Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health

Hope you’ve been enjoying all the insight and wisdom that’s being shared on these Tele-Summit calls. This evening is our 4th call in the series: “Look and Feel Your Best Without Compromising Your Baby’s Health.” I’ll be the resident expert for today’s session and I’ll be talking about something very important –-the hidden health threats to your baby from the personal care and beauty products you use! Some of the things I’ll cover on tonight’s session:

  • Startling new research about ingredients in mass-produced personal care products that may pre-dispose your baby to obesity (among other serious health problems!)
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  • The top 10 ingredients you MUST avoid to keep you and your baby safe and how you can find out if the products you’re using right now may contain them
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  • Using Mother Nature’s Rx: Essential Oils to safely address some of the most common pregnancy-related complaints

Much of what I’ll be sharing on tonight’s call applies to you whether you are pregnant or not, but becomes even more important when you are or planning to be. There’s no better time than now to take inventory of the products you currently use and toss the ones that are bad for you. Come join me and learn how to become a more conscious consumer so you can stop exposing your baby to hidden threats from toxic exposure while learning how to identify and choose safer, more effective natural alternatives.

We’re going LIVE at 5PM Pacific/8PM Eastern. Don’t miss this very important call!

If you’re pregnant now, are planning to become pregnant, work with pregnant women and want to better support them through this journey, or know anyone who fits any of these criteria, please share this with them and encourage them to register at: http://www.dropwise.info. It’s FREE!

Promising Research on Natural Sunscreen Ingredients: Caffeine and Coral Shown to Protect Against UV Damage

If you follow my blog regularly, you already know how I feel about most of the sunscreen sold in stores. I believe that at best, most of the formulas are not as effective at protecting your skin as large companies want you to believe. At worst, they can actually do more harm than good. Thankfully, there has been a push in the scientific community to find a sunscreen that don’t potentially poison the body with synthetic chemicals.

A number of studies conducted within just the last year have found new sources of skin care ingredients. One of the most promising of these studies was done by Rutgers University, where researchers studied the effects of caffeine on cancer caused by UV rays. Though caffeine was already shown to protect against UV-induced cancer when taken orally, this research focused on the topical effects of the famous stimulant.

The Rutgers researchers used mice to determine the effectiveness of caffeine when applied to the skin and found that it reduced the likelihood of cancer by 72%. It appears that caffeine offers similar protection to humans too. Numerous studies have found that regular coffee drinkers had fewer occurrences of skin cancer than those who drank decaf coffee or avoided coffee all together. Great news for habitual coffee drinkers (like me!).

Caffeine isn’t the only thing that researchers have been investigating when looking for new ways to protect the skin. Research done by Dr. Paul Long at King’s College London has focused on coral and how it manages to get all the sunlight it needs to thrive without burning. Because coral needs sunlight for photosynthesis, it must live in shallow water where it is vulnerable to overexposure.

It turns out that algae living within coral reefs create a compound that is transported to the coral. The coral then modifies this compound to create its own sunscreen which protects both the coral and the algae. One of the long-term goals of King’s research is to figure out if this compound can be used to manufacturer sunscreen for human use. Dr. Long sees his research as also having humanitarian potential, saying “If we [can grow this compound] in crop plants have been bred for high yield . . . this could be a way of providing a sustainable nutrient-rich food source, particularly in need for Third World economies.”

If you could buy a sunscreen made from all-natural ingredients instead of the processed, chemical-ridden stuff sold by most companies, wouldn’t you? I know I would! Does the idea of putting coral or even algae on your skin sound too weird? Let us know what you think below.

If you’re interested in making your own all-natural sunscreen, see our last post.

DIY: All-Natural Sunscreen You Can Make at Home

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all managing to stay safe from the sun this summer without putting anything on your skin that could damage your body. Earlier today I found this video that offers an easy way to make natural sunscreen, with a recipe that you can tweak depending on how much protection you need.  While I’ve shared a number of skin-safe ways to prevent sun damage, it’s hard to beat the all-over protection you can get from natural sunscreen.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s the recipe for natural sunscreen:

84 gr / 6 tbsp of Coconut Oil

28 gr / 2 tbsp of other base oil of your choice (I recommend Jojoba)

28 gr / 2 tbsp of Zinc Oxide (oil-soluble powder form)

14 gr / 3 tsp of Shea Butter

8 gr / 2 tsp of Beeswax

Put all of the ingredients in a double boiler (a mason jar in a pot of water works nicely too) until completely melted, then use a stick blender until all the ingredients combine together and you’re ready to rub it on. Warning: the finished product will make your skin look a little white and pasty but the woman in the video swears by the stuff and uses it on her kids, so there must be something to it!

Burn Baby Burn: Do Spray-On Sunscreens Put You at Higher Risk of Burns Than The Sun?

Over the years, I’ve written many articles and blog posts about the dangers of sunscreen and the potential health threat some of them can inadvertently cause, but I just read a story that puts this concern about the hazards of sunscreen into a whole new perspective! A very unfortunate man in Massachusetts named Brett Sigworth suffered severe burns all over his chest and arms as a result of the spray-on sunscreen he used.

Credit: CBS Boston

After covering himself with Banana Boat spray-on sunscreen, the man walked over to his grill and in a heartbeat, turned into a human torch. Yikes! If you use spray-on sunscreens you probably know that a lot of them are made with alcohol so you might think this accident was the result of him not paying attention to the warning on the label. Apparently not. It seems the label on the bottle didn’t provide enough information about the health hazards of using the product near an open flame.

So how flammable is sunscreen? For most sunscreen, the answer is not very. Lotion sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun without risk of actually burning, but spray-on sunscreens do present a degree of danger. Most sprays, be they sunscreen or cooking oil, are aerosols, meaning that they use some form of flammable gas as a propellant. Normally, that flammable propellant dissipates very quickly after being sprayed and the user is left with non-flammable sunscreen on their body. In this case, Brett Sigworth must have approached his grill a little too soon after using the spray and paid too high a price for it.

While this is a tragic incident, I think it is also an opportunity for all of us to learn from someone else’s mistake. If you expect to grill over the summer, plan to attend a bonfire, or use a lighter for any reason, avoid spray-on sunscreens. It’s as simple as that, really. While the sunscreen that you rub on your skin isn’t always a great option, at least it won’t put you at risk of catching on fire! If you insist on using a spray variety, try to use one with a pump spray versus an aerosol and always be sure to wait a few minutes before approaching an open flame.

You can read more about this case over at CBS
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The FDA’s New Sunscreen Guidelines: Will They Really Help?

Whether you’re headed to the beach or just playing in the sun, you should always use some form of sun protection such as protective clothing or sunscreen. But the way you shop for sunscreen is changing; the Food and Drug Administration has rolled out new guidelines for the labels you find on sunscreens. While sunscreen manufacturers have until the winter to comply with these guidelines, some have already begun to offer products with new labels.

The new labeling is intended to make it easier for consumers to choose the right sunscreen by creating standards for sunscreen labels as well as encourage manufacturers to move in the direction of making more Broad Spectrum products. Under the new guidelines:

  • Only products that protect against both types of UV radiation (UVA and UVB) and have an SPF 15 or higher can be labeled as “Broad Spectrum” sunscreen. Broad spectrum products offer the best protection from UVB-induced sunburn as well as premature aging and skin cancer believed to be caused by UVA exposure.
  • Products that claim to be “water resistant” must clearly indicate on the front of the bottle how long a user can expect to receive the declared SPF level of protection while sweating or swimming. Only one of two times are permitted on the labels: either 40 or 80 minutes.
  • Manufacturers can no longer make claims that their sunscreens are “sweatproof” or “waterproof,” nor can they identify their products as “sunblocks.” They also cannot claim that their products offer “instant protection” or protection for more than two hours without being re-applied.

 

Click to view the FDA's video on new sunscreen regulations

 

You can learn more about UVA and UVB radiation here.

You can find the full FDA guidelines and more here .

Natural Sun Protection From The Inside Out: Four Foods For Peak Summer Months

If you’re still searching for natural ways to protect yourself from sun during these peak summer months, I’ve got some good news for you! Research around the world, from England  to Alabama, is showing that what you put into your body makes a huge difference in how resistant your skin is to sunburns and the other damage caused by UV exposure from the sun. Today I’ll be sharing with you some foods you can eat that will help protect your during these peak summer months. If you’re already eating these then more power to you. If you’re not, then adding these into the mix should be fairly easy. Happy munching …

Carrots

These crunchy veggies are like an orange magic wand for your body. You might already know that carrots are chock-full of beta-carotene, a substance that is touted for its effects on the eyes. What you might not know is that beta-carotene is also good for your skin. Beta-carotene turns into Vitamin A inside the body which is responsible for skin cell maintenance –it works to make new skin cells while also repairing cells that have been damaged. Don’t like carrots? Don’t worry, beta-carotene can be found in other orange veggies like squash and yams.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables are another one of those foods that can help your body in numerous ways. Some of you might already know that veggies like spinach and kale can improve digestion, but they can protect your skin too. According to the International Journal of Cancer these foods can reduce the risk of some forms of skin cancer by as much as fifty percent! While broccoli won’t offer the same level of protection that sunscreen would, it offers protection that won’t wash off while you swim. It’s easy to incorporate the benefits of broccoli for skin cancer protection, you just need to eat half a cup of the stuff every day. They go great in salads or with dips. Not a broccoli fan? Plenty of leafy greens to choose from, and all are nutrient-dense and beneficial.

Tomatoes

It’s no mere coincidence that tomatoes grow best in hot weather: we were meant to eat them in the summer. If you’re looking for another reason to buy or plant your own, consider this: the lycopene that gives tomatoes their beautiful red colors has been linked in a number of cases to lowered risk of being burned by the sun, most recently by the University of Michigan. Studies show that cooking makes it easier for lycopene to be transported in the blood, so if you want to get the most out of your tomatoes, add more tomato sauce or paste to your diet. And if you’re not a fan of them, you can opt for other red foods like papaya and watermelon.

Almonds

Is there anything this super food can’t do? Besides being a great addition to pretty much any diet, these nuts are packed full of Vitamin E which can help your skin in many ways. Vitamin E mainly serves to protect the surface of the skin, which is why it’s so useful for preventing sunburns. And if you do manage to get burned, the Vitamin E in these nuts boosts the effects of beta-carotene –which improves cell growth and regeneration– helping your burn heal faster.

Summer Sun Safety Update: The More Things Change The More They Stay The Same

Summer is in full swing and record temperatures throughout most of the country are undoubtedly making it tough to stay cool and comfortable for a lot of you. If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably spending as much time as you can at the beach in the hopes of catching the occasional ocean breeze while soaking up some sun. It goes without saying that all that extra beach time carries a hidden price tag when it comes to your skin!

sunscreen bottle at the beachI’ve never been a fan of sunscreens as the best or only solution to protecting yourself from sun damage –partly because of all the misleading marketing hype around these products, the notorious (but rarely discussed) unreliability of SPF ratings, and the over-use of synthetic chemicals that have been shown to be potentially toxic. If you’ve followed this blog or subscribe to my newsletter, you know I’ve written numerous articles and blog posts on the subject of sun safety, skin cancer and sunscreens in the past.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on the subject, because for a while there it seemed like nothing much had changed from one season to the next. I have been waiting to see how the new FDA rules might change things.

The new rules for sunscreens were announced last summer and just went into effect last month. While they represent progress in terms of better definition and accurate labeling of these products and have even prompted some manufacturers to re-formulate, by and large the biggest change is that most companies are just re-packaging to conform to the ne guidelines. And as is typical of industry, many companies are protesting certain aspects of the new guidelines and while they wait for a response continue to do things the same way. Namely, companies are protesting the new cap that the FDA has placed on the SPF ratings a product can have. Based on the new rules, the highest SPF rating a product can have is 50+.

There’s a good reason to cap the SPF at 50. SPF ratings higher than 50 are misleading and fool consumers into believing they are getting significantly more protection than they would from using a lower rated SPF, which simply isn’t true. Consider this: an SPF 15 absorbs 93.33% of UV rays, allowing 6.67% to get through while an SPF 30 absorbs 96.67% allowing 3.3% to pass through. What that means is a product rated SPF 30 provides only 4% more protection from the sun than one that has a rating of SPF15. As you’ve probably guessed by now, at SPF 50 you’ve pretty much maxed out on the amount of protection you can get. Any product with an SPF rating higher than 50 is just trying to trick you into thinking it’s better than all the other products out there. Pretty devious, eh?

To add insult to injury, many products are still producing products labeled with higher than 50 SPFs. I don’t know if this is arrogance (i.e. they think that they will prevail on the cap of 50 rule) or plain stupidity. Either way, it’s a sad sign that not a lot has changed so far.

I think it bears repeating that there are a number of different ways you can protect yourself and your skin from sun damage and potential skin cancer risks. Instead of relying on greedy self-serving manufacturers to protect yourself, learn about the other ways you can do this and of course, practice good common sense when it comes to spending time outdoors in the sun!

Natural Sun Safety Secrets to Help You Avoid the Burn this Summer

The heat is on … and it looks like this summer is shaping up to be another scorcher. Rising outdoor temperatures often means more time spent outdoors to beat the heat, and that means more potentially damaging exposure for your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

While that may sound scary enough to make you want to stay indoors in spite of the heat, the truth is your risk of sun damage is determined by many factors –some you may not even be aware of. These include your skin type, genetics, where you live (i.e. altitude and latitude), the amount and quality of fats in your diet, whether you take certain medications, the time of day and length of exposure, and the biggest predictor of all: how many times you got sunburned as a child and young adult.

How you use sunscreen (how much you apply to your skin, how often you re-apply, and the type) is another often overlooked factor that determines how well protected you are. Most of us look to sunscreen products to do the trick, but with all the new research emerging on the subject, it’s wise to consider some of the other ways you can protect yourself.

If this heat is driving you to spend more time in the sun than you’d like, here are some natural sun safety tips to help you protect your skin.

Diet Does Affect Your Skin

Like it or not, the health of your skin is directly affected by the quality of your diet. Eating the right foods can play a big role not only in the way your skin looks and feels, but also in your skin’s ability to resist and repair damage from the sun. The healthy Omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados, nuts, olive oil and fish will keep skin cell membranes strong and supple, while trans fats like hydrogenated oils found in processed foods, are unstable and breakdown under sun exposure into free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Antioxidants in leafy greens, berries and even supplements, can counteract and fight free radicals, which left unattended lead to premature aging of the skin and ultimately skin cancer. Your mileage may vary, but for maximum benefit, you should look to replace all unhealthy fats with healthier ones and add a healthy dose of antioxidants to your daily regimen.

Make the Sun Your Ally

While it’s true that spending too much time in the sun will damage your skin, that doesn’t mean you should avoid the sun all together. Exposure to the sun accounts for nearly 75% of the Vitamin D that your body produces and Vitamin D can make your skin more resistant to sunburns. That’s right: exposure to the sun can help prevent the damage it causes. But sunscreen that filters out UVB rays blocks your body’s ability to produce Vitamin D. Fifteen minutes a day of being in the sun (either prior to 10 AM or after 4 PM) without sunscreen is enough to satisfy your daily Vitamin D needs without getting a sunburn.

If you have fair skin you can still reap the benefits of Vitamin D by taking it as a supplement. A daily dose of 5,000 IU of Vitamin D during the weeks leading up to your vacation or planned time in the outdoors, should help repel the sun’s harsh rays. Whatever you do, do not be tempted to use a tanning bed instead! Your risk of skin cancer from this form of UV exposure is much higher then being in the sun.

Don’t Neglect Your Delicate Parts

Based on past experience, you probably already know how easy it is to get burned in those delicate little spots like your nose, ears, lips, neck, tops of shoulders, tops of your feet, and even your scalp. These are all areas that require a little more attention when you’re going out in the sun. While your best bet for protecting your scalp and even your ears and nose is a wide-brimmed hat, if you insist on going bare then you should apply some form of sun protection to your hair and scalp like a mixture of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide with a blend of plant oils like coconut, olive and/or jojoba.

And don’t forget your eyes! Not only can UV rays lead to premature wrinkles around the eyes, but they can also damage your cornea and promote cataracts or worse, macular degeneration. A good pair of UV-rated (i.e. UVA and UVB) sunglasses are essential to protecting your eyes. If you can find a wraparound-style, they will help protect your brows and temples too.

There’s no way to completely avoid the damage that comes from sun exposure. Your best protection comes from being wise and using all the ways available to you for that, instead of relying primarily on sunscreen to do the job. Here are some additional tips to help you stay sun safe in the dog days of summer:

  • Use a plant-based body oil made with coconut, jojoba, grape seed, rose hip seed, carrot and/or hemp seed oils as a pre-sun and after sun moisturizer. Research shows that moisturizers made with Vitamin E and C can help fight the free radicals produced by sun damage and these oils are naturally high in those vitamins.
  • Increase your intake of antioxidants through food and supplementation. Again, consuming foods that are high in Vitamins A (Beta Carotene), C and E can also help fight free radicals. One simple way to do this is to make a daily smoothie with a variety of berries –either fresh or frozen– or make a “green” smoothie with greens like kale, collards and spinach combined with fruits like banana and apple to sweeten them.
  • Avoid putting citrus essential oils directly on your skin when going out in the sun as some of them are photo-toxic and can increase your chances of getting burned.

Copyright 2009-2012 Dropwise Essentials

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Donya Fahmy, is a green business owner and the creator of Dropwise Essentials’ spa-quality aromatherapy body products that help you safely relieve stress, increase vitality, improve confidence, or simply manage your emotional state any time or place without popping a pill. For more free tips and valuable information visit www.dropwise.com and subscribe to the Dropwise Health & Beauty News Ezine or blog feed.

Seasonal Skin Care: Spring into Summer with a Healthy Glow No Matter Where You Go!

We all know the mantra for a basic skin care regimen: cleanse, exfoliate, tone and moisturize. Lather, rinse, repeat … At first glance, this seems simple enough and most of us follow it or some variation of it on a regular basis. The only problem is, as our environments change, so do our skin care needs. This usually becomes obvious with the change in seasons, but it can also happen when we travel to areas where the local climate differs considerably from the environment we normally find ourselves in.

In spite of this, it’s not unusual for most of us to follow essentially the same skin care routine all year-round. Whether its busy schedules that leave little time to adjust or a lack of knowledge of what to do, whatever the case may be, if you’re using the same routine year-round, you’re in a skin care rut! This virtually ensures that you’re not optimizing your skin’s health and appearance by addressing the seasonal skin care needs brought on by different weather conditions and climates.

Optimizing your seasonal skin care routine for any environment is not so much about using a completely different set of products for each season or climate change as it is about fine-tuning or tweaking your basic approach –emphasizing certain aspects over others to address your skin’s varying needs. If you know what those changing needs are then you will be well positioned to keep your skin in tip-top shape as you transition from one season to the next, or travel from one climate to another.

During the fall and winter months skin tends to be considerably drier requiring a special emphasis on moisturizing with less need for toning. At the same time you need to avoid conventional soaps and sulfate-based liquid and gel cleansers, or toners that are alcohol based – all of which strip the natural oils from your skin increasing dryness and contributing to a dull appearance.

Body and facial oils are more effective than lotions and creams in cold and extremely dry climates (like high altitudes and deserts) for hydrating skin and maintaining its elasticity. Use oils like jojoba, olive, high oleic safflower, sunflower, and coconut oils. In extreme conditions add more emollients like cocoa butter and/or shea butter, but avoid petroleum jelly and mineral oil based products at all costs. These products (known as “occlusives“) may provide the illusion of protection but will ultimately dry your skin out even more as they completely block moisture from getting in.

In contrast, warm and often wet spring-like weather calls for more exfoliation to slough off the dead skin cells that accumulate during winter and add a dull finish to your patina. The scrubbing action that comes with exfoliation stimulates circulation, which helps stimulate new skin cell growth. Always use gentle ingredients like ground flaxseed or almond meal, and avoid harsh ingredients like walnut shells or pumice stones that can damage sensitive skin. Even a loofah sponge or natural fiber sponge or washcloth can do the job.

As you shed your old skin for your new one, be sure to keep it moist and supple with a light moisturizer that you can use during the summer months without fear of promoting acne. This requires a lotion made with oils that are non-comedogenic and quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy film or residue. I highly recommend a lotion made with jojoba oil for this.

Continue to use light exfoliation during the hot and humid climate associated with the summer months, to minimize the breakouts that commonly come with increased perspiration. Use a mild toner made from witch hazel or hydrosol or a combination, and avoid toners made with SD Alcohol or containing propylene glycol. My favorite is a blend of lavender and peppermint hydrosol and lavender or calendula infused witch hazel, which can be very soothing and cooling. See our June 2009 blog post on how to make your own toner (this one works great for men AND women).

Of course the summer months require extra care as overexposure to the sun can seriously damage your skin. Use caution when going out into the sun and contrary to conventional wisdom, don’t overuse sunscreen as many of the chemicals used to make sunscreen can actually cause more harm than good. Limit your use of sunscreen for when you know you will be spending time in direct sunlight and for maximum UVA/UVB protection use a sunblock made from zinc or titanium dioxide. Increase your intake of Vitamin C as well as topical products containing Vitamin C during the summer months to counteract some of the damage.

Remember, to maintain a healthy glow no matter where you go, adjust your regimen to address seasonal skin care needs, but also follow these guidelines for year-round natural beauty from the inside-out:

  1. Drink plenty of purified water and herbal teas but avoid caffeinated and sweetened beverages
  2. Eat generous portions of antioxidant-rich leafy greens and fruit and other water-forming foods that help you stay hydrated
  3. Take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil or a fish oil supplement every day to ensure you get enough essential fatty acids
  4. Get plenty of exercise and make sure you get enough sleep


Copyright 2009-2012 Dropwise Essentials

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Donya Fahmy, is a green business owner and the creator of Dropwise Essentials’ spa-quality aromatherapy body products that help you safely relieve stress, increase vitality, improve confidence, or simply manage your emotional state any time or place without popping a pill. For more free tips and valuable information visit www.dropwise.com and subscribe to the Dropwise Health & Beauty News Ezine or blog feed.

Show Dad Some Love: 7 Skin Care Tips to Save His Skin

Ask any woman you know and she will tell you about the phenomenon of being in a car with her husband, father, brother, or other male driving, when it has become clear they were lost. Her first instinct was to roll down the window or pull into the nearest gas station and ask someone for directions. But whichever man was driving the car insisted he knew the way or could figure it out on his own and refused to stop and ask anyone for directions.

No one can explain this seemingly irrational behavior. You can call it vanity, sheer stubbornness, or maybe even cluelessness. Whatever it is, it does seem to be a uniquely male trait. So if you look at a person’s face as the outer roadmap to his or her inner health and well being, then its probably no surprise that this behavior or trait can often be reflected in the state of a man’s skin.

Most men tend to look at skin care or body care as the exclusive domain of women –at least until signs of aging or distress start to rear their ugly head. Waiting until there’s an obvious problem before acknowledging it, let alone taking proper action to address it, may be standard operating procedure when one is driving a car but when it comes to one’s health it can be downright reckless!

While it’s true that men face a different set of skin care challenges than women do, we all need to hydrate, moisturize, exfoliate, and protect our skin from the elements, and pay attention to the impact of our lifestyle choices on our skin and outer appearance.

If you want to give your dad some love this Father’s Day, show him how much you care by sharing these simple tips for maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance from the inside out.

  1. Maintain a good daily grooming regimen. Follow the four pillars of good skin care: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize. Pay close attention to how you shave as this is the source of most male skin trouble. For a smooth, close shave, always use hot water, a lubricating shave cream or plant-based oil, a razor with 3 blades and a swivel head, and finish up with a gentle, anti-inflammatory essential oil based moisturizer.

  2. Stop smoking. Aside from all the obvious reasons for not smoking, nothing adds wrinkles to your face faster than constant exposure to cigarette smoke. Smoking causes blood vessels in the top layers of the skin to constrict, which reduces oxygen levels in the blood and reduces collagen in the skin.

  3. Stay hydrated. Drinking fluids is one of the keys to retaining moisture and maintaining the elasticity of your skin. It’s easy to get dehydrated without knowing it –especially in the heat of summer. Be sure to consume plenty of distilled or purified water, and herbal teas. Avoid carbonated beverages with added sweeteners and go easy on the salt, alcohol and caffeine, all of which can affect your appearance.

  4. Increase your intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Found in flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocados, these play a critical role in skin health (not to mention your hair and nails) by helping your body form healthy cell membranes that can hold more water inside the cells. The more water held in your cells, the better hydrated your skin is.

  5. Increase your intake of antioxidants through food and supplements. Eat more tomatoes or tomato sauce for the Lycopene; eggs for Lutein (which is found in the yolk), and blueberries for other valuable phyto-nutrients. Supplement with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), which neutralizes free radicals in the body and promotes healthy cell function, and Beta Carotene whose regular consumption can help protect skin from sun damage.

  6. Improve circulation and blood flow to the skin. Get a massage, facial, or do 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. Use a loofah or a gentle natural fiber brush to brush your skin while showering. Sprinkle a couple of drops of Rosemary or Eucalyptus essential oils (EOs) onto the bottom of your tub or shower stall before turning on the hot water, then inhale deeply as you shower.

  7. Manage your stress and get a good night’s sleep. Stress is one of the major causes of illness and one of the first places it shows is in our appearance. If left unchecked it can lead to a boomerang effect of insomnia and the inability to properly metabolize nutrients. All of these things take a toll on the skin and lead to dark circles under the eyes, dry skin or worse.

You only have one skin so take good care of it!

Copyright 2011 Dropwise Essentials

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Donya Fahmy, is a green business owner and the creator of Dropwise Essentials’ spa-quality aromatherapy body products that help you safely relieve stress, increase vitality, improve confidence, or simply manage your emotional state any time or place without popping a pill. For more free tips and valuable information visit www.dropwise.com and subscribe to the Dropwise Health & Beauty News Ezine or blog feed.