It is hard for us to open a magazine or scroll through our social media pages without being tormented by the images of beautiful skin. If only we could buy that next great moisturizer or get the latest facial treatment, our skin could look like that too. Their desired message is that once we have that newest facial treatment and buy that good moisturizer, it is enough to promote the appearance of healthy skin. However, there are other recommended, manageable, and efficient solutions to improve your complexion. Making small yet meaningful daily changes will bring you leaps and bounds closer to your desired texture and glow. Product ads utilize unrealistic images that are heavily retouched and unattainable in the real world. To make healthy changes in your skin, you need to incorporate water, nutrients, and a skincare regime.
The upper-most layer of skin (epidermis) has five distinct layers that work together in perfect harmony to protect us from our environment. The stratum corneum is the layer that we can see and is composed of dead, flattened skin cells (Foulston, J., Major, F, & Wynne, M., 2016, p. 81,82). There is no blood supply to the epidermis, so the need for adequate water intake to allow the lymph fluid easier access to the uppermost tissue of the true skin (dermis) as it bathes the tissue in nutrients and removes the waste products is essential. The body’s natural detoxification ability is evident and felt as the skin’s hydration improves. We rely on this major organ to help keep all this hydration from evaporating through a process of trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) by maintaining a protective barrier. Dead cells are void of activity despite this, these units are packed together and held by adhesive proteins so tightly they become a part of the protective barrier, commonly called the acid mantle. Dead skin cells, sweat and sebum, combine to form the protective barrier to the outside environment and is 4.5 – 5.6pH (Foulston et al. 2016, p. 81,82). Delicate balance is achieved by consistently providing the body with plenty of water to facilitate detoxification.
Signs that the skin has lost its barrier: tight, shiny forehead, red and irritated patches of dry skin, acne-like breakouts, dehydration, and fine lines. Most healthy people produce new skin cells at the basal layer to allow regeneration (Foulston et al. 2016, p. 80, 81). Additional ten days should be added for each decade after 30 to accommodate ageing and slowdown of cellular turnover. Skin that looks and feels healthy happens by speeding up this natural process. The simple yet effective solution is incorporating healthful foods such as antioxidants, multivitamins, and green leafy vegetables into your diet. The digestive system will break it down into usable nutrients to support newly produced well-built cells. As these cells push their way upwards through the skin layers, they help shed old and damaged ones.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the efficacy and safety of all topicals intended for human use (2021, August 24). Since consumers self-diagnose when choosing a skincare product from a department/drug store, these products must ensure safety. Big cosmetic companies cannot afford to have consumers with skin issues from using highly active products. Their skincare product may feel good and smell good but will not have activity in its formulation. These cosmetics do not penetrate the skin barrier, where the ingredient formula would have a therapeutic benefit to the skin. Consultation with a dermatologist or a medical esthetician would ensure proper skin typing to address most skin ailments. Professional skin therapists have beauty products that are potent and will have an influence on skins activity at the cellular level. These products help alleviate common concerns while promoting healthy cell turnover and preventing TEWL via encapsulation of the barrier. Additionally, wearing a sun protection factor (SPF) lotion will assist by protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) exposure and prevent premature ageing and skin cancers (Foulston et al. 2016, p. 261).
We know that when we feel good, we look good and to accomplish both, a personal regime of healthy food, and adequate water intake must become a standard of living. Next time you browse the grocery store aisles, make sure to grab a variety of citrus fruits, berries, and greens. These groceries are full of beneficial antioxidants that help shed years off your skin. According to Pfizer, positive thinking can influence tangible changes in the health of your heart, better cholesterol levels and immune response (Pfizer, 2021). Since the skin relies on the good functioning of other body systems, it is reasonable to conclude it would also positively affect the appearance of your skin. Beware the next time you open a magazine or scroll through your social media. Sales pitches work well to get you to spend your money on the widely available skincare, not to make your skin look better but to enrich their shareholders. Your skin will thank you for it.
Keywords: skin, nutrients, complexion, health, beautiful, media
Food and Drug Administration. (2020, August 24). Is it a Cosmetic, a Drug or Both? Is It a Cosmetic, a Drug, or Both? (Or Is It Soap?) |
FDA Foulston, J., Major, F., and Wynne, M. (2016) The Art and Science of Beauty Therapy. Fourth Edition. EMS Publishing. London, UK.
(Pfizer, 2021). Positive Thinking and Health: Are They Connected? Positive Thinking and Health: Are They Connected?