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Tips for Taking Herbs Successfully
Cilantro Substitute
Herbs That Changed the World
Herbal Pet Care
The Real Deal About Healing Herbs
Classic Herb Blends
Sweet Stevia
Vinegar the Miracle Cleaner
Herbs to Enhance Romance
Rites of Passage
Skin Care Naturally
Spring Bounty (Wild and Wonderful Weeds)
Menopause Gracefully
Spring Ritual for the Health Conscious

Skin Care Naturally

A healthy regimen keeps me fit and my skin looking years younger than I am. I follow some basic steps to keep my skin healthy, but I also make my own cold cream and skin enhancing products. Because companies who make food and cosmetic products need to prolong the shelf life of their goods, they have used all manner of preservatives to accomplish this. Many of these preservatives are down right bad. The fewer processed foods you eat, the better off you will be health-wise, and the same goes for the fewer dyes and preservatives you apply to your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It isn't surprising that the same things that keep you energized and healthy will also contribute to healthy, radiant skin—things like good nutrition, regular exercise, sunlight, water consumption, and enough sleep.

Some general comments—your body absorbs the nutrients it needs more easily and readily from the food you eat rather than supplements. Vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy skin include vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E, and the following minerals—iodine, silicon, sulfur, and zinc. Exercise helps oxygenate your cells with fresh air and makes it easier for your skin to rid itself of wastes. Try to exercise outdoors away from pollution. If you have not been told to avoid sun completely, ten to fifteen minutes of unprotected exposure to sun enhances bone and skin health. Sun helps the body absorb calcium because the skin converts it to Vitamin D. Drinking eight to twelve 8 oz. glasses of water a day is a healthy habit to get into. When cleansing, use warm, not hot water. Hot water dehydrates and irritates the skin.

Not all soaps are created equal. Since this is not about making soap, let me just say that the more I read about synthetic ingredients in soap, the more I am convinced that vegetable-based soaps are better for the skin. They are more expensive, but, in my opinion, worth the extra cost. I look for soaps that have olive oil as an ingredient because it is a very good moisturizer. It attracts external moisture, holds the moisture close to the skin, and forms a breathable film to prevent loss of internal moisture. Olive oil does not block the natural functions of the skin while performing its own magic. The skin is able to continue sweating, releasing sebum, (oil secreted by the skin's sebaceous glands), and shedding dead skin. Vegetable soaps made with olive oil combine coconut and palm oil with the olive oil. Coconut oil is added for its lathering and moisturizing properties, and palm oil is added for hardness.

The following should be avoided as they are detrimental to healthy skin:

  • Smoking—constricts blood vessels and restricts oxygen uptake.
  • Pollution—same effects as smoking.
  • Dry air—leaves your skin parched and thirsty.
  • Pulling on the skin—wash and apply facial products gently.
  • Alcohol—dehydrates, taxes your liver, robs your body of B vitamins.
  • Excessive sun exposure—the sun is not as intense before 10:30 A.M. and after 4:30 P.M.
  • Constipation—toxins build up in the body if elimination is faulty. .