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  • Date :
  • 12/28/2008

Healthy Skin

hand cream

A balance of oil and moisture is crucial for healthy skin.

Skin glands secrete oil, which lubricates the surface of the skin. Moisture is the water carried to skin cells through the bloodstream. The water present in skin cells keeps them youthful-looking and healthy.

According to Press tv, skin cells need sufficient amounts of water along with enough oil to act as a shield and prevent the excess evaporation of moisture from the top layers of the skin.

There are two types of dry skin--simple dry skin results from a lack of natural oils and is common among women under the age of 35; complex dry skin results from the lack of both oil and moisture, and is usually associated with aging.

Characterized by fine lines, brown spots, discolorations, enlarged pores and sagging skin, complex dry skin may also stem from the damage caused by prolonged sun exposure to skin proteins--elastin, collagen and keratin.  

Dry skin tends to be dull-looking and flaky, and readily develops fine lines and wrinkles. Unless some type of moisturizer or skin cream is applied, it usually feels tight and uncomfortable after washing.

This is most common in areas of the body that are exposed, such as the face and hands. Chapping and cracking, especially in winter, are signs of extremely dry and dehydrated skin.

Poor nutrition, cosmetics, excessive bathing with harsh soaps and environmental factors--including exposure to sun, wind and cold--as well as chemicals can cause or aggravate dry skin. Vitamin A and B deficiencies can also contribute to the condition.



What to Do

A balanced diet that includes fruits, grains, seeds, nuts and vegetables--especially yellow and orange vegetables as they are high in beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A--can help prevent dry skin.

Include cod liver oil--a good source for vitamins A and D--in your diet. Vitamin A deficiency can cause the skin on the hands and feet to become scaly.

Sulfur helps keep the skin smooth and youthful; therefore, include in your diet plenty of sulfur-rich foods, such as onions, garlic, eggs and asparagus.

To keep the skin hydrated, drink approximately 2 liters of water every day.

Try to avoid indulging in soft drinks, or eating sugar, chocolate, potato chips and other junk foods. Avoid fried foods and animal fats.  

Avoid caffeine as it has a diuretic effect and causes the body to lose fluids and essential minerals.

Same with smoking and secondhand smoke. Nicotine constricts blood vessels, depriving the skin of the oxygen and nutrients it needs for good health.

Smoking also involves the repetition of certain facial expressions, which eventually turn into permanent wrinkles around the mouth. Smoking can also result in leathery skin.

Sun exposure can damage the skin and cause dryness, wrinkles, rashes and blisters. Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Always use a good sunscreen on all areas exposed to the sun.


Herbal Tips

Cocoa butter is a good skin cream that can help reduce wrinkles.

Coconut oil softens the skin and prevents wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Grape seed oil has regenerative properties and helps control skin moisture. It is good for severe dry skin and reputedly reduces stretch marks.

other links:

Dry Skin? Don’t Let Winter Win

Why Do I Need to Wash My Hands?

What Are Wrinkles?

Top 5 habits for healthy skin

Tea May Lower Skin Cancer Risk

Importance of Coconut: Alternative Medicine

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