Natural Skin Care - Newsletter brought to you by Wildcrafted Herbal Products

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Health Wellness & LifeStyle

natural skin care products

Natural Skin Care - Newsletter for July 2004

natural skin care products

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What is your Skin Type?

Importance of Skin Care

Welcome to the July addition of our Newsletter,

     We hope you enjoyed the last newsletter and got something out of it that will help you keep your skin looking beautiful.

     This month I have included some information on what should NOT be in your skin care products, and is certainly not in any of ours. The information is very lengthy and so I've made it an additional document you can view by clicking on: " What should not be in your natural skin care products ". I think you will find it facinating reading (well, if your into that sort of thing..).

You have probably heard of it, you may even have used it, but do you know what Jojoba Oils is?

Jojoba Oil - A Wonder for the Skin

     The Egyptian, the Babylonians, the Arabian, the Aztec Civilization and others used the Jojoba Oil with it's seemingly Divine Power to heal the skin and beautify the body. The Harem of the Khalif of Baghdad used the Jojoba Oil Ancient Formula to energize their skin, to reflect their sensuality, and to offer freshness and longevity to their face and hair. The more I learned about Jojoba oil application and medical remedies the more I was convinced of its true name the "Divine Bush". 

     Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the crushed bean of the jojoba shrub ( Simmondsia chinensis ). The jojoba shrub is native to the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and neighboring regions in Arizona and southern California. Native Americans have used jojoba for hundreds of years. In the 1700s, Father Junipero Serra, the founder of 21 California missions, noted in his diary that the Native Americans were using the oil and the seeds for many different purposes: for treating sores, cuts, bruises, and burns; as a diet supplement and as an appetite suppressant when food was not available; as a skin conditioner, for soothing windburn and sunburn; as a cooking oil; as a hair or scalp treatment and hair restorative; and as a coffee-like beverage by roasting the seeds.

     Jojoba oil has many uses in a wide variety of industries. As a cosmetic, it is an effective cleanser, conditioner, moisturiser, and softener for the skin and hair. It is applied directly to the skin to soften the skin, to reduce wrinkles and stretch marks, to lighten and help heal scars, and to promote healthy scalp and hair. The potential therapeutic uses of jojoba oil include the treatment of acne, cold sores, and such skin diseases as psoriasis.  - So now you know. This little bush sure packs a punch!

     Last Month we looked at natural skin care and the basic steps you need to take to maximise your health of your skin. This month we'll give you a decade by decade 'program' that will provide useful information regardless of how old / young you are (remember you're only as old as you think you are - it's true!!!)

How to keep your skin looking great!

Invest some time and care

     Everyone wants to have younger looking skin. Unfortunately, even the most expensive face-creams, 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.

     In order to look after our skin properly, first we need to understand it. Our body's largest organ is made up of three layers. The outer epidermis comprises pigment cells, the 'horny' stratum corneum surface layer, which is made up of flat, dead skin cells, and the basal layer where new cells are generated and travel upwards. The middle dermis layer contains blood vessels, nerves, oil glands, collagen fibres and elastin. The inner subcutaneous layer contains blood vessels, hair follicles and fat cells.

     There are a number of reasons that determine how quickly our skin ages 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 is very different at 20 to how it is when we are 70. Because of this, we've put together an action plan for how to look after your skin dependent on your age. Here's our decade-by-decade skin plan.

Looking after your skin in your 20s

     Your 20s is a great time for your skin. You've left behind the spots of adolescence, but your skin retains a youthful glow and the epidermis is still plump and dewy. Nevertheless, you shouldn't be too complacent. In your 20s cell renewal plummets by up to 28 per cent. Dead skins cells are shed less well, leading to slightly duller-looking skin. And it's a good idea to get into the habit of staying out of 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. Dermatologists say up to 80 per cent of all aging may be due to exposure to sunlight. Penetrative UVA rays will already start to take the bounce out of collagen fibres and elastin coils in the dermis.

     Now is also a good time to give up the cigarettes. Smoking stops oxygen getting to your skin cells and can cause premature aging, not to mention 'puckering' lines round the mouth in years to come. Also, avoid getting into a habit of yo-yo dieting, another contributing factor to premature wrinkling - over-stretched skin is baggier skin.

Looking after your skin in your 30s

     By your 30s cell turnover has become slower still. Environmental damage including pollution, smoke and sunlight have begun to take their toll on the dermis, causing collagen fibres to loosen so that skin starts to 'sag'. 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 cleansing, moisturising and protecting your skin from the sun (if you missed last months newsletter where we discussed those steps, click here ). In your 30s, it's important to maintain a balanced diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, B, C and E, which fight off free radicals in the environment (unstable molecules that attack cells in our bodies and speed up aging). Together these vitamins will help the skin repair itself, produce the enzymes that stabilise collagen production, and stay moist and healthy. For further protection, try using a day creme, such as one that contains vitamin E, eg: Age Defying Essence .

     While there's nothing wrong with a drink now and again, it's also a good idea to cut down on excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking not only robs the skin of vital nutrients, it also causes facial blood vessels to dilate. If you're not careful, these may dilate permanently, leading to red 'spider veins' - also a general age-related problem, caused by weakened collagen supporting capillary walls less well.

     In general, keep drinking plenty of water (3 litres a day is not at all excessive) in order to retain further moisture in your skin. Make sure you're getting enough sleep - we all know how much a few restorative good night's sleep improves our complexion. And use a vitamin packed night cream - research indicates that the temperature of skin rises at night, so that nutrients are better absorbed.

Looking after your skin in your 40s

     Sebum production plummets in your 40s, which is great if you have oily skin - but also means you'll need an extra good moisturiser to replenish moisture loss. Loss of fat in the subcutaneous layer leaves your skin more fragile, whereas the dermis will continue to lose its elasticity.

     During this time the stratum corneum starts to grow even thicker, as dead skin cells hang around for longer. If you haven't already, it's a good idea to get into the habit of exfoliating regularly, using a facial scrub - but don't go overboard. You could also try using a cream containing Rose oil , Jojoba oil or similar. Remember too: the older your skin is, the thinner it gets.

     As deeper wrinkles start to form, you may wish to use a complete skin care system , which systematically helps you to nurish and moisturise your skin on all levels. Most effective are Retinova (Tretinoin) which are available only on prescription. These creams can help to reduce the signs of fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

Looking after your skin in your 50s and above

     When you reach your 50s, pigment cells or melamolytes, while fewer in number, often clump together, forming brown 'age' spots. Sebum production shrinks further, the stratum corneum continues to thicken and collagen gets more fibrous. 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.

    Take extra care with your skin at this stage in life. Mature skin is not only much more fragile, it's physically less sensitive too, and, therefore, more vulnerable to bruising and tearing. On top of this, it takes far longer to heal itself. Fragile blood vessels are easily broken, and warts and other skin growths become more prevalent in your 50s. But don't despair. By taking a little care, there's no reason why your skin shouldn't remain clear and healthy. And remember - there's nothing wrong with a few lines. A lived-in face has as much character and beauty as a youthful one.

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