We’ve all seen the people who get lobster red skin from too much sun in the summer.
Most people these days are more conscious of protecting their skin, especially when it’s hot and sunny.
Putting on sunscreen is one way to protect your skin. But good skin care also starts with what you put inside your body.
Did you know that some sunscreens contain ingredients that can actually increase your risk of cancer. These are ingredients like octyl dimethylaminobenzoate (ODAB) and octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC).
Manufacturers commonly use the world ‘natural’ on labels to deceive consumers. For example, Cocamide-DEA is derived from coconut oil, but a synthetic chemical called diethanolamine known to cause cancer is used in the extraction process.
Methylparaben is derived from petrochemicals, which are derived from crude oil, which is derived from living matter. It is a widely used preservative in organic skin care products such as body creams, body wash and deodorants:
So effectively methylparaben can legally be labelled as organic.
But a recent study reported traces of methylparaben was found in human breast cancer tumours.
An ingredient is not really natural if it has been processed in this way.
It’s important to look for safe, natural sunscreens which contain ingredients like titanium and zinc oxide to scatter the sun’s rays before they burn your skin. Some sunscreens also contain soothing ingredients like vitamin C and E, green tea, chamomile and alpha-lipoic acid.
Sometimes ingredients like Vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, active copper and other ingredients are touted as miracle ingredients.
But there is miracle ingredient for the skin or hair. Often it’s the synergistic combination of ingredients that gives us vital health.
Skin Care is about Overall Health
How your skin looks is often a direct result of what you put into your body. Feeding the body with high quality ingredients, exercising, having good bowel movements, drinking plenty of fresh water and getting enough sleep can all go a long way to helping you look your best.
But you already knew that. That’s not why you’re reading this article.
Ok, so let’s look at the previous paragraph a little more in-depth.
Feeding the body with high quality ingredients
‘I eat right,’ you say. Do you know what that means? Some people have food allergies and this results in skin problems such as eczema. The most common allergens are milk, eggs and peanuts, which account for roughly 81% of all cases of childhood eczema (Encylopedia of Natural Medicine).
Too often people eat the typical Standard American Diet (SAD). This diet is high in animal and unhealthy fats (saturated, hydrogenated), high in processed foods, low in fibre, complex carbohydrates and plant-based foods.
There’s a reason it’s acronym is SAD. It makes you feel sad from what you eat.
Oh, also add ‘high in sugar’ to the SAD diet. According to the book Conscious Health, by Ron Garner, “Research done by Dr. Nicholas Perricone and Dr. Robert Connolly has found that sugar, and foods that convert rapidly to sugar, cause an inflammation in the skin.”
So eliminate the SAD diet and increase your intake of plant foods, especially raw, eat more fibre, eliminate sugar, eat better quality lean proteins and healthy fats.
These are the essential fatty acids that include olive oil, flax seed oil, hemp oil, borage oil, fish oils and evening primrose oils. Sea Buckthorn is also high in several fatty acids, including omegas 3 and 6. Applied topically, the seed oil is reputed to heal radiation burns, reduce scarring, heal or improve psoriasis and a host of other skin conditions.
Our skin is our largest organ of elimination, so exercise helps with eliminating toxins whenever we sweat. The increased circulation delivers nutrients to skin cells, whooshing away potentially damaging toxins. Exercise also gives skin the optimum conditions for making collagen, the support fibres that help keep wrinkles and lines at bay.
If you are prone to acne, exercise helps mediate the production of testosterone-related hormones such as DHEA and DHT. Stress levels go down when people exercise so the adrenal glands are producing less male-type hormones that contribute to acne flare-ups.
Good Bowel Movements
In the movie, 10 Items or Less, Morgan Freeman gives his list of 10 things that are really important to him. ‘Having a really good bowel movement’ was number 4 or 5.
Don’t laugh. A good bowel movement is important for overall health as well as skin health.
According to the book Conscious Health by Ron Garner, ‘All skin problems such as eczema, acne, pimples, dandruff, dry skin and psoriasis are the result of the body’s elimination of toxins via the skin pores when the other channels of elimination are congested.”
In other words, you should be having a ‘really good bowel movement’ to get rid of the body’s main toxins.
Garner continues “This (congestion) means the body is overly acidic. When the liver is clean, skin problems do not manifest. The excessive elimination of toxins causes the outer layers of skin to die off at a faster rate than new skin cells can be produced, resulting in dry skin skin. Dry skin is also an indication that essential oils are lacking in the diet.” (See previous paragraph regarding diet).
One way to help when the colon or other organs are congested is by having a colon hydrotherapy cleanse. There are therapists who can be contacted from the pages of this magazine. Another way is to increase the amount of green foods in your diet ( such as spirulina, algae, etc) and by doing a herbal cleanse. You can find the ingredients for a herbal cleanse from many health food stores.
Water and Skin Care
It’s finally summer, which brings its own set of beauty risks to our skin. We know we need to drink lots of water to replace fluids lost to perspiration, but did you know you can create your own spice water that will further benefit your skin?
According to Ayurvedic medicine, If your skin is dry, thin and sensitive, susceptible to dullness and wrinkles, you have Vata type skin. Pitta skin tends to be reddish, warm and extremely sensitive, prone to breakouts and easily affected by the foods you eat, heat and sun. Kapha skin tends to be lustrous, oily, thick in texture and prone to clogged pores, breakouts and toxic buildup.
If you get bored of drinking plain water, here are some recipes that will help the skin.
Cooling Summer Water
Boil two quarts of water for two minutes. Take it off the heat and add 1/4 t. fennel seed, 2 rose buds, and 1 clove. Store it hot inside a thermos, but before drinking pour it into a cup and let it cool to room temperature.
The herbs in this formula not only cool Pitta skin, but if used over time they help stimulate digestion and cleanse the microchannels of the body, allowing the water to hydrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Here’s another recipe to try. Boil one litre of water for five minutes, then pour it into a thermos or other type of heat-retentive container. Add the following herbs and spices (1/2 tsp cumin seeds, ½ tsp. coriander seeds and 2 pinches ground licorice root) and steep. Keep the container closed. Strain and use the spice-infused water as needed. Drink at the temperature recommended above for each skin type.
Sleep and Good Skin
Two words; Beauty Sleep. If you want good skin, you need to get enough rest. We all know what we look like when we haven’t gotten enough rest, bags under the eyes, wrinkled and dehydrated skin. Spackling on the creams and makeups don’t really help much when you need your rest.
Sleep is when the body goes through its R & R, rest and repair time. Plenty of sleeps equals hydrated, cell renewed, luminous, younger looking skin. If you don’t always get enough rest at night, try taking little cat naps throughout the day. While it’s not going to be as effective as that deep REM sleep, it will still help.
Which reminds me, I better get to bed. It’s almost midnight.