Flawless Skin Secrets
By Cindi Harwood Rose
Owner of Utopia MedSpa, Uptown Park
Your skin is the largest living organ of your body. It is not an inert covering such as a glove placed on your hand. It has many functions. It is the body’s protective covering against the environment and it is also the body’s principal mechanism for maintaining the temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit in which all our cells and body systems are adapted to function. Perspiration, liquid waste, is given off through the skin. Adults have an average of seven pounds of skin. If it were spread out flat, it would cover about nineteen square feet. Every inch is supplied with busy working cells and responsive nerves that keep your body and mind informed about your environment.
The skin is made of three layers of different cell types. The top layer is the epidermis, the thick middle layer is the dermis and the fatty bottom layer is the subcutis. Chinese medicine incorporates skin analysis to determine Yin or Yang deficiency, and lung disharmony.
Most people do not know how to take care of their skin. They have been brain-washed through modern marketers to buy expensive products that are laden with toxic mineral oils, preservatives, colorings, perfumes, and surface-drying alcohol. This actually clogs the outer skin, stopping it from breathing and releasing the wastes your body wants to discard. The alcohol dehydrates the skin. Its purpose is to prolong shelf life. The preservatives stop the natural products such as milk, egg, placenta, and fruit extracts from molding and rotting. Do you think your skin deserves a product that even bugs do not want?
Skin-care is an ancient 3,000-year-old science that has been around in all great civilizations. The American Indians rubbed their bodies with bear grease to keep their skin moist. They participated in sweats to rid the mind and body of toxic thoughts and blockages. The Greeks cleansed the skin by oiling it with plant oils, then scraping it off with wet bark, exfoliating their skin. The Egyptians soaked fragrant woods and resins in water and plant oils and rubbed their body and faces with the liquid. The Swedish took elaborate hot mineral baths and cold plunges to detox their skin and invigorate it. The Romans made their cold cream out of the natural organic oils. Coconut and nut oils have been used in tropical climates for thousands of years. The Orientals dry scrubbed their skin with seaweed, exfoliating it, and then moistened the epidermis with sesame oil. They soak in mineral waters laden with natural sulfurs and rub sweet almond oil and mint on the body to aid circulation. They have books on herbs such as Chan Tui (cicada husks) which are helpful for skin conditions. The Middle Eastern countries used the Olive oil for the face and hair. The French used hazelnut oil as a moisturizer. They used lavender oil on skin irritations. Only in the 1900’s, were these natural oils placed by mineral oils which are based from petroleum sludge, and are not only drying to the skin, they are poisonous. Strangely, they are in many products that we may think are safe such as Johnson’s Baby Oil, Vaseline, and Kiehl’s products. Other products such as Tiger’s Balm, Noxzema, Laura Mercier, Franche, and Aveda, have pure combinations of healthy ingredients.
Taking care of your skin involves more than just outer skin care. It involves feeding your skin from within. It is important to keep the body hydrated with six to eight glasses of water a day. If you live in a polluted climate, buy spring water. Stay away from caffeine. Try to eat natural uncooked vegetables and fruits in your diet as well as fish, eggs, seeds and nuts. Eliminate processed sugars and starches. Reduce your salt intake. Go for the whole grains found in brown rice and healthy organic flours such as kamut, barley, flaxseed, spelt, soy, and Brewer’s Yeast. Exercise tones and tightens the skin. Endermologie (a machine that exercises the skin), massage, and water therapy, all aid to skin appeal. For glowing skin, sleep is important as well as vitamins. Vitamins and minerals known to help the skin include the following: Vitamin A, B Complex, C, E, Calcium/Magnesium, Selenium, Chromium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q 10, L-Glutamine, Omega-3, omega 6 oils, folic acid, Pycnogenol, and fish oil. Dermatologist, Dr. Margaret Waisman, feels that skin care truly does start from within.
Skin care is really simple. Your skin is an organ and it breathes. For this to happen, the epidermis needs to be clean and exfoliated. That way the wastes can be eliminated and your natural oils can shine through. Your skin should “glow”. After it is cleaned, if your skin is not too dry, the outer surface should be toned, and then moisturized if it is not too oily. If you add moisturizer on top of clogged pores, you will clog them more and either break out with pimples. . Heavy products stop your skin from breathing.
Exfoliation can be done in many ways. It can be done with products that contain glycolic acid or fruit peels. Microdermabrasion can be done at a spa. You can have a skin peel at a dermatologist or physician. Did you know that these treatments are really just a way to get rid of the dead skin? They are effective but are costly in time and money. To put natural vitamin C and a natural fruit acid into your skin, you can rub the inside of an orange peel on your face for two minutes, and take 500 mg. of vitamin C a day. Microdermabrason is just a grain scrub made of crystals (salt is a crystal), pieces of loofa or sand rubbed around your face and neck in circular motions. Scrub your own face and save over $1,000! You can buy a nice honey-almond granular scrub (be sure it is alcohol free) for around $20 or make your own. Use finely ground nuts, cornmeal, or oat bran, a little water and honey and make a thick paste. Scrub your face and neck with circular motions for around a minute and one half. Rinse off with warm water, then splash cold water on your face and neck. For a toner, take a half-tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a half tablespoon of witch hazel, a tablespoon of aloe Vera juice, to six ounces of spring water. This will keep. Do not tone skin that is too dry.
Home facial treatments include steaming the skin to open the pores and to release blackheads. You can actually boil tea bags, and stand about six to eight inches above the steam for three minutes. Next, entry rub your skin with one or more of the following ingredients, oatmeal, ground nut meal, poppy seeds, cornmeal, with an equal part of honey. Rinse off with cool water. Then place egg white on your face (including the eyelids) and neck. Leave this on for several minutes. Rinse off with cool water. Finally, add cucumber slices to your eyelids and relax for five minutes. You will experience an instant face-lift as well as glowing skin! To make this an oxygen facial, just add a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to your grain scrub.
Mashed avocado is used in South Africa to soften the skin. Papaya is used in Hawaii on sunburnt skin as well as insect bites. Oatmeal and water is placed on skin rashes in Mexico, Germany, and the United States. Tomato juice with a garlic infusion can be used on skin that is prone to breakout. Hemorrhoid cream has been used on puffy eyelids, blemishes, and cellulite, all for on the spot reducing! So can sliced raw potatoes. Any of the following oils are great to use as a moisturizer: sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, flaxseed oil, hazelnut oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin E oil.
It is an exquisite thought to realize that nature can nourish your skin allowing you to put “your best face forward.”