You wake up, look in the mirror and you have a “break-out.” You have that important meeting later and can’t go with a USE (unidentifiable skin eruption) front and centre on your face so you grab lotions, potions, cover-up and make-up. Hiding blemishes under makeup or special creams is like painting over rust. The damage underneath will continue to undermine the beauty on the surface. But, at this point, you’re not thinking that your skin is a reflection of your overall health, an early warning system that is letting you know something is going on inside your body. You are concerned about looking healthy, not being healthy.
“Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs,” says Dr. Georgiana Donadio, founder of the National Institute of Whole Health.
The skin in the largest organ in the human body and has an important role to play protecting us from UV radiation, dehydration, bacterial invasions and injuries. It helps us to regulate our body temperature when it is hot or cold and helps our bodies to detoxify.
As the body over loads with toxins, many that are absorbed through the skin, the liver is unable to keep up and relies on the skin to help detoxify the body. Every skin blemish, break-out, or skin condition is caused by toxic overload.
The very products that many skin care manufacturers claim ‘will help reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles’ and preserve our youth may be poisoning us. By their very nature, preservatives are designed to be cytotoxic which means they kill cells. Specifically, they work to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. Our skin is made up of cells and preservatives attack its integrity and when absorbed into the bloodstream become a hazard to the rest of the body. Studies have shown that some preservatives in beauty products can accumulate in the body and alter sexual development in children.
Formaldehyde, a solution used to preserve dead things, is used in many skin care products as a preservative. It is toxic to our cells, and is known to cause cancer but is highly effective at killing microbes. Formaldehyde-release agents may be listed on the label as Quaternium 15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea or DMDM Hydanoin.
Check your skin care products for these toxic chemicals—parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl), Mercury (thimeosal), Lead acetate, Diethanolamine (DEA), Synthetic colour pigments, Propylene glycol (PG), Coal Tar, Toluene, Pheylenediamine (PPD) and petrolatum. For more information on chemicals you should avoid, download the PDF “Dirty Dozen” from David Suzuki’s website at http://www.davidsuzuki.org
When selecting products to use on your skin, choose products that have no harmful chemicals and use self-preserving technology. A rule of thumb to remember is that if you wouldn’t eat it; don’t slather it on your skin.
In addition to using skincare products that are good for you here are five other things you can do.
- Hydrate your cells by drinking more water, preferably with a little dash of lemon juice. Start with a cup of warm water and lemon in the morning and drink a glass of water shortly before bed.
- Add fruits, vegetables and foods that are organically grown and contain quality essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals into your diet to properly nourish skin cells. Some of the important nutrients for nourishing skin are silica, zinc, omega3 fatty acids, Vitamin 3, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and selenium.
- To make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs, supplement your diet with nutritional supplements. To be certain that you can trust the supplements you buy are high quality, potent and absorbable, consult a copy of the book, A Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, 5th Consumer Edition by Lyle MacWilliam. His research compares 1200 supplements on the market.
- Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, or other health practitioner if you suspect your skin problems may be related to a food allergy.
- Finally, sleep well. Make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night.
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