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Natural Skin Care Newsletter: December 2009 Issue
Welcome to the December 2009 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter. Once again we find ourselves looking at the end of one year with a new one just around the corner, how times flies when you're having fun. Well, before we great the New Year, there's Christmas first and all the fun that comes along with the festive season.
With Christmas less then 6 weeks away, Susan and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy, relaxing and safe festive season. Merry Christmas to all!!!
As usual we have included several articles, news and information on natural skincare and alternative health. Kitty makes her usual contribution after her break from writing.
We hope you'll enjoy this issue of our newsletter.
Natural Skin Care in your 20's, 30's, 40's and beyond
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Acupuncture: What it is, how it works and what you can expect
(by Susan & Danny Siegenthaler)
About An Ingredient of Interest: Papaya Fruit Extract
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Kitty's Corner - Christmas Tradition...
(by Kitty the Cat)
Newsletter - December 2009
Invest some time and care today and your skin will thank and reward you tomorrow!
These days it seems everyone wants to have younger looking skin. Unfortunately, even the most expensive skin care products, with all their claims of 'reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles', can't turn back the years. However, don't despair! There are steps that we can all take to make sure our skin looks healthy and vibrant and stays wrinkle-free for longer. All we've got to do is invest some time and care in looking after it.
It is important to understand the basic function of our skin in order to look after it properly. The skin is our body’s largest organ and comprises three major layers:
Aging of the skin
There are several factors influencing how quickly our skin will age, ranging from genetic factors, your natural skin type, as well as external factors such as exposure to sunlight, environmental factors and whether you smoke or not. In general, pale skins wrinkle faster than darker skins, which are protected by increased amounts of pigment and lipids.
Another vital factor is, of course, our age. Our skin looks and functions very differently at 20 as opposed to when we are 60.
Below is a skin care plan of how to look after your skin as the decades go by and how to adapt your skin care regime accordingly.
Looking after your skin in your 20s
Your 20s is a great time for your skin. You've left behind the adolescence acne and your skin has a healthy, radiant, youthful glow and the epidermis is firm and well toned.
However, this is not the time to be complacent. In your 20s skin cell renewal drops by up to 28 per cent, dead skin cells are not as easily shed and external factors are starting to have a greater impact, leaving your skin slightly duller. For these reasons, it's a good idea to use an exfoliant regularly to remove the old cells and stimulate the regrowth of new ones.
According to dermatologists, 80 per cent of all aging can be directly related to exposure to sunlight. Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid the mid-day sun, or if you have to be out in the heat of the day (especially in countries like Australia), than cover up. Penetrating UVA rays will start to damage collagen fibres and elastin coils in your skin. Make sure you use a good quality, natural moisturiser before and after you've been out in the sun. This will keep up nutrients levels in your skin and protect it to some degree from loss of moisture.
Smoking is one factor you can control and now would be a good time to quite. Smoking inhibits oxygen getting to the outer layer of your skin and has a premature aging effect. In addition, smoking can cause fine lines around the mouth over the years and this is to be avoided – if you want to keep your good looks. If you do smoke, make sure you have a good exercise regime which promotes cardio-vascular fitness. This will to some extent counteract the reduction of peripheral circulation caused from smoking.
Looking after your skin in your 30s
By the time you get to your 30s skin cell turnover has slowed even more. Environmental damage from pollution, smoke and sunlight are starting to take their toll on the dermis, causing collagen fibres to loosen so that skin starts to loose its tone and develop fine lines and wrinkles. When you smile, subcutaneous fat forms ridges and refuse to bounce back as readily as it once did. Your first wrinkles may start to appear.
By now you should have established a daily skincare regime that involves exfoliating (two or three times a week), cleansing, toning, moisturising, and sun protection for your skin. If you haven't, don't wait andy longer. You should seriously think about using a natural skin care system for your daily skin care regime.
In your 30s, it's important to maintain a balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and fish, which are high in antioxidants such as Vitamins A, B, C and E. These Vitamins counteract free radicals in your body that help the skin to repair itself, produce the enzymes that stabilise collagen production, and stay moist and healthy. For further protection, try using a day crème, such as one that contains vitamin E, for example: Wildcrafted’s Age Defying Essence. Remember too that the less processed your food is, the better it is for you. Fresh is absolutely best.
Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation as it deprives your skin of vital nutrients, dehydrates the skin and may cause your facial blood vessels to become dilated leading to permanent, red ‘spider veins’ on your cheeks and in men often across the nose.
Maintaining well hydrated tissues by drinking plenty of water each and every day (3 litres a day is not at all excessive) is vital to retain moisture in your skin. When ever possible, use filtered water to avoid the intake of chlorine and other chemical impurities such as rust from the pips etc.
In addition, you should ensure that you get enough quality sleep. Eight hours is considered 'enough'. Research in the UK has shown that sleeping less than eight hours per night actually reduces your IQ. Sleep is also the time when the body undertakes its own repairs, so give it what it needs and you will feel the better for it.
Looking after your skin in your 40s
In your 40s, collagen fibres decrease in number, stiffen, break apart, and form into a shapeless, matted tangle. Elastic fibres lose some of their elasticity, thicken into clumps, and fray.
The result is the skin forms crevices and furrows known as lines and wrinkles. In addition, loss of fat in the subcutaneous layer leaves your skin more fragile, whereas the dermis will continue to lose its elasticity.
A rich nourishing night crème, such as Wildcrafted’s Rejuvenating Night Crème, becomes a vital part of your skin care regime and should be used every night.
During your 40s the stratum corneum (the outer layer of the epidermis) starts to grow even thicker, as dead skin cells hang around for longer. If you are not already using an exfoliant regularly, now is a good time to get into the habit of exfoliating your skin regularly using a facial scrub 2-3 times a week.
You should also use a moisturising cream containing Rose oil, Jojoba oil or similar, as these contain natural AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) which help to remove dead skin cells. It's important that you use natural products that do not use concentrates of AHA's in them. Many products profess to be 'natural', but actually use concentrated extracts of AHA's and not an holistic approach
As deeper wrinkles start to form, you may wish to use a complete skin care system, which systematically helps you to nourish and moisturise your skin on all levels. Choose natural skin care products for your daily skin care regime, as you do not want to introduce unnecessary toxins into your system by using products full of unpronounceable chemicals. Quality natural skin care systems, such as Wildcrafted’s range of natural skin care systems should be matched to your specific skin type.
Looking after your skin in your 50s and above
As we reach our 50s and beyond, the hair and nails grow more slowly. Langerhans cells (involved in the immune response, dwindle in number, thus decreasing the immune responsiveness of older skin. Decreased size of sebaceous (oil) glands leads to dry and broken skin that is more susceptible to infection.
In women, after the menopause, decreased oestrogen levels mean that skin lose its plumpness and tone, and it may be left dry, itchy and more sensitive to allergens.
At this stage in your life it is important to take that extra care of your skin’s health. Mature skin is more fragile, prone to injury and infection and bruises easily. As if this was not bad enough, it also takes longer to heal. Taking care of your skin will reduce the aging effect; keep it healthier as well as more resistant to injury and infections. Remember, a face that has a lived in look is much more attractive than a Botox face and character is much more beauty.
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You might think that these two seasons are completely different and would require a different sun protection regime, however, you may well find that by the end of this article you’ll see that the two are not so different and have many basic rules in common.
During summer, we all know by now that because of the reduced ozone layer more harmful UV radiation reaches the earth’s surface. As a result, sunburn is more common and can be more sever. We also know that accelerated ageing of the skin has been linked to UV radiation damaging the skin.
Okay, we know all that, so we use a sunscreen (hopefully not one of those that have been shown to cause skin problems such as the ones that have been linked to cancer), to cover up during the hottest part of the day, ware a big hat and generally try to stay out of the sun.
Surely, Winter is the time to go out and play… Yes, and so is summer, but you have to be sun-smart even in winter. In countries where there is snow on the ground the reflection of the UV radiation off the snow is very similar to that reflected off the surface of the water, say when going to the beach (or lake), go swimming or boating during Summer.
Now obviously the dress code in Winter is different to Summer and when it is very cold in Winter, most people cover up with only the facial skin exposed to the elements. Fine, so protecting the facial skin becomes the crucial aspect of your sun-protection regime during Winter.
Problems associated with excessive or over-exposure to sun light:
There is quite a list of problems that can result from over-exposure to sunlight. The problems range from short to long term and they vary in severity from mild sunburn to malignant skin cancers that are potentially deadly.
Mild sunburn is not a major problem. The pain can be eased by using Aloe vera and Lavender, and should not last more than a day or so. However, repeated sunburn will cause skin damage and premature ageing of the skin is usually the long term result. However, with increased severity of sunburn and increased frequency, developing skin cancers or skin tumours becomes a real possibility.
Skin cancers vary in severity and range from benign skin growths which can easily be removed to potentially fatal skin cancers that can spread to other parts of the body and may result in death. Not a price one should be willing to pay for a tan...
The skin is not the only organ that can suffer from over-exposure to the sun. The eyes are also susceptible to the sun's rays and may get damaged if not protected. Cataract, macular degeneration and other eye disorders are common results of over-exposure to the sun's radiation. While it is unlikely to loose one's eyesight as a direct result, there is always the possibility of complications that may end up in reduced or loss of eyesight.
Snow, water and even sand are highly reflective surfaces and on bright sunny days they multiply the effects of radiation. That is, even if you are sitting in the shade on a beach, the reflected radiation off the water and sand has the potential to cause serious sun burn and damage to your skin. It is therefore very important to a) be aware of this and b) take preventative measures.
Protecting the Skin
UVA rays constitute 90-95% of the ultraviolet light reaching the earth. They have a relatively long wavelength (320-400 nm) and are not absorbed by the ozone layer. UVA light penetrates the furthest into the skin and is involved in the initial stages of sun tanning. UVA tends to suppress the immune function and is implicated in premature aging of the skin. UVB rays are partially absorbed by the ozone layer and have a medium wavelength (290-320 nm). They do not penetrate the skin as far as the UVA rays do, but are the primary cause of sunburn. They are also responsible for most of the tissue damage which results in wrinkles and aging of the skin and are implicated in cataract formation.
The most effective and safest way to protect your skin is to use physical UV blockers. Zinc Oxide in particular is a safe and effective sunscreen/sunblock with no known health risks associated with it. The absolute safety of Titanium Dioxide is still undetermined, though generally regarded as safe. No other chemical sunscreens, such as Avobenzone, Cinnamates, Octocrylene, or Oxybenzone, can protect as effectively and safely as these physical UV-blockers.
In addition using a good quality, natural moisturising cream before during and after exposing the skin to the sun is another great way to reduce the harmful effects of the sun without exposing your body to nasty chemicals. The anti-oxidants in our range of day cream moisturisers assist in reducing the free radical formation due to sun exposure.
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What is Acupuncture?
The practice of Acupuncture originated in China some 5000 years ago. No one is quite certain of how it was discovered, however, if you’ve ever had a headache and ended up rubbing your temples and found that doing so relieved the pain to an extent, that is probably how the various points and their functions where discovered originally.
Today scientific instruments are sensitive enough to actually read an electromagnetic difference between regions on your skin that sit over an Acupuncture Point and others that do not.
How does Acupuncture Work?
On average 6-8 Acupuncture points are chosen and these can be located anywhere on the body, they are not necessarily situated at the site of pain or where the affected organ is located.
For example, if you suffer from an acute headache, it is most likely that points located on the hands and feet will be used. These points have strong effects on the energy that reaches the head and are thus very effective in treating headaches (both acute and chronic).
What to expect
As everyone is different, no-one will receive exactly the same type of treatment. And everyone will respond in different ways.
Below are some typical ways in which a condition may respond.
It can be frustrating for both the patient and the practitioner seemingly not to get any results for an extended period of time.
On the other hand, it is very gratifying to get good sustained results from the first or second treatment onwards.
In the Graph to the right, there are a number of lines, that indicate the rate of improvement. The blue line is the ‘ideal’ type of treatment progress, however, this type of response does not occur very often.
More often, the response rates tend to follow the green (type 4) or the red (type 2) line. The rate of response, assuming the patient has been diagnosed correctly and an appropriate treatment regime has been implemented, will vary depending on the constitution of the patient, their age, the length of time the problem has been an issue and several other factors.
The type of response can not be predicted, as every person is different and will respond differently. Some people respond very quickly others don't. Mostly patients will start to feel a change in their general feeling of well being after 2 or 3 treatments. Usually these are subtle changes. Over time this feeling of well being grows stronger and symptoms that have been a major problem tend to lessen, while others tend to become more predominant.
This is a sign that the condition is 'unravelling' and that the body is starting to repair itself. After 8-12 weeks of treatment (in the case of a chronic longer term disorder), the patient will usually feel significant improvements taking place and their over-all sense of well being will be considerably improved.
On occasions, symptoms can get worse to start off with, but soon take a turn for the better. Usually there is very rapid improvement, once the symptoms start to improve.
It must be said, however, that no system of therapy/medicine is fool proof and that not every single patient will have a happy outcome. Sometimes a condition just will not respond to treatment. Luckily this is not often the case and over 80% of patients report improvement if not total relief of their health problem.
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The latex, found in the skin and stems, has been used to remove freckles and the leaves, used as a soap substitute, are supposed to remove stains.
Uses in Natural Skin Care Products
Uses in Traditional Herbal Medicine:
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Susan and I hope you've enjoyed the articles and information provided in our Newsletter and look forward to any comments and feedback you may have. We'd also like to encourage all of you to suggest topics you would like to see us cover.
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2009
Hello to you all, and a hearty Miau.
I've had a bit of a rest (read: writer's block), but thought this month I'd present a nice humorous look at an old tradition...
Santa's Bad Day - The Birth of a Tradition
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