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 might resort to various kinds of surgical procedures to tighten and lift sagging skin around the eyes and chin. Not many options to choose from. Once, only a womanly pursuit, men now find themselves needing to take better care of their skin as well.


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 telltale 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, and your skin is a direct reflection of internal harmony and general 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 its elasticity through use and abuse- over exposure to sun and wind, smoking, illness, poor diet and frowning. Frowning uses 72 muscles in the face, where 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 kohlrabi are particularly good to help keep the skin surface smooth. Other important supplements that feed the skin internally include vitamin B complex, vitamins A and E, and primrose or fish oil. You can also feed your skin from the surface with things like cocoa butter, jojoba oil, sesame oil, aloe vera and citrus seed extracts high in vitamins A, C, & E.


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


After age 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 while allowing the skin to breathe.


Two-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 break through 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.