Summer Skin Health: From the Inside Out
Nature Cures Clinic Nutritional Therapist
We’re deep in the heart of summer and after days of berry picking, hanging out at the river, hiking in the mountains and being outside in the heat your skin may need some attention. In the Spring we focus on preparing the skin for months ahead by doing our “spring cleaning” and ridding our systems of toxins as well as increasing our essential fatty acids to help protect our skin from over-exposure to the sun. Now it’s time to help our skin regain that spring glow through the last months of hot weather.
For all of us, dry skin is a natural process and we are meant to shed a layer of skin every day. We slather on lotions and potions to “temporarily” relieve us of the chalky look and feel of dead skin cells. At the least, the ingredients in these products can clog pores and create skin problems, but sometimes they can cause real health concerns. For true solutions to skin renewal I think it’s best to go back to Mother Nature.
The skin is a major organ and as such performs more functions than simply “looking good” for us. Our skin plays an important role in eliminating toxins from our system. If our liver is not functioning as effectively as it should be as our major purifying organ – accounting for nearly 2/3 or our elimination processes – than the other purification systems including our skin, lungs, kidneys, lymph and intestines will work harder to aid their over-taxed counterpart.
With this in mind, it’s important to keep your elimination pathways open and efficient. A daily way to support this system is to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and getting lots of good fiber to help clear the bowels. Summer is the perfect time of year for this with all the fresh vegetables and fruits so abundant at the farmer’s markets around town. Increase your intake of fruits and veggies to 10 servings a day. Besides the fiber, you’ll gain the added benefit of extra anti-oxidants scavenging your system for cell-damaging free radicals. Your daily intake of water should equal ½ your body weight in ounces every day. If you’re consuming coffee, sodas and alcohol – which tend to increase in the summer months – you’ll need to add in extra water to account for the diuretic action of these beverages.
Another important daily de-tox is through movement. Exercise is the best way to clear the lymph and lungs of accumulated toxins. Unlike our blood that is moved vigorously throughout our body each day with the help of a pump (the heart), our lymph has no pump and can become bogged down like a slow-moving river without the aid of exercise to keep it flowing. And, when we sweat we are releasing toxins as well.
So when you’re looking for that miracle cream on the beauty aisle or the make-up counter, remember that the most effective path to anti-aging starts on from within. Oil your skin from the inside out by adding in walnut, avocado, coconut and olive oils to your daily diet. Increase your fiber by eating plenty of raw veggies and fruits. Make sure you’re well hydrated and getting good exercise throughout the day. Treat yourself to a massage, a salt and soda alkalizing bath and dry skin brush to loosen and slough off the dull dead skin cells. Optimal internal health is your key to healthy skin.
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