I would like to talk about the largest organ on our bodies. Skin health has been a lifetime concern of mine since childhood.
As a child my grand-parents were always making a paste or slathering my rashes with something. Looking back I remember having patches or bumps or itchy raised pustules on my body. I heard words like eczema, psoriasis and cooties being tossed around regarding my outer layer so-to-speak.
Talk about low self-esteem! Little did I know that as I would age these issues would worsen.
Puberty! Acne, acne and more acne. My mother had beautiful skin and could not relate to my inner turmoil when I shied away from everything.
I was an ace student but never participated in anything that would put me in the lime light. Personally, I liked being behind the scene and still do.
Soon I would have another skin disorder to partner with the enemy within me. Dandruff, dandruff and more dandruff. Trying to hide your face is next to impossible but massive flakes coming off your scalp is or was a chronic day mare I lived during this wonderful time in my life.
I am going back to the 1970s and skin health didn’t seem to matter. I mean there was one product called Clearasil on the market since 1950. Yes I tried it on my face and my acne condition worsened. Finally, my mom took me to a dermatologist and I started to have a little hope.
Doctor said acne was just simply hormonal changes during puberty. Hormonal acne occurs as a part of the hormonal fluctuations that naturally occur during a woman’s menstrual cycle. As estrogen levels decrease, another hormone, progesterone, begins to increase. This hormone is responsible for stimulating a greater production of oil, which can clog the pores and cause breakouts.
Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen. I have had acne, pimples, whiteheads, blackheads all my life. I learned to wash with better ingredients or products so as not to strip the skin of healthy oils. Diet is important, healthy fats like avocados and olives made a big difference on my skin and scalp.
Now that I am in my 60s it seems natural to think about healthy skin but that has been my mission since childhood. The market now have a plethora of products that target aging, dry, cracked, crinkled, crepe skin. We hear this word moisturize over and over.
Technically there is no such thing as a moisturizer. Let me explain, those with dry skin do feel relief after applying creams or lotions for few hours. What is really going on with this large organ is a build up dead cells. Dead cells on the skin can be compared to dried out little sponges all around your kitchen sink.
What if you took these dried up sponges and rubbed them with oil or cream? You got it! They would not be moisturized at all. Soak these sponges in water and it puffs up nice and soft.
This is what happens to skin. Hydration comes from the inside first. Our bodies are made up of over 70% water and other fluids. Spraying the skin with water and drinking plenty of water daily is the ultimate nutrient.
That is not to say that there are no products or herbs out there to help keep our epidermis moist and renewing new cells.
Remember those potions and pastes my grand-parents used on my skin?
Turns out that this Evening Primrose Oil I have been using for years is pretty sweet.
Evening primrose is a plant that’s native to Europe and North America. It has a long history of medicinal uses. Native Americans used it leaves, roots, and seedpods in preparations for hemorrhoids, bruises, wounds, and other skin problems.
The oil extracted from the leaves and seeds are used in creams and salves to relieve the itching and redness of skin conditions. This oil contains the essential fatty acids (EFA) gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linoleic acid, which are Omega-6 fatty acids. These EFAs have been found to improve cardiovascular health, improve utilization of insulin and regulating of moods.
I have been using it to heal my skin, scalp, mood swings, breast pain and breakout for decades.
Body’s Largest Organ
I don’t know about how other people feel about organs and their body’s but too me it is the ultimate covering. This thing can breathe and feel and adjust to temperatures.
When healthy, its layers work hard to protect us. This birthday suit gets damaged daily. I like to think of it as a body suit that needs a tune up when possible. We need to be religious about ways to improve our skin health so it can maintain the protection it was designed to do. look at all the other organs it protects.
What you eat is just as important as the products we put on your skin. A healthy diet improves your skin health from the inside out, so a clear complexion begins with eating properly.
We have to talk about the bad foods and drinks in this category. Did you know cutting your intake of alcohol could lower your risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancers? Research confirms that higher alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of developing basal cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
Keep stress in check. Have you ever had a pimple appears right before an important event? Scientists have identified some links between stress levels and skin problems.
Keep moisture in the skin. Hydration is the ultimate elixir for our entire body. Moisturizers often contain humectants to attract moisture and retain moisture in the skin. However, it still starts with simple water. Have you noticed most product ingredients start with water?
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that we use a moisturizer immediately after getting out of the shower to lock in moisture. Taking a 5-10 minute shower or bath with warm, not hot water is ideal. Using gentle fragrance free cleansers plus staying away from abrasive scrub brushes or washcloths help the health of our skin.
I think everyone knows how smoking contaminates the skin. Smoking narrows the blood vessels found in the outer layer of the skin, which reduces blood flow and exhausts the skin of the nutrients and oxygen it needs to remain healthy.
Getting your beauty sleep will banish those dark circles around your eyes and improve your skin tone. The best part about that is it is free.
During deep sleep our body enters repair mode and regenerates skin, muscles, and blood and brain cells. Sleep deprivation is taking the world by storm. Again, without adequate sleep the body is unable to produce new collagen. Collagen prevents your skin from sagging.
I am currently having a skin breakout due to treatments I needed for an MS Relapse. I wanted to share the few tools in my arsenal that helps me protect the health of my skin. Drinking water and bathing properly helps my mood swings alone. Eating healthier is always a must.
Not indulging in the things that are toxic to our health is vital. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure!
Know what else makes for good skin health?
Happiness makes the body, mind and spirit glow.