Putting the Brakes on Avoidable Skin Conditions
When we reach a certain age, many of us look in the mirror and lament all the things we could have done differently so our skin would not be the thing that makes it so easy for the carnival barker to guess our age at the fair.
Marguerite Duras in her autobiographical novel “The Lover.” (Ref. 1) wrote…“It has been my face. It's got older still, or course, but less, comparatively, than it would otherwise have done. It's scored with deep, dry wrinkles, the skin is cracked. But my face hasn't collapsed, as some with fine feature have done. It's kept the same contours, but its substance has been laid waste. I have a face laid waste,”.
Stay young at heart – and on the surface
The rate of aging, in fact, is one of the most treatable skin conditions. And steps we take now can not only help us look younger longer – and avoid Duras’ fate - but can also give is a bit of a pass over the silly things we did in our youth.
When a smoker lights up his or her first cigarette, the last thing on the mind is what will come. But the signs of aging are following close behind the carcinogens in that smoke. Smokers often look decades older because of the damage the toxins in cigarettes – carbon monoxide, cyanide, formaldehyde and tar, just for a start – cause, especially to the skin. Fine lines around the mouth, sallow skin and wrinkles are the ways your body pays you back for the poison.
“Smoking affects the entire body and when it is put under stress,” Dr. Nick Lowe said in an interview with London’s Daily Mail. “The brain diverts vitamins away from your skin to be used elsewhere. Nicotine also reduces blood flow to the lower living layer of skin, or dermis, which results in less oxygen being delivered. Skin becomes sallow and the regularity and quality of cell production deteriorate, leading to dry, flaky skin that is less resilient to external stresses.” (Ref. 2)
Cutting cigarettes out of your life and restoring the nutrients your skin needs – through our Core Wellness sets, including Total Balance, Kiwi-Klenz and Omega 3 range as well as our skin care products that provide nutrients that penetrate deep into the skin – you can help reverse the signs of aging brought on by cigarettes, including the appearance of those pesky wrinkles around your mouth.
There are few skin problems more preventable than sun damage. Wearing wide-brimmed hats, eating the right foods to protect your skin, and keeping your exposure to the sun during the hours when the sun’s rays are strongest to sensible periods to avoid burning and dressing properly can go a long way toward protecting your skin from damage when you head outside.
While exposure to the sun boosts vital vitamin D stores, being smart about our time spent beneath those rays can prevent some signs of aging, especially the blotchiness of uneven skin tone caused by increased melanin triggered by the sun, say the experts at the Mayo Clinic. (Ref. 3)
Dark spots aren’t the only signs of skin damage, though. Sun can also cause small blood vessels to dilate, leading to redness that could be permanent, and the radiation in sun’s rays helps break down the collagen and elastin in our skin, leading to sagging and wrinkles.
Protect your skin, and make sure you take in plenty of antioxidants, both through foods and through supplements like our Omega-3 Premium Fish Oil, which includes the powerful antioxidants Astaxanthin and Lycopene, to offer an added layer of protection. (Ref. 4)
Sugar pretends to be all sweet, but deep inside, it’s just another trickster that’s going to make us look older than we’d like.
When digested, sugar triggers a process called glycation. It happens when the sugar we eat – an afternoon candy bar grabbed in hopes of making it through the afternoon meeting, maybe – is processed into blood glucose for energy. As part of the process, it attaches to proteins, forming harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. (Ref. 5)
The more sugar we eat, the more AGEs develop, and the real problem comes when we consider which proteins sugar craves most – collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for keeping skin looking firm and elastic. Once sugar attaches, it makes both more fragile, so skin is less able to fight off sun damage or damage from the toxins we are all exposed to.
Reducing inflammation may help erase other skin conditions
While experts aren’t sure what causes eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, all are believed to be linked to inflammation – like so many other diseases facing contemporary populations.
If we control inflammation, then, there is the potential we could also help prevent outbreaks of these troubling skin conditions.
Our Omega-3/DHA fish oils have been shown in lab tests to reduce inflammation levels more than standard fish oils. It contains a mix of hoki and tuna oils, and is processed in a way that allows the oil to retain fractions that are usually lost during the concentration process.
Some Xtend-Life customers have also said that Total Balance formulas have helped control their eczema, thanks to an arsenal of ingredients that support skin health, including a wide range of a ntioxidants as well as other skin-friendly nutrients that can help to control inflammation and potentially ease the symptoms of chronic skin conditions.
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