Dear Editor, I am 42
and used to have very beautiful,
smooth skin. Lately I have
discovered that my skin is ageing
pretty fast and it does not look
healthy anymore. I have tried
all kinds of cosmetics to no
avail. My dermatologist told me 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?
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,
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 helps flush out toxins and
waste products from the body. It helps to replenish
skin tissues, moisturizes the skin
and increases its elasticity.
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. 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. Also, 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.
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
skin elasticity. 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.
On to wholegrains and proteins, almonds are stuffed with
vitamin E, which helps prevent
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.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with
vitamin C, which smoothes out
wrinkles by stimulating the production
of collagen. Carrots contain
vitamin A which prevents overproduction
of cells in the skin's
outer layer. They are good for clearing
up breakouts. 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.
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 sunscreen when outdoors
(spf 30 is enough). Because
UVB rays cause sunburn,
most sunscreens only protect
against them. But UVA rays can
damage the skin as well. Therefore, 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.
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