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beauty

70 articles in beauty

Art Of Skin Treatments

Art Of Skin Treatments

While there is no fountain of eternal youth anywhere in cosmetics, there are substances which, when externally applied, can not only be absorbed but will also help improve skin's texture and quality, correct problems, and preserve youth. There are also treatments with masks, exfoliaters, massage, exercise, and hydrotherapy which, although the substances used to give them are not taken directly into the skin, will also do a great deal for skin health and beauty. They are all part of the rather esoteric art of skin treatment. skin absorption - a useful tool In general, your skin is impermeable. Water, for instance, will not go through it. Neither will most oils. However, if it is in prolonged contact with some substances, if it is broken or has a rash, or if it is rubbed with an oil, emulsion or extract whose molecular structure is fine enough to cross the epidermal barrier, then active ingredients it contains can be carried not only through the epidermis but deep into the skin and sometimes even throughout the body via the bloodstream. In fact the skin's permeability is constantly being exploited by drug companies which view this percutaneous absorption as a means of getting medication into the body without irritating the gastrointestinal tracts of sick patients. The three main routes of skin penetration are through the hair follicles into the sebaceous glands, through the sweat glands, and through the unbroken stratum corneum between skin appendages. Once a substance does get past the stratum corneum by any of these means, its further passage into the epidermis and dermis is pretty much assured. Vitamins were first applied this way after the Second World War to treat ex-prisoners with severe vitamin deficiencies who couldn't take them by mouth. Vitamins D, E, and A - the fat-soluble vitamins; vitamin C; and some of the B-complex vitamins have all been used successfully in this way. Hormone absorption is well known. Oestrogen creams are often given to postmenopausal women by dermatologists. Many essential oils of plants are also absorbed very readily. The important questions are, How do you make positive use of your skin's percutaneous absorption? And how do you protect it from misuse? The second question is easy to answer: Avoid skin contact as much as possible with household chemicals, products containing toxic metals such as aluminum, lead, and mercury, and soaps with cleansers containing hexachlorophene. Also guard your skin from atmospheric chemicals in the air by cleansing it regularly twice a day and wearing a moisturizer/sunscreen, preferably one that contains the silicones that are particularly useful in protecting from pollution. Then get to know the substances that can be usefully applied to the skin for treatment purposes, and discover which ones work for you, using them as night treatments or special cures. The French have an excellent idea of treatment in the concept of the cure. A cure consists of a particular product or substance applied daily for a specific period - usually about two weeks at a time - as a kind of shock treatment to stimulate better oxygenation of the tissues. Because this cure is different from what your skin is used to and because your skin doesn't ever get a chance to become accustomed to it and therefore to stop responding positively to it, cures often bring excellent results. A cure can be repeated every couple of months and will be particularly useful when given with the change of the seasons. Here are some of the commonly applied skin benefactors that can be used on their own or mixed into simple oils and creams. Many of them will be found in some of the world's best manufactured cosmetic products - particularly the European ones and those truly based on plant oils and essences. But there are a lot of so-called natural or herbal products that are made of synthetics and have never seen a flower, lemon, or blade of grass - so choose carefully. The vitamins and antioxidants Vitamin A applied to the surface of the skin either from a capsule on its own or mixed into cream and oil preparations has been used successfully in the treatment of dry and aging skin and acne. It appears to work particularly well in combination with vitamin D, which itself has a healing effect on the skin. (This is why vitamin D is often used in nappy-rash remedies and in burn ointments.) Vitamin E, about which there has been such controversy, and vitamin C are certainly useful in the treatment of skin healing from a cut or burn. There is no conclusive evidence that, applied topically, it will do much for normal skin, although many women who use vitamin E regularly claim good results from it. Both vitamins are natural antioxidants and as such are probably useful in preventing premature aging of the skin (as well as the whole body) but for this purpose should be taken internally as well. In a few people, vitamin E used on the skin can cause allergic reactions. So, if you decide to use it, test it out on a small area first. Fatty acids can be very helpful in treating skin. GLA from borage oil or Evening Primrose Oil squeezed from a capsule enhances both the health of skin as a whole and improves the ability to hold moisture in all kinds of skin. Flax seed oil is excellent too. But it must be cold-pressed and kept in the fridge and you need to be careful of it on the body since it can stain clothes and sheets. There are two ways of applying vitamins to the skin: You can squeeze the vitamin oils directly from the capsules (which works well with E but tends to smell very strong with vitamins A and D) or you can mix any of the vitamins into a simple carrier oil and then spread it on the face. Good times for doing this are before you take strenuous exercise (the physical exertion improves the skin's absorptive abilities) and after a facial sauna, steaming, or hot bath (when the skin is warm and moist). Leave your preparation on for twenty minutes, then either remove with cleanser or simply tissue off the excess. The essential oils Plant extracts, or essential oils, are some of the most useful substances for skin treatment that you will find anywhere. The chemical structures of these essences are close to those of the fluids and oils in the skin itself, so that the skin appears to have a natural affinity for them. Essential oils in small quantities mixed with a carrier oil are excellent for general skin treatment as well as for correcting problems such as early aging and excessive dryness or oiliness. Make sure when choosing them that you are buying the pure essential oils of plants, not their synthetic substitutes, which are much cheaper but have no therapeutic action. Mix your own formulas, using fifteen drops of plant essences (that is, all the various essential oils you may use should total only fifteen drops together) to each ounce of carrier oil. Almond oil, apricot oil and hazelnut oil are particularly good carriers for the face. You can add vitamin E or A, squeezed directly from the capsules (the scents of the plant essences do wonders to mask the unpleasant odors of vitamins). Keep your mixture in a cool place (mix only small quantities each time), preferably in a brown glass bottle to protect them from the light. Some plant essences such as fennel contain phytohormones, which have an action on the skin resembling that of hormones such as oestrogen. They have a remarkable ability to firm skin and stimulate cell metabolism in aging skin. Others, such as lavender and orange blossom (neroli) are cytophylactic: They stimulate cell reproduction in the basal layer. Most essential oils used externally encourage the elimination of cellular wastes and help regulate the activity of the capillaries, restoring a look of freshness and glow to the face. Massage them in gently. Here are some of the best essential oils for specific purposes. For skin that is too oily: lavender, lemon, basil, geranium, juniper, and ylang-ylang. For skin that is dry: sandalwood, geranium, rose, lavender, jasmine, and chamomile. For aging skin: fenugreek, wheat-germ oil, sandalwood, rose, myrrh, frankincense, lavender, mace, clary. liposomes You hear a lot about these little microscopic spheres used in cosmetics. Actually they are nothing in themselves but little delivery vans for active ingredients. Filled with GLA or plant fractions or antioxidants they are a great way of making sure these treatment substances and complexes are carried to just the right place in the skin where they can do the most good - restoring the integrity of cell membranes, improving the use of oxygen, and protecting from free radical damage. retinoic acid Available only on prescription this derivative of vitamin A comes in gel, lotion or cream form. Originally used as an acne treatment in the late 70's doctors noticed that it also appeared to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, smoothing out fine lines, lightening freckles and blemishes and improving tone and texture. Retinoic acid can change cell metabolism, making cells turn over faster and bringing them better oxygenation and nourishment. That is all the good news and why for a few years retinoic acid was hailed as the great rejuvenator of skin. The trouble is there is bad news too. First, it can cause birth defects used by pregnant women. It also irritates the skin badly, making it dry and flaky and highly sensitive to UV light damage. Retinoic acid has too often been used wrongly, even in the hands of doctors, in too high a concentration and all over the face. As a result it has recently gained a bad press. Used properly in low concentration (0.05%) it can be useful. But results come slowly over a period of three to six months and you still end up with highly sensitive skin. Retinoic acid is only for sun-damaged skin. It has little to offer natural aging skin. the acids and enzymes "Fruit Acids" otherwise known as alpha hydroxy acids or AHA's include such compounds as glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from apples, pyruvic acid from paw paws and lactic acid from milk. They are used in all sorts of concentrations, some of which you can buy over the counter, others which can only be used by doctors. With regular use they dissolve the intercellular glue that sticks old dead cells together allowing them to slough off and make the skin clearer. They also help plump up the skin of the epidermis, help to fade age-spots and increase the skin's supply of hyaluronic acid - a natural moisturizer. Some also believe they stimulate the production of new collagen. But why buy expensive products when you can use the fruits themselves complete with rich plant enzymes? Many of the best European skin-treatment products are based entirely on the actions of plant enzymes. These biocatalysts consist of two parts: the protein fraction, or apoenzyme, and the coenzyme. The smallest particles of enzymes are very large if one takes into account the entire molecule. However, thanks to enzyme splitting, the action of many plant enzymes is not restricted to just the uppermost layer of the skin. They can also produce effects on the deeper layers. Enzyme splitting is part of the manufacturing process in the production of cosmetics that depend for their effectiveness on the action of those plant biocatalysts. Another part lies in preserving the stability of their actions. For enzymes are delicate substances. All are destroyed at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). Many also lose their activity if they come in contact with oxygen. Traces of iron or heavy metals also render them inactive. Finally, enzymes function best at the same pH as the skin - in a slightly acid medium. So the quality and the activity of vegetable and herbal extracts must always be carefully controlled in order to produce preparations of quality. But plant-based skin-care products that are made with all this in mind are excellent. home treatments On a do-it-yourself level, raw fruits and vegetables from your own kitchen are rich in acids and enzymes and will, in my opinion, give you an even better effect used regularly on the skin than most of the expensive "Fruit Acid" preparations you can buy. For instance, the cosmetic effect of the juice of fresh cucumber, which contains Ascorbic acid oxidase, has long been known. It is slightly diuretic and astringent and good for all types of skin. Similarly, the juice of fresh lemons, which also contains phosphates and the enzyme esterase, is also beneficial, particularly for oily skins. It is antiseptic and refining. So are fresh carrot juice and fresh papaya, as well as the juice and pulp of many other fruits. The enzymes contained in them help stimulate the life processes in your skin's cells, making it firmer and fresher-looking and giving it a glow of health. Only infinitesimally small quantities of enzymes - measured in millionths of a gram per liter - are needed for the enzymes to have a beneficial effect on the skin. And the art of using enzymes for cosmetic purposes is an elaborate one. For instance, for dry and tired skin one needs preparations with more proteases in them - enzymes that act on proteins; for blemished skin, or acne, you use more lipases - fat-affecting enzymes. When preparing plant-enzyme treatments at home, you need to make your preparations fresh each time and then put them immediately on the skin. The beneficial results will occur only so long as the living substances from the fresh fruits and vegetables have not yet been oxidized by exposure to air. And this oxidation process takes place rapidly. Here is an easy way of treating skin inside and out:  When you make fresh juices with a juice extractor, spread a couple of tablespoonfuls on your face. Masks are also particularly beneficial when made with fresh fruit and vegetable juices or pulp plus other ingredients from the kitchen - beaten egg yolk plus a tablespoon of raw, unheated honey for dry skin, or two teaspoons of natural yogurt for oily skin. They are best used after a facial sauna, when the skin is highly receptive to whatever is put on it. The following juices can be made with a juice extractor or the fruits and vegetables can be pureed in a blender. Experiment until you find the ones that work best for you, for every woman's skin is unique. air - let your skin breathe It may surprise you to see such a common thing as air listed among the important treatments for external use on skin, but in many ways it may be the most valuable of all. It is also often the most neglected by women who tend to cover their skin day and night with heavy creams. Although most of the oxygen your skin needs comes by way of the bloodstream, the skin also helps itself to as much as 2½ percent of the body's total oxygen from the air by direct absorption. Skin also directly eliminates almost 3 percent of the body's carbon dioxide waste. Generally, this direct oxygen intake is used only by the epidermis, where it helps to break down nutrients for cell use at the basal layer and to eliminate wastes. But in an emergency, when the body is short of oxygen, skin respiration can increase in order to partially oxygenate the blood as well. This ability of the skin to take in oxygen directly from the air appears to play an important part in maintaining its health and beauty. In the words of one oxygen researcher, Goldschmidt, "There is no doubt in my mind that skin respiration as such, and all our concern for its perfect function, is vital to health, life, even beauty ... the retention, holding back of exhaling carbon dioxide must produce a toxic condition in the body which is supposed to be discharged by way of normal respiration through the skin. If such unloading of carbon dioxide is made impossible, the condition of health suffers." Yet how many women do let their skin breathe? We cover the face day in and day out with cosmetic products, not to mention necessary sunblocks and sunscreens, many of which form a heavy, occlusive film on the surface of the skin that severely impedes the natural exchange of gases through the skin's surface. And in some cosmetic products too high a concentration of preservatives can cut down the skin's ability to inhale. On the rest of the body we wear layer upon layer of clothing, much of it made from synthetic materials, which also tend to restrict this skin breathing process. All this, together with the fact that few women breathe deeply and fully even through their lungs, means that they may be severely depriving the skin of vitality both from inside and out. Recently cosmetic manufacturers have begun to produce products - foundations and complex emulsion moisturizers - that do not interfere with the skin's air absorption. There are also several good treatment creams for older skin that contain ingredients designed to stimulate the skin's use of oxygen, which can be particularly helpful in aging skin. But whatever products you use on your skin, give it time to rest some of each night by cleansing it thoroughly and then leaving it free. For instance, there is no reason to wear a night cream all night long. With any treatment product you put on your skin, the lion's share of what the skin will pick up is taken in during the first twenty minutes after you apply it. Leaving it on longer than that is a waste of time. A night cream or a treatment oil or a mask can be applied after cleansing, for instance, left on for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and then removed before bedtime, so that your skin will be left free to breathe throughout the night. On the other hand there are also useful tools for encouraging the skin cells' use of oxygen. As your skin begins to age, its respiration slows down so dramatically that by the time you are sixty your skin may be taking in only half as much oxygen as a teenager's. At that stage it is helpful to take adequate supplies of pantothenic acid and the other B-complex vitamins and to use products containing placental extracts on the skin's surface. The skin on the rest of your body needs air too. Traditional European naturopathic methods of treatment have for years insisted on "air baths" as a means of increasing resistance to disease and strengthening the whole body. Patients are exposed to air in the nude or near nude for a specific period of time daily and even in cold weather. The treatment is even used with babies and small children, for colds and other infections. Practitioners claim that one of the main reasons women tend to feel so well during the summer months, while they are on the beach, is simply that their skin's surface is exposed to the air for long periods of time and that, although the sun's ultraviolet rays are destructive to skin tissue, the air exposure does it nothing but good: helping to clear up rough patches, lending a youthful glow to skin from improved circulation and better use of oxygen in the cells, and even, they say, revitalizing the whole body. They recommend spending from five to fifteen minutes a day (depending on the temperature) unclothed in the air - preferably outside or if that is not possible at least in a room in which the windows are wide open. They also recommend sleeping in a well-ventilated room. However you do it, find a way to set your skin free in the air for a few hours in every twenty-four. herbal saunas Every now and then (how often depends on whether your skin tends to be dry or oily and whether you live in the polluted air of cities or the clearer, fresh air of the country) skin needs more than everyday cleaning. It needs deep cleansing, and one of the most effective ways of getting it is from a facial sauna. In fact, the only skin condition that doesn't benefit from facial steams, or saunas, is that in which broken capillaries appear in the cheeks and nose, in which case the warm steam could aggravate the condition. A facial sauna will open the pores, drawing out impurities in them, soften the texture of the face, and tone the skin, all at the same time. If your skin is oily, you can benefit from one a couple of times a week. If your skin is dry, have one only once every two weeks. A facial steam is also an excellent way of preparing skin for treatment with masks, essential oils, creams, and vitamins. Here's how: Toss a couple of handfuls of mixed herbs (see below) into two quarts of water you have brought to the boil and then removed from the heat. Now cover your whole head with a towel and put it over the steaming pot so the towel forms a tent to catch the steam. Sit in front of the steaming pot (not closer than one foot from the water), and breathe in the scent of the aromatic herbs for five to ten minutes. Finish the treatment by splashing with cool water to remove wastes accumulated on the surface of the skin, and follow either with a treatment cream or mask, or your usual moisturizer. Here are some of the herbs you can choose from: chamomile, elder blossom, mint, basil, rosemary (particularly good for oily skin), sage, slippery-elm bark (good for sensitive skin), comfrey leaf and root (also good for delicate or inflamed or troubled skin), strawberry leaf, raspberry leaf, acacia flower, lavender, and rose petal. the mask effect Masks are one of the mysteries of the cosmetic world. The manufactured kinds come in many varieties and are designed for several purposes. You have to pick the right one for the right purpose. Many women don't. This is probably why they are often disappointed. Dermatologists disagree about their effectiveness. While some swear by them, others consider them little more than cosmetic security blankets. Chosen carefully, I believe, a mask can be a boon to beauty. A mask is designed to perform one of the more specific tasks: to deep-cleanse, to tone, to stimulate circulation, to moisturize the skin, or to exfoliate - that is, to remove the outer layers of dead epidermal cells so the skin is refined and left more receptive to whatever treatment product you choose to put on it after. Most commercial masks contain a great amount of water, which makes their evaporation rate rapid and gives the skin a cooling and soothing feel. But this is of little more than psychological help to the user. The deep response to elements in a mask comes through the vascular network in the dermis, where active ingredients coupled with physical tension from the mask drying on the skin bring about increased circulation and help stimulate cellular activity. 1. THE TIGHTENING EFFECT Putting the skin under a controlled degree of positive stress makes it look good. Most masks are smoothed on and then left to harden. They gently squeeze, and pinch the flesh while they are hardening. This constriction of the tissue, coupled with whatever stimulating properties the ingredients have, sets up a kind of temporary tension, When the constricting substance is rinsed away or peeled off, the blood vessels in the inner layer of the skin expand, the skin turns a pink tone, and the inner layer of it swells up somewhat as the fluid escapes from the enlarged blood vessels. This fluid pumps up the skin, making it resemble younger, more hydrated skin and making fine lines temporarily disappear. If the mask's tightening effect is powerful enough (as it is in clay-based masks, used for oily skin), the pores are also constricted, making them look smaller than they are. The whole face appears younger, smoother-textured, and more alive. The only trouble is, this mask effect is very transient. Almost as rapidly as it arrives, it can vanish, for as escaped fluid is reabsorbed, the skin returns to its normal state. But, for many women, this temporary lift, coupled with the fifteen minutes of enforced relaxation, is a useful beauty treatment. 2. THE EARTH TREATMENT Some of the most common and useful masks contain a clay base to absorb excess oil and in the process lift out dirt from the skin's pores. They usually also incorporate such ingredients as resorcinol and salicylic acid to slow down the activity of the oil glands themselves. They are designed for oily, combination, and blemished skin ("combination" meaning dry skin that has an oily "T" patch across the forehead and down the nose), and can be a remarkably effective adjunct to your regular skin-care regimen. Most of them dry on the skin. Clay also has a mild bleaching agent in it, which slightly lightens the skin. These masks are definitely not for the driest or most sensitive skins and are a kiss of death to any skin with broken capillaries. 3. FACIAL PEEL-OFFS In recent years, some of the most popular masks have been the peel-offs. Based on rubber, wax, or some kind of plastic, they are applied with a brush or fingertips, left to harden, and then finally peeled off like a piece of cellophane tape, taking surface dirt and some of the old dead cells of the epidermis with them. Because most of the peel-offs are translucent and many even transparent, they can be worn without fear of frightening the postman or the children. They form an occlusive layer on the skin which prevents water from escaping and encourages the tissue to store it up. They also contain specific treatment agents to soften the skin, and they come in formulas for all skin types. 4. CREAMS AND GELS Other masks are specifically designed for moisturizing as well as treatment. They contain such substances as collagen, NMFs, oestrogens, and silicons, liposomes containing fatty acids, and are formulated to increase the water retention of the skin and to soften its texture. In the form of a gel or a nondrying cream, they are ideal for dehydrated skin and can be used several times a week if necessary. They do not exfoliate, but they do moisturize and refine the texture of the skin slightly, leaving it smoother and softer to the touch. 5. EXFOLIATERS Although usually classified as masks, really these products are simply designed for smoothing out the surface of the skin, much as fine sandpaper does to mahogany. Very young skin doesn't need them. In the process of exfoliation, or skin sloughing, the cells that are dead on the surface are taken off, the pores (which may be blocked by cellular buildup) are opened, and excess pigmentation on the surface of the skin is removed. The texture is improved. Your skin becomes more translucent and a lighter and more uniform color. Exfoliation is particularly helpful to skin after thirty; as skin ages, the reproductive processes in the basal cells slow down. Removing the top layers of dead cells tends to stimulate these cells to reproduce more rapidly. It also makes the skin more receptive to any external treatment given afterwards. There are two types of exfoliaters on the market. Either will do the job well, so it is a matter of personal choice. One is a chemical exfoliater, which dissolves the cells when it is applied. The fruit acids, AHA's, are a good, gentle chemical exfoliation. The other is a pot-scraper physical exfoliater, which comes either as a little pad you wash with; as a mask you put on, let dry and then rub off like rubber cement; or as a cream containing lots of tiny grains. This kind you put on wet skin and rub gently for two or three minutes while the little particles in it scrape off the surface cells. Your skin can benefit from exfoliation once a week if it is dry, two or three times a week if it is oily. If you use exfoliation use it gently and with respect. It is easy to get too much of a good thing. the medium of massage Provided it is done skillfully, massage is a wonderful treatment for the face. But it must be done gently and carefully, for the muscles of the face and neck are made up of fibers which, unlike muscles in the rest of the body, are attached not only to bone but also to the skin itself. They are, therefore, delicate and must never be pulled hard, or massage can have a detrimental effect, rather than a helpful one. Always following the direction of the muscle fibers themselves, massage will stimulate blood circulation, which improves the tone of muscles and skin and promotes the use of nutrients in the cells and the elimination of wastes. Massage will also help the skin to absorb active ingredients in creams and essential oils. Always begin a massage by covering your face with a cream or oil. Begin with effleurage, which means moving the palm of your hand and your fingers lightly over the surface of the skin. This has a soothing effect and a relaxing one which encourages blood and lymph flow. Start at the center of the chest with your right hand, sweeping it outward towards the left shoulder and then upward over the left side of your neck. Then do the same for the other side with your left hand. (Actually these movements can be done simultaneously, using both hands at once.) Now massage from the base of the neck at the rear to the hairline. Do each stroke five times. Massage the neck, bringing first one hand and then the other around the curve of the neck from back to front also five times. Now bring each hand, one at a time, upward over the front and sides of the neck, under the chin, and outward at the jawline (five times each side). Stroke upward from corners of the mouth to temples (five times). Now, using the palms of your hands, stroke upward from the chin, over the jawline to the hairline so that the fingers cover the center portion of the face and the cupped palms go over first jaw and then cheekbones to end at the temples (five times). Stroke around the eyes. Begin at inner corners, at both sides of the nose, and using your middle finger, stroke outward around the eye to the outer corner. Then begin at the same inner corner and stroke upward and outward in a half circle around the top part of the eye, just underneath the bone that forms the eye socket. (Repeat upper and lower semicircle five times each side.) Now stroke across the forehead, using the left hand to move from right to left, followed by the right hand moving from left to right - five times each side. Finally, with the tips of your fingers tap lightly several times all over the chin and jawline, then over the cheekbones, then all across the forehead. Finish off the massage by removing the excess oil still left on the skin and splashing with cold water several times. the esoteric helpers Probably the finest toner you will ever find is simple ice-cold water. This is an excellent shock treatment not only for everyday use but also as part of postoperative care after plastic surgery. It stimulates cells, improves circulation, and brings back life to a neglected face. Here's how to give yourself a water treatment: Add two dozen ice cubes to a basin of cold water. Tie back your hair and cover your face with a layer of rich cream (oily and thick) or Vaseline or vegetable oil. Put on cotton-lined rubber gloves (I prefer to wear cotton, rather than rubber, gloves). Splash water on your cheeks ten times, under your chin ten times, on your neck ten times, and on your closed eyes five times. By now your face should be tingling and feeling frozen, so you are ready to go to work on the parts that most need firming, such as lines around the eyes, and double chin. Splash each section six to ten times. (You can begin with half the number of splashes everywhere and work up each time you give the treatment.) Finish by patting your skin dry with a soft towel and then applying a little oil or eye cream under the eyes and on the cheeks. You can use this freezing treatment every morning if you like, or only once a week. It is good for all skin types except those with broken capillaries, which should never be put under the strain of temperature extremes. Another marvelous skin treatment is spring water. Although I cannot say why, the spraying of spring water in microscopically small droplets from an atomiser or a spray bottle with a fine spray can not only hydrate skin but can also help eliminate skin eruptions and alleviate dry skin. I know two French dermatologists and an English one who have found this treatment useful in all kinds of skin inflammation as well. One of them believes that its beneficial results come from its being in such small droplets that the skin will actually take the water into itself. Whether or not this is true I don't know, but I do know it can greatly improve the texture and look of skin when used regularly. It is best to spray your skin after cleansing night and morning, before applying moisturizers or treatment products. I also find treatment products appear to be more effective when used after a skin spray. Ionization is excellent for improving skin of all types and ages. Ionization is the discharging of negative air ions into the atmosphere and is well known for its ability to speed the healing of severe burns. It has also been shown to be helpful in the treatment of many types of migraine and respiratory ailments and in improving mental clarity. Negative ions, which have often been referred to as "vitamins of the air," are negatively charged air molecules which occur naturally in unpolluted air, particularly by the sea or a river or in the mountains. It is the presence of these molecules, which carry a tiny negative charge, that makes one feel so well standing beside a waterfall in the country. It is also partly their absence in polluted air and in the air of centrally heated or air-conditioned offices and houses that makes some people feel tired or depressed, and which can cause illness and emotional disturbances in weather-sensitive people when the so-called ill winds blow, such as the sharav in the Middle East, the foehn in Germany, the mistral in southern France and the chinook in the Rocky Mountains of the United States. Scientists still do not know whether the beneficial effects of negative ionization occur as a result of these tiny particles being absorbed by the skin, or taken in through the lungs in breathing, or both. But, besides their other health-promoting properties, negative ions are useful in improving acned and blemished skin and, even more important, in helping protect skin against premature aging. This particular aspect of ionization is not one that has been proved scientifically yet, for most of the research into the use of air ions has been in the treatment of specific ailments, not as cosmetic treatment, but I can vouch for its effectiveness. I have seen it improve the skin of a number of women with all types of skin and of all ages. An ionizer you can put beside your bed at night will also help you sleep soundly. Ionizers are not cheap, but they are a most worthwhile investment.

Hair Help

Hair Help

There are a lot of things you can do for your hair and with your hair to make it more attractive, and more manageable, but it is important to realize from the beginning that you have to work with what you've got. There is no way to change your genetic inheritance, and it is fruitless to worry about it. No woman is ever satisfied with her hair. When it is straight, she wants it curly, and when it is wavy, she wants it straight. The color is either too light, too dark, or too drab, and she either has too much or too little of it. what type are you? Straight hair is often strong and beautiful hair. It can be lank, in which case you should work it with a `stripping' shampoo which will enlarge the shaft of each hair and make it look fuller. If it is lackluster, go for a conditioner to make the scales of the cuticle lie flat and enable hair shafts to reflect light better. Straight hair is often good blunt cut and worn not too long, or tied up in a twist, a braid, or a chignon. Curly hair needs to be carefully cut, for this can make all the difference between its looking fantastic and frizzy. It is best not to impose a particular style on your hair, but rather to go with the natural swing of things. If your hair tends to be wiry, you can correct this by using a softening conditioner. Thin hair must never be allowed to get greasy, for excess of oil on it will only make it look limp and lank. It is usually best to have it cut in a short style, and it is useful to shampoo it often using a shampoo that contains no conditioners, and then use a volumizer - a spray or gel containing polymers which you apply to wet hair before blow-drying. The heat from the dryer swells the polymers that cover the hair shaft, making it look thicker. This will give it bounce and fullness. Blowing it dry helps increase the fullness too. Fine hair is delicate hair, but it is usually beautiful hair, too, like a baby's. Unlike thin hair, which is caused by a paucity of hair shafts, fine hair is made up of hair shafts of small diameter. You have to be particularly careful about what you do to it, because fine hair is the easiest of all hair types to damage from chemical treatments such as coloring or by using shampoos that are too alkaline, or by exposing it to heat or even the sun. Fine hair does well on protein shampoos and needs to be cut superbly and worn short unless you have a great deal of it. Volumizers are useful here, too. Thick hair is a blessing, although few women who have it realize this - particularly if their hair is curly. In this case, you should probably not wear it too short, or it can be unmanageable. Thick hair is the easiest to handle and the toughest. It will withstand chemical treatments and coloring far better than any of the other hair types and may not even need a conditioner at all when it is washed. If it is straight and you decide to have it chemically curled then you should expect the waving process to take at least a third as long again as it usually does, because the hair shaft is big and tough to break down. But the effects can last you as much as a year, where anyone else's will have to be renewed in a few months. hair loss Each day, you can expect to lose between 100 and 200 hairs. So you shouldn't be discouraged when you look down at the pillow in the morning to see a few lying there. This only means that new hairs will quickly be growing. That is, provided your hair is not coming out by the handful. Sometimes, as a result of sudden shock, hormonal change, or illness, large numbers of hairs are lost all at once. Even this is nothing to worry about unduly, so long as whatever triggered the loss is either past (as in the case of childbirth) or being corrected with a relaxation technique and dietary supplements for undue stress or illness. the cut is the thing A good cut is more important than any other single factor when it comes to the way a head of hair looks. Everyone is an individual, and hairstyling that doesn't take this into account is worse than second-rate. Changing your cut or style every year or two keeps you from getting stuck in a time warp and can lift spirits like nothing else short of falling in love. hair cosmetics perms There are two types of perms: acid-based which are soft and used to give a subtle lift at the roots to create an illusion of fullness; and the conventional alkaline perms. Acid or `body' perms don't last as long as the rest and need to be redone every three or four months. They are more natural and soft-looking, adding fullness and swing to hair without heavy curls. caring for processed hair Provided your hair is healthy and you look after it well after a perm, there is no reason to worry about its condition being spoiled by the waving. A perm will add a lot of body to lank hair and can often improve an over-oily condition as well. Once your hair is waved, it is more vulnerable to damage than ever before, so there are a few special precautions you need to take in order to preserve its health and sheen. For instance only use acid-balanced shampoos when you wash your hair, and always apply an acid rinse such as lemon juice in water. Protein treatments are particularly good for permed and colored hair. Also, instead of brushing 50 strokes a day, cut it down to 20. If your hair has been bleached or tinted, it is a good idea only to have an acid wave especially designed for bleached or damaged hair. They don't last so long, but they do ensure that the hair remains in good condition. straightening hair Aside from chemical straightening, there are also some short-term but simple ways to straighten hair. It can be done by blow-drying with a brush to smooth it out or by washing your hair and then wrapping it wet around your head in a circle, like a cap, fastening it with clips and letting it dry. Then, when it is dry, you simply comb it out straighter. You can use hair straighteners, and you could always use the old-fashioned and very efficient method for long, curly hair -  simply ironing it with an electric iron. Spread the hair out on a board, keep the iron on the lowest setting, and go over it gently from roots to ends. But the same applies as for blow drying and using heated rollers - be careful not to put too much heat on your hair. Burnt hair is irretrievably lost. a change of color One of the simplest and most effective ways of changing your appearance is to change the color of your hair. As we get older, the color of hair tends to fade so that a once shimmery golden mane or deep mahogany tresses can become lackluster and dull. Hair coloring these days is effective and reasonably priced and can look even better than most natural hair - provided, of course, it is done correctly. There are two categories of hair colorants: permanent colorants, which cannot be washed out, and the temporary and semipermanent, which can be used to highlight and intensify your own hair color. temporary colorants These are the easiest to use. They coat the cuticle of the hair with color that washes away with the next shampoo. You can get temporary highlighting shampoos and color rinses in a great variety of colors and most of them have a shine-promoting pH, too. But what you can do with them is limited, for while they will darken the hair - say from blonde to red or to black - they are really designed for minor color changes only. If you try to go too many shades away from your natural color, they tend to streak and give uneven coverage and also they cannot make your hair lighter. semipermanents Like the temporaries, they, too, coat the outside of the hair shaft and so are not good for drastically changing hair color. Nor will they lighten. Some of the semi-permanents are `color baths' which penetrate the hair so that they last up to a dozen shampoos. What they are good for is touching up hair that has just started to go gray, highlighting your own natural coloring, and making gray hair look shinier and more attractive without really changing its shade. If you use one, be sure to use a pH-balanced shampoo and a lemon and water rinse afterwards. permanents There are three kinds of permanent hair colorants: vegetable dyes such as henna, metallic dyes such as those used to gradually cover gray hair, and the aniline dyes or oxidation tints, which include most of the colorants used professionally in salons. vegetable dyes Henna will give brunette and black hair a lovely reddish glow.  The darker your hair the more chestnut is the effect. Lighter hair goes Titian. Henna does not do well on mousy hair, as the resulting tone is usually an unattractive orange. It should never be used over a tint, is no good on gray hair, and can be very drying to any hair, so it is better to avoid it if your hair is already dry. The only color of henna you should use is red which in its natural, powder form, is a pale green. The standard way of using henna is to add hot water to make a creamy paste and then put this on the hair and leave it for up to one hour. Daniel Galvin, Britain's top colorist, who is an expert in the use of herbal hair colorings, uses a different method and gets beautiful results. He adds hot black coffee to the powder, mixes it into a paste, and then adds the juice of a fresh lemon and the yolk of an egg. The coffee brings out the depth and richness of the hair color, the acid in the lemon accelerates the reddening, and the egg yolk keeps the mixture moist and easy to maneuver through the hair. Sometimes he also adds some 10 per cent peroxide to lighten the whole effect. Chamomile, another herbal colorant, has a gentle lightening effect on hair and is wonderful for `sun-streaking' blonde and light brown hair. But you must be patient, for it takes several applications and plenty of time to work. It is not useful for brown hair or dark hair, but it will gently lighten red and works beautifully on all shades of natural blonde. The herb also adds shine to the hair. You can make a chamomile rinse to use after each shampoo (as the last rinse) by taking 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers and tossing them into a pint of boiling water. Simmer for fifteen minutes, strain, cool and use as a final rinse (you can make enough for several rinses and refrigerate it for up to ten days). You leave the rinse in your hair and towel it dry. metallic dyes These are often called color restorers. They deposit metallic dyes and salts of various metals such as manganese, cobalt, silver, and copper on your hair shaft, which gradually darken the hair. But hair dyed this way does not perm well, nor is its condition very good, as this kind of dye tends to make the hair look a dull, flat color. Metallic dyes have to be removed completely, with the use of a special preparation, several days before waving or tinting with a permanent colorant. Because of their many disadvantages, I think they are best avoided. THE ANILINE OR OXIDATION COLORANTS The most permanent (and the most successful), these dyes are included in a number of products for coloring hair such as tinting shampoos, highlighting shampoos, and the single-step and double-step permanent colorants you can buy in packages at the chemist. They are permanent dyes, because the artificial pigment is made to penetrate into the cortex of the hair shaft. There it stays. How this happens is most interesting. Tiny molecules of colorless dye are mixed with a "developer" such as hydrogen peroxide and then put on the hair. The hydrogen peroxide opens up the imbrications of the cuticle, and the molecules enter through them into the cortex. Once inside, they react with the oxygen from the peroxide (a very unstable substance), which spurs the molecules of the dye to oxidize and combine, forming larger molecules. In the process, these new and larger molecules develop the desired color, but they have now become so large that they can no longer pass through the cuticle, so they get stuck on the inside. There are more than 50,000 aniline dyes, each different in shade, thanks to slight changes in arrangements of their molecules. They are potent and effective. They are also potential allergens, since about one woman in ten cannot tolerate an aniline dye without reacting adversely to it. This is why it is important, whenever using a permanent colorant on your hair either at home or at the hairdresser, that a patch test be done first. The anilines can even cause blindness, so they should never be used to tint eyelashes or eyebrows. If you have your hair dyed with an aniline dye, you must wait at least a week before having it permanent-waved or straightened, and you must use a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner every time you wash it. One of the advantages of the anilines is that tinting limp, straight hair can often make it more manageable, since the peroxide in the dye disturbs the cuticle just enough to give the hair some body and eliminate its lankness. In this category of hair colorant you will find shampoo tints and highlight shampoos, which can be used at home to cover gray if there is too much of it, to lighten hair a couple of shades, to add depth, or to highlight hair that is drab and dull. You put the products on as you would an ordinary shampoo and then leave them in the hair for a few minutes while the peroxide and dye does its work, and then rinse off. They are simple to use. The single and double-step tints also fall into this category. They are the dyes most frequently used by hairdressers. If you want to change the color of your hair dramatically, you should have it done professionally. There is quite an art to color mixing and application (I know women who literally fly 5,000 miles to have their color done by someone who is a real master at it). Although there are some excellent products available for home use, if it were my hair, I would still shun them and head for a salon that specializes in color. The single-step tints are a mixture of aniline dyes, peroxide, and ammonia in an oil base. They are applied carefully to sectioned hair, starting an inch or so away from the roots to the end. The hair is left to sit for a few minutes and then the root area is done. The hair is rested for another half hour or so. These dyes can change the color of your hair to almost any other color, but they are not successful in changing very dark shades to blonde. For that, you need a two-step tint, which bleaches out the existing pigment in the hair shafts in the first step and then adds dye separately in the second. All aniline dyes and bleaching procedures have to be touched up often as the roots grow out, particularly if you change the color drastically from your normal hair shade. They also cause considerable damage to the hair shaft. If you have your hair tinted with them; you must look after it using a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner and having a protein treatment every couple of weeks. HIGHLIGHTS One of the best and most easily manageable ways of changing your hair color is to have it highlighted or lowlighted. This involves the same procedures as the single-and double-step tinting, but instead of being done all over your head, they are done only on some strands or areas. Highlighting and lowlighting are particularly useful for older hair that has darkened or faded. Highlights can bring new life to a head of hair by lightening some of the strands, but they create no harsh lines between the tinted and natural hair at the scalp, as total dyeing does. Lowlights add a color slightly darker to some strands. They are done just as highlights are by wrapping strands of hair in foil-covered bunches, letting the color develop and then being washed out. Both highlights and lowlights look natural and as they leave no hard-edged margins at the roots so they only need to be redone three or four times a year. This means that you don't need touchups more frequently than every two or three months. There are an enormous number of techniques used in highlighting. Some of the most interesting involve three or more colors put into the hair to give a remarkably natural look. SPECIAL CARE FOR BLEACHED OR TINTED HAIR The golden rule for processed hair is to stay out of the sun. The sun does harm in two ways: It dries out the hair, and it alters the color. Keratin needs water to stay soft and flexible. When too much water is lost as a result of sun or of using heated rollers or of blow-drying too often, then its fibres crack and split and the hair becomes so dry and brittle that it breaks off. It also loses its shine. Sunlight does strange things to hair color by oxidising it. It can turn it greenish or very brassy, or simply make the tint go flat and gray. If you are going into the sun and your hair is bleached or tinted, wear a hat or a towel wrapped around it. Even virgin - that is, untreated - hair needs protection from sunlight. You can use one of the sunscreen products especially made for hair or simply rub in some of the high-protection suntan lotion you use on your body shampooing it out at the end of the day. WHAT ABOUT CANCER RISKS? There is some indication that about 1 percent of the chemical hair dyes used on hair will penetrate through the skin and be absorbed into the bloodstream. The question is, what damage will they do? Professor Bruce Ames, at the University of California, has tested 169 hair dyes on bacterial cells to find out if they cause mutations to the cells. Of these, 89 percent were found to be mutagenic. Although all carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) are mutagenic, not all mutagens are carcinogens, nor do we know if the same results will occur on human cells. The people most at risk from exposure to hair tints are those hair colorists in salons who use them daily without wearing gloves (something you should never do). It is unlikely that cancer risks are very great for the average woman who has her hair tinted. If you are uneasy about it, use one of the semipermanents or herbal dyes instead.

Cleansing Help

Cleansing Help

Very occasionally when someone goes on an active program of detoxification such as an apple fast for a few days, they have the experience of a severe headache at some time within a day or two, or of feeling moody, or having an upset stomach, a film on their tongue or teeth, even loose bowels. This is a sign that your body is throwing off wastes at such a pace that you are experiencing what is known in natural medicine as a cleansing crisis. In reality, it happens to very few people. If you are one of them, be glad, even though it may be a bit of a nuisance for a few hours; it is actually a good sign. Your body is taking the opportunity you have afforded it through what you are eating (and what you are not eating) of throwing off a lot of debris which you need to get rid of if you are to live at a higher level of health and vitality. If a cleansing crisis does happen, take the time to relax, lie down in a darkened room if possible, and be kind to yourself. Have a cup of peppermint tea - it is very soothing when you have a headache. If you can’t sleep, try a cup of chamomile tea, or eat a banana which is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a superb natural sedative. Congratulations – it can be quite a feat to be ridding your body of so much old debris all at once. It will pass quickly, leaving you better than ever. caffeine trouble The people most likely to get a headache as part of a cleansing crisis are those who have been drinking several cups of coffee or tea a day. This kind of reaction is triggered by your tissues dumping a lot of stored caffeine into your bloodstream all at once in order to eliminate it from your body. The first time this happened to me I had been in Vienna for six days, where everyone drinks coffee – and very strong coffee too – all day long. Though not much of a coffee-drinker myself, I decided while there to go along with the custom. The day I left the city I got on to an airplane to return to London and my usual way of eating, and was struck down by the most appalling headache which lasted about four or five hours. It was no fun, believe me. But when it passed I was left with the most wonderful feeling of freshness and lightness – the way you feel on a beautiful summer’s morning when there is a light breeze blowing. This sense of lightness is a common one for people who for the first time begin to clear their system of stored wastes. It more than makes up for the headache or upset stomach which can herald its coming. clever compress Something I learnt many years ago from another doctor who uses natural methods for healing, is that if you are experiencing any kind of cleansing crisis, you can help your body enormously by putting a simple cool compress around your middle and leaving it there as you lie down for half an hour. This can also be done when you go to bed in the evening if you prefer. A cool compress stimulates the flow of blood to the area of the liver – another prime mover when it comes to detoxification – so speeding up the release of wastes from the body, and easing any unpleasant symptoms that come with them. Using a compress is also enormously relaxing. Tear a piece of cotton fabric (an old sheet is ideal) into a rectangular piece which is about fifteen inches wide and long enough to go comfortably around the middle of your body (between your armpits and hips). Wet this compress in cold water and wring out completely so it is only damp. Now, using a dry towel (or a piece of wool or thick natural fabric) which is also big enough to go around your middle and to overlap so you can pin it comfortably with a few safety-pins, spread the compress out on the outstretched towel. Now lay your naked midriff on this strip and wrap first the compress around you and then the towel on top, pinning it securely. Pull your clothes or nightclothes down over the lot, and pop into a warm bed for at least half an hour. Such a compress can be helpful not only for sailing through a cleansing crisis, but also if ever you find it difficult to sleep because of worry or stress. kidney power If you find yourself experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms during your apple fast, increase the quantity of spring water you are drinking. When the body’s water level gets too low, your kidneys don’t work efficiently and the liver has to take on too much of the cleansing work on its own. If you tend to retain water, this is often because you don’t drink enough, so your body tries its best to hold on to the water there is in order to dilute any toxicity in your tissues. Believe it or not, you breathe out about 2 big glasses worth of water a day. The kidneys and intestines eliminate roughly another 6 glasses, and 2 are released through the skin. So keep drinking – during a detox and after. We all tend to need more water than we drink for optimum health. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle or two of mineral water on your desk, or somewhere where you will see it often, to remind you to take in enough water each day. Here is a simple formula for working out the ideal quantity of water to drink each day for maximum energy and good looks. Divide your current weight in kilos by 8. (e.g. 58 kilos divided by 8 = 7.25). Round the figure up (to eight) and that is the number of glasses of water you need a day. This is just a base calculation of course. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do day-in-day-out to keep your body eliminating wastes efficiently. Remember that you will probably need to take in more water than your base calculation when you are exercising or if it is a hot day. psychic detox Some people can get a temporary feeling of letdown on a detox. This is usually because the heart, having been stimulated by caffeine and other irritants, begins to beat more slowly, and the false exhilaration you used to get from stimulants temporarily turns into a feeling of being down. It doesn’t last long, and in most people it doesn’t happen at all. Sometimes, however, during a detox it can seem that all sorts of psychic junk suddenly gets released along with the physical toxins you have been carrying around. Feelings of anxiety, worry or guilt may surface with seemingly no reason. They will most likely just be flushed away with all the other junk your body is getting rid of. In the meantime, try putting a few drops of lavender or vanilla essential oil in an oil burner and enjoy their relaxing and soothing properties. Or put one or two drops of either essential oil in your bath and breathe in the fragrance. One of the nice things about this sort of detox is that you often find you think much more clearly after it. Stress does many unpleasant things to the body, one of which is that it can make your whole system acidic. An apple fast alkalizes your system, so bringing it back into balance, and throwing off the byproducts of stress in the process. When you are mentally stressed, your body becomes physically stressed through having to deal with all this toxic waste. Removing these toxic wastes can often mean that your ability to deal with more stress is greatly improved. You begin to see things in a much more positive light and can put what once seemed difficult problems into their proper perspective. relax and revive During a detox it is important to make sure you get enough rest. Think how good you feel after a holiday. It’s usually the one time when we actually allow ourselves to rest - something we don’t do enough of during the rest of the year. Rest is so essential because it is while you are resting that your tissues restore themselves. Without it, your body cannot properly restore damaged tissues. During a detox, your body is working pretty hard in eliminating all the rubbish you have allowed to be released into your system. Give it a break and make time for yourself to relax – and don’t feel guilty about it. Watch your favorite videos, read that book you’ve been promising yourself you’ll find time for, listen to all your old records, or just do nothing. This is a precious time; a time to devote to yourself and your body’s needs. Don’t waste it. During the day, whenever you can, lie down even for ten minutes and just let go. Or practice a simple relaxation/mediation exercise like this one: Close your eyes and watch your breath coming in and out of your body. With each out breath count silently. So it goes like this: ‘In breath… out breath… one… in breath… out breath… two…’ and so on up to ten. If you lose track or find that your mind is distracted, it doesn’t matter at all. Just go back to ‘one’ and start again. Carry this out for ten to fifteen minutes whenever you can find a few spare minutes to yourself. It helps to rebalance your body’s nervous system and can be useful if you have to deal with any negative emotions that surface during your detox.

Skin Help

Skin Help

Theoretically, having beautiful skin is simple. Take one part clear young skin, add the forty or so known nutrients from fresh foods eaten as much as possible in their natural state, and mix together with exercise for overall tone and proper breathing for good oxygenation of cells. Put in a dose of fresh air and a pinch of stimulation now and then. Stir well and you've got a recipe that will last for years. That's the theory. In practice, however, things can go wrong: an early wrinkle, acne, dryness, roughness - that's when you need help from special cosmetics, vitamins, and treatments. when skin dries out the cause Dried-out skin usually comes from under-active sebaceous glands, which don't produce enough of this important oily fluid to lubricate the skin and protect it from excessive water loss. It can also be the result of being exposed to excessively drying weather conditions, central heating, or air conditioning. Another, rarer, cause is being on a diet too low in essential fatty acids, such as a fat-free slimming regimen. Excessive dryness of the skin also occurs in people who, unknown to themselves, are suffering from deficiencies of vitamin A or C or any one of several of the B-complex group. prevention and cure Use a water-in-oil emulsion on your face night and day to protect against excessive water loss, by trapping the water in the outer layer of the skin and preventing it from being given up into the atmosphere. Ensure that you get enough essential fatty acids in your diet by using olive oil in your salad dressings and cutting out convenience foods full of junk fats. Consider taking supplements of vitamins A and D in the form of fish liver oil, or drinking fresh carrot juice a couple of times a day and taking some EPA and DHA in supplement form along with GLA. Try putting GLA in the form of borage oil or evening primrose oil directly on the skin too. You need to leave the oil on the skin for only fifteen minutes; then you can remove the excess with a tissue. Vitamin E taken internally and rubbed on the skin from capsules is often helpful too. Other helpful things include a humidifier, weekly steaming of the skin followed by an oil massage, and mineral water sprayed from an atomizer before applying your moisturizer or treatment products. Don't wash your skin with soap. Don't use any skin product containing alcohol. Use a mask for dry skin. Use aromatherapy oils you mix yourself to contain the essences most useful for dry skin, such as geranium, chamomile, rose, sandalwood, lavender, and ylang-ylang. Always choose an oil-based makeup foundation. the oil crisis Oily skin, or seborrhea, is the result of overactive sebaceous glands: it usually occurs due to a hormonal imbalance in the body. Occasionally a diet too high in fats and fried foods or refined sugar can contribute to the condition, as can too much stimulation of the sebaceous glands by heat, the sun, or skin-care products. Studies show that people on diets slightly deficient in some of the B group of vitamins rapidly develop whiteheads, blackheads, and oily hair and skin. prevention and cure Treatment for seborrhea has changed in recent years. Dermatologists used to think the way to deal with the condition was literally to dry out the skin. Dermatologists now realize that oily skin is not the tough and robust stuff they once thought it was. They have found that the use of drying agents in cosmetic products in most cases only treats the problem temporarily by removing excess oil at the expense of worsening the condition in the long run. Attempts to cover it up and to cover up acne with heavy, drying makeup are generally unsuccessful too. The new approach is different, but it may take time for you to get used to it if you are still thinking in the old way. Instead of using harsh products on your skin, buy a mild, lotion cleanser without any drying agent for cleansing and removing makeup. It should be an oil itself or an oil-in-water emulsion. Rub it on gently with clean hands, then wipe it off completely with tissues before rinsing with fresh, cool water. It is important to remove it all. You don't need a tonic or a freshener, but if you want one, make sure it contains no alcohol (alcohol is also a drier). During the day, wear a water-in-oil moisturizer and forget the heavy foundation. Instead, as soon as the moisturizer has had a chance to set, powder your face with double the amount of powder you would usually use, dust off the excess, then spray the face with a fine mist of water (preferably spring water from an atomiser, but you can use ordinary water in a spray bottle so long as the spray is very fine). Now blot with a tissue and then powder again. This will keep your skin looking fresh and matte as well as calming the flow of oil from trigger-happy glands. It will also help gradually to shrink the size of your pores. Then, throughout the day, every three or four hours or whenever necessary, you can repowder, and you'll never end up with the ugly, cakey mess oily-skinned women usually get. Also, stay out of the sun. Sunbathing may dry your skin for a while, but when indoors weather comes you will find you're faced with the results of the same situation: over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands by ultraviolet light, which results in all the problems you have been trying to get rid of. From a nutritional point of view, if your skin is too oily, don't eat fatty foods or fried foods and do eat plenty of raw green vegetables and B-complex vitamins from wholegrain breads and cereals, and liver. The B vitamins (particularly B6, niacin, and B2) in these foods are vital in the treatment of excessively oily skin and the acne that often accompanies it. Vitamin A and beta-carotene can also be useful in treating skin that is too oily. It can be taken together with vitamin D as fish liver oil, or in higher doses on its own as well. Vitamin C, potassium, and calcium have also been reported helpful. ultrasensitive and allergic skin the causes The word allergy means `altered response' in Greek. If you are allergic to something, this means that your body has come into contact with it and instead of reacting normally to it or not at all, it has reacted with hostility, resulting in raised, red, itchy splotches on the skin. An acute reaction occurs within seconds or minutes after coming in contact with the allergen. You can inhale it, say in the form of a hair spray, or you can take it in through your skin as a face cream or a makeup product. There are also delayed reactions, which come about only after a few hours or even days after coming into contact with the allergen. prevention and cure Apart from nutritional therapy to strengthen the whole organism against allergic reactions, the only effective way to deal with skin sensitivities is to be careful about what you put on your face. Get to know the hypoallergenic cosmetics - skin-care and makeup products made without known irritants. Most are inexpensive yet very good and specially formulated with ingredients that have little likelihood of causing problems. The prefix `hypo' means `less'. Hypoallergenic products are designed to be less reaction-producing than other cosmetics. They are fragrance-free and leave out such common troublemakers as aluminum salts, wool fat, and phenol. For immediate relief, skin inflammation usually responds well to calamine lotion, simple witch hazel, and some poultices made with herbs such as calendula. One of the best to use is comfrey, whose very name denotes healing in Latin. It contains the natural anti-inflammatory substance allantoin, which is often used in skin ointments. Make a comfrey compress by pouring half a cup of boiling water over half a cup of the dried herb. Let it cool to a bearable temperature, near body heat, then put the wet herb on the face. Cover with gauze and lie down for fifteen minutes while it cools. This kind of compress will also reduce the pain and swelling over a bruise or a pulled muscle, as well as calm inflamed skin. when acne strikes the cause Although it is more common among teenagers than among any other age group, acne, an infection of the sebaceous glands, can occur at any time in life. It shows up as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and pustules that occur on the face and neck, back and chest. The cause of acne is still not completely understood, and the recommended treatment tends to vary. Many people with acne are victims of a food sensitivity or allergy - the most common allergens being wheat, milk, or preservatives and colorings. And when the elimination of waste via the alimentary canal is inadequate, often wastes are eliminated through the skin. Finally, stress and emotional upset are often implicated. prevention and cure Look to your diet first. Eliminate sweets, sugared soft drinks, and fatty foods such as nuts and fried foods. A diet in which at least 50 per cent of your foods are eaten raw often does wonders for even long-term acne, provided it is used in conjunction with the proper external care and vitamin and mineral supplements where necessary. It is essential to keep the skin clean, removing dirt and excess oil or waxy sebum regularly, using gentle, pH-balanced soaps or detergent cleansers. Skin should be washed in warm water at least twice a day and steamed twice a week to encourage the release of waste matter. Of course your hands should be immaculate so as not to encourage further infection. Topical agents are often helpful. Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A acid (available only by prescription) applied to the skin is one of the commonly used and generally effective treatments for acne. Sometimes dermatologists use the antibiotic tetracycline, usually administered in doses of 250mg twice a day. In many cases this has dramatically reduced the acne, but there are disadvantages to antibiotic treatment, too. Because of the stress aspects of acne, both regular exercise and meditation or deep relaxation can be helpful too. stretch marks the cause Stretch marks occur frequently on the abdomen and breasts of pregnant women and on the thighs, hips and buttocks of women who have been overweight - particularly women who are deficient in zinc, vitamin B6, or both. A sudden increase in weight or volume of an area of the body or the swelling of breasts and abdomen in pregnancy results in these unsightly lines, which are difficult to eliminate. prevention and cure Ensure that you get adequate zinc, silica and vitamin B6 in your diet - if necessary by supplementing it. Women who are on the Pill are particularly susceptible to deficiencies of these two nutrients. If you gain weight or become pregnant, treat your skin from outside with preventative measures by rubbing on an aromatherapy oil for your skin type twice a day or by the use of cocoa butter. There is supposed to be no cure for stretch marks once they are formed, for the consistency of the skin itself in that area has changed to resemble scar tissue and therefore remains permanently disfigured. What I have seen is that old stretch marks improve greatly with aromatherapy treatment and connective-tissue massage, which appears to bring life back into the tissue by increasing circulation in the area. But while I have seen them fade greatly - enough for the woman to wear a bikini again without fear of looking ugly - I have never known them to disappear completely. blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples the causes A blackhead consists of a solid plug of oil that clogs the pore and then blackens due to oxidation on exposure to the air. If it is left alone it will simply stay there in the skin. Blackheads do not cure themselves. A whitehead looks like a tiny white lump on the skin. Once formed, it will remain unless the chemistry of the oil follicle changes, in which case the whitehead turns into a pimple. prevention and cure Blackheads on oily areas of the face (such as around the nose and chin) that are not inflamed can be removed easily by first steaming the skin to open the pores and loosen the oil material. Then gently, with scrupulously clean hands and the tips of your fingers wrapped in facial tissue, you can ease out the plugs. Never use your nails. Finish off the treatment with the application of an antiseptic cream. If you have many whiteheads it is best to follow nutritional and treatment advice for oily skin. The elimination of a dormant whitehead can only be done by a professional. Besides care in keeping skin clean and nutritional prevention of excessively oily skin, little should be done with a pimple other than to allow it to take its course. don't let age get under your skin Nothing betrays age like the state of your skin. When you are young, it is thick, glowing, soft and elastic. As the years go by, a number of changes take place. To slow down this process and to keep a young healthy skin as long as possible you have first to retain a young, healthy body. This is a total, ongoing process depending on good nutrition, stress control, exercise, and protection from the environment. There aren't any shortcuts. But the good news is this: these skin aging changes appear to be not so dependent on the passage of time as they were once believed to be. There is much, therefore, you can do to retard them. to tan or not to tan A tan is a protective reaction. It results from the formation of melanin, the skin's natural pigmentation produced by special cells whose action is triggered by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Every woman has a unique capacity for melanin production, depending on her genetic inheritance. Dark, thick, Mediterranean skins produce more melanin. This is why they will turn a darker brown than the `English rose' skin, which produces far less. There are some important things to remember about tanning and how to protect your skin from aging and cancers: There is no way to get a safe tan. Never use a sunbed.  They filter out UVB burning rays but let the UVA in deep.  They are automatic aging machines. SPF numbers don't tell you about UVA protection from wrinkling and aging.  Most only deal with UVB protection against burning. For the safest protection from aging and burning read labels.  Shun chemical sunscreens in favor of physical sunblocks - products based on micro minerals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which do not absorb the sun's rays or react with your skin. Apply a sunblock a quarter of an hour before going out into the sun. Water resistant products are not what they seem.  Their effectiveness is compromised by sweat and swimming.  Reapply them often. If you are using or have used any kind of AHAs, Retin-A/Renova or any other pharmaceuticals on your face, wear a hat which shades your face as well as a physical sunblock and don't spent a lot of time outdoors. Never get sunburnt.  The damage it causes continues to get worse for 24 hours after the initial burn appears, and when severe it can last a lifetime. Think twice before taking oral contraceptives or HRT.  Use of these hormone-based drugs is correlated with a three times greater risk of melanomas in women under 40.  they make you prone to irregular pigmentation - age spots- as well. Take a tip from the Arabs, who know a lot about sun protection.  Cover your body well when you plan to spend long hours outdoors.  Always wear a hat. Use one of the excellent new non-reactive, mineral-based makeup products on your face (such as Jane Iredale) which lasts all day, looks natural, covers your skin and reflects UV rays for extra protection. forget the cigarettes Smoking also makes skin age rapidly. This is probably because of a substance called benzopyrene, which is found in cigarette smoke and which uses up the body's supply of vitamin C rapidly, making it unavailable for the support of healthy collagen. So the skin wrinkles earlier. The skin of smokers wrinkles and ages up to twenty years sooner than that of nonsmokers. But the problem with cigarette smoke doesn't end there. For it is not only the smoker whose skin can suffer from it. So can the nonsmoker's. She may take in considerable quantities of benzopyrene, tar, carbon monoxide, and other irritating substances just by being in a room with others who are smoking. Some dermatologists concerned about the dangerous effects of cigarette smoke on skin recommend that every smoker supplement her diet with additional vitamin C at a rate of 25mg for each cigarette she smokes. But if you are serious about preventing aging, give up smoking altogether - no matter how difficult it seems, and no matter how many excuses you can make for yourself about why you think you can't just now.

Skin Outside

Skin Outside

Cleansing, protection from moisture loss, and a sunscreen are all there is to basic skin care. They are simple and inexpensive to carry out, and the benefits they bring when used regularly everyday cannot be measured in any amount of money. There are three parts to any good external skin care regimen, regardless of your age or the type of skin you have: Regular, thorough cleansing Protection from moisture loss and external roughness Protection from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. deep cleanse There are two camps when it comes to cleansing: the soap-and-water lovers and the soap-and-water haters. Both - within reason - are right. Soap is an excellent cleanser. It removes grease and dirt from the skin's surface easily (although it is usually not as effective at removing makeup as cream or lotion cleanser). Soap is capable of penetrating the skin's outer protective layers, making the skin of women who tend towards dryness even drier. Surprisingly, it can also have just the opposite effect on skin that tends to be oily. On the other hand, soap does give a sense of cleanliness that most women feel they don't get with cream and lotion cleansers. Thanks to modern technology, there are now many pH-balanced soaps, foaming cleansers, and detergent bars that don't disturb the pH of the skin, so that if you are a soap fancier, you can find one to suit you, without many of the disadvantages of the conventional type. the cream or oil way The many cream and lotion cleansers, oils, and cleansing milks available now are also good. Put a lotion or cream cleanser on with your hands as you would soap and then tissue it off, repeating the application until the tissue shows no sign of dirt on it. Then follow with toner or freshener, preferably one without alcohol in it, or simply rinse your face in cool water. the double treatment Because cleanliness is so important to lasting skin health and beauty, if you live in a city or a highly industrialized area where air pollution is a particular problem, the oil-and-water technique is the most effective means of all. Many of the cosmetic industry's most expensive ranges are based on this method of cleansing. But you can put together your own system which is just as effective. Choose a pure vegetable oil, such as cold-pressed sunflower oil, corn oil, or one of the more expensive hazelnut or apricot oils. Buy it in small quantities and keep it in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator. Pour a tablespoonful of the oil into the palm of your hand and spread it on your face, rubbing it in well. (This is a good opportunity to give yourself a gentle massage to stimulate circulation while the oil is leaching up the makeup and grime on your skin.) Then, using pads of damp absorbent cotton-wool wiped over your face, remove the oil and with it much of the dirt on the skin. You are ready now for the second stage. Wash your skin in warm water and use a pH-balanced-soap, detergent bar, or liquid detergent cleanser, adding plenty of water and rubbing gently with the tips of your fingers and the palms of your hands until the whole face is well covered. Now rinse thoroughly ten times in warm water and then splash with cool. Whichever cleansing method you choose, follow it twice daily. This is the first step in the craft of skin care. the water margin There are literally hundreds of moisturizers on the market. Some are beautifully cool to the touch and scented, others somewhat greasy. For very dry skin, by far the most effective way of moisturizing is simply to prevent water in the skin from escaping into the air. This you can do by wearing one of the water-in-oil-type emulsions on your face every day, winter and summer. Water-in-oil emulsions contain a great deal more fat than water, which means they are able to cover the skin with an impermeable film so that excessive water loss doesn't occur. And they are good for both dry and oily skin. For, unlike so many products specifically designed for oily skin, they don't spur the sebaceous glands to produce even more oil in the kind of vicious circle women with oily skin know so well. Find a moisturizer that you like and wear it every day, applying it twice a day if you can, under makeup when you are wearing it, or just on its own when you don't. This is the second part of the craft of skin care. light dangers The third part of everyday skin care is simple: Your skin needs to be protected from the sun. Heavy exposure to the sun's light at the age of eighteen will result in early wrinkling, between twenty-five and forty. Sun protection products come in two forms - chemical sunscreens and physical sunblocks.  A few products contain both.  The physical sunblock products literally create a physical barrier of fine, non-reactive minerals on the surface of your skin.  They reflect excess UVA and UVB back into the atmosphere, instead of letting skin absorb it.  Using them is like wearing a hat or a veil so the sun's rays don't penetrate at all. Chemical sunscreen products - and most sun protection products fit into this category - are different.  They do not reflect.  They absorb UVB radiation in an attempt to neutralise it.  They are rapidly used up in the formation of new chemical compounds which your skin then has to find ways of detoxifying from your system. We don't know what the implications are of the absorption of all these chemicals for the skin, but we do know that sunscreen products often sensitize skin and this is why many people find that they can no longer use them.  We also know that how much sunscreen protection you get from any product is highly individual, regardless of what protection factor is written on the label. More chemical sunscreens these days have begun to target UVA radiation as well, but the 'sun protection factor' (SPF number) you read on a product's label will have been calculated entirely by how much UVB radiation the chemicals it contains are able to absorb.  The UV screening capacity of these products is rapidly used up by chemical reactions within the skin.  While you may apply a sunscreen product frequently enough to stop burning, you can get little assurance that it will help prevent wrinkles. To protect yourself from aging (as well as cancers), supply your skin with all it needs to function in the best of all possible ways.  Limit your use of chemically-based sunscreens.  Better still, throw them out.  Go for a mineral-based sunblock or use one of the new mineral foundations every day.  Based on agents like titanium oxide and zinc oxide, these products reflect the light instead of relying on chemicals to 'absorb' it.  They are safe, inert and protective.  Physical screens are commonly used by surfers, skiers, cricketers and tennis players.  But choose your product carefully.  Unless the mineral fragments have been milled to micro particles they can make you look a bit like Marcel Marceau. Fake It You can, of course, fake your tan.  Self-tanners are based on dihydroxyacetone (DHA).  DHA is a simple sugar involved in carbohydrate metabolism.  The color that you get from using self-tanning products containing it depends on how your skin reacts to this chemical, so different people will get different results from the same product.   Fake tan, of course, does not offer any protection from the sun. Success with self-tanners depends on your skill in applying them.  Here are the keys: Exfoliate skin first using a body scrub or skin brush to prevent uneven color. Moisturise your skin being careful to include the dry areas of knees, elbows and ankles.  Remove excess moisturiser with a damp cloth or flannel to avoid uneven darkening. Apply the product in thin layers.  Use less layers where your skin is thicker since the color stays longer there. Wash your hands thoroughly immediately after applying a product to avoid orange palms. Wait to dress for 30 minutes after applying the product to avoid staining your clothes (or longer - read the instructions carefully). Wait an hour or two after applying a product before showering - again, read the instructions carefully. Reapply regularly to keep the color. Many self-tanners come in a daily-use moisturiser, allowing you to apply little and often until you have the right color for you.  The easiest of all to use are those that are slightly tinted so you can see where you have applied them.  There are now also some very good self-tan products that you simply apply like makeup and wash off at the end of the day with soap and water.  They key to getting it right with any of these products is finding the one that gives you the most natural color.  Don't trust what is says on the bottle, ask for samples if you can, and always try them out first - somewhere where the results can't be seen, just in case you find that you have turned that dreaded orange tinge.

Detox Now

Detox Now

A detox can work miracles after a spate of too much work and too little sleep, after the over-indulgences of Christmas, in spring when all life is renewing itself, before you hit the beach in summer, or whenever you need a lift. Detoxification is just a long word for clearing out your system. A process which stimulates your body’s natural ability to get rid of the toxic waste products that build up in your cells, tissues and organs over months and years of living on the Western fare of convenience foods and polluted air. You can spend hundreds of hours and thousands of pounds on lotions, potions and treatments to improve the look of your skin, to firm your flesh and to renew your body. But none of these things is likely to bring you the same benefits as simple, natural methods for periodic internal spring-cleaning. You might think of spring cleaning in terms of carting out boxes of junk from the attic. In a way, an internal spring clean does the same thing. The human body is magnificently designed to cleanse itself automatically without ever giving thought to the process. The trouble is that the kind of food and drink most people in the West put into their bodies, the tendency we have to lead stressful but sedentary lives, and the increasing number of pollutants to which we are exposed through the air we breathe and the water we drink, have created a situation in which often far more toxins are taken into the body, and far more metabolic wastes produced in it, than we can effectively get rid of. In other words, your body is continually having to cope with more poisons than it can eliminate in the normal day-to-day course of events. Instead they are stored in the tissues where they lower vitality, encourage the development of degenerative diseases and early aging and rob the system of nutrients necessary to keep your whole body looking its best. garbage gathering Dr Dwight McKee, Medical Director of the International Health Institute in America, put it rather bluntly when he said: "anybody who has lived the mainstream American lifestyle for ten or more years has 70 trillion garbage cans for cells." McKee believes, as do a growing number of physicians, that the cells of anyone living in the West are literally chock full of metabolic and environmental wastes gathered over a lifetime. To live at a high level of health and vitality, not to mention being able to make the most of your potential for good looks and prolonged youth, we need to get rid of them. Beautiful skin, a firm and healthy body, and a clear mind are all dependent on your system being able to efficiently and effectively get rid of bodily wastes and toxins before they have a chance to do any damage. This principle forms the foundation of the long European tradition of natural medicine. Remove some of the burden of what is creating excess toxicity in your system by laying aside coffee, alcohol, and over-processed foods complete with chemical additives for a time, and you’re halfway there. Add to that a very simple and temporary regime designed to trigger rapid detoxification and quite naturally you trigger your body’s own mechanisms for clearing out the junk in the attic. good looks from within So what do you get out of it? Giving your body the chance to clear out the rubbish it has been carrying around, sometimes for years, will encourage weight loss if there is weight to be shed, will start you on the road to getting rid of cellulite, will improve the look and texture of your skin, minimize lines on your face, improve overall muscle tone, and increase your sense of vitality and well-being. It cleanses the digestive system, restores a good acid/alkaline balance to the body and generally stimulates the proper functioning of organs and tissues. In short, it puts you through the kind of transformation which leaves you sparkling with vitality. Regimes like this keep world-famous health-spas making money hand over foot as they take in worn, tired, stressed people and transform them using healthy foods and natural treatments into more energetic, younger looking, better functioning versions of themselves. Yet you, too, can get that health-spa lift by doing a simple detox in a weekend at home for – believe it or not – the price of a few pounds of apples. Following such a regime two or three times a year can be enormously helpful in transforming the way you look and feel, reducing excess weight, increasing your energy, and generally getting you back on track. It is particularly useful when you have been under a lot of stress, when you have overindulged, or to get you looking and feeling your best before exposing your body on holiday. Detoxification can bring you a new sense of vitality and regenerate all your systems for maximum good looks and energy. The theory is simple. Stop putting into your body as much as possible those foods which encourage the production of toxic wastes which clog the system. Take two days – a weekend - to relax, spoil yourself, and get your natural elimination processes going with an apple fast. Follow with a few days of taking in lots of delicious living foods to really put you on top form. It’s a cheap, effective program which fits perfectly into a normal working week.  Too good to be true?  Check out Apple Magic and find out for yourself. To Find Out more About The Apple Detox Click Here

Your Silent Sea

Your Silent Sea

There are five main channels for detoxifying your body: the skin, the lungs, the kidneys, the bowels and the lymphatic system. None is less less recognized, nor more important in spring-cleaning the body, than your lymphatic system. Yet the state of its health and functioning is still almost completely ignored. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep skin healthy, youthful and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and help prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body's metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of toxic debris which cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and of stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells. WASTE DISPOSAL So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of the lymphatic system that without them you would die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses— ranging from rheumatism or cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin-brushing, special breathing techniques, and infra red saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid which flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. They have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of the body as a whole. Making use of these techniques is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty. WHITE BLOOD MAGIC Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids”. A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi's observation by saying: 'Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman's body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.' Five liters of this 'seawater' are to be found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest is in your lymphatic fluid or lymph—sometimes called 'white blood'. Thanks to the lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body's trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids, so that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. For cells and tissues to be nourished, for them to remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance, and the water itself needs to be relatively uncontaminated. BEAUTIFUL FLUID In your body, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells' interstitial spaces to enable the nutrients and oxygen to be exchanged for the wastes which the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. These lymphatics are a highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels which flow all over your body. In fact, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels which drain excess fluid, and the wastes which it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries the wastes and toxic products from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels, and on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. The lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. GRAVITY IS YOUR FRIEND The microscopic network of these lymph channels resembles the blood capillaries, except that it is finer. And the lymph system in many ways is rather like the blood system except that, while the blood system is powered by the action of the heart muscles, the lymphatic system has no such prime mover. Instead, its nourishing, water-balancing and eliminative functions are almost entirely dependent upon gravity and the natural pressure of muscles which occurs when you move your body. These muscle contractions and body movements—together with biochemical factors, such as whether or not excessive quantities of protein are present in the fluid—keep the lymph flowing and make it possible for the lymphatics to carry out their important task of bodily cleansing. For good lymphatic functioning—to keep your body free of the buildup of wastes and toxicity—you need to move your muscles vigorously and often. That is why regular brisk exercise, such as taking long walks in comfortable shoes, is so important not only to firm your muscles and strengthen your heart and lungs, but also to encourage the steady and effective elimination of wastes from your cells and tissues.

Brush It

Brush It

Some of the simplest techniques for supporting your body’s elimination processes also happen to feel wonderful and can bring delicious relaxation in their wake. Your body is working hard to get rid of all that stored waste, so treat it gently and give it some attention. Your mind will benefit too. Your two day apple fast is a not to be passed-up opportunity for some bodily indulgence of the first order. Skin brushing is now frequently recommended by health practitioners and has a long history for health and healing in the annals of European natural treatments. It is a particularly helpful technique to use during a detox, and can do wonders for your skin used daily afterwards. Skin brushing acts both superficially to draw out wastes from the skin, and deeply by boosting lymphatic drainage (more of this later) and helping to break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and toxins have collected. It improves the look of skin, helps eliminate cellulite, and tones the whole body. It is an extraordinarily gentle yet powerful technique, and it feels wonderful. Using a natural bristle brush, preferably one with vegetable bristles and a long handle (available from pharmacies, natural beauty shops and health-food stores), go over the surface of your body once with long sweeping motions. Brush across the tips of your shoulders and upper back, then down over the neck and shoulders and down the arms and over the hands – always working in a downwards direction and covering the surface of the skin once. Now brush down over the trunk and tummy and down the back until you’ve covered every inch of your upper body. Then, beginning at the feet, brush upwards in the same long sweeping motions up the legs, front and back, and up over the buttocks. Do this slowly and enjoy the feeling of having the skin of your whole body gently exfoliated. Always brush your skin with a dry brush and never brush your face. How much pressure you put behind the brush should depend on how strong your skin is, your age, and how much stimulation it is used to. Go easy to begin with. Your skin will soon become fitter and then you will be able to work far more vigorously. But you should never go too hard too quickly or you risk being counter productive and will miss out on the benefits of steadily increasing skin firmness and fitness. Skin brushing encourages better circulation, brings energy into ‘deadened’ areas of flesh, smooths and softens skin, and encourages better lymphatic drainage. You are also sloughing off dead skin cells with the brush, so encouraging new cells to come to the surface and make the skin of your whole body glow. detox test Being your body’s largest organ and one of the most important for elimination (almost a third of your body’s wastes can be eliminated through the skin), skin that is brushed regularly yields up the most amazing quantity of rubbish. You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath or shower, brush your skin all over for three to five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting thanks to the quantity of waste products that have come directly through the skin’s surface. Just think how much better off you are without them.

Joyous Movement

Joyous Movement

Moving your body preserves youth and creates high-level vitality, as well as good feelings about who you are. Did you know, for example, that regular exercise is the best treatment yet devised for depression? Little wonder, since throughout evolution our bodies have been built to move. It is only in the last century that we have become sedentary ‘lounge-lizards', making ourselves vulnerable to the numerous ailments—from osteoporosis to coronary heart disease—in which lack of physical exercise is a major risk factor. Exercise can do as much good for your mind as it can your body. You might be surprised to find how simple and blissful the right kind of exercise can be. GET INTO BLISS We are told all the time, by everyone, that we should force ourselves to exercise whether we like it or not. Personally, I love exercise. But only because doing it brings me joy. I firmly believe you should never exercise out of a sense of duty, or for fear of putting on weight if you don’t. Find out what you love doing, and do it just for fun. You could swim or jog or dance for the pleasure of it Or rebound on a mini-trampoline—something that is particularly good for internal spring-cleaning. Swimming is great because it is so sensuous. But don’t make yourself swim laps. Instead, move sensuously through the water and notice the bliss your body can feel as you do. If you don’t know what exercise you enjoy, then start with a brisk walk. TAKE A WALK Brisk daily walks can be a lot of fun—but they can also be a major factor in disease-prevention, as they help keep your body clean from the inside out. They increase vitality and improve your mental state. How far? How fast? That depends on how fit you are already. Start slowly if you are not used to exercise, and then gradually—over several weeks—work up your pace to four miles an hour; that means you will be walking a mile in about 15 minutes. Walk with a sense that you are just going to allow your body to move and to experience the pleasure of being alive. Walking brings our awareness into our bodies, along with the magnificent spirit that is the essence of who you are, so you and your body feel like one. If you have young children, take them with you in a pushchair or pram. Older children can benefit as much from the exercise as you do. If the weather is bad, make sure you are all equipped with waterproofs or warm clothing. Or, if you prefer, get up early before anyone else is awake and go out by yourself (this is my favorite time for exercising). If you go out to work, carry your work-shoes with you and wear a comfortable pair of trainers. Take the bus or train to within a mile or so of your workplace and walk from there. AGE PREVENTION The latest research into age-retardation shows clearly that it is not a pill, magic potion or some glamorous and expensive youth treatment which best reverses the long and depressing list of changes that have come to be associated with aging, but simple exercise. How much regular aerobic activity you get determines the level of something called your ‘V02max’. This is the scientific term for 'maximum oxygen consumption’—the most critical measurement of your body's heart and lung performance. This measurement is something which declines steadily in most people after the age of 30—at a rate of about 1 per cent per year—simply because, unlike our primitive ancestors who remained physically active all through their lives, we lead a largely sedentary existence. As a result, we appear to age quite rapidly—we experience a decline in cardiovascular and lung fitness, we lose muscle and bone tissue, our skin wrinkles and thins, and we experience a progressive stiffening of the joints. These age-related changes appear to occur at just the rate at which our V02max declines. The good news is this: a decline in V02max is by no means inevitable. When a person of 35, 55, or even 75 moves their body regularly, this can restore V02max levels to that of someone many years younger. As this happens, energy increases and parameters such as cardiovascular fitness, heart-rate, cholesterol, and blood-lipids return to more youthful measures. Skin looks younger, high blood-pressure lowers, joints regain flexibility. Meanwhile, loss of minerals from the bones is halted, muscle-mass increases, and fat is lost; even your intelligence improves. LASTING VITALITY Physiologist J. L. Hodgson carried out a series of studies at Pennsylvania State University which showed that when an inactive 70-year-old starts a program of moderate activity he can expect, in effect, to improve his oxygen-transporting ability (V02max) by some 15 years. If then he goes on to achieve an athlete's level of conditioning, he can potentially regain 40 years of V02max and experience many of the physical and physiological effects of rejuvenation in the process. AGE REVERSAL So exceptional is the ability of regular exercise to reverse aging changes that Dr Walter Bortz, one of America’s leading scientific experts on aging, wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 'It seems extremely unlikely that any future drug or physician-oriented technique will approach such a benefit'. Bortz had begun studying the relationship between age-related changes and inactivity through having his own leg in a cast for six weeks. When the cast was removed the 'withered, stiff and painful leg' looked like it belonged on someone 40 years older. He found that, by almost every physiological parameter known, a lack of exercise produced bodily changes paralleling those associated with aging. Regular sustained physical activity can go a long way towards preventing and even reversing them. BLESSINGS OF MOVEMENT Herbert de Vries of the Andrus Gerontology Centre at the University of Southern California showed in a study involving more than 200 people that men and women of 60 or 70 can become as fit and energetic as people 30 years younger. 'Regular exercise quite literally turned back the clock for our volunteers,' said de Vries. And, when questioned about what they considered the greatest benefit of their regular exercise programs, his subjects most often answered “greater energy”. The fitter you are, the more energy you have. SKIN GLOWS Regular exercise—the kind you get if you do 30-45 minutes of walking, swimming, dancing, rebounding or what you love most, at least three times a week—suffuses your skin with blood, enhances lymphatic functioning, increases the ability of your body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the skin's cells, and removes waste products from them. Exercise physiologist James White at University of California, San Diego, carried out an interesting study to find out just how effective exercise might be at retarding—even maybe reversing—the effects of aging on skin. Working with older women, he compared two groups: One group on a program of rebounding using mini-trampolines, and one group of sedentary women. He discovered that the exercisers looked younger, had better skin, coloring, and fewer wrinkles than non-exercisers. White was surprised to discover that exercise even reduces bags under the eyes. With all these amazing benefits, why wouldn’t you want to get into the joy of movement today…?

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 19,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 14 years. With an overall average daily weight loss of 0.5 - 0.6 lb for women and 0.8 - 1.0 lb for men.

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 6th of December 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

-0.88 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men
-0.88 lb
for women
-1.06 lb
for men

Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 6th of December 2022 (updated every 12 hours)

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