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Ten Tips For Natural Skin Care

Apr 3, 2008
The quest for youthful skin is not just a sign of vanity - it's a sign of the desire to be healthy. Because the skin is the largest organ in the body, it deserves our attention to keep it in optimum health. Recognizing that our skin is a reflection of our overall health, many people are turning towards natural means to keep skin looking and feeling its best.

Our skin serves five main purposes: it acts as a mechanical barrier to infections; it provides the sense of touch through recognizing heat, cold, pain and vibration; it regulates body temperature through evaporation of sweat; it excretes waste products and excess salt through the pores; and in the presence of sunlight, it synthesizes and stores vitamin D, which is helpful for immune function. Good skin care can help delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems. These simple skin care habits will help you to protect your skin and keep it healthy for many years to come.

1. Boost Your Water Intake: Our skin is 70% water so it is important to keep properly hydrated. While increasing water intake, it is also helpful to avoid dehydrating beverages containing caffeine, such as soda and coffee. Adequate water plumps skin cells and removes waste.

2. Try Dry Brush Exfoliation: Dry brush exfoliation involves the use of a soft, natural bristle brush to gently brush the skin. To perform dry brush exfoliation, brush dry skin in small circles towards the heart before a shower. Because the skin is an organ of elimination, exfoliating eliminates dead skin, it allows skin to detoxify, it improves lymph and blood circulation, and the gentle pressure calms the nervous system.

3. Avoid Sugar: Sugar consumption is known to be one of the causes of premature aging. Excess sugar in our bloodstream leads to the breakdown of collagen, which causes skin to wrinkle and sag.

4. Avoid Putting Chemicals on Your Skin: When you apply chemicals to your skin, through deodorant, lotion, cosmetics, and sunscreen, the chemicals are absorbed and they enter your bloodstream, eventually become integrated into your body's tissues. Because the accumulation of chemicals in the body contributes to disease and aging, a good rule of thumb is to avoid putting anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat.

5. Increase Your Circulation: Sweating, both through exercise or the use of a steam room or sauna, cleanses skin and removes toxins from the body.

6. Increase Your Intake of Essential Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids, available in flaxseed and fish oils, are needed to make cell membranes and hormones. They improve heart health, fight inflammation, and possibly prevent cancer. They are also particularly important for people with skin conditions, such as eczema, acne and dry skin.

7. Improve Your Digestion: Skin disorders are often associated with digestive disorders, such as constipation, imbalance in the normal flora, candida infections, leaky gut, etc. If elimination through the bowel is compromised, then toxins will leave through another channel of elimination - the skin - leading to rashes, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, etc.

8. Use Organic, Natural Oils and Plant Products as Moisturizers: Products such as aloe vera, coconut oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, mango butter, and palm oil contain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which support collagen and elastin production, removal of dead skin cells, and immune function.

9. Protect Your Skin from the Sun: Overexposure to ultraviolet light - the invisible but intense rays from the sun - leads to skin damage. The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. To protect your skin, minimize exposure during the stronger midday hours, wear protective clothing and hats, and use chemical-free sunscreen.

10. Don't Smoke: Smoking decreases blood flow to the skin, depleting the skin of oxygen and nutrients, which ultimately leads to aging and wrinkle formation.

While it is impossible to stop aging, there are many simple things we can do to slow the process. Incorporating these lifestyle, diet, exercise, and sun exposure tips will help you to keep your skin youthful and glowing for years to come.
About the Author
For more health tips and published research with vertigo, migraine, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease patients by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., upper cervical chiropractor, in Boulder, Colorado, visit her website www.erinelster.com.
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