Letters to TMT Health

Dear Editor,

I am a 42 year old lady and used to have very beautiful, smooth skin. Of late I have discovered that my skin is ageing pretty fast. I have tried all kinds of cosmetics to no avail. My skin does not look healthy anymore. I am thinking of going natural as I was told by my dermatologist to go slow on chemicals and try natural products instead. Please tell me, are there any natural products I can use to maintain a healthy skin and get rid of my wrinkles?
Gisela, Feldmoching

Dear Gisela,
You speak for not one, two, or hundreds of women, you speak for millions of women who believe that getting older is not attractive. If you are confident about yourself you will not even realise that you are aging. But that is a story for another day. Interestingly enough, natural skin care products are not that expensive but are the most effective for your skin, just as your dermatologist told you. They are very easy to find and, well, they are the basis for many other skin products too, which means there must be something in them. Here is a list of green products you can use for your skin.

Water
Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products. Drinking enough of it helps your organs function as they should. Water helps to replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin and increases skin elasticity. So you definitely look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Lack of adequate water consumption is evident in the form of dry, flaky skin, fine lines, and dark circles. In addition to drinking water, eat fruits and vegetables with a high water concentration like watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, cranberries, apples, and apricots. With each fruit listed, more than 80% of its weight is from water. This is a healthy and delicious way to increase your water intake. Besides drinking water, eat a well balanced diet.

A diet that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein are important in maintaining your skin's health. A glass of fruit juice a day ensures a clear complexion.

Fruits
A banana is rich in vitamin A, B and E and hence works as an effective anti-aging agent. Papaya, also rich in antioxidants contains a special enzyme called papain that can kill dead cells and cure skin impurities. Oranges, just like apples contain collagen that slow the skin aging process. Apart from collagen, apples contain abundant amounts of elastin that help keep the skin young. Oranges are rich in vitamin C which improves skin texture. Mango, rich in vitamin A and rich in antioxidants, fights against skin aging, regenerates skin cells and restores the elasticity of skin. Lemon has a high vitamin C content which will keep your skin beautiful. A glass of warm water with a tablespoon of honey and a dash of lemon juice on an empty stomach every morning is a great skin cleanser.

Vegetables, whole grains and protein
Almonds are stuffed with vitamin E, which helps defend against sun damage. Flax seeds, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, helps fight spots and iron out fine lines. Salmon is also rich in Omega 3 and very good for the skin. Lycopene, the phytochemical that makes tomatoes red, helps eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. Cooking tomatoes helps concentrate its lycopene levels, therefore adding cooked tomatoes to your food may not be a bad idea. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C, which smoothes out wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. Carrots are not only good for the eyes, they are good for clearing up breakouts. This is because they contain vitamin A, which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin's outer layer. Vitamin A reduces the development of skin-cancer cells too. Cucumber has great hydrating qualities, nourishment and astringent properties. It has the same pH as the skin so it helps to restore the skin's natural acid levels.

Oils
The omega-6 fatty acids found in safflower oil can be the ultimate moisturizer, especially if your skin is dry, flaky, or itchy. Olive oil is famous for making healthy skin. You can mix it with sugar to make a facial scrub or with water for a homemade night cream. You can use it to remove eye makeup and to alleviate dry skin patches, and also on the lips to heal or prevent chapping.

Well Gisela,  after all that has been said and done, protect your skin from UVB/UVA rays and always wear an adequate (spf 30 is enough) sunscreen when outdoors. Because UVB rays cause sunburn, most sunscreens only protect against them. But UVA rays can damage the skin as well. Most sunscreens protect against UVB rays only, to protect against UVA rays look for the ingredient mexoryl. Sun damage is the number one cause of premature aging and wrinkles. Avoid smoking and excessive drinking. Both cigarettes and alcohol lead to premature aging and cause wrinkles, fine lines and other skin problems. We can never exhaust the list of essential natural products that can be used for the skin with best results, but for now we hope this will be of help to you. In the next weeks keep an eye on this section, as we will go into detail on the best natural products to use.

Readers, if you have any questions you would like to see addressed in our weekly newspaper, send in your questions to christine.wandolo@themunichtimes.com and we will be pleased to answer you.


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