A good diet, plenty of water (filtered... chlorine and additives to our water supply are detrimental to health!) along with a couple steps for moisturizing, protecting and cleansing, should have you well on the way to skin you are happy to live in!
To have skin to be proud of, whether it is your face or body, there are a few things to consider.
1.Your diet is truly important. The saying "You are what you eat" is the biggest factor for a healthy body to produce clear, bright, unblemished skin. The body needs the nutrition from the food you eat to repair all the cells. Of the approximate two billion skin cells, 300 million are replaced each day. Diets containing high sugar intake adversely affect the skin's appearance. Don't be afraid of good fats in your diet such as organic olive and coconut oils. They are nourishing when eaten and soothing when applied to the skin and it's an old wives tale that natural oils will make an oily skin produce more sebum. Eat nuts as a snack instead of sugary cookies or cake and your skin will reward you. And don't forget 6 to 8 glasses of water. Limit alcohol. Eat loads of fresh leafy greens, preferably organic, as there will be no pesticide residue. Raw or lightly steamed preserves the nutrients needed to build healthy tissue.
2. Cleansing should be done twice a day. At bed time to remove the pollution, dirt and any makeup, but also in the morning, even though you may have just spent the time in bed... to remove those dead cells! If not cleansed properly, the skin appears dull and tired. Exfoliate once or twice a week to polish a glow Always choose a mild cleanser, without alcohol and beware of foaming cleansers with harsh chemicals as their foaming agents.
3. Moisturizer without glycerin as an ingredient is the best choice. It is often the second ingredient on the products' ingredient list after water, or 'Aqua' for the up-market brands! Glycerin is a cheap humectant that will draw the skin's natural moisture from the deeper layers if the humidity is below 65% such as in air-conditioned cooled and heated rooms. This leads to dehydrated skin in the long term. Look for Aloe Vera based moisturizing day and night creams as these blends accelerate skin cell growth. The higher the concentration of Aloe Vera gel the larger the increase in skin cell regeneration. The plant is easy to grow and invaluable to have on hand to apply to cuts, burns and insect bites. Use the clear gel in the centre of the leaf.The cut leaf can be kept in the fridge for several days.
4. Sunscreen chemicals have been controversial. There is no consensus on whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer and after 33 years, the FDA is yet to provide consumer guidelines. Many manufacturers make dubious claims regarding the protection their products give against UV rays. There is also the case for vitamin D deficiency because some people have not had sufficient sunlight on their skin for it's natural production. If you go to work early, are in-door most of the day and return home when the sun's strength has waned, I can't see the need for a sunscreen. You are exposing yourself unnecessarily to chemicals. It is best to cover up and stay in shade during the hottest part of the day. When a sunscreen is required, the Environmental Working Group suggest you choose one containing Zinc or Titanium as the active ingredients, but not the nanoparticles type. Avoid Oxybenzone, Retinyl palmitate and sunscreens that contain insect repellent. Spray on sunscreen can be inadvertently inhaled, so should also be avoided, particularly for children.
So, to recap: eat well, choose fresh food, organic where the budget and resources will permit. Raw provides the best nutrition. Read the labels on the products you use on your skin and be aware of the number of chemicals you expose your body to. Choose skin care and cosmetics with fewer chemicals and maintain a routine. Enjoy beautiful, supple and smooth healthy skin, you will have deserved it!
Karen Armitage - After 40 years in the 'beauty' industry, Karen was astounded to find that the cosmetic companies she had trusted included toxic ingredients in the products they produced and marketed.