Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gracefully Aging Skin

I usually focus on my expertise, the body’s muscles and connective tissue, but today’s article will address the organ that tells the world the most about how we are aging: the skin. I’ve consulted with Carla Orellana, an independent consultant with Arbonne International, who has studied herbs and health her entire adult life. Here’s what she has to tell us about our skin and how to take care of it.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and weighs about 8 pounds. Each square inch has 650 sweat glands, 95 sebaceous glands, and 1,200 nerve endings. Our skin protects the inside body from environmental factors such as bacteria, fungus, viruses, allergens, and chemicals. It regulates body temperature by sweating and adjusting blood flow. It synthesizes vitamin D and provides some protection against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

It goes without saying that a person's skin conveys a lot about his or her health. The effects of sun exposure, poor diet, dehydration, stress, fatigue, smoking, allergies, and illness all can show up in the skin so it makes sense to pay close attention to it.

Our skin needs to breathe in order to function properly. Clogging pores with mineral oil and cheap products made from animal parts, loaded with harmful levels of artificial dyes and fragrances, irritate and dry out the skin.

Artificial perfumes and colors get absorbed into the blood stream (within 30 seconds!), which burdens the kidneys and liver that filter and cleanse over 50 gallons of blood a day. Clean blood equals clean skin. Dirty blood, well you can finish the sentence. Did you know that chemical fragrances and dyes are the number one and two irritants for skin sensitivities?

Protecting our skin from too much UV exposure is important for skin health obviously. P-H is another really important part of health, because correct pH balance protects against bacteria, and the skin more readily accepts moisture so it feels softer and looks younger.

There are many things one can eat to keep the skin healthy. The skin is more than just the outside layer. Using supplements (without dyes, etc.) to boost our nutritional intake, immune system and protect us from stress are essential as our soil is depleted and we lose certain minerals and other elements. CoQ10 and flaxseed oil are good examples of useful additions for inside and outside skin health. Good water, fruits, vegetables, exercise and fresh air are a given.

You can learn more about skin health and Carla at Thanks, Carla, for sharing such useful information.

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