Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
by Dave Foreman
Wow, is that a painful question!
With the proliferation of sexy
magazine covers and the desire to
look like the cover girl or guy, Americans are
constantly looking for a way to look and
feel better. Is beauty only skin deep?
My experience is that you need to work
at your outer appearance in two ways:
by what you put in your body; and what
you put on your body.
Let’s start with what you put in your body.
The foundation of my “Four Pillars of Great
Health” is supplementation, which is
designed to make up for what is missing from
your diet. Healthy skin grows from the inside
out, right? Well, then, proper nutrition is the
best way to achieve the skin you have always
wanted – regardless of your age. Antioxidants
are a great start.They can help your body fight
the free radical damage that causes aging.
Free radicals cause us to “rust” in a way; and
that “rust” leads to breakdowns in the skin
(the largest organ of the body). Wrinkles, age
spots and skin cancer all have links back to
free radical damage, and the one thing we
know is that consuming antioxidants helps
neutralize free radicals.
The following are a few of the more popular
antioxidants I would use to help reduce free
radical damage: Alpha Lipoic Acid;
Bilberry; CoQ-10; Grape Seed Extract;
Green Tea; Lutein; Lycopene; Mixed
Carotenoids; Pycnogenol®; Selenium;
Vitamin C; Vitamin E; Zinc. This list is nearly
endless because many of the herbals like
Green Tea are naturally high in antioxidants
as well. Another important supplement for
skin health is water. Most of us don’t consume
enough water, and I therefore consider
water a supplement. How much you need
depends on you and your activity levels.
The bare minimum for everyone should
be 64 ounces a day. If you are an active
person, then you require more. Since your
body is made up primarily of water, it is
important to make sure you are well
hydrated. I have seen many people’s wrinkles
decrease just by consuming more water alone.
Give it a try: your body will thank you.
The last internal supplement suggestion is
a good EFA (Essential Fatty Acid).
Vegetarian products containing Flax, Borage
or Evening Primrose Oil are very effective.
A blended product like Udo’s Perfected Blend
(Flora®) can provide the extra good fats
needed for healthy, smooth and supple
skin. Fish Oil products like Coromega®
(my personal favorite) can also provide you
with the EFAs needed for healthier skin. On a
personal note, many of my friends and family
have used EFAs to eliminate dry skin and
other skin issues that have affected them for
years. Generally, follow the manufacturer’s
label instructions or consult your natural
health care provider for the dose that is
right for you.
Externally, there is also an abundance of
things you can do to support healthy skin.
Just walk into your local Vitamin Shoppe,
and see how the personal care section has
grown. Many of these topical products
contain moisturizing agents such as
Palm Oil, Almond Oil or Shea Butter.
They even taught us about these in my
pharmacy school program. Often, herbal
extracts will be added to these types of
ingredients to achieve other benefits. I usually
recommend adding Calendula, Lavender or
Chamomile if you have itchy or irritated
skin. It has now become popular to add
antioxidants like CoQ-10, Green Tea, Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid and even
Berry Extracts to your skincare regimen.The
belief is that by applying these directly
to free radical damaged skin (from sun,
chemicals, perfumes, etc.), you can attack the
damage at the point of contact.To date, there
is limited research showing that this will work
effectively.Having said this, I am still a firm
believer in using antioxidants topically to
assist in the fight against free radical damage.
The more popular brands of natural products
to consider are Aubrey Organics, Kiss My
Face, Jason Natural Cosmetics, Burt’s Bees,
Avalon Natural Products and Tom’s of Maine.
It may not even be fair to stop at this short
list, but you can consult with a Vitamin
Shoppe health enthusiast for more
information on the line of topical products
that are right for you.
Other factors and lifestyle habits that will
positively impact your outer appearance
include: limiting exposure to UV rays (sun);
staying clean; and buying organic foods and
Finally, it is important to stress that beauty
is not just skin deep.You are on the outside
what you are on the inside.There is a philosophy
in natural medicine that your skin is a
direct reflection of your bowel health. This
may sound kind of strange, but I believe it to
be true. If you are having other issues like
acne, eczema or psoriasis, you may wish to
try internal cleansing. Using pre-packaged
products like Cleanse Smart, Ultimate
Cleanse or even the tea Flor-Essence are
great for eliminating toxins from the body
and can have remarkable effects on skin
health. Even if you don’t have “bad” skin,
it is recommended to cleanse internally at
least two times yearly.
Remember, looking younger is not something
that happens overnight. It takes weeks and
even months of taking care of yourself inside
and out to achieve the look you want. Be
patient and committed to the program. In
time, you will love what you see in the mirror.