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It has long been debated as to whether what you eat actually affects your skin or not. Recently though many studies have concluded that what you eat does affect your skin. Your skin is an organ, and how it looks is a map to your total body health. If cell production and activity is low, the skin on your face and body will feel the affects. I started to wonder though does it really matter how we get the vitamins to our skin? Is a healthy diet all we need? Or must we take vitamins and also apply them topically in skin care products?
Studies show that yes we do need to maintain a healthy diet, take daily vitamins, as well as use good creams which contain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. The problem with just thinking a healthy diet is enough is that we do not receive enough of certain vitamins and nutrients from our food alone. Thus taking vitamins is good because it ensures we have the proper amount of nutrients needed to aid our skin and body. Using skin care lines which include vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants is important in fighting signs of aging, hyperpigmentation or specific skin conditions.
Maintaining a diet that encourages avoiding inflammatory foods (such as salt, alcohol, excessive caffeine) and encourages vitamins, antioxidants, antibacterial properties, fiber- to clear toxins,protein and essential fats will nourish the body and skin making us look and feel better. Add daily vitamins and a good skin care regime and you will be looking and feeling younger, healthier and vibrant.
Below are very important vitamins and nutrients that will promote healthy skin function.
Vitamin A – softens keratin build up that causes rough dry skin.
Fish oils, dairy, carrots, cantaloupe, peaches, squash, tomatoes, all green and yellow fruits and veggies.
Vitamin C – helps keep collagen healthy
Fresh fruits and berries (especially citrus) green veggies, onions, tomatoes, radishes, rosehips.
Vitamin E –Powerful antioxidant, prevents break down of many substances in body which are essential to use oxygen in muscles, improves circulation, promotes normal clotting to heal. Prolongs life of red blood cells. Most vegetable oils, wheat germ, soybean oil, raw nuts and seeds, eggs, leafy veggies, meat, milk and molasses, peanuts, legumes and whole wheat.
Selenium- Important antioxidant that protects cells by breaking down free radicals. Bran, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, tuna, wheat germ.
Beta Carotene- Antioxidant, defends cells from harmful free radicals.
Dark green leafy veggies, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits.
Vitamin B Complex (All B vitamins together) – co enzyme involved in energy production. Important for proper cellular function of nervious system, healthy skin, hair and nails, eyes, liver, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and muscle tone.Whole grains, brewers yeast.
Vitamin B2 – necessary for healthy skin hair and nails, antibody production, cell respiration and growth. Milk, eggs, fish, brewers yeast, leafy veggies, whole grains.
Vitamin B3 – aids circulation, important for healthy skin, digestive system and nervous system. Lean meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, wheat germs, whole wheat, avocado, dates, figs and prunes.
Vitamin B5- Helps certain hormones and antibodies. Plays essential role in energy and metabolism. Maintains a healthy digestive tract, skin, nerves and glands. Converts fats and sugar to energy.
Omega 3 & 6Essential Fatty Acids- Prevents dry skin, premature aging. Fish oils, evening primrose oil
After two months with snow on the ground, your skin is probably a bit dry from the winter air. Exposed skin, particularly facial skin becomes more irritable under winter conditions. Plus the dry cold environment decreases the skins lipid barrier function, which protects and locks moisture in your skin. The dry winter air, plus sun and wind can cause or worsen skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis. Luckily though there are some precautions you can take to protect your skin.
Step 1: Avoid Long Hot Showers:
They dry your skin out and the heat can actually add to redness in your skin.
Step 2: Exfoliate:
Exfoliating gets rid of the dead skin cells that build up. This build-up adds to the flaking dry skin you see as well as prevents products from penetrating deeply into the skin. Exfoliating softens the skin and helps products work better. You can exfoliate your body with a loofa, and for the face use a scrub or exfoliating mask once a week. A professional exfoliation by an esthetician is wonderful as well because it is a deeper exfoliation that can treat your skin needs.
Step 3: Moisturize!!!
Feed your skin with nourishing, hydrating products that will protect, and replenish your skin. When going out for winter sports or activities, you may even add extra cream to protect your face from cold and wind burns by adding to your lipid barrier and preventing moisture loss.
Step 4: Sunscreen:
Just because its winter, don’t neglect to protect your skin from the sun. In the winter the sun may not be as hot, but the UV rays can still do their damage. Snow reflects light thus making UV ray exposure just as powerful during the winter as the summer. So add a small amount of sunscreen to your face before or after you apply your moisturizer.
Step 5: Protect Your Lips too!!!!
Lots of people forget about their lips until they are cracked and painful. Exfoliating and hydrating them is key. The spa has GM Collins- Lip Plumping Concentrate, which contains collagen and hyaluronic acid. It increases your lips natural moisture and gently exfoliates them to improve the overall look.
The combination of these skin care steps and our estheticians professional knowledge should help you better care for your skin. Treating yourself to a facial is a wonderful way to combat the effects of a New England winter on our skin. All facials involve a professional exfoliation and then work to nourish and replenish your skin while addressing your personal issues. The Collagen Facial and the C Sea Spa Facial are amazing for calming, soothing and hydrating skin.
* I do wish to remind you though that should you get wind burn or an intense skin condition from skiing or exposure to negative degree weather, you want to see your dermatologist as soon as possible to treat and protect your skin from further damage.