Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your skin is your “largest organ” because it just doesn’t seem like an “organ.” Typically we think of organs as heart, liver, kidneys, etc. Ninety five percent of the cells in the epidermis (top layer of skin) work to make new cells and five percent of the cells make melanin, which gives skin its color. In fact, though you can’t see it happening, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin to make room for the new skin cells. As we age, dead skin cells don’t shed as quickly and turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly.
So, what does this have to do with beautiful skin? Pretty much everything. Young skin is considered beautiful skin, which is why the market for anti-aging products for appearance enhancement in the United States is expected to be more than $5.0 billion by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Here are a few tips for beautiful skin on the outside, with many of them starting on the inside:
• Certain vitamins can help improve skin health. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology has reported that researchers saw a reduction of factors linked to DNA damage within skin cells of people who take vitamins C and E, leading them to conclude that antioxidant vitamins help protect against DNA damage. For vitamin C, eat citrus fruit and vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower and leafy greens.
• Take the vitamin E you’ve never heard of – tocotrienol. Vitamin E is actually a group of eight nutrients, four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. The vitamin E you can buy at the store is usually only the alpha-tocopherol. Tocotrienols have more antioxidant activity than tocopherols and are anti-inflammatory, which has an effect on your skin as well as your “insides.” Look for supplements that list tocotrienol on the label.
• Make a mask using “Mother Nature’s skin softener” (coconut oil) and “Mother Nature’s skin moisturizer” (avocado). About once a week, mash half of a ripe avocado in a bowl and add in a half teaspoon of raw, organic coconut oil (either in its solid or liquid state). Apply a thin layer to face, neck, chest and hands. Leave on for ten minutes. Wash off very thoroughly and pat dry.
• Make zinc your new best friend. This trace mineral helps maintain collagen and elastin fibers that give skin its firmness, helping to prevent sagging and wrinkles. It also links together amino acids that are needed for the formation of collagen. Best sources of zinc include turkey, pork, seafood and mushrooms.
• The yolk’s on you if you don’t eat the whole egg. Having only egg whites robs you of the essential vitamin A in the yolks that helps to maintain and heal epithelial tissues, with skin being the largest expanse of epithelial tissues you’ve got.
Happy Skin= Happy You:)
Jackie Silver: Jackie Silver is Aging Backwards and she shares her secrets, tips and shortcuts in her book, Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young, on her Web site (http://agingbackwards.com/), on TV, on radio as one half of The Ageless Sisters, in print and in person. She is a beauty editor, speaker and coach, and is sought-after as an anti-aging and beauty expert by the media