No matter what age you are there are a variety of problems that can affect your skin. From teenagers dealing with acne to seniors dealing with age spots and wrinkles, our skin can demand our attention. Besides the impact skin problems have on our looks, it is also part of the immune system that we need to keep healthy. There are skin problems that are just irritants and short lived, but skin problems can sometimes be warnings to us as they can be symptoms of certain health conditions. First let’s look at some of the problems your skin faces and then explore some ways to deal with them naturally.
Rashes can occur on the skin for a variety of reasons from allergic reactions to coming into contact with certain plants. Many of these types of conditions may cause some irritation and look bad, but are not serious. Other times rashes, inflamed skin, spots, cysts or a change in skin texture or color can be a more serious chronic condition or symptoms of something more serious like psoriasis, eczema, rosacea or skin cancer. If in doubt, it is always a good idea to check out skin conditions with your healthcare provider.
Acne is another skin condition that affects many. You may think of acne as being a condition teens deal with, but actually it can be a problem at any age. Acne occurs when blackheads are formed from dead skin cells and oils clogging pores which then become infected and turn to pimples. According to Julie Gabriel, a holistic nutritionist, author of The Green Beauty Guide, many medicines used for acne can actually worsen the condition by irritating the skin and drawing free radicals to the area which damage skin cells and cause inflammation.
As we age, there are even more noticeable changes to our skin. In the aging process estrogen levels are lowered and the body makes less collagen. These can cause skin to wrinkle, become thinner, and lose its elasticity. Changes in hormones and a slowing down of the activity of oil glands as we pass through menopause can also cause skin to become dry, sag and wrinkle.
Stress: Enemy of Your Skin
You know stress can have negative effects on your overall health, but do you realize how stress specifically affects skin? When under stress, your body releases chemicals, cortisol, and hormones that cause more sensitivity and reactivity in your skin, can affect the healing ability and cause your glands to produce more oil. Stress can make conditions such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea worse and cause skin to break out in a rash, hives or blisters. A study at the University of Oslo reported that mental distress and stress can cause acne and other skin conditions to become more severe. Not only does stress actually cause physical changes in the body that can lead to skin problems, we also tend to neglect daily skincare when stressed and eat foods that are not healthy for skin.
Naturally Care For Your Skin From the Outside
We are constantly producing new skin cells to replace the ones that die off. As new skin cells are formed at the lowest skin level, they push their way up to the surface and most of the dead skin cells fall off. Exfoliating the skin gets rid of the dead skin found on the surface which help keep skin pores clear keeping away blackheads and other small bumps on your face and letting the new radiant skin shine through. When exfoliating be gentle. There are natural substances that make good exfoliates such as clays, lemon juice or papaya that has enzymes that exfoliate naturally. Julie Gabriel also advises herbal steam baths with a clay mask afterwards to help keep pores clean. Dry skin should only need exfoliating once a week whereas oily skin may need it more.
Keeping our skin clean is another important part of skincare on the outside. Your cleanser should be a gentle one and different ones work better for different skin types. In general, if you have dry skin you’ll want to use a cleanser that is creamy and if you have oily skin, a foamy, oil-free cleanser is better. Also be sure not to use hot water when cleansing as it can destroy the natural moisture in your skin. It is also better to pat the skin to dry it instead of rubbing it. In the aging process your skin naturally gets drier. Dry skin can benefit from moisturizing to naturally protect it. I like using this antioxidant lotion fortified with high-performance levels of WGP beta glucan, wild bluegreen algae, and aloe vera, as well as vitamins A, C, and E and other key ingredients that nourish your skin while leaving it soft without an oily feel. It is particularly effective for dry, damaged, or more mature skin and is full of food-grade nutrients and antioxidants your skin craves and that help protect against the effects of free radicals.
Sunscreen is another important component in caring for your skin. Over time exposure to sun brings on wrinkles, age spots and can even lead to skin cancer. No matter how much sun exposure you have already had it’s never too late to start using sunscreen to protect your skin. Make sure you use a sunscreen with a SPF of a minimum of 30 and that protects against UVA and UVB light. Sunscreen isn’t just for sunny days or when you are outside either. Sunlight can still affect you even on a cloudy day or when coming in through windows.
Naturally Care For Your Skin From the Inside
What you put on the inside of your body is just as important as what you put on the outside of your body when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. Fruits and vegetables with antioxidants are great for fighting off free radical damage and repairing damaged cells. If you don’t get enough antioxidants in your diet, this antioxidant filled stem cell support supplement can help. Adult stem cells occurring naturally in your body maintain and renew body tissue. The older we get, the less of these stem cells we produce. Nourishing them and providing antioxidants can help protect your existing stem cells from damage of free radicals. Adding soy to your diet can help plump up skin that is lacking in collagen as it has lots of isoflavones. Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids helps skin stay elastic rather than sagging. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are the most important essential fatty acids for our skin. Dehydration is another of the major causes of aging skin. If you want healthy skin, drink plenty of water.
You can have more beautiful and healthy skin naturally no matter what your age. Remember to feed your skin inside and out with the nutrition it needs to be healthy and develop a good skincare regimen to follow consistently. That will get you on your way to healthier, younger looking skin.
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