Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Balanced, Healthy Youthful Skin Natually

Balanced radiant skin  is not achieved by lathering on creams or stocking up on expensive products. The key to balancing your skin is found in balancing the internal environment and caring for your skin in a natural way. Our skin is one of the main organs of detoxification. The condition of the skin is a good indicator of what is going on within the body. As the body becomes overwhelmed with toxins it pushes them out through the skin. Chronic skin problems are indicative of internal over toxification, imbalances and a sign the body is not thoroughly cleansed and detoxified. The first step in remedying any skin problem is to cleanse and detoxify the internal environment. Cleansing helps to remove accumulated toxins and to re-balance the internal environment. No cream, serum, cleanser or other skin care product can treat the root of a skin health. Once the internal environment is cleansed and purified naturally and holistically caring for your skin will keep in youthful, radiant, soft and glowing.

Here are some natural ways to care for your skin. From foods that support skin health, to herbs that cleanse the skin to natural cleansing and hydrating recipes for keeping your skin looking as amazing as you are.

Foods for Healthy Skin
Although the cosmetic industry would have us believe otherwise, beautiful skin doesn't come from a jar full of perfumed chemicals. Beyond being born with great genes, the best thing you can do for your skin is to eat a healthy diet. Learn how to enhance your skin from the inside out by eating foods that will make your epidermis glow with health. Try adding these foods to your diet to both feel and look better.

Chia Seeds: Chia offers a multitude of health benefits. The word chia derives from the Aztec word for oily. Chia seeds offer high levels of omega-3 acids which the human body needs but cannot produce and which only come from a few dietary sources.

Without omega-3's, people can suffer from poor circulation and dry skin, as well as heart problems, fatigue, depression and a feeling of mental fogginess. Chia seeds help keep skin (and the rest of the body) hydrated because they are hydrophilic, absorbing more than 10 times their weight in water. You can sprinkle chia seeds in your hot cereal, add a teaspoon of the tiny seeds to a glass of juice, or add a few to add extra texture to a salad or vegetable hot dish.

Almonds: These nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E which helps minimize the negative effects of sun exposure on the skin, as well as aiding against certain types of skin cancer. They also provide a quick source of strength and energy, providing fuel for exercise which also benefits the skin. Additionally, almond skins benefit human skin through their high levels of antioxidants.

Dandelions: If you look at dandelions as annoying weeds, you are missing out on a tremendous healthy food. Dandelions cleanse the liver of toxins. If you have a congested liver which cannot effectively cleanse the bloodstream, your skin is more likely to show wear and tear whether through breakouts or the effects of aging and pollution. Dandelion greens contain high levels of several of the vitamins and minerals known to contribute to healthy skin including Vitamin A, B, and C as well as copper and zinc.

Think of dandelions as the dietary equivalent of a refreshing face mask. Dandelions can easily be grown or foraged, so you can add them to your diet without adding to your grocery budget. Spring and early summer are the best times to harvest the greens. You can use them in salads or juice them. In early fall, gather dandelion roots which you can chop and dry-roast in the oven, then use to make a rich, chicory-like beverage. You can add honey plus coconut or rice milk for a dandelion latte. Just be sure not to use dandelions which have been sprayed with chemicals.

Cucumbers: These vegetables provide abundant vitamin C and silica. The trace mineral silica is essential for strong connective tissue and supports the ability of skin to heal. Without silica, skin loses its elasticity and becomes more prone to wrinkles and age spots.

Turmeric: The spice which gives curries an orangey hue derives much of its nutritional value from polyphenol anti-oxidant phytochemicals called curcuminoids. Curcuminoids provide as much as 8 times the antioxidant power as that found in most other antioxidant foods. Turmeric aids in the treatment of psoarisis, rosacea, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Plus, turmeric contributes to skin elasticity. It also helps to support the natural flora which can provide form a barrier on the skin protecting it from dangerous microbes. To use: Mix turmeric with coconut or other edible oil. Apply to the skin and let  sit for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water. This type of preparation and use will help reduce acne scaring and leave your skin glowing and radiant.

Silica: Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body's connective tissues - muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone - and is vital for healthy skin. Silica deficiency can result in reduced skin elasticity and can hamper the body's ability to heal wounds. Food sources of silicia include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb. In its natural form, silica is found in the horsetail herb.

Zinc: The mineral zinc is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Zinc is also required for proper immune system function, as well as for the maintenance of vision, taste, and smell. Zinc consumption is also strongly linked to a reduction of prostate cancer.

Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans ,Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs. Zinc can be purchased in supplement form, in both liquid concentrates and tablets.

Tips For Keeping the Skin Healthy Naturally

  • As a natural alternative to topical application of benzoyl peroxide, use calendula, commonly known as pot marigold. Calendula is a popular ornamental plant that you can buy for your garden at most nurseries in the spring. Its bright orange flowers can be made into tinctures, lotions and creams. Try washing your skin with tea made from the flowers, or buy ready-to-use calendula skin products at health-food stores.
  • Tea Tree Oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system and is an effective remdy for healing and keeping the skin free of harmful bacteria. California aesthetician Brenda Harper says she believes that tea tree oil should be in every medicine cabinet. She uses it regularly with clients who suffer from acne, with "wonderful results," she says. "Used in conjunction with glycolic acid, which is an exfoliant, tea tree oil helps destroy the bacteria that can cause acne flare-ups," she explains.Harper says that a severe case of acne will respond to daily treatments within 6 months. She recommends dabbing tea tree oil on the affected areas, waiting 15 minutes, and then applying glycolic acid. Make sure the skin is perfectly clean before beginning, she adds. Tea tree oil can also be used preventively, Harper says. "If you're acne-prone, apply it regularly to keep breakouts from occurring." For occasional flare-ups, an application of tea tree oil should show results within a day. "Just make sure that you don't pick at your skin," Harper warns. "Too often, people can't keep their hands off their face and they wind up making the situation worse, or causing scarring or hyperpigmentation, which will then call for peels to even out the skin tone."
  • Try astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) from the root of a Chinese plant that can help fight chronic infections. The dose is two capsules or tablets twice a day unless the product label directs otherwise.
  • Increase your consumption of antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits and vegetables.
  • Include omega-3 fatty acids such as wild Alaskan salmon or freshly ground flaxseeds to help reduce and prevent inflammation.
  • Drink lots of water to keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
  • Limit processed and refined foods, and opt for whole, healthful foods instead.
  • Don't be afraid to eat a piece of dark chocolate now and then - there is no link between chocolate and acne, and dark chocolate actually has antioxidant benefits!
  • Healthy oils such as Vitamin E, Grapeseed, safflower, sunflower and Apricot Oil all are high in antioxidant that work to repair and heal the skin. People tend to shy away from putting oils on the skin but natural oils do not clog the pores and bind to natural oils on the skin to wash them away without over drying or causing imbalance.

Oil ~ The Missing Link to Healthy Balanced Skin
Many believe and see oil as the culprit in skin problems and outbreaks but in reality oil may be the missing link in balancing the skin. The fear of oil has led to skin products that are detergent based and absent of oil. But when you put oil and oil together they bind to each other. Oil in cleansers attach to oil in and on the skin and rinse both off effectively leading to deep-pore cleansing without leaving the skin parched and overly dried. Oil gently yet effectively removes make-up, dirt, sweat and excess natural skin oils without irritating sensitive skin and maintains the skins natural level of moisture. Cleansing the skin with an oil based cleanser results in visibly better hydration, quicker healing of acne and plumper skin with fewer lines.

Cleansers that are detergent based, non-oil based, have a tendency to over dry the skin which leads to irritation, redness, acne and flare ups of eczema and psoriasis. These types of cleansers also leave the skin depleted. When the skin is depleted it produces more oil to compensate contributing to an unhealthy skin cycle. Oil based cleansers work effectively for all skin types because they work the balance the skin and leave it supple and pliable, not taut and stripped of moisture. Keeping the skin soft and supple keeps the skin youthful and helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles from developing over time.

Natural Cleansing Oil
Use fresh pure cold pressed oils not oils that have been sitting around or exposed to heat or the sun. Blend antioxidant rich olive and castor oil which effectively draws out dirt and bacteria.
Oily or acne prone skin:
75% castor oil
25% olive oil

Dry Skin
25% castor oil
75% olive oil

For a lighter blend use grapeseed or jojoba oil in place of olive oil.

Natural Green Tea Toner
To balance pH of skin and heal the skin.

1 cup green tea in distilled water
5 drops of lavender oil
5 drops of geranium oil

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