer from sensitive or dry, delicate skin, you already know how difficult it can be to find a skin care product that does not cause a negative reaction. However, have you considered many other kinds of chemicals you are exposed to every day? Many unsuspecting products, like household cleaners, air pollution and even industrial chemicals in your furniture can induce inflammation in susceptible individuals. If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, you are more at risk for reactions, especially if you are already experiencing extreme dryness or eczema symptoms.

To repair your natural skin barrier, you must first take active steps to build it up by eating healthy fats – like olives, avocados and raw nuts or butters and engaging in a natural healthy diet to start. To further help your condition, review the dermatological list below to identify, and where possible, eliminate allergy-causing ingredients. Whether what you experience is merely a sensitivity or full-blown allergic reaction, try to eliminate anything that causes inflammation and can degrade your skin barrier – and its ability to protect you from harmful irritants. Give your skin a chance to heal by protecting it from things that may cause a reaction.

1. Eliminate chemical ingredients in skin care and perfumes – including parabens and all manner of chemical substances until you have narrowed down your reactions.

2. Eliminate problem ingredients in soaps, shampoo, bath, body care, dental, shaving, and conditioning products and medications. Avoid products that foam or contain detergents. Always rinse thoroughly after cleansing and shampooing. Protect your skin with moisturizer afterwards.

3. Avoid direct contact with dish and laundry detergents, household cleansing products, paints, strippers, furniture polishes, and other ingredients containing harsh chemicals. Wear gloves, moisturize, or avoid contact with suds: altogether. Studies show that residual detergent remaining in laundery or clothing may be a prime contributor to eczema. Rinse your clothing twice if your washing machine allows.

4. Notice whether fabrics in clothing, furniture, or bedding are irritating your skin due to their rough texture or chemicals treating them. Use hypoallergenic protectors on mattresses and large furniture if this is the case.

5. Pay attention to contact allergies from jewelry, flatware, and coins or metals containing nickel, a common allergen. Some are allergic to gold, so always be aware of unsuspecting culprits.

6. Only use quality filtered water and avoid hard water when possible. Chlorinated water, excessively hot water, or long soaks in baths, showers, or hot tubs, can strip precious oils from your skin.

If you consider all these factors and use them diligently, your skin barrier can be restored and you may be able to withstand common irritants and practices. But for now, notice what chemicals irritate you and avoid contact with them at all costs in order to give your skin a chance to rebuild itself. If you are unable to address your symptom on your own, ask a professional dermatologist about patch testing, which can help you determine exactly what your allergies may be.

AYURVEDA AND SKIN CARE

Written by Author on . Posted in Diet & Health

An occasional attack of dry skin, rash or pimples – although frustrating – is a normal part of the flux of life. As the temperatures change, so does our skin’s constitution. As hormone levels rise and fall in the course of a month and as our diet and activity vary from day to day, the subtle balance of the body chemistry naturally shifts as well, creating shifts in our mood and even changes in our physical appearance.

Ayurveda recognizes these subtle imbalances and gives us the tools to correct them before they are out of control or turn into a full-blown disease. To be sure, imbalance does not necessarily mean disease, we can be quite healthy and still experience symptoms of imbalance. However, perpetual imbalance can lead to disease if it is not corrected in its early stages.

Ayurveda supports the belief that skin and health problems are affected or caused by our behavior. “Undigested” emotions, tension, and stress, can create hormonal imbalance and weaken the immune system. We now know common stressors are leading factors of body toxins and of skin disease. For example, psoriasis is exacerbated by worry and anxiety; acne/ rosacea, by anger and frustration; eczema, by a variety of stresses, depending upon the person’s constitution; and cystic acne, by depression, “holding on” to upsets, and emotional attachments in general. Other significant factors in skin disorders include the overconsumption of refined, canned, and processed foods like sugar, sweets, chocolate, fatty and fried foods, salt, seafood, and red meat. Consuming too many processed foods can result in digestive disorders and poor elimination (constipation). Lack of exercise and rest; and improper external cleansing and skin care will further create skin and health problems.

Of course, we all seek external remedies for the most common skin problems as soon as they develop. But please be aware, even a topical ointment or detoxification treatment is only a temporary remedy. If you continue with unhealthy lifestyle choices, new toxins will soon appear.

One of Ayurveda’s fundamental concepts is that health and disease are holistic-that is, whatever happens in one part of the body happens to the whole body. There are no isolated health problems. Any physical or psychological symptom of imbalance indicates an imbalance in the body-mind unit. Keep this holistic picture in mind as you look to remedy common skin problems with ointments and expensive treatments and try to treat the whole person you are – your emotions, your diet, your lifestyle choices – not just your face.

Your Face Reflects Your Diet

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You may have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Never does it ring more true when we consider the quality of our skin. It’s not a fallacy to say we feel better when we eat pure, healthy foods that support and nourish our bodies as compared to a diet of over-processed, chemical-laden foods. Without proper nutrients, the body just can’t function optimally. It will be sluggish, lack vitality, and lack muscle mass. On the surface, the skin may show wrinkles, sagging, acne, age spots and appear overall to be dull. Free radicals can take the blame for some of this skin degeneration, but if you want beautiful, healthy, glowing skin – you have to feed it right.

Antioxidant-rich foods that contain vitamin C and E have been found to defend against free radicals by giving them their own electrons and forming a barrier that protects skin cells. You may already know certain behaviors and habits will either help or harm your skin, such as proper diet, exercise, smoking and sun exposure. One of the most significant sources of skin-damaging free radicals is cigarette smoke.

The modern Western diet is filled with carbohydrates, unnecessary sugars and salts, fats and caffeine. Most would be shocked to learn just how many of these detrimental elements they consume in a day. According to current research, it is the sugars and carbohydrates that have the worst effects on your complexion. They rob your skin of the oxygen it needs to stay youthful and can also cause inflammation.

In opposition to the processed foods, a diet that is pure and natural to its original essence as possible will provide your skin with vital nutrients and oxygen. Fruits and vegetables are on the top of this list of course, but other vital fats like walnuts, olive oil and fresh fish oils will also contribute greatly to beautiful, glowing skin. You cannot improve your skin without first improving your daily diet. Take the time to research various natural foods and their beneficial qualities. Try to incorporate these foods as much as possible into your lifestyle. Also beneficial is to replace those sugar-laden sodas with fresh water and teas. Proper hydration will help flush residual toxins from your system while you are optimizing your diet.

Once you consider what foods you are ingesting, you may also need to consider your smoking and drinking habits. We all know how harmful excessive smoking or drinking can be for our health, but our skin will be the first to show the signs of damage–long before our bodies give any indication of disease or imbalance. Smoking creates a toxic metabolism in your whole body. Many know the lungs are damaged by smoking–which is bad enough in itself–but the lack of oxygen will show on your face first. You will see more wrinkles around the eyes and mouth and smokers also have skin that is slower to heal. Blood is actually directed away from the skin by the destructive effects of nicotine, resulting in a sallow, grayish skin tone. On a scientific level, the nicotine blocks the oxygen supply to your skin, causing the subdermal capillaries to go into spasms, eventually increasing the rate at which your skin ages.

If you are hoping a cosmetic procedure will “erase” all the damage you have done – be aware that many doctors today will not perform any invasive procedures on a smoker due to the slower healing rate and lack of it results it can cause.
Once you have incorporated healthier foods into your life and reduced or eliminated smoking and excessive drinking, it is guaranteed you will see noticeable positive results in your skin’s appearance and in your overall health.

Spreading the Flu, Colds and Germs

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It’s all in your hands.

Do you know that approximately one out of three people do not wash their hands after using the restroom? (US Center for Disease Control, 2005) And, do you know that spreading germs is as easy as touching a door knob, shopping cart or an elevator button that has been infected by someone who hasn’t washed their hands? The fact is; your hands can easily pick-up bacteria and viruses that cause common and some uncommon medical conditions.

According to Health experts, 10-25% of us will get the flu this year, and 500-1500 will die from the flu or flu complications. With the flu season upon us and the newspapers full of stories of pandemics, more and more attention is being put on the simple act of washing your hands.

Washing your hands is one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of germs. Recently, the World Health Organization set out a draft guideline for hand washing for healthcare professionals; “the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care”, as infections like SARS, avian flu and others can be spread by the touch of an unsanitized hand.

How to wash your hands properly

Washing your hands may be a simple task for all of us, but did you know there is a correct way to do it? Here are the instructions:

  • Wash your hands in warm water for at least 15 seconds – most people don’t wash long enough
  • Use soap (any kind)
  • It is important to rub your hands vigorously together, as it is the friction between your hands that helps eliminate the germs
  • Pay attention to cleaning between your fingers and under your finger nails
  • Use a clean, dry towel and hang the towel up properly to dry
  • If you are in a public restroom, use a paper towel to turn off the taps and open the door

Antibacterial soap

These products were introduced in the 1960′ s and have been used by many people since. For persons in occupations, which demand extra precautions, these products have been helpful. However, these products are very drying to the skin, and they can often contribute to hand and body eczema.

What to do when there’s no water?

In our busy lives we often have barely enough time to get everything done. So how do you protect yourself when you can’t wash your hands? There are many new products on the market from hand wipes to alcohol based hand sanitizers which seem to be popping up everywhere. You should know that these products, although they help, do not kill all types of germs, nor do they prevent you from picking up something after you’ve sanitized. Some people also have reactions to the drying sensation of the alcohol in hand sanitizers.

But, Is Hand Washing Enough?

You wash your hands regularly, are careful what you touch in public; so are you safe from catching and spreading germs? The answer is no. Although washing your hands in the #1 defense in getting rid of the germs on your hands, it doesn’t prevent you from picking up another germ 10 minutes later when you hold the hand rail on the escalator. There is also a limit to how many times you or a healthcare worker or an employee can (and will) stop and wash or sanitize their hands in a day.

Remember, the flu and cold viruses are here until at least April, so protect yourself and your family by washing your hands often and properly.

By SkinCareGuide.ca

How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Skin

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Researchers have found that diet and lifestyle alone will suffice to prevent about two-thirds of all skin cancers. While anyone can develop skin cancer, the risk is greatest for people with light-colored skin that freckle easily, researchers said. But what about other factors of your skin’s care?

How often have you skipped your meals just because you were too busy to eat or may be too tired to eat? Our highly materialistic life and hectic schedules have made us too busy to even think about what we are eating. Professionals who do not have time to waste on cooking would simply go and grab a burger or a hot dog along with cola and call it lunch.

For the time being, a burger and a cola would be just enough to satiate your hunger but have you ever given a thought to the long-term implications of such a diet and lifestyle?

The human body’s nutritional needs are highly specific. It needs a certain amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Foods like burgers, pizzas or ice creams do not meet our nutritional needs. You don’t have to plainly eat to satiate hunger instead you should eat to meet your body’s nutritional needs. A diet deficient in all the essentials would eventually catalyze the effect of various potential diseases.

Skin reflects the kind of diet you take. You may have often wondered why there is a healthy glow on some people’s skin. Well, one of the possible factors apart from genetic would be a healthy diet and lifestyle. You might have noticed people who are chronologically younger but look way older than their age and vice versa. With good care of your skin you can control the effects of time on your skin and aging process.

Wrinkles appear on your skin when your skin’s ability of produce collagen reduces. Low collagen levels ultimately lead to the deterioration of the elastin tissues. The skin eventually looses its elasticity and firmness and starts to sag giving creases and folds i.e. wrinkles.

In order to slow down aging, you need a major diet and lifestyle change. You should eat right and healthy. Avoid fatty, oily foods and also foods with high glycemic index. Eat right amount of proteins in right quantities, loads of natural foods like fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Make healthier choices and avoid fast food.

You also need to quit smoking if you are a heavy smoker. Quit alcohol and drugs too. You should incorporate a mild to moderate exercise like jogging, walking or running. Or you could detoxify with yoga. These changes will work wonders on your skin, giving it that healthy glow you always wanted.

These changes when incorporated at an early age, definitely slow down aging and the onset of diseases those come with age.

Eliminating Allergens

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If you suffer from sensitive or dry, delicate skin, you already know how difficult it can be to find a skin care product that does not cause a negative reaction. However, have you considered many other kinds of chemicals you are exposed to every day? Many unsuspecting products, like household cleaners, air pollution and even industrial chemicals in your furniture can induce inflammation in susceptible individuals. If you suffer from dry or sensitive skin, you are more at risk for reactions, especially if you are already experiencing extreme dryness or eczema symptoms.

To repair your natural skin barrier, you must first take active steps to build it up by eating healthy fats – like olives, avocados and raw nuts or butters and engaging in a natural healthy diet to start. To further help your condition, review the dermatological list below to identify, and where possible, eliminate allergy-causing ingredients. Whether what you experience is merely a sensitivity or full-blown allergic reaction, try to eliminate anything that causes inflammation and can degrade your skin barrier – and its ability to protect you from harmful irritants. Give your skin a chance to heal by protecting it from things that may cause a reaction.

1. Eliminate chemical ingredients in skin care and perfumes – including parabens and all manner of chemical substances until you have narrowed down your reactions.

2. Eliminate problem ingredients in soaps, shampoo, bath, body care, dental, shaving, and conditioning products and medications. Avoid products that foam or contain detergents. Always rinse thoroughly after cleansing and shampooing. Protect your skin with moisturizer afterwards.

3. Avoid direct contact with dish and laundry detergents, household cleansing products, paints, strippers, furniture polishes, and other ingredients containing harsh chemicals. Wear gloves, moisturize, or avo: altogether. Studies show that residual detergent remaining in launderei clothing may be a prime contributor to eczema. Rinse your clothing twice if your washing machine allows.

4. Notice whether fabrics in clothing, furniture, or bedding are irritating your skin due to their rough texture or chemicals treating them. Use hypoallergenic protectors on mattresses and large furniture if this is the case.

5. Pay attention to contact allergies from jewelry, flatware, and coins or metals containing nickel, a common allergen. Some are allergic to gold, so always be aware of unsuspecting culprits.

6. Only use quality filtered water and avoid hard water when possible. Chlorinated water, excessively hot water, or long soaks in baths, showers, or hot tubs, can strip precious oils from your skin.

If you consider all these factors and use them diligently, your skin barrier can be restored and you may be able to withstand common irritants and practices. But for now, notice what chemicals irritate you and avoid contact with them at all costs in order to give your skin a chance to rebuild itself. If you are unable to address your symptom on your own, ask a professional dermatologist about patch testing, which can help you determine exactly what your allergies may be.

Ayurvedic overview for Acne and Rosacea – part II

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The word Ayurveda translates to “the science of life” (Ayru – life and Veda – science). Ayurveda has brought true health and wellness to millions of individuals throughout the ages with simple changes in daily living practices. Incorporating just a few of these proven methods into your lifestyle can bring about radical changes in your life.

It is currently considered a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the United States of America, but this ancient art of healing has been practiced continuously for over 5,000 years.

That said, there are some specific treatments that many recognize as effective treatments for skin conditions. For starters, regardless of the skin condition, Ayurvedic practitioners suggest staying hydrated. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that water helps to naturally stabilize dry or oily skin. Drinking enough water also helps prevent the loss of moisture through the skin, which helps to promote overall wellness.

Ayurveda also recommends adhering to a daily regimen for proper skin care, including the use of a natural soap and the use of natural skin moisturizers. This is true whether a person has naturally dry skin or suffers from a more serious condition such as psoriasis. The key is to make sure that the moisturizer is, in fact, natural, containing only substances such as aloe vera—a natural antibiotic that many believe is particularly helpful in the treatment of many skin conditions. Unfortunately, many commercially available moisturizers contain preservatives and other chemicals, and do not fully absorb into the skin, instead remaining on the surface and sometimes clogging pores as a result.

In addition to proper hydration and skin care, Ayurvedic medicine has identified three natural supplements that appear to help treat a wide range of skin conditions—neem, haemafine syrup and khadir. All three of these are widely prescribed to treat acne, psoriasis, and eczema, although many believe they can be used to treat any skin condition. The tree stem, root, and bark of neem, a large evergreen tree, have antibacterial properties. It is used in supplement form to treat skin conditions. In addition, many Ayurvedic soaps contain neem extract. Haemafine syrup is a natural solution made up of more than a dozen herbs. It is used as a remedy for all types of skin diseases through its natural blood purification properties. Khadir, also known as the acacia catechu herb, is another natural blood purifier used to treat skin conditions.

Besides supplements, some Ayurvedic sources also suggest that a person with a skin condition receive an abhyanga, a traditional Ayurvedic massage that uses herbalized oils to draw toxins out through the skin.

Is Ayurveda Safe?

Ayurvedic practitioners argue that their treatments have fewer side effects than prescription drugs and other traditional medical therapies, since Ayurveda is a completely natural approach. However, certain treatments, such as herbal supplements, should be taken with caution, since they can interact with other medications or even produce side effects such as rises in blood pressure. So as with any new medical treatment, consult your doctor prior to beginning any Ayurvedic therapies. This is especially true for people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, or for women who are pregnant.

Your Organic Skin

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Your Organic Skin

Skin is the armor of the body. It is the outside waterproofing, element-fighting surface that protects our internal organs and skeletal structure from the harsh outside elements. Yet skin, overall is ignored most of the time. Healthy skin is important for a glowing completion of course, but if your body is unhealthy – your skin will be also.

The toxic world of industrialization has finally caught up with us. Producing toxic waste disasters, disease and tons of garbage buried so deep it can never breakdown. All these “modern advancements” have left our food supply as little more than a chemical compound in itself. If you can do ONE thing to give your skin and your body a fighting chance, you would be wise to choose as organic a diet as possible. To maintain a healthy skin, organically grown food is must.

Dry Skin Help with Diet

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There are lots of things you can do with your diet and supplements that can help your dry skin. To combat dry skin, your body needs fats to build fat-rich cells that hold on to moisture. Saturated, monounsaturated and omega-3 fats are key components in the cell membranes . Vegetarians (who eat eggs and dairy products but not meat) eat about one-third less saturated fat than the average meat eater. Vegans (who eat no animal products of any kind) only receive about one half as much saturated fat as the average meat-eating American. As a result, they obtain from their diet much less cholesterol than omnivores.

The best way to assure you get a healthy diet of skin-enhancing fats is by eating a wide variety of whole plant foods. You can get fats from nuts, seeds, olives and avocados Use olive oil, replete with monosaturated fat, for cooking and salad dressings. Coconut oil is also an excellent alternative for it retains its stability at high temperatures. Try to avoid processed foods and deep-fried foods that are rich in trans fats and omega-6 polyrrnsaturated fats. These fats contribute to the production of free radicals, the by-products of oxidation, which is a skin aging process that antioxidant vegetables help tame. Although for many years polyunsaturated vegetable oils, like canola, corn, safflower, and soy were recommended, c anola oil is actually unstable when heated and the processed used to stabilize it turns a certain percentage of the oil into a trans fat.

Eating the undesirable fats found in these oils (as well in trans-fat containing foods such as margarine, most baked goods, fried foods, processed foods and sweets )may increase both wrinkling and the risk of developing skin and other cancers including melanoma. Vegetarians can eat eggs and dairy to obtain saturated fats while vegans can obtain them from coconut oil.

Fish oils are good sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids which can increase the lipid content of your cells. They can be obtained from fish like salmon, as well as supplements with Omega-3 or Cod Liver Oil capsules. Omega-3s help your skin by providing essential fats needed for cellular integrity while they also prevent inflammation which can lead to the formation of dark spots in pigmented skin types.
Antioxidants are helpful in fighting free radicals – renegade oxygen molecules that cause cellular aging and wrinkles.

Also look for products that contain ingredients that help your skin retain moisture, such as essential fatty acids along with ingredients like lecithin to strengthens kin cell membranes. Look for products that are also third party tested to ensure they are free of environmental toxins. It is important in purchasing essential fats to ensure that you find a pure, well-tested source, free of environmental contaminants.

Several studies have suggested that it is better to get antioxidants through natural food sources instead of supplements, but if this is not possible or additional vitamin intake is needed, supplements can be a valuable help.

SUPPLEMENTS
The following oral supplements that contain the below nutrients can all be helpful to your skin:

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral. Selenium. Some scientific evidence suggests that consumption of selenium may reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer. However, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive. Vitamins A, C, E, B5, alpha lipoic acid, and grape seed extract, Ester-C , CoQro, lutein, as well as zinc, selenium, copper, and lycopene. Take these supplements according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Dry Skin Diet Tips

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Dry Skin Diet Tips and the Mediterranean Diet

We all know how important diet is to building healthy, beautiful skin. But did you know eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones can actually help prevent wrinkles and minimize the signs of aging?
According to a recent article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, “Eating a Mediterranean diet can halve the risk of the most dangerous form of skin cancer, research suggests.” The recent study may eventually prove regular intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish may protect against malignant melanoma.

The” Mediterranean diet,” which features plenty of vegetables, legumes, and olive oils, may be a catalyst for the body to absorb and benefit from fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, such as vitamin E, lycopene, and isoflavones. In this light, organic produce has been shown to contain a higher level of beneficial antioxidants than conventionally raised fruits and vegetables.

So, what does all this mean if you suffer from dry skin or sensitive skin? With dry skin issues, it is important to get the right types fats into your diet. But what are the right types of fats? For example, increased intake of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat in the diet has been associated with a decrease skin hydration. So consuming some saturated fats but not too many, seems to be best.
Countless studies show that an omega-3 fat deficiency is associated with dry skin and skin problems like eczema. That’s why it is important to consume adequate amounts of these essential fats, found in fatty fish, fish oils, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, etc.

Be aware of the difference from the omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils (including corn, canola, and safflower), formerly hailed as healing for the heart. Meaning, most need to eat more omega-3s and less omega-6 oils.
The dairy products you eat (and avoid) can also make a difference in skin aging. Butter, full-fat milk, margarine, and sweets should be minimal, while yogurt, cheese, and reduced-fat milk are neutral in their aging effects.

The epidermis (upper layer of the skin) is composed of 25 percent monounsaturated fatty acids. In the cell membranes, both monosaturated fats and saturated fats resist oxidation, a key process in cellular aging. Omega-6 polyunsaturated oils, on the other hand, contribute to the production of free radicals, the by-products of oxidation – also the cause of the skin aging process. This would increase both wrinkling and the risk of developing skin and other cancers, including melanoma. Polyphenols, found in fresh fruits, vegetable and herbs can protect the body’s cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress, a process by which oxygen-rich molecules can attack and destroy cells in much the same way as rust rots a car.
Therefore, it is beneficial to eat more olive oil (a monounsaturated) while avoiding omega-6 polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, canola, safflower and others. Included in this list of foods to avoid, are the trans fats, present in margarine, most baked goods, fried, processed foods, and sweets, which are oxidized polyunsaturates, making them even more detrimental. In certain studies they have been shown to block healthy Omega -3 fats. High trans-fats content may interfere with the hormonal pathways needed for healthy fat metabolism and preventing inflammation.

Consuming the omega-3s and avoiding unhealthy oils that block them will help the body absorb the vital lipids needed in the skin cells and improve the hormonal actions. Since skin aging is caused by hormonal shifts that occur naturally in the aging process, it’s best to eliminate the polyunsaturated and trans fats as much as possible.

Fish oils and fish are the purest sources of omega-3 fatty acids,which can increase the lipid content of your cells. These fats have been shown to improve psoriasis and other severe dry skin conditions. If you are pregnant or nursing, please be aware of the mercury content in your fish – which has been shown to cause detrimental effects to mothers, and young children, so supplements may be the best way of obtaining these fats vital to skin health.

Dry, sensitive, and wrinkled skin can also be helped with a diet rich in antioxidants obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, turnips, romaine lettuce, broccoli, leeks, corn, peppers, peas, and mustard greens. Egg yolks and oranges contain the antioxidant lutein. Lutein is an important natural antioxidant that may help your eyes stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin.
So, to recap your skin-healthy diet should include:
• Fats from whole foods-nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados
• A wide variety of whole plant foods
• Monounsaturated fats, such as olive or nut oils
• Good sources of omega3 oils (never heated) or in capsule form
• Moderate use of omega-6 oils (corn, safflower, canola and soy oils)
• Limited amounts of processed foods and deep-fried foods
• Pure sources of omega3 fats, including a source of essential fatty acids (EFA)

The Mediterranean Diet

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Dry Skin Diet Tips and the Mediterranean Diet

We all know how important diet is to building healthy, beautiful skin. But did you know eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong ones can actually help prevent wrinkles and minimize the signs of aging?
According to a recent article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph, “Eating a Mediterranean diet can halve the risk of the most dangerous form of skin cancer, research suggests.” The recent study may eventually prove regular intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts and fish may protect against malignant melanoma.

The” Mediterranean diet,” which features plenty of vegetables, legumes, and olive oils, may be a catalyst for the body to absorb and benefit from fat-soluble antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, such as vitamin E, lycopene, and isoflavones. In this light, organic produce has been shown to contain a higher level of beneficial antioxidants than conventionally raised fruits and vegetables.

So, what does all this mean if you suffer from dry skin or sensitive skin? With dry skin issues, it is important to get the right types fats into your diet. But what are the right types of fats? For example, increased intake of saturated fat and monounsaturated fat in the diet has been associated with a decrease skin hydration. So consuming some saturated fats but not too many, seems to be best.
Countless studies show that an omega-3 fat deficiency is associated with dry skin and skin problems like eczema. That’s why it is important to consume adequate amounts of these essential fats, found in fatty fish, fish oils, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, etc.

Be aware of the difference from the omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils (including corn, canola, and safflower), formerly hailed as healing for the heart. Meaning, most need to eat more omega-3s and less omega-6 oils.
The dairy products you eat (and avoid) can also make a difference in skin aging. Butter, full-fat milk, margarine, and sweets should be minimal, while yogurt, cheese, and reduced-fat milk are neutral in their aging effects.

The epidermis (upper layer of the skin) is composed of 25 percent monounsaturated fatty acids. In the cell membranes, both monosaturated fats and saturated fats resist oxidation, a key process in cellular aging. Omega-6 polyunsaturated oils, on the other hand, contribute to the production of free radicals, the by-products of oxidation – also the cause of the skin aging process. This would increase both wrinkling and the risk of developing skin and other cancers, including melanoma. Polyphenols, found in fresh fruits, vegetable and herbs can protect the body’s cells against the damaging effects of oxidative stress, a process by which oxygen-rich molecules can attack and destroy cells in much the same way as rust rots a car.
Therefore, it is beneficial to eat more olive oil (a monounsaturated) while avoiding omega-6 polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, canola, safflower and others. Included in this list of foods to avoid, are the trans fats, present in margarine, most baked goods, fried, processed foods, and sweets, which are oxidized polyunsaturates, making them even more detrimental. In certain studies they have been shown to block healthy Omega -3 fats. High trans-fats content may interfere with the hormonal pathways needed for healthy fat metabolism and preventing inflammation.

Consuming the omega-3s and avoiding unhealthy oils that block them will help the body absorb the vital lipids needed in the skin cells and improve the hormonal actions. Since skin aging is caused by hormonal shifts that occur naturally in the aging process, it’s best to eliminate the polyunsaturated and trans fats as much as possible.

Fish oils and fish are the purest sources of omega-3 fatty acids,which can increase the lipid content of your cells. These fats have been shown to improve psoriasis and other severe dry skin conditions. If you are pregnant or nursing, please be aware of the mercury content in your fish – which has been shown to cause detrimental effects to mothers, and young children, so supplements may be the best way of obtaining these fats vital to skin health.

Dry, sensitive, and wrinkled skin can also be helped with a diet rich in antioxidants obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens, turnips, romaine lettuce, broccoli, leeks, corn, peppers, peas, and mustard greens. Egg yolks and oranges contain the antioxidant lutein. Lutein is an important natural antioxidant that may help your eyes stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin.
So, to recap your skin-healthy diet should include:
• Fats from whole foods-nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados
• A wide variety of whole plant foods
• Monounsaturated fats, such as olive or nut oils
• Good sources of omega3 oils (never heated) or in capsule form
• Moderate use of omega-6 oils (corn, safflower, canola and soy oils)
• Limited amounts of processed foods and deep-fried foods
• Pure sources of omega3 fats, including a source of essential fatty acids (EFA)

Ayurveda Remedies

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Listed below are external remedies for the most common skin problems. (Several of them are the contribution of Dr. Kirit Pandya, one of India’s foremost Ayurvedic physicians specializing in skin disease.) But please be aware, even a topical ointment or detoxification treatment is only a temporary remedy. If you continue with unhealthy lifestyle choices, new toxins will soon appear.

One of Ayurveda’s fundamental concepts is that health and disease are holistic-that is, whatever happens in one part of the body happens to the whole body. There are no isolated health problems. Any physical or psychological symptom of imbalance indicates an imbalance in the body-mind unit. Keep this holistic picture in mind as you look over the common skin problems below.

FROWN LINES and FOREHEAD LINES

Imbalance: Vata & Pitta. (The habit of frowning will produce lines even when there is no imbalance.)
Aggravated by: Anxiety, worry, excessive dehydration, too much sugar or protein, habitual frowning, alcohol-based astringents, excessive use oflemon, tomato, or cucumber juice.
Treatment:
• Mix 3 drops Bindi or Tej Vata essential oil in water and use as a daily mist to hydrate.
• Make a hydrating massage oil using a base of apricot kernel, avocado, sesame or almond oil + 2 drops each of sandalwood and geranium + 1 drop each of lemon and cardamom. With your fingers, massage the oil on forehead using a horizontal stroke.
• Do daily facial exercise: Alternately stretch and tighten forehead muscles; hold and release 3 times.
• Twice weekly, make a firming herbal mask using a paste of 1 tsp cornstarch or potato starch + 2 tsp aloe vera juice or egg white. Apply mask and lie down for 30-40 minutes. Cleanse, nourish, and moisturize as usual.
• Weekly, do an exfoliating enzyme mask: Apply pineapple or papaya pulp to face and lie down for 10 minutes. Cleanse, nourish, and moisturize as usual.

PREMATURE WRINKLES

Imbalance: Vata & Pitta.
Aggravated by: Dryness (less oil), dehydration (less water), stress, sun, wind, extreme temperatures, excessive exercise, travel, alcohol, coffee, tobacco, sweets, spicy foods, hot or cold water, sudden weight loss, water pills, hormone medication, diabetes, lack of purpose, lack of loving relationships, hereditary factors.
Treatment:
• Twice weekly, do a facial mask using a paste of 1 Tbsp sandalwood powder + 1 drop camphor oil + 3-4 drops lotus oil + 2 tsp water. With ring finger, gently massage a few drops of face oil made with sandalwood + rose oil directly under eyes for protection, then apply paste to rest of face. Cover eyes with wet cotton pads dipped in rosewater and lie down for 10-15 minutes. Cleanse, nourish, and moisturize as usual.
• Make a decoction of 1 Tbsp dry geranium in ?4 cup water, then apply to face using a cotton ball.
• Do natural face-lift and face exercises
• Supplements: Take recommended daily dosage of vitamin E and evening primrose oil capsules. Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.

CROW’S-FEET, DRY EYES, AND EYE STRAIN

Imbalance: Pitta.
Aggravated by: Age, stress, worry, insomnia, alcohol, dehydration, squinting.
Treatment:
• Avoid chemical makeup removers and heavy eye creams. Use cotton dipped in plain vegetable oil to remove eye makeup.
• Wear sunglasses in daylight and avoid reading in the dark. Never look directly at sun.
• Twice daily, pinch the skin between your eyebrows, starting at the bridge of the nose and moving outward. Repeat 3-4 times.

DARK UNDER EYE CIRCLES
Imbalance: Brown circles: Vata; green-gray circles: Pitta.
Aggravated by: Anemia, ill health, lack of sleep, poor circulation, anxiety; hormonal imbalance, menstrual disorders, too many fried, frozen, and canned foods, beans, peanuts, salads.
Treatment:
• Lie down on slant board with feet raised for 5-10 minutes.
• Soak cotton pads in cold milk, rosewater, fig juice, or crushed mint juice, and place over closed eyes for 5-10 minutes.
• Apply crushed mint leaves around eyes for 5-10 minutes.
• Before bed, gently massage around eyes with saffron or almond oil
• Do daily blinking and palming exercises
• Supplements:Take 2-4 gms ashwangandha, shatavari, or ginseng herbal tablets or powder before lunch and dinner.

PUFFY EYES

Imbalance: Kapha.
Aggravated by: Hypertension, liver and kidney problems, poor elimination, low digestive fire, water retention, lack of sleep, hormonal changes.
Treatment:
• Make eyepads using either black tea bags soaked in warm water, cotton puffs dipped in witch hazel or celeryjuice, or gauze squares stuffed with 1 tsp grated raw potato. Place on closed eyes for 20 minutes.
• With your ring finger, press gently underneath the eye one point at a time from the inside corner to the outside corner to help drain the lymphatic fluids.
• Supplements: Take 1 tsp triphala every night; take 1,000 mg vitamin C, and eat black raisins and figs every day.

DRY, LINED, OR CRACKED LIPS

Imbalance: Vata.
Aggravated by: Smoking, drugs, cold, dryness, dehydration, age, excessive talking, licking lips. (Tradition states vertical lines above lip indicate unfulfilled sexual desire.)
Treatment:
• As often as you like, apply vitamin E oil, unsalted butter, or ghee directly to lips. Or, use a mixture of 5 drops each rose and sandalwood oil in 1 oz avocado oil.
• Melt in a double boiler 9 tsp lanolin + 1 tsp castor oil. Remove from heat, add 3-5 drops rose oil, and let it solidify. Apply over lipstick to seal, moisturize, and add gloss.
• Massage lips nightly with 1 oz sesame oil + 2-3 drops glycerin
• Take a mouthful of water and slosh around the inside of the lip area for 1 minute. I

Sun Safety for Skiers

Written by Author on . Posted in Uncategorized

Higher altitude means increased levels of harmful UV exposure compared to sea level areas. UV exposure increases 8-10 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9-10,000 feet, UV may be 45-50 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects about 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice. This only contributes to the problem, further increasing the risk for skin cancer.

The combination of higher altitude and ultraviolet (UV) rays reflected by the snow puts skiers and snowboarders at an increased risk of sun damage and ultimately, skin cancer. More than 90 percent of all skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. It’s easy to associate winter with frostbite and windburn, but most people are unaware that UV rays can be even more damaging on the slopes than on the beach,it’s important to take proper precautions while on the slopes.

Both snow and strong wind can wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so you have to take extra precautions. To protect your skin from the bitter cold, heavy winds and winter sun, follow these important sun protection tips:
• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you spend time outdoors. Apply 30 minutes before hitting the slopes.Be aware that the sun’s reflection off the snow is strong even on cloudy days.
• Apply sunscreen liberally and evenly to all exposed skin – most skiers and snowboarders do not use enough sunscreen and therefore do not get the maximum protection.
• Use a more moisturizing sunscreen. Winter conditions can be particularly harsh on the skin.
• Be sure to cover often-missed spots: lips, ears, around eyes, neck, underside of chin, scalp and hands.
• Always wear a lip balm with an SPF 15 or higher. Lips are even more sensitive than most parts of the skin.
• Reapply at least every two hours, and more often after sweating or exposure to wind and snow.
• Carry a travel-sized sunscreen and lip balm with you on the slopes. Reapply on the chairlift, especially after a long, snow-blown run.

Cover up.

• Wear items like ski masks, which will cover most of the skin, leaving very little exposed to the wind and sun.
• UV-blocking sunglasses or goggles that offer 100% UV protection and have wraparound or large frames protect your eyelids and the sensitive skin around your eyes, common sites for skin cancer and sun-induced aging. The sun’s rays and glare can impair your vision, so it’s important to wear sunglasses or goggles to clearly see the terrain. Plus, it will increase your enjoyment and performance while skiing.
Be mindful of time spent in the sun, regardless of the season.
• Keep track of the time you spend in full sunlight. If possible, ski early in the morning and later on in the day, before 10AM and after 4PM. This helps avoid long lines and decreases the amount of time spent outdoors in the most intense hours of sunlight.

• If you are on the slopes for most of the day, take a few breaks indoors to reapply sunscreen.
• Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration from the sun.
Enjoy the winter season, but be sure to take care of your skin to avoid the damage the cold season can cause.

The first organization in the U.S committed to educating the public and medical professionals about sun safety, The Skin Cancer Foundation is still the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research.