Radiance is more than skin deep: Tips for taking care of your skin
The skin is a large organ – it weighs almost 10 pounds on the average adult and covers about 2 square meters of territory. It provides a barrier from the outside world and gives shelter to the internal world. It protects us against light, friction, temperature extremes and infectious agents. It serves as a calorie reservoir, gives us sensations for both pleasure and pain and serves to warn us against danger. It allows us to grasp and manipulate objects.
Our skin also reflects our internal health and shows signs of illness – ranging from mild to serious. Our skin’s health depends on many factors: adequate water, good nutrition, healthy fats, moisture, some—but not too much sun—and hormones.
If you suffer from chronic skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, try a hypoallergenic diet for 6 weeks. Foods like dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, corn and eggs can all trigger skin reactions. Vegetables and richly colored fruits are high in antioxidants which protect the skin from aging. Healthy fats rich in omega fatty acids—such as raw nuts and seeds, fish (avoid tuna and shark), avocados and olives—help heal and nourish your skin. These dietary changes, along with an omega rich supplement, can make a huge difference. When I do a dietary cleanse, I am often amazed at how much softer and healthier my skin feels.
Washing too often, or with water that is too hot, can strip your skin of healthy oils and bacteria and lead to dry itchy skin. Use warm water, gentle cleanser or even green tea to clean your face. Put on a clean simple moisturizing cream after washing.
While some sun is good for your skin, too much increases aging and is a risk factor in many skin cancers. Twenty minutes of direct sunlight is plenty, then use a high-quality sunscreen or light clothing for protection.
Healthy skin glows and shows the health of the body. It always gives me such pleasure to see my patient’s radiance return.
By Dr. Jennifer Means who, along with Elizabeth Elliott welcome you for Primary Care for the whole family: Nutrition, IV Therapy, Naturopathy, and Acupuncture. Contact us at 503-641-6400.