SKIN HEALTH – Part One

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 Posting for reminder SKIN HEALTH

Part One

Skin is the body’s largest organ. When the skin is healthy, its layers work hard to protect us from our environment. But when the skin’s acid mantle is compromised the skin’s ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired. We have therefore found the best way to improve skin health is to support it in maintaining its protective role.

Your skin is the window to your body that reveals the stories of your life. Your age and your health are reflected in your skin.

Skin has multiple functions, because of this it becomes the ultimate multitasker of the human body. The skin’s most important role is being the first line of defense between our bodies and the outside world. Our skin protects us from bacteria, viruses, pollution, and chemical substances that we encounter wherever we are.

Skin also regulates body temperature, maintains fluid balance, and controls moisture loss. It acts as a barrier, and protects us against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Many factors impact your skin. Genetics, aging, hormones, and conditions such as diabetes are internal (intrinsic) factors that affect the skin. Some of these you cannot influence, but there are many external (extrinsic) factors that you can influence.

External influences such as unprotected sun exposure and washing along with exfoliating too frequently or with water that is too hot can damage skin’s barrier function (acid mantle) and cause the skin to become sensitized.  Also an unhealthy diet, stress, a lack of sleep, not enough exercise, dehydration, smoking, and particular medications can all impact the skin’s ability to operate as an effective protective barrier.

Eat a healthful diet

There is a multibillion-dollar industry dedicated to products that keep your skin looking its best, and which claim to fight signs of aging. But moisturizers only go skin deep, and aging develops at a deeper, cellular level. What you eat is as important as the products that you put on your skin. Your diet could improve your skin health from the inside out, so a clear complexion begins with eating a healthful diet.

Skin-healthy foods. Here are some foods that have been acknowledged by research as being skin-healthy.

Mangoes contain compounds with antioxidant properties. These compounds help to protect components of the skin, such as collagen.

Tomatoes have skin cancer-prevention benefits. A study with mice revealed that daily tomato consumption decreased the development of skin cancer tumors by 50 percent after UV (ultraviolet) light exposure.

Research has also shown that incorporating tomato paste into your meals may help to protect against sunburn. After 10 weeks, people who consumed 40 grams (that’s just ½ cup or 4 ounces) of tomato paste per day had 40 percent less sunburn than that of the controlled group.

Lycopene, is pigment gives tomatoes their deep red color, is thought to play a role in the protective effect of tomatoes against UV (ultraviolet) damage.

Cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate (and who doesn’t like chocolate)!! may improve the structure and function of skin. Scientists discovered that cocoa flavanols decreased roughness and scaling on skin, increased skin hydration, and helped to support the skin’s defenses against damage from UV rays.

Green tea has many skin benefits. Compounds found in green tea called polyphenols rejuvenate dying skin cells, which suggests that they may be useful for healing wounds or certain skin conditions. It has shown promising results as a potential treatment for skin conditions such as psoriasis and dandruff.

Patches of dry, flaky, and red skin often feature in these conditions — usually as a result of inflammation and the overproduction of skin cells. Green tea may slow down the production of skin cells and suppress inflammation.

White tea has anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. One study indicates that some ingredients in white tea may protect the skin from oxidative stress and immune cell damage.

Kale is one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against light-induced skin damage, especially from UV rays.

Omega-3 found in oily fish, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds or oils may prevent dryness and scaling of the skin.

Soy may help to improve crow’s feet skin wrinkles that appear at the outer corner of the eyes in menopausal women. These are just a few ideas to try for healthy skin so please don’t rely on food to protect you from the sun. You need to protect yourself from sun exposure, always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Physical sunscreens are best and seek shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., wear clothing that covers your skin and a wide-brimmed hat.

Stay tuned for part two of healthy skin coming out on Wednesday September 21st.

Thanks for reading,

Susan Chapple

Lead MedSpa Technician and Educator/Instructor

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