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Beauty from the Inside Out Nutrition and YoungerLooking Skin

The key to healthy, younger-looking skin is simple: what goes "in" is far more important than what goes "on." Skin cells need plenty of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, like Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids. These "Essential Fatty Acids" (EFAs) strengthen and increase the fluidity of your delicate skin cell membranes. These cell membranes are the guardians of your skin - keeping toxins out and bringing moisture and nutrients in. They stimulate the production of collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis - making skin look younger by preventing wrinkling and sagging.

Finally, they increase blood flow by thinning the blood and improving the elasticity of red blood cells - providing more oxygen to nourish and hydrate the skin, for a more youthful appearance. Your body needs complete nutrition to promote healthy, younger looking skin. But the fact is that most people are deficient in the vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (EFAs) that they need to function properly. Remember, your skin is the largest organ of your body, so it requires proper nutrition to function properly just like every other organ in your body.

Vitamin A, C and E, as well as zinc, are important to help your skin fight infection and heal, especially after a microdermabrasion treatment. EFAs help your skin stay soft and repair damage. In fact, dry, itchy, scaly skin is a sure sign of fatty acid deficiency. Most of us are seriously deficient in essential fatty acids - at least 60% of Americans do not get enough.

Vitamins A, C and E, EFAs and other antioxidants also help protect skin from the sun, retarding sunburn. In addition to helping everyone improve their skin, several studies show that EFAs with vitamins C, E and A are effective at treating many more serious skin disorders, such as dermatitis, seborrhea, and eczema. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) improve the quality of skin, nails and hair. These cells require a steady supply of EFAs to retain their youthful quality. If you want your skin to absorb all of those expensive vitamins, moisturizers and skin treatments, EFA supplementation is essential.

You see, EFAs increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals and protect the integrity of your skin cells. Without EFAs, cells lose their ability to hold life-giving water and nutrients - so moisturizers will have little effect! In addition EFAs have an important role in many other skin-related functions of your body, from regulating hormone synthesis and cellular reproduction to immune system response to inflammation. They're also essential to transport oxygen to cells, prevent blood cells from clumping, and provide energy for the heart muscle and much, much more. Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, the skin's support fibers. It is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body, including tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C protects against infection and enhances immunity.

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that enhances healing and tissue repair. It prevents cell damage by inhibiting the oxidation of fats and the formation of free radicals. Vitamin A strengthens the protective tissue of the skin, prevents acne, and is essential for the maintenance and repair of the tissue which the skin and mucous membranes are made of. Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant needed to rid your body of toxins.

Deficiency in vitamin A can actually cause acne. Zinc aids in healing the skin and prevents acne by regulating the activity of the oil glands. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of tissues. It is also an antioxidant which helps to fight and prevent the formation of free radicals.

Acne can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Yellow Dock & Burdock Root are traditional herbs used for thousands of years to help treat or prevent many skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, eczema, and seborrhea. LIFESTYLE, DIET & SKIN A fountain of youth may be as near as your kitchen! A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and essential fatty acids appears to boost skin's natural defenses against sun damage and wrinkles. In an international study of eating patterns and skin aging, scientists found that people who ate plenty of whole foods, but avoided butter, red meat and sugar were less prone to wrinkles. (See The Journal of the American College of Nutrition). Many of the foods that protect skin are rich in antioxidants like A, C, and E which can prevent environmental damage.

Monosaturated fats such as olive oil also appear to provide protection through a similar mechanism, since they prevent oxidation of the EFAs naturally present in skin. In another European study, scientists discovered a clear connection between wrinkling and the foods people regularly consumed (this is not a ranking of best and worst foods and is not in any order): PROTECTIVE FOODS vegetables fruits nuts olive oil legumes yogurt eggs whole grains water NONPROTECTIVE FOODS red meat butter margarine whole milk soft drinks cocktails potatoes cakes pastries Foods that protect the skin tend to be higher in nutrient density, antioxidants and fiber, and are anti-inflammatory. Non-protective foods generally have more saturated fats, sugar and empty calories.

This study did not include lifestyle factors. Remember, people who eat more protective foods are inclined to also have fewer "bad" habits (i.e.

, lack of exercise and alcohol and tobacco use) and more "good" habits (such as regular exercise and lower usage of harmful substances) which also influence skin health and aging. * Eat a high-fiber diet. * Eat plenty of fresh, whole vegetables and fruit. * Eat foods rich in zinc, such as pumpkin seeds, a small handful of other nuts and seeds, soybeans. * Drink plenty of clean water per day.

* Avoid alcohol, coffee, dairy, eggs, fried food, soft drinks and sugar. * Avoid excessive iodine, found in fish and table salt (this can worsen acne). Did you know that stress can age your face? Stress will actually slow down the cell renewal process.

Learn to manage your stress through reading books on stress management, meditation and relaxation, or seeking professional guidance. You will also be a lot happier. Remember, especially with existing medical conditions and special needs like pregnancy, consult with your health care professional before starting a new supplementation routine.

Kathleen Williams is the developer of the economical Dermanesse Professional Home Microdermabrasion System. She is an expert on skin nutrition.



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