Your Skin – Are You Creating an Asset or a Liability?
by: Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
Your skin can be one of your greatest assets or become an expensive liability. It’s all in the way you treat it.
We hear a lot these days about skin care, skin care for the Metrosexual-man, anti-aging skin care, anti-wrinkle cremes, and so on. But what is skin care really?
Skincare consists of Skin and Care – obvious really, but let’s look at exactly what that term means. Anything that is taken good care of will look, last and function better for longer, and retain its value.
Maybe we should think about skin care in terms of ‘Skin maintenance’, because there are several factors, which constitute good skin care. Consider that your skin is involved in both absorption as well as elimination of chemicals; does it not stand to reason that the healthier your skin is, the better it will be able to fulfil these functions?
Most people think of skin care as keeping your skin clean and if it gets dry, use a moisturiser and that’s that. Well, it’s a start, but far from constituting skin care or maintenance of skin function
Information on exfoliation, cleansing, toning and moisturising is readily available ( Article ), and both men and women of all ages should follow these basic skin care concepts. However, as we become older, the type of maintenance needs to change and the skin care regime that is relevant in your 20’s is different as we move through our 30’s, 40’s and beyond ( Article ).
Your skin is a valuable asset. Treat it well, and you will reap the rewards, treat it badly and it could ultimately kill you!
Skin cancer is a growing concern in the health industry. As the Ozone layer is under ever increasing pressure and indeed thinning over some parts of the World, UV radiation is reaching the Earth’s surface in greater concentration and this is not only having a detrimental effect on our climate and ecosystems, but also affects each and every one of us directly.
UV rays have been shown to cause skin cancer. Getting sunburn is now accepted as a leading cause for skin cancer and guarding against it is not quite as simple as staying out of the sun.
Maintaining a good skin care regime is now more important than ever, and consists of several important parts: 1. Eating a well balanced, healthy diet which consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, grains and if you choose good quality meat, is paramount to supplying your skin with the nutrition it needs to function at its optimal level. 2. Water – you cannot under estimate the body’s need for being well hydrated. Medial research shows that your body requires at least 2-3 litres of water per day to maintain its functions.
Dehydration is not as obvious as one might think and can be chronic with few or no symptoms. If you are physically active, you will need to drink even more that 3 litres per day. 3. Exercise – Now you do not have to be a ‘Gym-Junky’, but being unfit will have consequences that you will ultimately not appreciate; go for a walk 3-4 times a week; use the stairs not the elevator; park the car further away from the office or the shops; join a walking club; ride a bike; play tennis, golf or another sport that gets your body moving – you don’t have to be an Olympic champion you know, but get moving and have fun.
Finally, there is one more important consideration in the maintenance of your skin – should you use natural skin care products or will any products do?
The answer is NATURAL, naturally. Think about it from this point of view: When you buy food, do you look for ‘no artificial colouring’, ‘no artificial flavours’, ‘contains not GMO’s’, etc., or don’t you care?
What about your drinks, do you not look for 100% natural, low in salt, no artificial this or that, no added sugar, etc. Of course you do. Well, your skin does absorb nutrients whether they are natural or not; it will absorb these chemicals into the tissue and it will then be able to use them, or not. Natural substances are much more easily assimilated in your body and are also more easily eliminated, once they’ve performed their functions.
As scientific research is becoming more sophisticated we are discovering more and more information on how our body works, how foods interact in our systems and how some foods contain substances which are not able to be made synthetically – well, the same of course stands true for plants. Phyto-estrogens are just one example of naturally occurring substances essential to the wellbeing of our bodies. Similarly, herbal extracts, essential oils, fruit extracts, etc. all contain naturally occurring chemicals, which science is not able to make synthetically due to their complexity.
This means, that the synthetic version of a plant extract (often in concentrated forms) is not the same as the natural version and can in fact have different and even side effects on your body. An old, but good example is Aspirin. We are all aware by now, that Aspirin can cause stomach irritation and even lead to stomach ulcers.
The active ingredient in Aspirin is salicylic acid. It naturally occurs in the bark of the White Willow tree. The big difference between taking Aspirin as opposed to the herbal extract of the White Willow bark, is that in the herbal extract there are many more substances contained which have secondary effects – one substance for example is a mucilaginous substance, which has the function of protecting your stomach lining! Guess what, there is nothing in Aspirin (from the chemist) that acts to protect your stomach – That’s the difference between using natural versus artificially manufactured substances.
So, the choice is yours, natural or not, it’s your asset and it is up to you to choose whether you will invest in your asset or withdraw from it.
About The Author
Danny is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and has many years of clinical experience both here in Australia and overseas. Susan is a medical herbalist and together they have over 40 years of practical day-to-day experience in clinical practice.
Wildcrafted Herbal Products grew from a clinical need of pure, Natural Skin Care Products (http://www.wildcrafted.com.au) for patients which were unable to make use of other commercially available skin care products.
Join our Natural Skin Care Newsletter (http://www.wildcrafted.com.au/Natural Skin Care Newslett.html) for interesting articels on Natural Skin Care, Alternative medicine, Aromatherapy and much, much more.
This article was posted on December 27, 2004