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Keep It Real

KEEP IT REAL
ORGANS THAT WILL LOVE THIS DAY: SKIN; BLOOD VESSELS
YOU MAY FEEL BENEFITS TO: YOUR COMPLEXION;
YOUR CONFIDENCE!
SKIN SAVVY

It’s the season for socialising, work parties, seeing old friends and taking a million photos -the perfect time to ‘Cleansmas’ the skin to optimise your complexion and rosy glow.

The skin is our largest organ. It’s structurally important for keeping the inside of us from leaking out ‘all over the gaff’, and for protecting our insides from exposure to anything hazardous like pointy bits, germs or toxins.

The skin is also an important organ of elimination. We sweat to help regulate temperature but also to help the body get rid of excess water, salts and even urea.

What concerns most of us when we think about skin is not its amazing operative function but how it looks and feels. Humans, being social animals, visually assess skin for clues about age and health status – smooth, unblemished and glowing skin is what we consider attractive.

Here are 4 easy, (mainly free) achievable tips that will improve the skin’s function and appearance:

1. EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES.

As Irish teenagers, we would munch on a ton of carrots before our summer holidays, hoping that an orangey-glow would make up for the lack of a suntan; and it turns out that this daft notion is on the right track. Researchers have noted that golden-hued skin (regardless of skin ethnicity) is deemed more healthylooking and attractive, and that this is linked to the proliferation of carotenoids in the diet.1 Carotenoids are found in all sorts of coloured fruits and green vegetables like spinach, so eat up! Skin improvement will be a side benefit of the overall regenerative and positive effect of all those extra nutrients.

I LOVE SPROUTING! Freshly sprouted vegetables get an extra-special mention as skin-nutrient powerhouses-cum-sandwich fillers and salad toppers. You can grow these yourself easily using a BioSnacky kit or jar. I got my little jar as an unusual and super eco-practical present.

2. CLEAR UP BLEMISHES

Many blemishes and spots are caused as skin pores become blocked with daily grime (like makeup) and our sebum, or oil. Bacterial infection can then cause inflammation, blackheads and painful red bumps.

SKIN SIN NO.1 is going to bed with your face dirt or foundation still on!

SKIN SIN NO.2 is picking spots and spreading the infection.

The skin should be (gently) washed twice daily to remove impurities, unwanted microbes and dead skin cells. A natural mineral mask such as Silicol Skin can be a handy application – when applied like a mask it can stick to impurities and bacteria in the skin and lure them out and away.

3. GET MORE VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is necessary for building collagen, the stuff that gives our skin its stretch and elasticity. All of our little blood vessels that bring nourishment and oxygen to the skin need it too. The body doesn’t make it or store it, so we need a small daily amount to keep up the anti-aging supply. Most supplements are made from synthetic material so I like to keep my vitamin C sources real – fruits and vegetables (again!).

For those on the go, A.Vogel’s Nature-C (very yummy) chewable tablets are made from real fruit.

4. MOVE ABOUT OR HAVE A WARM BATH!

An exercise session can boost blood flow, bringing nutrients and oxygen to the skin. It can also help flush waste products like metabolic toxins and dead cells away from the skin. Even a short walk outdoors can improve the complexion and put some colour back in the cheeks. Pumping the leg muscles may also improve lymphatic function, which is good news for both our skin and our immune system.

Interestingly, studies have shown that saunas and warm baths have a similar beneficial effect on circulation, and may be a cosier option on lazy days.2

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