Healthy Skin Comes from the Inside
Healthy skin results more from what you put in your mouth than what you apply to your skin, but what you apply to your skin can affect your skin, your health, your liver, and your life.
In this healthy skin section we are going to cover information on how liver health affects your skin health, the best foods and supplements for your skin, and the dangers of products we often put on our skin and hair and nails.
Your Healthy Skin and Liver Connection
When liver function is poor your metabolism will be slow. Slow metabolism in general causes dry skin, but, as we gain weight from improper metabolism of fats our circulation slows down and the skin dries even further.
Poor digestion and immune system dysfunction, also connected to poor liver function, results in a build up of toxins which then get excreted through the skin causing dryness and inflammation.
A healthy liver helps regulate blood sugar levels for healthy skin. Both high and low blood sugar levels dry the skin, and high blood sugar can also lead to the cracked, split skin sometimes seen in diabetics.
Eczema flare-ups are often associated with dysfunction of the nervous system; and, some hormonal imbalances (hypothyroidism being a very common example) are so often associated with dry, itchy, inflamed skin that the condition of the skin is one of the factors leading to initial diagnosis.
Cold sore outbreaks can also be a sign of poor liver function and poor immune function.
All of the above indicate that the health of your liver needs to be considered when working out your personal skin care routine. Healthy skin is not just a question of what skin care products are needed.
According to the National Skin Care Institute, if you have dry itchy skin or skin rashes, the first thing to do is ensure that you are caring for your skin properly. But if you also have any of the other symptoms listed above, check your liver function.
Liver function is also the main factor in the skin disorder called rosacea. For more information read the article about rosacea.
Acne and rosacea have become a common problem for adults during recent years, particularly among women. There is an excellent book available called The Clear Skin Diet. This book is designed to help those who suffer from acne to understand what it is, why they have it, what it has to do with their eating habits, and what they can do to prevent it or at least lessen it's impact. It even includes recipes!
Nutrition for Healthy Skin
Healthy skin and good nutrition are closely related. I believe that shows just how important good nutrition is.
When you are under nourished the symptoms on your skin show the internal weaknesses in your body. The health of your skin and body rely upon good nutrition.
Good nutrition involves eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of clean water and maintaining a balanced diet. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and plenty of fiber should become part of your daily diet.
The following list includes a few of the foods that you should include in your diet often to maintain healthy skin:
- Fish and Seafood, especially Salmon. Salmon is one of your best sources of omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are necessary for glowing, healthy skin. Sardines, walnuts and flax seeds also contain omega 3.
- A Rainbow of Vegetables. Red, yellow, and green bell peppers, red tomatoes, leafy greens, orange and yellow squash. Vegetables provide a wonderful variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for your healthy skin. In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, doctors found that foods high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, appeared to reduce the risk of psoriasis.
- Avocados. Avocados contain the "good" essential fats and B vitamins that help keep healthy skin looking vibrant and smooth. That "good" fat is monounsaturated fat which can also be found in olive oil, almonds, and natural peanut butter.
- Beans, aka, Legumes. Beans are rich in isoflavones and antioxidants which may result in fewer wrinkles for you!
- Grapes and Grape Juice (unsweetened). Grapes contain high amounts of antioxidants called polyphenols which can help strengthen the collagen in your skin improving elasticity. Berries, especially blueberries are also a good source.
- High Water Content Foods. This includes melons, peaches, celery, cucumbers, apples, and more.
- Foods High in Vitamin E. You can find vitamin E in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus.
- Drink Water and Water with Lemon or Lime. Lemons and Limes are vitamin C rich citrus fruits that help rejuvenate your skin from within, bringing a healthy glow to your face. Daily consumption of lemon/lime water can make a difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy has helped some people prevent acne.
The liver is also supported as the waste products and toxins are flushed out, and, some people even say it helps them lose weight!
There are also many kinds of foods that need to be avoided that do not fulfill the requirements of good nutrition such as excessive consumption of sodas, energy drinks, and alcohol; processed foods which contain preservatives and trans fats, aka, hydrogenated oils; foods high in sugar; deep-fried foods; and high-fat dairy products.
Excessive sugar consumption is especially harmful to your skin. Sugary foods can cause a loss of radiance, dark circles under your eyes, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, increased pore size, and may also increase acne breakouts. Sugar steals your youth, health, and beauty!
Massage and Skin Brushing
Massage and dry skin brushing stimulates circulation and improves skin tone. If you have a massage therapist that you visit on occasion, that's great!
Treat yourself to a lymph massage to help drain and increase the flow of lymphatic fluid in your body. This improves your skin and creates healthy skin tone much like exercise improves skin tone. Of course, nothing beats regular exercise:)
If massage is not an option (or even if it is) you should consider dry skin brushing. Use a large, quality body brush with fairly stiff bristles and brush in the direction of the lymph flow. Start at the ankles and work up to the thighs and beyond the booty if necessary.
Then you may want to brush up the arms, across the shoulders, down the back, and then softly across the tummy.
Remember that lymph drainage requires very light pressure, so brush gently.
If you practice this daily before your bath or shower it will become a habit. It should improve the texture and appearance of your skin by removing dead skin layers and stimulating circulation of the blood and the lymph.
This is an important step for healthy skin, and it even helps get rid of cellulite ladies!
Nutrients for Good Skin
There are four more nutrients I would like to mention before we move on. Two minerals and two antioxidants that are needed for healthy skin:
- Selenium. Scientists believe this mineral plays a key role in skin cancer prevention. Taken in supplement form or used in a cream, this mineral helps protect skin from sun damage.
An article on WebMD.com stated that in studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 1996, researchers showed that skin cancer patients who ingested 200 micrograms of selenium per day had:
- 37% fewer malignancies
- 50% reduced risk of death from skin cancer
- 17% decrease in overall mortality
The best dietary sources of selenium include whole grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs.
Zinc. Zinc is especially important if you have acne. In fact, sometimes acne itself is a symptom of a zinc deficiency. Taken internally or used topically, zinc works to clear skin by taming oil production and may be effective in controlling the formation of acne lesions, or help those already on your skin to clear sooner.
Food sources of zinc include oysters, lean meat, and poultry.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid. This is a powerful antioxidant, hundreds of times more potent that either vitamin C or E, alpha-lipoic acid may turn out to be excellent for aging skin.
What makes it so special, say skin experts, is its ability to penetrate both oil and water, affecting skin cells from both the inside and the outside of the body. Most other antioxidants can do one but not both.
Alpha-lipoic acid helps neutralize skin cell damage caused by free radicals, much like vitamins C and E do. It also helps other vitamins work more effectively to rebuild healthy skin cells damaged by environmental pollution.
According to Nicholas Perricone, M.D., author of The Perricone Prescription: A Physician's 28-Day Program for Total Body and Face Rejuvenation, products containing alpha-lipoic acid will help restore some of the youthful vibrancy to your skin, thanks to its ability to promote the healthy production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps control the blood flow to the skin.
Dr. Perricone even goes on to say that alpha-lipoic acid boosts energy production in your cells, and the higher the energy level in the cell, the more youthful you remain. He believes that the importance of alpha-lipoic acid is hard to overstate.
Alpha-lipoic acid is available in supplements or in creams.
DMAE. DMAE is another powerful antioxidant. It works mostly by deactivating the power of free radicals to harm skin cells. It also helps stabilize the membrane around the outside of each cell so that damage from sun and cigarette smoke are reduced.
And, according to research on WebMD.com, DMAE also prevents the formation of lipofucsin, the brown pigment that becomes the basis for those age spots.
According to Dr. Perricone, there are four steps that work synergistically to produce optimum levels of DMAE in the body. These four steps are:
- Eat fish, especially salmon. Fish is the only significant dietary source of DMAE.
- Take DMAE in the form of a nutritional supplement.
- Apply a high-quality DMAE topical lotion to the skin on the face, and body if desired.
- Keep the muscle toned with exercise.
Just as with alpha-lipoic acid, DMAE is available in supplements and in topical creams.
The best approach to great, healthy skin is to drink plenty of water, eat a balanced diet, use gentle products to cleanse your skin, use sunscreen wisely, and consume a high quality multivitamin to fill in the nutrition gaps.
Most people can get all the nutrients their skin needs from a multivitamin and a healthy diet, says dermatologist Rhoda Narins, M.D. of NYU's School of Medicine.
In order to keep your skin healthy, good nutrition is necessary. You will certainly notice your skin becoming healthier and more glowing than ever before!
A Chemical to Avoid in Your Skin Care Products
Your skin is your largest organ. Why would you slather it in synthetic chemicals?
Those chemicals will all work their way into your fat cells, and then it will be your liver’s job to safely transport them out of your body before they do you lasting harm. Instead, stick with safe, healthy alternatives.
It seems incredible, but many skin care products are loaded with ingredients that actually harm your skin over time. In this section, we will review information on a chemical that is creating much concern, yet it is in many of the skin care products you see (and possibly use) everyday:
Parabens. There are other questionable chemicals in many of our skin care products, but this one frightens me the most. Many people are just now finding out about the dangers of parabens.
Parabens are chemical preservatives such as methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl parabens that are found in many skin care products and cosmetics.
Manufacturers use parabens as a preservative so their products have a long shelf life. The reason is purely economical. However, studies suggest that they may cause cancer and interfere with the bodys endocrine system, as well as causing allergic reactions and skin rashes.
Early in 2004 information concerning parabens and cancer was released to the media. Here is the information as stated on Wikipedia.com:
Average levels of 20 nanograms/gram of parabens have been detected in a small sample of 20 breast tumors.
These findings, along with the demonstrated ability of some parabens to partially mimic estrogen, a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancers, have led some scientists to conclude that the presence of parabens may be associated with the occurrence of breast cancer, and to call for investigation into whether or not a causal link exists.
The lead researcher of the UK study, molecular biologist Philippa Darbre, reported that the ester-bearing form of the parabens found in the tumors indicate that they came from something applied to the skin, such as an underarm deodorant, cream or body spray, and stated that the results helped to explain why up to 60% of all breast tumors are found in just one-fifth of the breast - the upper-outer quadrant, nearest the underarm.
"From this research it is not possible to say whether parabens actually caused these tumors, but they may certainly be associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases. Given that breast cancer is a large killer of women and a very high percentage of young women use underarm deodorants, I think we should be carrying out properly funded, further investigations into parabens and where they are found in the body," says Philip Harvey, an editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, which published the research.
A 2004 study at Northwestern University found that an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving. "I personally feel there is a very strong correlation between the underarm hygiene habits and breast cancer," said immunologist Dr. Kris McGrath, the author of the study.
This research has fueled a popular belief that the parabens in underarm deodorants and other cosmetics can migrate into breast tissue and contribute to the development of tumors.
Now that is some scary stuff, especially for women battling breast cancer.
Check it out and see for yourself the widespread use of parabens. Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, creams, body sprays, sun blocks, sun tanning lotions, foundations, facial masks, hair-grooming aids, nail creams, baby products; most contain one or more parabens.
Parabens enter your bloodstream when rubbed onto your skin. When you consider how effective those various patches are for losing weight, stopping smoking, and birth control, it makes sense that these chemicals would be easily absorbed through your skin. Then they're off to put more work on your liver!
As time goes by I'm sure other chemicals will appear on this list, but for now let's do what we can to avoid the products with parabens.
Healthy and Vibrant Skin: Naturally!
Cleanse and renew your skin with healthy skin care treatments that have no chemicals.
Use fresh, natural ingredients in skin care recipes for a quick and easy way to achieve healthy, beautiful results. The thought of my family NOT using skin care products with dangerous chemicals in them is very important.
If you would like your own collection of skin care recipes there are books available to you. One such book that I have discovered is a natural anti-aging skin care ebook by Sue Dolan, M.Ed..
Sue Dolan is a researcher and instructor on anti-aging skin care and facial rejuvenation for the Skin Care Resource Center and an expert author on aging skin concerns. Sue has been featured in Real Simple Magazine along with her anti-aging skin care strategies for "Inspiring Beauty".
To learn more about Sue Dolan's ebook Click Here!. Her ebook, Naturally Skinsational can even help you with issues such as chronic dry skin, acne and rosacea!
Please read labels before you purchase any skin care product.
Keep in mind that organic skin care products should be free of chemical ingredients or they cannot be labeled organic, but there are many products on the market that claim to be "all-natural" that do contain chemicals.
Better yet, make your own natural skincare products using the information for the website link above or the Naturally Skinsational skin care recipe ebook!
Please visit again soon, and remember that the foods you consume are your first concern when it comes to getting great, healthy skin!
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