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5 Tips for Natural Skin Care

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Updated September 13, 2013

Tip 1: Give Yourself a Dry Brush Exfoliation

A dry brush exfoliation can be done in the morning before you shower. It eliminates dead skin cells and allows the skin to detox (skin is the largest organ of elimination). Dry brush exfoliation also improves lymph and blood circulation and decreases puffiness. An added benefit is that the gentle pressure is calming to the nervous system. To give yourself a dry brush exfoliation, you'll need a soft, natural bristle brush.

Tip 2: Rev Up Your Digestion

In alternative medicine, good skin is a reflection of a good digestive system. People with skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, and psoriasis often suffer from constipation, imbalanced "good" vs. "bad" bacteria, leaky gut, and other digestive conditions. The two most common sluggish digestion culprits are:
  • Culprit #1: Not Enough Water Water bathes cells and eliminates waste products, preventing constipation. 5 Ways to Boost Your Water Intake

  • Culprit #2: Not Enough Fiber Most people lack fiber in their diets - the average person eats only 12 g of fiber a day. In 2002, the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board established recommended fiber intakes. For men aged 19-50 years, 38 g fiber is recommended, and for men over 50, 31 g fiber is recommended. For women aged 19 to 50 years, 25 g fiber is recommended, and for women over 50, 21 g fiber is recommended.

    Some suggestions:
    1. Add Whole Grains - Choose whole grain products over refined. Have brown rice instead of white or make your own 50:50 combination.
    2. An Apple a Day - Have an apple, skin on, as a snack.
    3. Eat Cauliflower - Try this delicious Roasted Cauliflower recipe!
    4. High-fiber snacks - Snack on nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, such as dates, figs, and prunes.
    5. Eat Beans and Legumes - Open a can of your favorite beans or legumes. Rinse them well and add them to your meal.
    6. Ground Flaxseeds - For any easy fiber boost, sprinkle ground flaxseeds (available at health food stores) on rice, salads, oatmeal, or any other meal. Store flaxseeds in the fridge.

Tip 3: Invigorate Sluggish Circulation

Do you sit at your desk for hours, only getting up to go to the bathroom? One of the best things you can do for your skin, stress level, and overall health is to get moving! Inactivity may affect skin and promote bloating and puffiness, acne, cellulite, and loss of muscle tone. You'll learn more about exercise in Step 9 of the Wellness Makeover. Here are some quick suggestions:
  • Take a quick break to go outside and walk around the block.
  • Book a massage therapy appointment.
  • Close your door and stretch.
  • Go to the gym.
  • Start each morning by stretching.
  • Get a skipping rope.

Tip #4: Avoid Excess Sugar

Most people do not realize this but excess sugar is considered one of the main causes of premature aging. The more sugar we eat, the more sugar we have entering our bloodstream. Over time, this can result in a process known as glycation, which is when a glucose (sugar) molecule damages a protein molecule by sticking to it. The new molecules formed are called advanced glycation end-products, or AGEs. AGEs damage collagen in skin, cartilage, and ligaments and promote a loss of elasticity. Wrinkles form and skin begins to sag.
  • Try This - It may seem impossible to reduce your sugar intake, but it can be done! A gradual approach works best. In the next week, choose one thing you're going to do to decrease the amount of sugar you consume. For example, start by cutting the amount of sugar in your daily coffee or tea by half. Every week, find another way you can decrease your sugar intake. Pretty soon, you'll be surprised at how far you've come!

Tip #5: Eat Some Good Fats

Essential fatty acids are simply fats your body cannot live without. They are needed to make cell membranes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Essential fats are thought to keep your heart healthy, fight inflammation, and possibly prevent cancer. They are also particularly important to people with inflammatory conditions such as eczema and acne, and also for people with dry skin. People with essential fat deficiency sometimes notice bumps on the backs of their arms. Here are my suggestions on getting more essential fats:
  • Flaxseed and walnut oil - Use flaxeed oil or walnut oil with balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing. Be sure to keep these oils refrigerated. They should not be heated or used for cooking.
  • Cold water fish - Sardines are a good source of essential fats. Salmon is another good source, however these salmon accumulate toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (otherwise known as PCBs) in their body fat during the 95 percent of their lives they spend at sea.
  • Supplements - Consider fish oil supplements.

Go to the Wellness Makeover.
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