Healthy Skin, Naturally
The healthier your skin, the less you are prone to diseases!
Healthy skin, naturally, happens internally. Our body produces the chemicals and compounds necessary to maintain the integrity of our skin. When we experience dryness it’s often the result of a deficiency from within the stratum corneum (skin’s outer barrier / intracellular matrix) and external factors that aggravate it such as detergents, alcohol, smoke, pollution, and too much sun (especially when using conventional sunscreen). Damaged skin results in loss of water, which not only makes our skin flaky and rough, it also increases our susceptibility to environmental factors. No matter how much water you drink or apply topically, your skin will not hold on to it because it’s damaged. Healthy skin is skin that is adequately hydrated so that it can perform its 4 key functions: 1) maintain plasticity and suppleness 2) prevent water-loss 3) protect from harmful external elements, and 4) allow absorption of nutrients. Healthy skin has enough ceramides to help maintain skin barrier function and water retention. Ceramides are a type of lipid that can be obtained from wheat, rice, millet, soy, dairy, eggs, and spinach. Healthy skin also has a good supply of Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF)— a concoction of many components including inorganic salts (chlorides, phosphates, and citrates of sodium PCA, potassium, calcium, and magnesium), ions, glycerol, urea, amino acids. NMF helps draw and bind water from the atmosphere and bring it into the skin cell where the water is held. The coolest thing is that in turn, this water dissolves the NMF, causing an ionic interaction with the keratin fibers also found in our cells. And THIS, my friends, is what increases the elasticity of our stratum corneum--the outer layer of our skin. What does this mean? It means that your skin won't flake or crack! It is therefore important to understand that obtaining healthy skin starts, not with moisturizing with water-based products—at least not until your skin is healthy enough to RETAIN moisture—but by feeding your skin foods that will improve its ability to retain moisture. Our bodies are truly fabulous! When there are deficiencies though, it’s up to us to help it wisely! Next week I will write about what it is that we need to do exactly this. So stay tuned! Source:1) Understanding the Role of Natural Moisturizing Factor in Skin Hydration, by Joseph Fowler, MD, FAAD
2) Natural moisturizing factors (NMF) in the stratum corneum (SC). I. Effects of lipid extraction and soaking, by Robinson M1, Visscher M, Laruffa A, Wickett R.3) New Dietary Ingredient Notification: For Phyto-Derived Ceramides, submitted by Ronald G. Udell, President Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. 4) Phytoceramides | Facelift In A Bottle? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdrRdh_5M2E
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