to Have Clear, Healthy Skin
By Dr. Ben
we take a close look at how to use principles of natural skin care
to promote clear and healthy skin, please consider the following facts
about your skin:
lose millions of dead skin cells every day - about 30,000 to 40,000
dead skin cells are sloughed off of your body every minute. Over
the course of your life, you will shed about 40 pounds (18 kilograms)
of dead skin.
body is constantly generating new skin cells to replace the ones
that you shed off. In fact, the top layer of your skin, called
your epidermis - is fully replaced about once every 30 days.
skin accounts for as much as 15 percent of your entire body weight.
day, about 2.5 million sweat glands in your skin secrete about
2 cups of sweat.
of Your Skin
no mistake about it: your skin is a complex organ, one that consists
of three layers that are optimally organized to protect you against
disease and injury. These layers are called your epidermis, dermis,
and hypodermis, and they're described below.
uppermost layer of your skin - the one that is in contact with the
air - is called your epidermis. Your epidermis is actually composed
of five different layers. The bottommost layer of your epidermis
is called the basal layer, and as your basal layer produces new
skin cells, they move up toward the surface, where they are eventually
sloughed off as dead skin.
epidermis houses cells called melanocytes that produce melanin,
which provides some protection against ultraviolet rays, and also
partly determines the color of your skin.
your epidermis lies a thicker layer called your dermis. In contrast
to your epidermis, which is constantly replacing itself, your dermis
remains pretty much the same throughout your life. Your dermis houses
a number of structures, the most prominent ones being:
vessels, which allow delivery of nutrients to your skin cells,
removal of waste products, and transportation of specialized
cells of your immune system whenever they are needed to combat
vessels, which provide a transportation network for immune-related
cells, and also balance the distribution of fluids throughout
endings, which allow you to sense pain, temperature changes,
and different pressures and textures through your skin.
follicles, which are the roots of the hairs that exist throughout
your scalp and skin, except on the palms of your hands and the
soles of your feet.
glands, which produce and secrete sebum, an oily substance that
helps to protect you against infection and helps to make your
skin water resistant.
glands, which produce and secrete sweat.
which is a protein that gives your skin strength and flexibility.
which is a protein that gives your skin the ability to return
to its original shape whenever it is manipulated.
your dermis is a layer that consists mainly of fat, and is called
your hypodermis or subcutaneous layer. Your hypodermis isn't technically
a part of your skin, but it's essential to anchoring your skin to
the tissues that lie below your epidermis and dermis - these deeper
tissues are usually your muscles, and sometimes your bones.
the three layers described above form skin that varies in thickness
throughout your body. Your skin is thinnest above your eyelids, and
is thickest on the heels of your feet and palms of your hands.
Your Skin Keeps You Healthy
the largest organ in your body, your skin plays a number of critical
roles in keeping you healthy, the most important ones being:
barrier for protection - the most important function of your skin
is to prevent harmful microorganisms from entering your blood.
Your skin accomplishes this through three main features:
of body fluids and temperature - your skin helps to regulate body
fluid balance, pH balance, and your core temperature by manipulating
its blood supply and sweat production.
for elimination of waste products - through your sweat glands,
your skin eliminates waste materials like urea, toxic metals,
and excess lactic acid that is created by overworked muscles.
protection and detection of dangerous stimuli - your skin provides
a layer of cushion for the rest of your body, protecting it against
injury. Your skin also allows you to sense danger (hot temperatures,
sharp objects, too much pressure, etc.) through sensory receptors
that are located throughout your body - mainly in your hands,
feet, and lips.
Skin Care Tips - How to Keep Your Skin Clear and Healthy
Gentle When You Wash and Scrub Your Skin
people are led to believe that aggressive scrubbing of their skin
with a rough towel can help remove waste material and toxins from
their skin. Abrasive scrubbing does not promote healthy skin; in the
vast majority of cases, it actually worsens skin tone and health because
it leads to damage of one or more structures in the epidermis, dermis,
skin is well designed to cleanse itself from the inside out if your
diet and lifestyle are health-promoting. Be gentle when you wash your
skin, and pat-dry with a soft towel.
Not Use Anti-Bacterial Soap
of friendly bacteria live on your skin; these bacteria take up room
and resources, making it difficult for unfriendly bacteria to establish
colonies on your skin. Friendly bacteria in your skin also produce
various substances, including fatty acids, peroxides, and bacteriocins
that protect you against unfriendly bacteria.
use of anti-bacterial soap can diminish the strength and quantity
of friendly colonies of bacteria in your skin, increasing your risk
of experiencing infections, including acne.
Use of Soap and Hot Water
use of hot water and almost all types of soap can dry out your sebaceous
glands, causing your skin to become dry and unhealthy. Healthy skin
requires regular sebum production to promote resistance against water
soap and water should be used only when necessary to remove any
chemicals, grease, gas, and oil that you are exposed to. On days when
your skin hasn't been exposed to any of the substances mentioned above,
consider washing your skin with lukewarm or cool water only; this
is, after all, the way that people washed themselves for most of human
winter, it's best to minimize the length of your showers and baths,
and to use lukewarm water rather than hot water. Repeated use of hot
water showers and baths can cause your skin to become dry and unhealthy.
Exposure to Furnace Heat
you're living in dry furnace heat during colder months, your skin
regularly loses water content, which can cause chronic dryness and
itchiness. To combat this type of skin dryness, consider taking the
down the heat. Wear warm clothes and slippers to stay warm. Less
exposure to dry furnace heat results in less water loss from your
skin, which results in healthier skin.
your skin by taking lukewarm baths, and moisturizing as soon as
you get out of the tub while your skin is in a hydrated state.
Use the most natural moisturizer that you have access to - virgin
coconut oil works well for most people.
a lukewarm bath or shower only when necessary for cleansing. If
you don't need to bathe or shower every day, then don't; your
skin will be healthier for it.
Use of Makeup, Perfumes, Colognes, Shaving Cream, and Other Personal
Care Products and Cosmetics that Contain Toxic Chemicals
your skin is bare, just as it is intended to be, it stands its best
chance of receiving nourishment, getting cleared of waste products,
breathing with your environment, and cleansing from the inside out.
This is why children tend to have clear and healthy skin - they don't
regularly burden their skin cells with personal care products and
cosmetics that many adults are conditioned to use daily.
people who regularly burden their skin cells with a number of unnecessary
personal care and cosmetic products to look "better" for society tend
to look "worse" for society at a much earlier age than those who don't
bother with such products. And using such products year after year
further increases dependence on them to maintain a public outer shell
that is emotionally acceptable to the user.
- and let it be heard loud and clear - is this: the less stuff you
put on your skin, the healthier and more beautiful it will be in the
short and long term.
Plenty of Water-Rich Foods
skin requires strong and steady blood flow, as your blood circulation
brings your skin cells nourishment, and clears away waste products
that your skin cells are constantly generating.
water-rich foods - mainly fresh vegetables and fruits - is essential
to experiencing strong and steady blood flow, as the naturally occuring
water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients found in these foods
all promote optimal blood circulation to your skin and throughout
green vegetables are arguably the single best food group for promoting
healthy skin via healthy blood flow, as no other food group can match
the water content and pound-for-pound nutrient density of dark green
vegetables. This is why I regularly recommend shooting for one head
of romaine lettuce every day. And if you can't hit this target, then
consider including a pure
green food powder mixed with healthy liquids in your diet.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Flavonoids
groups of nutrients are strongly associated with healthy blood vessels,
which are essential to experiencing optimal blood flow to and from
your skin cells.
foods that are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids include:
green leafy vegetables
or dried seaweed
ground flax seeds
ground hemp seeds
foods that are naturally rich in flavonoids include:
Adequate Intake of Foods that are Rich in Vitamin A, Carotenoids,
and Healthy Fats
A is arguably the single most important micronutrient for healthy
skin, as it is needed to maintain the integrity and function of your
overall health is good and you regularly eat foods that are abundant
fats, then chances are good that your body is effectively synthesizing
vitamin A from carotenoids found in dark green, yellow, and orange
vegetables like spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
have any doubt about your body's ability to synthesize vitamin A from
carotenoids, you can eat foods that contain actual vitamin A, such
as organic eggs.
You Have an Autoimmune-Related Skin Challenge, Decrease or Eliminate
Your Intake of Dairy and Flesh Meats
skin conditions like psoriasis and vitiligo can be triggered and fueled
by a number of different factors, but in almost all cases, these progressive
conditions can be improved or at least halted by eating a vegetable-centered
diet. It's impossible to know with certainty why this is, but it's
likely that in people who are genetically predisposed to developing
autoimmune illness, regular consumption of animal protein is a trigger
for antigen-antibody-complex-induced inflammation.
comprehensive guidelines on how to address these and other autoimmune-related
health challenges, view: Seven
Keys to Overcoming Autoimmune Illness
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