Winter skin care: outer vitality reflects inner harmony

For centuries the female of the species has fought the outer reflections of aging­­ wrinkles, age spots, dry skin and poor skin color. The main defense was usually a moisturizing lotion applied directly to the skin to prevent dryness. Those that could afford it even resorted to various kinds of surgical procedures to tighten and lift sagging skin around the eyes and chin. There really weren't many options to choose from. Once, only a womanly pursuit, men now find themselves needing to take better care of their skin.

Thanks mainly to the revolution in the natural health care industry­­ driven by a hungry market of consumers­­ we now have an entire arsenal of new products available to battle those tell-tale signs of aging. The shelves now lined with natural beauty care products can make choosing confusing if you don't know what to look for. But before we look at some of the newest and best products that can help you look younger, let's look on the inside first.

Your skin is the largest organ of the body­­ yes an organ. We are not parts and pieces; your skin will be a direct reflection of the internal harmony and health of the system. The skin has several important jobs including insulation, excretion of certain waste products as well as absorption, and protects us from the outside world. As we age, the skin naturally looses it elasticity through use and abuse­­ overexposure to sun and wind, smoking, illness, poor diet and frowning! Frowning uses 72 muscles in the face whereas smiling only uses 12.

Care and feeding of the skin includes a balanced diet of whole foods­­ grains, fruits, vegetables and plenty of fresh pure water. Sulfur-containing vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and kolrobi are particularly good to help keep the skin surface smooth. Other important supplements that feed the skin internally would be a vitamin B complex, vitamins A and E, and primrose oil. You can also feed your skin from its surface with things like cocoa butter, jojoba oil, sesame oil, aloe vera and citrus seed extracts high in vitamins A,C and E.

Here are some of the yeas and nays from the experts on skin care:

After the age of 13, soap is out for the face. It is too drying and tends to leave a film on the skin that clogs the pores and keeps the skin from breathing. In its place use a moisturizing cleanser that does not contain alcohol followed by a toner. The toner will help tighten pores yet allow the skin to breathe.

Two to three times weekly, use a moisturizing mask of citrus enzyme. My favorite is a green papaya enzyme by Zia Cosmetics. These enzyme masks exfoliate outer dead skin cells and allow newer cells to be more fully moisturized. Your skin will have a newer softer feel and more of a natural glow.

An antioxidant moisturizing cream with vitamin C is next. Apply twice daily. The new darling of the skin care world, vitamin C applied externally has actually been proven to help reduce skin lines.

Another breakthrough is exercising the face. These exercisers fit in the mouth and exercise many of the major muscle groups around the mouth, neck and cheeks. Firmed, toned facial muscles naturally reduce sagging and the hollowness that appears in the cheek muscles with aging.

Regardless of your age you can have more youthful-looking skin. Work first with foods, inner balance and peace. And, remember a smile is always your best beauty cream!

Till next time, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online November 6, 1998
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