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skin care

Lasting skin beauty is a question of lasting care, just not spending lavishly on fancy creams and treatments. It is the everyday way you treat skin that matters year after year

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Skin Works

Skin Works

For most people, the face is the focus of attention and the most immediate expression of a woman's beauty. It is certainly the area of the body women most worry about. They spend a great deal of money looking after it with creams and lotions, cleansers and toners and masks, and of course the traditional facials, special treatments, and face-lifts. Everything seems to depend on the face. And all of this is done in an attempt to make sure skin stays smooth and young-looking, well colored, and free from blemishes. Skin is one of the most important criteria for sexual attraction between men and women. Perhaps this is the main reason the face seems so important. the craft of skin care A living, breathing thing, skin is far more than just a superficial covering for your body. It is your largest organ. It covers a surface area of about 17 square feet and weighs between six and eight pounds. So complex is this stuff called skin that a piece of it with the surface area of your thumbnail boasts a yard of blood vessels, twenty-five nerve endings, one hundred sweat glands, and over three million cells. Lasting skin beauty is a question of lasting care, just not spending lavishly on fancy creams and treatments. It is the everyday way you treat skin that matters year after year. But to know how to look after your skin you must first know something about it - what it is and isn't, what it's meant to do, and the many things that affect it for better or worse. For then you can see that its needs are met from day to day. In return it will give you what you desire: beauty that at the very least is skin deep. how your skin works Your skin is a world all its own: living tissue composed of billions of cells bathed in a lake of liquid with the same salt content as seawater. Each skin cell is separated from its neighbor by a membrane through which nutrients and respiratory gases pass, and all skin tissue is nourished by the myriad of tiny capillaries which bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to the cell. Cell growth and reproduction go on unceasingly in each of these microcosms. Life is sustained, wastes eliminated to be carried away via the lymph and blood, so that all of these cells can work together to perform the many vital functions that your skin carries out: It protects your body from invasion by bacteria, virus, or fungus. It helps eliminate the waste products of the metabolism directly through its surface. It conveys information about the outside world by way of a vast network of complex sensory nerve endings. It helps guard the inside of your body from the destructive ultraviolet rays of the sun. And it registers pleasure and pain from your environment. Your skin both depends on the rest of your body for its healthy existence and also offers help to it. And like all live things, in order to function well and look beautiful, it has to be free to carry out all its duties unimpaired by lack of proper nutrients or oxygen, poor circulation, illness, internal pollution, or prolonged stress, all of which threaten its integrity. Real skin care is not just skin deep. skin comes in layers Skin is made up of three layers: the stratified cellular epidermis (the part you see when you look into the mirror); an underlying dermis, made up of connective tissue, nerves, blood, and lymph systems, which also contain the sebaceous, or oil, glands, and sweat glands with ducts leading to its surface; and finally a fatty layer of subcutaneous tissue. The outermost layer, the epidermis, consists of two parts: an inner part of living cells called the stratum Malpighii, and an outer part of anucleated (meaning they have lost their nucleus) horny cells, the stratum corneum. The inner part is in direct contact with the dermis, beneath it. the outer skin Here, at the base of the epidermis, is the stratum Malpighii.  A single layer of cells known as the basal layer forms new cells for the rest of the epidermis by continuous cell reproduction. As they are formed, these new cells constantly push outward and upward towards its surface. In the process, they synthesize an insoluble protein called keratin, lose their cell nuclei, die, and dry out, becoming mere shells on the skin's surface. Once there, they are forever being sloughed off and replaced by new arrivals from below. Most skin care products concern themselves only with the treatment of this stratum corneum, making sure it does not dry out excessively (moisturizer); that the dead cells are periodically sloughed off (exfoliater, which stimulates the basal layer to produce more fresh cells and leaves the skin looking more translucent); and finally, that it is covered with a chemical or physical sunscreen to guard the deeper layers of the skin from damage as a result of exposure to sunlight. When the layers of dead cells in the stratum corneum lie flat and smooth against each other, the skin refracts light well, making your skin look beautifully smooth and silky. If, instead, they are turned up at the edges, then the skin looks dry and lacks smoothness. For they are the outermost manifestation of skin beauty and health. On the stratum corneum, that is on the surface of your skin, there is also a hydrolipidic film composed of water from the sweat glands and oil from the sebaceous glands in a kind of oil-in-water emulsion. This film acts as a natural moisturizer, maintaining acidity (referred to as the pH of skin) to help guard the body against invasion of any kind, and to protect it from chemical onslaught. The natural pH of your skin is between 4.5 and 5.5, which means that it is slightly acid. It is important to maintain this acid mantle. It can be disturbed by the use of soaps, most of which are strongly alkaline, and cosmetics which are not acid-balanced. This is particularly true if your skin is sensitive by nature, tends to be either excessively dry or excessively oily, or if it often breaks out in acne. the living skin Beneath the epidermis, in the dermis, or true skin (which unlike the epidermis is entirely a living thing), are found the nerves. They register pleasure, pain, touch, heat and cold. Here, too, is a rich supply of blood vessels and lymphatics plus all the various skin appendages: the hair follicles, with their sebaceous glands, and the sweat glands. Also important in the dermis is an elaborate network of fibers, made by special cells called fibroblasts. These fibers look like the warp and weft of fine cloth. They are collectively known as connective tissues, and are made up mostly of protein called collagen together with about 2 percent elastin. This network gives your skin its form and resilience. So long as it remains smooth and ordered, your skin stays young-looking and firm. When its fibers start to bunch up and harden or to cross-link and become disorganized, your skin rapidly begins to sag, to wrinkle, and to age. This aging process has many causes. It can occur as a result of exposure to the sun, internal wear and tear from illness, or an insufficiency of certain vitamins and minerals (particularly vitamin C and the trace element zinc), or exposure to cigarette smoke and pollution. It also appears to be part of your genetic programming. Much of the beauty and health of your skin depends on the dermal layer. The things it needs to stay strong and healthy come as much - if not more - from the inside than from what you apply to skin. This internal aspect of skin care is what is most ignored. Few women even consider it, and yet without ensuring that the dermis gets all it needs through optimum nutrition and regular exercise (not only for the face but also for the body as a whole), there is no way you can prevent or correct the disorganization of connective tissue, its consequent loss of tone, and the resulting deep line formation on the face. the subskin Underneath the dermis, in the subcutaneous tissue, are layers of muscle and fatty tissue which act as insulation to the body and which also give young female skin its characteristic (and very attractive) padding. When this padding starts to go, either because of hormonal changes that come with age or because of simple neglect, your skin loses tone and firmness. Looking after this layer of skin is a whole body challenge. Particularly important to it is the health of your endocrine system, in which constant regular exercise plays a vital part. Truly effective skin care has to ensure the continuous health and proper functioning of all three layers, to preserve beauty. This means treatment and protection from the outside of the epidermis. It also means treatment of the dermis through first-rate nutrition, vitamins and minerals, rest and exercise, and perhaps, too, the application of specific essential oils, fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (GLA), certain vitamins such as vitamin E, and/or other active substances which can be absorbed through the skin's outer layers into the dermis to stimulate cell metabolism, encourage waste elimination from cells, and help protect and preserve the collagen and elastin fibers. Finally, the subcutaneous layer has to be kept intact by maintaining a firm and well-used, healthy body. In other words, really good skin care for lasting beauty has to tackle the challenge simultaneously from within and without. And there are no shortcuts.

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.

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.

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…?

De-Age Your Skin

De-Age Your Skin

There are now over 10,000 ingredients commonly found in cosmetics and toiletries. Among these are a few thousand aromatic compounds used to perfume products—by the way, most products these days are anything but natural. More than a thousand of these substances have already been shown to produce toxic effects on living systems. Now here’s the BIG news: Far more important than the potential harm any single chemical can do is the dangerous way in which these chemicals can interact to produce far more toxic compounds within your body and, of course, the skin, which is your largest organ. OUTDATED SCIENCE So far behind the times are the methods used to check out the “safety” of chemical ingredients, that it’s likely to take decades before the depth of the chemical damage to which we are now exposed can become common knowledge. The outdated analytical methods still being used to identify carcinogenic chemicals, for instance, examine the effect of only one chemical on living tissue. This kind of research is at least 150 years behind what it should be. It’s based on 19th century toxicology, and as such, it takes no account of the dangers of mega-toxic compounds created by chemical interactions with one or another. Not to mention the pollutants in our foods, water and air. All of these chemicals—and others formed by reactions between them—contribute to mounting toxicity. They make our skins highly susceptible to rapid ageing. FOREIGN DANGERS Man-made chemicals are foreign to living systems, including our own skin and body. As such, they’re potentially dangerous to them. Why? Because, in a million years of evolution, our bodies have never come into contact with them. Our genes are simply not adapted to handle them. We don’t have the enzyme system needed to clear these chemicals from our bodies. And here’s the bad news: Included in the group of potentially destructive chemicals are hundreds—probably thousands—of common cosmetic ingredients, from artificial preservatives to fragrances. TOXIC OVERLOAD Chemical cocktails, to which our bodies are constantly exposed in cleaning products, toiletries, perfumes, makeup and skin care products don’t just remain on the surface of the skin. They are absorbed right through it. They interfere with the exchange of nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, and with the elimination of wastes—an exchange regulated by subtle electrochemical energies. This results in a buildup of toxicity in the body, poor circulation and electrochemical stagnation, so that the skin’s cellular metabolism—and the transmission of important information and the regulation of hormones to keep it young and beautiful—break down. So much for the bad news. THE GOOD NEWS When cells thrive, and your skin is radiant, you have a high level of protection from aging. This happens when plenty of nutrients and oxygen get into your cells, and toxic wastes are efficiently and effectively removed. One way help this takes place is to go for self care and cleaning products that are safe. The second way is to stop eating massive amounts of convenience foods, riddled with grains, cereals, sugars and junk fats. Of course this is what most people still eat. Then they wonder why their skin ages rapidly. The good news is this: There are some wonderful new skincare products just being introduced. These are not only organic in nature, they contain none of the nasties you will want to steer clear of. BUYER BEWARE Unfortunately, most cosmetic manufacturers still pay little attention to the effects that these chemicals can exert on the body and on health in general. Here are some of the most widespread chemicals commonly used in makeup, skincare and toiletries, and which you need to be aware of. Parabens: Heavily used preservatives in the cosmetic industry, used in an estimated 13,200 skincare products, makeup, and toiletries. These are the most common synthetic preservatives. They show up on labels with names like butyl-paraben, methyl-paraben, and propyl-paraben. Naïve cosmetic manufacturers insist that parabens are “safe”, because they don’t directly cause inflammatory reactions to skin. But what these enzyme-inhibitors do is cause damage to the DNA of skin cells. This is something easily verified by feeding placebos to live cells in a laboratory, then recording what happens to them. Research carried out in Germany, Britain and Japan also indicates that parabens—which we absorb in significant quantities day in, day out—are likely to be a causative factor in male infertility problems and breast tumors in women. Sodium Lauryl or Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Also known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which is found in some 90% of personal care products. They tend to attack your skin’s important ability to retain moisture, leading to premature aging and, in many, dry skin. Since they are very easily absorbed into the body when you put them on your skin, they actually give easy access to other chemicals that you are better off without. Isopropyl alcohol (SD-40): This is a drying and irritating solvent which disrupts the skin’s immune protective barrier, making it more vulnerable to invasion by microbes and to penetration by other destructive chemicals. It also promotes the formation of irregular pigmentation and age spots. Coal tar dyes (FD&C color pigments): These are common synthetic colors made from coal tar. They can contain heavy metals to pollute the body and deplete it of oxygen. They can also be carcinogenic. Coal tar dyes are major culprits in skin reactions, and they engender skin sensitivity. Dioxane: Often hidden in the list of ingredients, and called such things as polysorbates, PEG, and laureth ethoxylated alcohols. These chemicals are easily absorbed by the skin and are carcinogenic. This was discovered back in 1965 and later confirmed by a number of studies, including one in 1978 by the National Cancer Institute in the US. Artificial fragrances: Lots of chemicals used to make artificial fragrances are known to be both toxic and carcinogenic. They can affect the central nervous system, triggering emotional disturbances and behavioral problems in some people. This is a wide group, the majority of which is dangerous—in no small part because of the solvents used to disperse their molecules and to suspend these complex organic chemicals in solution. MAKE YOUR CHOICE Does this mean you should never again slick on that yummy lip gloss? Or that you need to toss the light-as-air cream you just bought into the bin? Not necessarily. What it does mean is this: It’s time to become aware of the dangers of toxic overload to your own system, and take action to minimize it happening to you. It’s also a good idea to cleanse your system through a very gentle but effective detox a couple of times a year. You might, for instance, choose to use the lipstick or a favorite mascara—but search for a shampoo with a natural saponifier, like kumerhou or soap wort. And forget the foaming bath lotions—use Epsom salts instead. It is important not to take, on trust, cosmetic and skincare manufacturers’ assurances that everything they put into their products is perfectly safe. It just ain’t true. ORGANIC ALTERNATIVES A growing number of conscientious companies are striving to formulate products without potentially dangerous ingredients. Some of these products are excellent. Others, although they may have been conceived out of a genuine wish to produce good, safe skincare and makeup, fall short on effectiveness and aesthetic appeal. Just like organic wines—which can be wonderful— but simply because a wine is organic does not make it beautiful to drink. Delicious organic wines rely on chemical-free vineyards and the sophisticated skill of the winemaker who creates them. So it is with cosmetics. NEW GUYS ON THE BLOCK There are two brand new organic skincare ranges that are worth taking a look at. One of them, Gaiavita…From Nature to Beauty With Love, is an excellent range that has just appeared. I have tried their products and they are effective and delightful. Their products are not only produced from superb-quality organic ingredients, the company has a powerful commitment to supporting transformation in business and on the planet, which I find inspiring. Gaiavita offer luxury health and beauty products using the purest ingredients in preparing rejuvenating skin creams and clay body masques. Do take a look at them. GaiaVita's ethos is derived from core principles of responsibility, integrity, transparency and quality...all of which I love. They have created luxury skin and body products which are not only uncompromising in their ethics but are delicious to use... and they do the job for which they are intended. The founders have a vision of forming partnerships with other women’s organizations dedicated to empowering women to become everything that they want to be. Their skin care and body treatments contain only the purest ingredients. This range is formulated in Hungary with great care and is certified by Hungaria Biokontrol as 95% organic. All in all I feel that GaiaVita is inspiring, delicious and effective. Do take a look at it…perhaps I should say take a feel of it...I suspect you’ll come to like it as much as I do… The second new organic skincare range comes out of Dr Joseph Mercola’s stable. Mercola believes that it’s important to use only ingredients that promote healthy appearances without causing potential harm. His products are certified organic, which means that they are all natural agricultural products grown and processed according to the USDA’s national organic standards, then certified by the USDA-accredited state and private certification organizations. I have a lot of respect for Dr Mercola, however I have not yet tested the Mercola organic skincare range myself. I will be doing so within the next month. It relies principally on specific natural substances such as sea buckthorn oil, cupuaco butter, and even Acai berries. My reservations about the Mercola range—and this may change once I have experimented with them—is this: Just as I have never trusted anybody to tell the truth about weight control when they have never been overweight and don’t have any idea what people who have been struggle with, I have reservations about a skincare range put together by a man who understands little about the nature of the process. I know this sounds sexist, but my experience in skin care and cosmetic is a long one. Among other ranges I have worked on, I conceived and created the Origins range for cosmetic giant Estee Lauder. I believe that you must have the experience of women to create a skincare range that is effective, delicious to use and wonderful. Hopefully, testing out Mercola’s products will prove me wrong. MERCOLA’S RANGE FAILS Alas, my concerns about the Mercola skincare turned out to be well founded. The range is indeed organic however, having tested the products now, I cannot recommend them. They smell pleasant but are in my opinion ineffective. They are also badly packaged and priced far to high. They brought no improvement to my skin and added nothing to its care. My advice is to stay away from them altogether... just because some ingredients are organic says nothing about what they can or cannot do to care for your skin and this range brings can do little or nothing for you. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS RANGE IN ANY WAY. For more information about GAIAVITA click here For more information about MERCOLA’s SKINCARE RANGE click here

Secret Weapons For Ageless Skin

Secret Weapons For Ageless Skin

The question I am most often asked is, “How do you keep your skin looking so good at the age of 74?” My answer is simple. I’ve used the same skin care range for almost 20 years. I continue be sent lovely products from other companies to try because I’ve been involved for so long in skincare. Some are beautiful. I love trying them. But I always go back to my Environ products. SIMPLY REVOLUTIONARY Environ is the brainchild of South African plastic surgeon Des Fernandes. Fernandes is not only a creative plastic surgeon, he has been a pioneer in simplistic skincare. I have found his products the most effective for my skin anywhere. They are not the most aesthetically pleasing, beautifully fragranced and self-indulgent, but boy do they work—regardless of your age or your skin’s condition. In fact, it seems to me that Environ products just go on getting better year by year. Fernandes has always concerned himself with both intrinsic aging—once believed to be caused by nothing but the passing of the years—and extrinsic, or photo aging. He believes both to be unnatural and looks upon them as disease processes, which can and should be treated. I couldn’t agree more. Exposure to strong UV radiation, just like exposure to chemical toxins, literally uses up your body’s antioxidant supplies. “Few people,” says Fernandes, “understand that photo aging is almost entirely a manifestation of a vitamin deficiency in the skin. The most important vitamins are the light-sensitive ones, and the antioxidants A, C, E along with other important nutrients and plant factors.” What he says is absolutely true. Using Environ products, along with—and this is very important—eating in a way that supports not just the health of your skin, but the health of your whole being, enhances the order of your body’s biophotons improving the function of your body’s living matrix. Put this all together, and you have a prescription for beautiful skin that knows no age. MY FAVORITE Over the years, Environ has developed a number of ranges for specific skin needs. The most important of these, in my opinion, is their AVST range. It consists of five different products which contain vitamin A and antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, green tea extract, honey bush and rooibos tea extracts, resveratrol and beta-carotene. To use this range, you start with the lowest concentration of these products. As your skin becomes accustomed to the concentration of active ingredients it contains, you then “step up” from AVST 1 to AVST 2 and so on, until you reach AVST 5—the most intense concentration of them all. This is important, because your skin needs to get used to absorbing the nutrients they contain and this takes time. There are other products in the AVST range, including gels, cleansing lotions, toners, and exfoliant masks. Frankly, I seldom use the others. Why? Because, provided you have the core products, these work so well you may come to feel—as I do—that you don’t need much else. PREMIUM SKINCARE The other Environ range I’ve used for years is their ‘Ionzyme’ range. Fernandes refers to this as his “premium” range. What it brings is a complete skincare program which, again, contains vitamins, antioxidants and peptides to enhance the skin’s appearance and protect skin texture—bringing it a healthy glow. As far as I’m concerned, the combination of AVST and Ionzyme is unbeatable. Again, the Ionzyme range is comes in steps as does the AVST range: You start with Ionzyme C-Quence 1. As your skin begins accustomed to the intensity of this first product, your gradually move one step after another until you reach Ionzyme C-Quence 4. There is also an excellent Ionzyme C-Quence crème in the range that you use as part of the the C-Quence series. I rely entirely on AVST 5—since my skin has grown used to it for many years now—as well as the C-Quence crème. There are all sorts of other Environ products, including a range to help counter troubled skin; a range for the body; and an intensive range. TRIED AND TRUSTED What I like about Environ compared to other skin care ranges is that it’s a real workhorse. It cares for your skin quickly, easily and effectively. You don’t have to worry about what brand-new—ultra-expensive—products are hitting the marketplace with all their advertising hype. I couldn’t care less. I only want skincare that works, and goes on working year after year. Environ does. Fernandes has also created other highly innovative devices which have, since they came on the market, been much copied by other companies—such as the roll-CIT. This is a small roller impregnated with minute needles. You roll it gently over the surface of your skin so it makes micro-channels in the stratum corneum, which is the epidermal barrier to your skin’s deeper layers. This allows active ingredients to reach your skin’s depths even more effectively than if you just apply the products on the skin’s surface. A WORD OF WARNING The tiny holes created in the outer layer of the skin reseal themselves naturally within 24 hours, but here’s the rub: You want to be careful about anything else you put on your skin during this period. You could easily allow the penetration of toxic chemicals, fragrances and preservatives, which under no circumstances do you want to allow into your skin and your body as a whole. I would never put anything on my face or body that contains toxic chemicals of any kind. When the penetration of the nutrients in Environ products is increased using the roll-CIT, your skin manufactures more collagen. It becomes firmer, thicker and tighter. Fine lines soften. Although the roll-CIT may not be the greatest tool in the world for the faint-hearted, it works a treat. It’s an excellent example of what skin revolution and ingenuity is at its best. There’s even a medical version of the roll-CIT which probes deeper, allowing a dermatologist or a surgeon to increase the keratinocyte and fibroblast activity in a patient’s skin, softening lines, tightening and firming, restoring elasticity and reducing pigmentation. It improves the appearance of dilated blood vessels, and can be used on all areas of the face and body for skin rejuvenation. I have two roll-CITs—one specifically for the under-eye area, and one for the rest of my skin. LOW-MAINTENANCE PHILOSOPHY I hate fussing as much as I hate being fussed over in any form. I don’t even like going to the hairdresser to have my hair trimmed. All my life, I’ve disliked visiting cosmetologists and hairdressers. There are many more interesting things I want to do with my time. In recent years I’ve used the roll-CIT only infrequently, since my skin, thanks to 20 years of Environ care, is pretty good. What I love about Environ products is that they work so well that I don’t feel I need to do much else to look after my skin. But you can judge for yourself. Take a look at our videos See what you think, and let me know. You can find out more about Environ products at www.environ.co.za

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.

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Secrets Of Ageless Skin

Your skin doesn’t age by accident or just because time passes. It loses tone and texture when the order, energy, physiological and biological integrity of your body’s living matrix becomes undermined. Many factors can cause this to happen. But none is more insidious or sinister than chronic high levels of blood sugar and insulin which now threaten the majority of the population of the developed world. Stop this from happening to your own body, and you can not only slow skin aging. You can reverse its signs. You will also help yourself avoid degenerative illnesses and prevent weight gain. WHISPERS FROM THE DEAD Sugar destroys your skin. And I don’t just mean the white stuff that sits in bowls. Most of the foods we eat these days—from pasta and bread to packaged cereals and bagels—within a few minutes of entering the body flood the bloodstream with glucose. The reasons for this are simple and genetic. Yet for almost four generations, they have continued to elude most scientists, nutritionists, government bodies such as the FDA, and doctors. Grain-based foods and sugary foods are a recent invention. For over a million years of evolution, the human body never encountered them. Because genetic adaptation is a slow process—it can take one hundred thousand years for a significant alteration in even one gene to take place—our bodies do not have the ability to deal with sugars and starches in quantity for long periods. Yet such foods form the majority of stuff that people buy and eat. Our packaged convenience foods are based on them. Most are also riddled with junk fats and chemicals. These days, even smoked salmon and luncheon meats have sugars added to them. These manufactured products make up the largest portion of most people’s diets. When the body is forced to handle them (and most governments are still trying to sell us the false notion that a high-carb diet is good for health), it rebels. What form this insurrection takes depends on our genetic vulnerabilities. For some, it can show up as adult onset Type II diabetes. Others get fat and experience energy swings, high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol issues, and/or chronic fatigue. When it comes to skin, these carbs and sugar itself fabricate wrinkles, sags, puffy faces and lackluster complexions. This produces a situation where, even when you know all of this, you can find yourself with so little energy that you wonder if you are able to do anything about it. THE WRINKLE MONSTER When it comes to carbs and sugars, the wrinkle monster is two faced. To escape his insidious attacks, you need to understand and conquer both. First there is the all-encompassing glucose-insulin battle you need to win, probably after years of living and eating the way that, for the past 60 years, we have been urged to do by the powers-that-be. The monster’s second face focuses on the way excess glucose damages the body’s proteins. It attacks skin cells and collagen fibers leading to what are known as advanced glycosylation end products or AGEs. These nasties act like terrorists, wreaking havoc within your living matrix. AGEs cause the skin’s collagen proteins to cross-link, producing wrinkles, sags and bags on your face. Defeat the first face of the wrinkle monster and the second loses a lot of its power. Your skin will respond by literally rejuvenating itself. So will your whole body, and in medically measurable ways too. ALL POWERFUL HORMONE Insulin is the most important hormone in determining how quickly or slowly your body ages. This was one of the most important discoveries made during the past half-century. It began with the work of a brilliant American endocrinologist named Gerald Reaven. In the 1980s, Reaven identified a collection of abnormalities—high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol levels, and others which physicians commonly worry about, as they are viewed as biomarkers of illness and aging. These abnormalities, which generally occur together, have now reached epidemic proportions. They are major triggers in the development of degenerative diseases from heart disease and diabetes to including the dreaded skin-wrinkling and rapid aging. Professor Reaven named this collection of abnormalities Syndrome X—insulin resistance syndrome—which is now more widely known as Metabolic Syndrome. Although this condition often remains hidden to the person who falls prey to it, Metabolic Syndrome is a life-threatening, rapidly aging, perversion of body metabolism which we bring on ourselves—in small part by a sedentary lifestyle, but, most important of all, by having lived for decades on a carbohydrate and sugar-intensive diet. What is scary is that 95 percent of the population of English speaking countries still do. WORTHY OPPONENTS In your body, insulin and sugar are antagonists. In other words, they are meant to balance each other metabolically. All carbohydrate foods—from muffins to breads, cereals and packaged convenience foods—turn into glucose when you eat them. Insulin has two jobs to perform: First, when glucose from these foods enters the bloodstream, it is supposed to control blood sugar levels. Second, it is meant to see that glucose gets turned into the energy your body needs for health. In a healthy body, where blood sugar is balanced and in control, you have a good supply of ongoing energy. You don’t suffer from energy or mood swings during the day or at certain times of the month. It is insulin secreted from the pancreas which manages this. It responds to the level of glucose present in the blood from moment to moment. The more glucose there is, the more insulin it secretes to balance it. The less glucose present, the less insulin gets shunted into your blood. MASTER OF ENERGY Insulin’s second job is equally important. It has to do with getting all this circulating sugar into your body’s cells, where little energy factories there known as mitochondria can turn it into ATP—the currency your body uses to run metabolic processes, to make hormones, to repair damage to DNA and keep the body functioning well. The way it does this is interesting. On the surface of each cell there are receptor sites specifically for insulin. They are like locks that only the “key”, namely insulin, can open, so that this important pancreatic hormone can carry out its second major task: Escorting glucose inside the cell so its mitochondria can get on with their energy-producing. It’s a great system. But it was never designed to handle the onslaught of carbs and sugar which, for three or four generations, we’ve been forcing it to handle. After years of breakfast cereals and toast, sugary sweets and treats, the pancreas is forced to produce so much insulin in an attempt to limit high levels of sugar in the blood that it becomes trigger-happy. Day after day, month after month, it secretes so much of the hormone. This continually forces blood sugar to drop too low, which causes those awful 11 AM and 3 PM blues. We get hungry, eat more carbs—trying to get back our energy—and wonder why we suffer. The pancreas can also grow weary of the task after a while and give out. HERE’S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE When high levels of unused glucose circulate in your body, they seriously disrupt the functions of the living matrix and cause rapid aging of skin and the whole body. For when glucose cannot be turned into energy in your body, it poisons it. Habitual eating of high-carb meals and snacks shunts massive doses of glucose into your bloodstream. In an effort to maintain balance, the pancreas produces more insulin, keeping insulin levels too high for too long. This creates insulin resistance, interfering with your body’s ability to turn glucose into energy. You feel fatigued, may gain weight easily, become prone to cellulite and develop the medical abnormalities associated with Metabolic Syndrome. This also stimulates your liver to produce more triglycerides and pour them into your bloodstream. All this can produce mood swings and hormonal distortions. This distorts cholesterol levels and balance, increasing your risk of heart disease. It also bombards fat cells with extra calories they need to find a place for. If you are genetically prone to weight gain, you not only grow fat. You find it more and more difficult to shed weight. This in turn creates yet more insulin resistance, and can even start destroying the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas. The energy, chemistry and physiology of the living matrix become disrupted. Cells no longer receive clear communications in this polluted medium. They become unable to effectively do the jobs they are meant to do. Skin shows the effects of all of this. It loses radiance, thins, sags, wrinkles and ages rapidly. Blotches appear. Spots, too, if you are genetically prone to them. You start to look tired, old beyond your years and, before long, you start to feel as bad as you look. Sorry for this long list of bad news. But it is important that you get a handle on how all this happens. The good news is you can actually reverse all of this by altering the kinds of foods you eat. DO WE NEED CARBS? A diet high in cereals, grains and sugars (the diet of 90% of the Western world) is the fastest way to ruin skin, get ill, age rapidly and get fat. Grains and sugars can undermine your immune system and make you susceptible not just to colds, but to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and coronary heart disease. Now, this is revolutionary stuff—as yet it’s known only to an elite few. On learning all of the above, the question most often asked is this: “Is a diet that is mostly or completely lacking in cereal-based, grain-based, sugar-based carbohydrates a healthy way of eating?” It’s little wonder that most of us don’t know this. For more than half a century, we’ve been told that we need lots of carbs for health and energy. WE DO NOT! Eating a diet that is low in convenience foods and grain-based, sugar-based, cereal-based carbohydrates but rich in low-sugar fruits and green vegetables, plus good quality proteins and good fats—coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows and extra-virgin olive oil—ensures that you are never going to have a shortage of fuel for your body, nervous system or brain. You will not have to wrestle with insulin resistance, food cravings, blood-sugar-related health problems, weight gain or a poorly functioning immune system. What such a way of eating can do to regenerate and rejuvenate skin and slow skin wrinkling, sagging and spotting is little short of fabulous—no matter what your age.

Kill Sugar For Great Skin

Kill Sugar For Great Skin

Want to have ageless skin whether you’re 35 or 80? It’s easy, I promise you. First, change your way of eating from a diet of packaged convenience foods to pesticide-free, whole organic foods that are unprocessed. Next, never use canned fruits in any recipe that needs sweetening. Instead, go for fresh top quality stevias. Then use organic spices and herbs to create great flavors for all your dishes. The sugar content of any food is most deliberately hidden by food manufacturers who, if they list it at all, give it a name that shoppers will not recognize. It’s essential to be very cautious when looking for alternatives to sugar itself. These fall into three main categories: Artificial sweeteners—which you must avoid like the plague if you value your skin and your health. Sugar alcohols. So-called natural sweeteners. Here’s what you need to remember: The first group never to use are the artificial sweeteners—each very harmful in its own way. These include aspartame—the worst of the lot. You’ll find it in Equal and NutraSweet, as well as hidden in all sorts of packaged foods and sugar-free gums. Then there is sucralose. It is also nasty. It’s the main ingredient in Splenda. And of course, there is good old saccharine, which you’ll find in Sweet and Low, as well as many other artificial sweeteners by different names. There is much evidence to back up how dangerous these are. Avoid all of them completely forever about your skin and your health. The second group of sugar alternatives are the sugar alcohols. They all have “ol” in their name—such as xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, glycerol and lactitol. These sugar alcohols can spike blood sugar, so beware. Just because some product label says “sugar-free” this is not necessarily the truth, nor can you be sure it is calorie-free. Probably safest of the lot is xylitol, but only if you use it occasionally and sparingly. (By the way, xylitol is deadly for your cats and dogs.) The third group of sugar substitutes is often referred to as “natural sweetener”. This is a misnomer if I have ever heard one. Take, Agave Syrup and Agave Nectar which are even worse than the dreadful high-fructose corn syrup. It’s absurd to refer to these products as “natural”, despite all the advertising hype that tries to make you think that they are. Higher in sugar content than almost any other sweetener on the market, Agave has virtually no nutritional value. As for honey—this has become seriously distorted because of the hideous damage being done to bee colonies. You want to avoid honey as well unless you can gather it from your own hives. So what are your safest choices? Stevia is number one on the list. This is an exotic herb which grows in subtropical areas of South America. This plant has been used to sweeten herbal drinks since pre-Columbian times. It’s a godsend for enhancing health and reducing your sugar intake. It’s great for sweetening drinks and baking dishes. But make sure you use only the best. All sorts of so-called stevias such as Truvia and Purevia continue to be promoted by multinational corporations. They call themselves “all-natural sweeteners”. In reality, they have been manufactured only from “certain active ingredients” in the stevia plant, not from the whole plant. As a result, they are distortions of the real thing. Don’t use them. Another good natural sweetener is Lo Han Guo, which comes from a Chinese fruit. It’s more expensive than stevia. Sugar of any kind is a killer both in terms of your health and your good looks. Make these changes now and in as little as three weeks you’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks, and how much better you feel all round. You may be surprised after a month or so to find you no longer even want sugar once your body has quite naturally eliminated its sugar cravings. I find this happens to many, many people. It feels like breaking free from a control mechanism that once undermined your life and your sense of self. Try it and find out for yourself.

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Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana®

Fast, Healthy Weight Loss

Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana® has proudly supported 12,000+ weight loss journeys over the past 11 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 19th of September 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

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Yesterday’s Average Daily Weight Loss:

on the 19th of September 2019 (updated every 12 hours)

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