9 Chapters
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8. Age-Defying Skin Care

Eby, Myra Michelle Basic Health Publications ePub

I have always been surprised by the popularity of the term anti-aging. It seems like an odd thing to promote. Aging means to change with time. Sure, we would all like to slow down the aging process or age gracefully with as much vitality as possible, but I’m not sure it is appropriate to say that we are “anti” aging. I prefer the term healthy aging.

If you search the term anti-aging on the Internet you will get millions of hits. As it turns out, to be “against” aging is big business. There are antiaging academies, networks, guides, creams, supplements, procedures, books, and countless other ways to supposedly stop the aging process. Baby boomers throughout the world are desperate to live longer and look younger. Most of us want even more than that—we want to feel younger.

We have all seen people who have had undergone Botox treatment or plastic surgery: They have smoother skin but they don’t necessarily look younger (for more information on Botox, see page 118). That’s because they have merely ironed out their surface wrinkles; they haven’t done anything to address the underlying issues of aging skin. The solution is not a quick fix; it’s a comprehensive approach that supports and heals the infrastructure of the skin. Before we examine the solution, let’s take a closer look at the problem.

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1. Your Shell

Eby, Myra Michelle Basic Health Publications ePub

The skin is not just the body’s wrapper. While it’s true that the skin is the outermost layer between you and your environment, it is much more than just a simple cover for your bones and organs. The skin is the largest organ of the body. You may not think of the skin as an organ, but it is, and it plays an essential role in overall health.

    Not only does our outer shell encase us, it serves many significant functions including:

Protecting us from injury and parasite invasion

Providing us with our sense of touch

Regulating our body temperature and preventing dehydration

Aiding in detoxification and elimination

Assisting with vitamin D synthesis when it’s exposed to sunlight

Helping our immune system fight infection

   Yes, the importance of our skin goes way beyond wrinkles and age spots. Our skin comprises an intricate array of cells and systems that work together to keep us vibrant and healthy while contributing to our overall wellness.

Our skin weighs approximately eleven pounds (5kg) and measures about twenty-one square feet (2m2) as it wraps its way around our bodies. The skin’s blood vessels, nerves, and various glands make this one of the most complex organs in the human body. The skin of the average adult contains around two hundred sweat glands and thirty sebaceous (oil) glands. The thickness of the skin varies, depending on its location in the body. The skin on the face—particularly under the eyes, eyelids, and on the lips—is the thinnest of all, and therefore the most vulnerable.

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7. Sun Care

Eby, Myra Michelle Basic Health Publications ePub

The sun fascinates me. Sunshine is vital to life and yet its power can do so much damage. Although most of us like to spend time outdoors, the sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Sun exposure is the primary cause of premature aging, brown spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer.

If you are a trivia buff, here are some interesting facts about the sun you can share at your next dinner party.

The sun is located 93 million miles from the earth.

If you could drive to the sun from the earth at sixty miles per hour (97 kmph), it would take you 176 years to get there.

It takes more than eight minutes for sunlight to actually reach the earth once it leaves the sun.

The sun is so far away and yet some days it appears as if it’s right on top of us. With such an expanse between the earth and the sun, how can it do so much damage? The power of the sun should never be underestimated. The sun itself is sixteen times hotter than boiling water. But it’s not just the heat: It’s what else the sun emits that can do the most damage—ultraviolet (UV) radiation. There is no question that ultraviolet radiation from the sun is dangerous. The ozone layer near the Earth’s surface can deflect ultraviolet radiation; however, it cannot absorb all the radiation emitted by the sun. In addition, pollution (greenhouse gases) continues to deplete the ozone layer, exposing us to more ultraviolet radiation than ever before.

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6. Effective Acne Treatment

Eby, Myra Michelle Basic Health Publications ePub

Most people are surprised when I tell them that more than 60 million people are affected by acne. After talking with many people about their skin over the years, I am not surprised at all; however, there was a time that I would have been shocked.

As a teenager and young adult, I suffered with acne. Every morning my acne stared back at me as I looked in the mirror. It was not only physically disfiguring, but also emotionally depressing. I would never have believed there were 60 million other people just like me. When you have moderate to severe acne, you feel as if you are the only one in the world with pimples. I felt alone and isolated, branded with bad skin that everyone noticed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thought I had at night. I felt helpless and ugly, and always shied away from the camera.

But I am persistent. I was determined to heal my acne and I did not stop until my skin was clear. Since that time, I have perfected my acne treatment plan and I have seen it work on thousands of people over the years. I hope it can help you, too.

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9. From the Inside Out

Eby, Myra Michelle Basic Health Publications ePub

Nontoxic, effective skin care products are critical to achieving and maintaining healthy, vibrant skin. But while the skin may be a surface” organ, which often responds to topical treatments, achieving and maintaining healthy skin requires us to consider the inside as well as the outside. It is irresponsible to simply promote products as skin-saving miracles and wrinkle cures without endorsing a healthy lifestyle that complements those products. If you want radiant, healthy-looking skin, you must address your skin care from the inside out. It’s a package deal.

The skin is like a mirror for our internal organs and body systems, reflecting the status of our overall health. The opposite is also true: Our overall health can directly influence the health of our skin.

Extensive research has clearly demonstrated that a healthful diet, regular exercise, and other positive lifestyle factors can prevent a variety of diseases. What many people don’t realize, however, is that the same principles will not only help fend off illness, they will also help you achieve the youthful skin you desire. Dealing with diet is a perfect place to start.

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