Extra Virgin Olive Oil Benefits – Maintaining Healthy Skin

Olive Oil and Olives

We are regularly made aware of how good Olive Oil is for our health both internally and externally, even more so Extra Virgin Olive Oil benefits (EVOO).

Which Country Produces the best Olive Oil?

The choice of olive oil is a personal one, based on individual taste and preferences, some might say that Greek olive oil is as tasty as the equivalent Spanish or Italian oil. In truth, few people could spot the difference between Spanish, Italian, Greek or Turkish Olive Oil!

olive oil with symbols

In the end, preference may come down to the oil’s freshness, quality, and the way one uses it in their kitchen, either for salads, on bread, or as a cooking ingredient.

There is unquestionably a distinction between Olive Oil producing countries, the Olive trees from Greece, Spain, and Italy not only vary in species but are dependent on the local climate and soil conditions which influence the oil’s flavor. But while most people can acknowledge its freshness or even its acidity, the subtle differences between the different types of olive oils which indicate the country of origin may be obvious only to professional olive oil tasters.

Olive Oil + Olives

Spain exports significant quantities of olive oil to markets in the US, the UK, Portugal, Australia, France and interestingly, quite a bit of it is sold to Italy! One of Spain’s best sellers is Venta Del Barón Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Awarded World’s Best Olive Oil award four consecutive years and Made in Andalusia, Spain.

The Italian population consumes more olive oil than it produces. To meet demand, it supplements local produce with imports from Greece and Spain. Therefore, what people buy in supermarkets as Italian olive oil may, in fact, have a different country of origin. Nonetheless, Italy markets olive oil very favorably as a ‘national’ product.

Olive oil is mostly used in the food sector, but its other uses include fuel production, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and the manufacture of soaps.

Cooking With Olive Oil:

The quality and flavor of Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s are more desirable for cold food purposes such as salad dressings, and as the finishing touches to soups, dips, pasta or pizza.

But when you are cooking and applying Olive Oil to a stir-fry, or you are cooking other high-temperature dishes or roasts, extra virgin olive oil isn’t as suitable because it has too low a smoke point and will overheat and may produce harmful chemicals; also the nutritional benefits are quickly lost.

This is why it is a good idea to keep a bottle of ‘standard’ Olive Oil in your kitchen to cook with, it is better suited for deep frying or roasting as it has a higher smoke point – meaning that you won’t be carrying the food through the smoke point as the higher temperatures are reached. A fine example is an Olive Oil called La Española.

Smoke Point of various Oils:

Coconut oil: 347°F (175°C)
EVOO: 383°F (195°C)
Safflower oil: 414°F (212°C)
La Española Pure Olive Oil: 446°F (230°C)
Canola oil: 460°F (238°C)

Also, the flavor won’t be as noticeable when cooked at high temperatures, so there is no reason to use the far more expensive ‘Extra Virgin’ grade Olive Oils.

La Española Pure Olive Oil For Cooking:

La Española Olive Oil 2LPurchase From Amazon:

 

Established in 1840, La Espańola is an iconic Spanish olive oil brand. Made from fresh olives grown in the Andalucia region in the south of Spain,100% authentic Spanish olive oil is of the highest quality. Each year, this small province produces more olive oil than all of Italy.

This refined olive oil, blended with virgin olive oil creates a cooking oil which is gentle and subtle in flavor.
Without losing the essential properties of olive oil, La Española Pure Olive Oil has a ‘smoking point’ of 230°C and is ideal for heating and thus perfect for grilling & roasting.
With La Española Olive Oil you can savor the essence of the Mediterranean diet in every dish. Taste it for yourself!

Did You Know?

Used correctly Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a great source of what we know as good fat and antioxidants and features prominently in the healthy Mediterranean Diet and has many health benefits.

Made from the first pressing of the ripe olives, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is at it’s most flavorsome, as it is pure and with the minimal processing. In a very similar way to wine, olive oil has a complex variety of flavors to look out for, you can expect to find a balance of fruit, spice, and pepper.

But, a word of advice, unlike wine, you will see that olive oil does not improve with age, so don’t save it for best, use liberally and to prolong the shelf life look for a dark glass container, as light can rapidly reduce the oil quality.

You will notice the color of extra virgin olive oil can vary from a mix of green and yellow to golden green, this will depend on the variety of olives used and the country and climate they were grown in. It is Lovingly referred to as the ‘Nectar of the Gods’.

Topical Skin Care Use:

Olive oil has long had a history of being used as a home skin care treatment. Japan was the highest importer of olive oil in Asia in 2000 – consumers there believe the ingestion and topical administration of olive oil to be helpful for both skin and health.

girl wet hair 1

It is recommended to use the best certified-organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed, and unrefined extra-virgin olive, such as Venta Del Barón due to the fact it is produced without the use of heat or chemical refining and contains the highest concentration of olive oil’s beneficial compounds. Also, it has zero preservatives or additives that can be harmful to the body.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers some benefits to the skin, including vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial effects. It is very effective as a moisturiser around the delicate skin surrounding the eye area, plus nourishes eyelashes the same way conditioner works on the hair. Also, for cuticles, olive oil keeps them moist and soft so as to encourage strong, healthy, active nail growth.

However, it should be stated that the research on any benefits gained from the use of Olive Oil on the face and skin is limited.

Benefits of Olive Oil – Face and Body:

As an Antioxidant:

Olive oil works as an antioxidant, which is a chemical compound that guards cells against the effects of free radicals that prevents oxidation. Oxidation, this is a process that produces free radicals, these are chemicals that can potentially damage cells and may lead to heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.

When it is applied to the skin antioxidants may prevent premature aging. Also, some research suggests that olive oil may be beneficial when applied following sun exposure and may fight off cancer-causing cells.

Scientists do need to carry out more research in this area to better understand the impact of olive oil’s antioxidant properties on the human skin.

Vitamin Content:

Olive oil contains the fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and K. These vitamins may be useful for the skin.

vitamin a d e k

The vitamin E oil has been used topically for centuries to treat many skin conditions, these include eczema and psoriasis.

Antibacterial Effects:

Olive oil has shown to have antibacterial properties.

One study looked at the benefits of using olive oil and coconut oil on Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (the most frequent type of staph infection is the boil, pus that develops in a hair follicle or oil gland) on the skin. The results found that both oils displayed antibacterial properties, but virgin coconut oil was found to be more effective at eliminating the bacteria.

Although olive oil can be used to treat bacterial infections, there have been only been a few studies on olive oil’s capacity to control bacteria on the skin, more research is needed.

Moisturizing Effects:

Extra Virgin Olive oil can be applied as a natural moisturizer to soften both the skin and hair.

The EVOO is applied as a moisturizer directly to the skin and then blot off any excess oil; also, the oil can be applied to damp skin to prevent a greasy feeling.

Exfoliator:

To use EVOO to exfoliate the face and body and treat areas of dry or scaly skin, mix olive oil and sea salt to make a scrub.

You should use fine-grained salt on the face and other sensitive areas, and slightly coarser grains on the rest of the body.

People with dry areas may also benefit from applying to the face an olive oil-based face mask. Olive oil can be mixed with ingredients such as egg white, honey, or ground oats, these can help soften and hydrate the face.

To Remove Eye Make-Up:

removing eye makeup

Olive oil breaks down any water-resistant substances you find in eye makeup, allowing you to wipe them away more efficiently and with less aggravation to the delicate skin around the eyes.

To remove your eye makeup, just add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil to a cotton ball and gently wiping the make-up around the eyes being careful not to get it into the eye.

Wrinkle Treatment:

Olive oil may be used on the face, it can help prevent early signs of aging on the skin and wrinkles. The oil can be daubed around the eye area at night or following sun exposure taking care not to get it into the eye.

Scar oil:

The vitamins and other antioxidants you find in olive oil may fade scars by helping skin cells to regenerate.

You massage the undiluted oil into scars, or you can mix it with a few drops of lemon juice to treat the areas of hyperpigmentation, where you find the skin has darkened due to scarring.

Olive oil may also be applied to try to prevent or reduce stretch marks, although studies on its effectiveness have found mixed results.

Again, there is very little evidence that applying olive oil to the skin helps prevent or reduce stretch marks.

Personal Care:

olive trees

Olive oil is found as an ingredient found in numerous personal care products, these include face wash, body wash, soap, and lotions.

Risks of applying Olive Oil to the Skin:

Children’s skin is extremely delicate, and eczema may develop if olive oil is used on a child’s skin.

Although some studies have shown that the use of olive oil can benefit the skin, as with most products, it may not be suitable for everyone, and ‘patch’ tests should be carried out before applying to the skin.

Using Low-Quality Olive Oil:

Finally, be sure to only choose Organic Olive Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil over blends.

The use of high-quality olive oil is essential, using low-quality oils they may contain additives or chemicals that could irritate or damage the skin.

Have you used Olive Oil on your skin, did you find it to be helpful with a particular skin problem? Does it help your skin to look and feel better? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com


 

Mediterranean Diet For Health Benefits And Maintaining Healthy Skin

Mediterranean Village

Generally considered one of the healthiest diets on the planet, the Mediterranean diet can do miracles for your general health and just as crucial for the health of your skin.

Strange then that today we still don’t take this knowledge on board, and include some of these ancient Mediterranean foods directly and easily into our own diets to boost our overall health, in body and skin.

Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet:

A favorite of health professionals, its benefits are backed by a considerable amount of scientific research. Studies have shown that by adhering to the Mediterranean Diet for health benefits and maintaining healthy skin you can lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of various diseases, keeps bones strong and healthy, protects the brain and memory, and gives you healthy radiant looking skin.

There is more than good genes, myth and magic lying behind the generally healthy and cared for skin you see among Mediterranean people. They use make-up and skincare products in abundance just like the rest of us. But, they have some excellent skin building blocks in place in the form of great food; the so-called traditional Mediterranean diet.

Your diet can have both a positive and negative effect on the condition of your skin, your body’s largest organ, and the benefits of these ingredients for both the body and beauty.

Your skin will be at its healthiest providing you are getting the nutrients it requires from the food you eat, it is what you eat that plays a significant part in how your skin looks, feels and importantly shields you from daily pollutants.

Also, a recent study published in the ‘British Journal of Nutrition’ advises that following the Mediterranean diet can increase your life expectancy, even for people aged 65 and older.

The Mediterranean Diet – Improve Your Skin:

boy and girl on motorbike

Dieticians will happily tell you that what the Mediterranean diet does to improve your health, it can do for your skin also. The condition of your skin is crucial to your overall well-being since this is your body’s primary defense against the outside world. By sticking to the Mediterranean diet can help you enjoy glowing, radiant skin.

This eating plan encourages lots of olive oil, which is full of vitamin E and antioxidants that strive to hydrate and nourish your skin. The occasional glass of Red wine, which is recommended in moderation, contains resveratrol, which can even repress the growth of acne-causing bacteria. And tomatoes, another favorite Mediterranean staple, helps protect skin cells – also helping to prevent cancer caused by sun exposure.

The diet emphasizes eating vegetables, fish, whole grains, and healthy fats – encouraging a high intake of fiber and moderate consumption of meats and alcohol, and lots of antioxidants. Foods that are high in antioxidants will protect and enhance the skin.

One of the worst foods eat for your skin is sugar, it is the cause of inflammation in the body and one of the reasons for the breakdown of collagen in the skin, a fibrous protein that helps to keep the skin firm.

With the loss of collagen, this leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.

A diet that is high in unhealthy processed foods and refined carbohydrates will also accelerate aging of the skin.

Eat A Balanced Diet – Protect Your Skin:

Mediterranean Food

The world-famous Mediterranean diet is considered to be one of the most beneficial diets for your skin.

It is full of antioxidants to help repair skin damage and healthy fats to keep the elasticity of the skin.

The Diet is based on plenty of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses, and whole grains, other vital components are fish, olive oil and small amounts of red wine. A limited amount of unprocessed meat, eggs, and dairy are allowed, and the diet is naturally low in added sugar, refined grains, and unhealthy processed foods.

A key feature is the healthy sources of fats from foods like fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and olives. At the same time avoiding foods containing unhealthy fats such as refined vegetable oils, processed meat, and other processed foods.

Many of the foods in a Mediterranean diet have anti-aging properties, that will both nourish and protect the skin.

Below is a list of the foods included in the diet:

Eat Plentiful Amounts:

Vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, seeds, whole grains, potatoes, herbs & spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

Eat In Moderation:

Poultry, dairy, eggs, red meat, and red wine.

Limit or Avoid:

Added sugar, sugary drinks, refined grains, refined vegetable oils, processed meat, and processed foods.

Caffeine – Coffee is far more popular with people living in the Mediterranean region than tea, Caffeine helps to protect against skin cancer because it prevents a protein that UV-damaged precancerous cells need to divide.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil:

The best-known ingredient in the Mediterranean diet is, of course, Olive oil, a staple part of the diet, giving healthy monounsaturated fats and thought to be one of the reasons to the far superior health of the Mediterranean people. Olive oil is a valuable source of a fatty acid called oleic acid, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is involved in both aging and many diseases, so reducing it has anti-aging benefits.

Extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants, giving further anti-inflammatory properties, as well as protecting against oxidative stress damage in the body. By choosing cold-pressed olive oil and eating some of it raw, on salads, for example, will ensure you receive the highest antioxidant dose.

Olives and Olive Oil

The consumption of Olive Oil is linked to many advantages, these include a healthier heart and reducing the risk of mental problems such as depression and Alzheimer’s.

Olive oil is also an excellent ingredient for homemade beauty products, such as hair and face masks and fantastic natural body oil for both adults and children. It is packed full with vitamin E and antioxidants and is incredibly nourishing and moisturizing for hair and skin.

Oily Fish:

Living near to the Mediterranean Sea, the inhabitants of this region are traditionally fish eaters. Fish, especially of the rich oily variety, is our number one dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for health, beauty, and anti-aging. They have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, protecting those parts of the body most affected by aging (your eyes, the brain, heart, joints, etc.), as well as being an excellent moisturizer and conditioner for the skin and hair.

Both fish and seafood are also a fantastic protein source and provide essentialFish and Veg on a plate nutrients such as zinc and selenium. There is another less well-known anti-aging ‘star ’ to be found in ‘pink’ fish such as salmon, called astaxanthin. It is effective in reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, diminishing wrinkles, improving skin elasticity and so improving your overall appearance.

Plant Super-Foods:

Our Mediterranean neighbors have not only got the fruit and veg portions correct, but are also including an abundance of other plant super-foods in their daily diets, such as nuts, seeds, pulses, and whole grains. For example, nuts form an integral part of the diet and have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which give them anti-aging powers. Regular consumption is linked to lower cholesterol, reduced diabetes risk, and lower body weight. Pulses and whole grains also regularly feature in Mediterranean cuisine and are just as advantageous for health.

Bread and Pasta:

Bread is always seen on the table in a Mediterranean kitchen as well as pasta, both are very popular but are eaten alongside plenty of lentils, beans and other whole grains such as barley, whole wheat berries, polenta, oats, and buckwheat.

olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Bread and pasta have been unfairly labeled as ‘bad’ or ‘fattening’ foods in recent years. They are however a staple food in many healthy populations, including the Mediterranean region. Freshly baked whole wheat bread is a personal favorite of mine dipped in olive oil (instead of butter or margarine) add a touch of Balsamic Vinegar and black pepper, it’s delicious and it is actually very nutritious, so long as you are not allergic to wheat, gluten sensitivity or are coeliac it should not cause any issues if eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

Meat, Eggs, and Dairy:

Meat, eggs, and dairy are eaten in small quantities and in their most natural unprocessed forms. Fresh cheeses, of which many are naturally low in fat, such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella are eaten in reasonable amounts and provide a great source of protein and calcium.

Dairy Products

Sheep’s and goats dairy products are very popular, as well as yogurt, which is a natural source of probiotics for a healthy gut. Meat is far less processed and eaten maybe once or twice a week, not daily! A traditional Mediterranean diet will be low in processed foods, with meals being home-cooked and made from natural, fresh ingredients.

Moderation and Balance:

Meat, eggs, and dairy are eaten in small quantities and in their most natural unprocessed forms. Fresh cheeses, of which many are naturally low in fat, such as ricotta, feta, and mozzarella are eaten in reasonable amounts and provide a great source of protein and calcium.

Tomatoes and Wine

Sheep’s and goats dairy products are very popular, as well as yogurt, which is a natural source of probiotics for a healthy gut. Meat is far less processed and eaten maybe once or twice a week, not daily! A traditional Mediterranean diet will be low in processed foods, with meals being home-cooked and made from natural, fresh ingredients, and enjoyed with a  glass of red wine.

General Skin Conditions:

Some common skin conditions can be affected by the food you eat:

Acne – A study on male acne patients who followed a low-glycemic diet had reduced acne in comparison to a group of men that ate a diet rich in carbohydrates.

Chocolate – this gets a bad report as it is seen as a cause of pimples when in reality acne might be from a high-sugar or high-carb diet, if you can’t resist it, try to eat dark chocolate, in moderation of course!

Rosacea – This can include facial redness and swelling, can be set off by overindulging in rich, spicy foods, excessive alcohol or even hot drinks.

Eczema – People who suffer from eczema get dry, itchy, and red patches on the skin. Dermatologists say foods that can aggravate eczema symptoms include milk, eggs, soy, and wheat, and excess sugar. The Mediterranean diet is very beneficial for people who suffer from Eczema.

Keep Your Skin Healthy:

Eat your colors for antioxidants, include some healthy fats and choose a variety of foods to get the nutrients required to keep your skin glowing not only in summer but all year long.

girl looking at blue sea

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet; eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to stop the damage that leads to skin aging prematurely.

Many studies also suggest that a diet that contains a lot of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can speed up the aging process!

Excessive drinking of Alcohol dehydrates the skin, if you remove the moisture content from the skin in time, this will lead to wrinkles and signs of aging on the face, simply put, you are going to look older. Drink less alcohol, easy to say I know, but Alcohol is severe on the skin.

Allow your body and skin to enjoy the Benefits of Change:

Even people who now have signs of premature aging skin can benefit greatly from making lifestyle changes.

By changing your diet and bad habits, you will see and feel the benefit to your body and skin.

If you smoke, stop! People who do manage to quit smoking often notice that their skin looks healthier in time. Smoking will dramatically speed up how quickly your skin ages, it also causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion.

By using a high factor sunscreen you are protecting your skin from the sun, and you give it an opportunity to repair some of the damage that may have already occurred.

Apply a facial moisturizer both day and night. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.

The Mediterranean Lifestyle:

clear Med Sea and girl

The Mediterranean diet for health benefits and maintaining healthy skin is far more about boosting your overall sense of well-being and learning how to make healthier food choices without giving up on taste and flavor. What’s not to love about really easy to find and use skin foods that give you an all-around healthy glow, inside and out?

If signs of aging skin bother you, you may want to see a dermatologist. New treatments and less-invasive procedures for smoothing wrinkles, tightening skin, and improving one’s complexion are giving many people younger-looking skin.

How much do you enjoy Mediterranean style food? What food do you find helps your skin look and feel better? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com


 

Sleep For Better Skin – Skin Matters

sleeping lady 4

The notion is that ‘beauty sleep’ is a myth.

The reality is that getting the correct amount of sleep is the key to beautiful, healthy skin that lasts.

sleeping lady 5

Sleep For Better Skin:

Science is telling us that we need to get sleep for better skin, and getting a good nights sleep is essential for repairing, renewing and restructuring the skin. The quality and length of sleep that your body receives every night can have a direct impact on your skin’s overall health.

For adults the minimum amount of sleep that is recommended is six hours with eight hours being the optimum, it is thought that only 32 percent of adults realize this, and it is believed that 50 percent of people struggle to get a ‘good’ nights sleep.

When we sleep our bodies recharge, but not only do our bodies recharge, but our skin does as well. While we sleep, we heal, restore and eliminate toxins from the skin. The association between good skin and sleep is ever-growing and has prompted many brands to develop products that achieve the best results when you are sleeping or are improved by a good night’s sleep.

It has been proved that skin cell renewal takes place when your body is sleeping, suggesting that your skin’s appearance is better post-rest.

Your Best Skin Yet:

resting on hands

Here is why getting more shut-eye could be the secret tip to your best skin yet.

Sleep revives the skin’s natural balance and increases the effectiveness in skincare remedies; your skin literally reinvigorates itself during sleep.

Throughout the day when it’s light, the skin’s principal job is to keep hydrated and protected, at night when its dark and you are sleeping the skin is genetically processed to switch into regeneration mode; demonstrating that beauty sleep to be far more than a marketing game.

Getting the correct amount of sleep is the basis on which to build and sustain health, well-being and the best long-term way of safeguarding against stress and age-related disorders.

If you do not get enough sleep, not only does it leave you feeling tired, but you physically show the signs of a lack of sleep with puffiness under the eyes and dehydrated ‘tired’ skin.

Not getting enough sleep also leads to stress, this, in turn, causes the adrenal glands to react and produce an overproduction of the stress hormone, cortisol. When this hormone is released, it stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, this, in turn, can lead to skin breakouts.

Stress generates a chain reaction that is the recipe for bad skin, and clinical studies have proven this to be the common denominator of many skin problems.

When sleep deprivation raises the levels of stress hormones, the body experiences ‘chronic’ stress, which leads to increased inflammation and subsequent hastening of the skin aging, all of this will also lead to any problems you have with acne worsening. Poor sleep routine can result in skin irritation and sensitivity, and the skin progressively loses its capacity to protect itself from all the chemicals, pollutants and grime it comes in contact with each day.

A Nights Sleep In Stages:

sleeping lady 1

It is during the first few hours of sleep that your body will begin making the essential human growth hormone and tissue repair occurs – this comes from the pituitary gland. As we start to age, this hormone is necessary for the maintenance of young, youthful and radiant looking skin.

Without the release of this hormone, skin is not repaired from the damage and harm caused by daily pollution and hence begins the aging process.

The next two hours of sleep is when melatonin levels start to rise. Melatonin is a hormone that is accountable for managing your circadian rhythm, more commonly known as sleep/wake patterns.

Melatonin is also very important as it acts as an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from damaging free radicals and helps regulate blood pressure, body temperature and cortisol levels.

During the final three hours of the sleep cycle, or the active REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage, levels of cortisol – also known as the stress hormone decrease.

The temperature of the skin also drops to its lowest point allowing muscles to relax and become immobile so allowing the skin precious recovery time from the remainder of the night’s sleep.

Five Ways Your Appearance Suffers:

wake up tired

Here are the five ways that lack of sleep is ruining your skin and wreaking havoc on your appearance.

The Hair:

There is growing evidence that links stress and the onset of hair loss. Reports show that sleep deprivation is a relentless form of pressure on the body. All of this is primarily an indirect way of stating that lack of sleep and the increase in cortisol and stress levels can bring about premature hair loss.

Tired Skin:

We are now aware that a lack of sleep will increase your cortisol levels, and that Cortisol triggers inflammation, this breaks down the proteins in the skin that keep skin radiant, soft and smooth.

When you are feeling weak and tired the blood in your body is not circulating efficiently which usually results in a lack of oxygen in the blood. This lack of oxygen can result in your skin looking pale, pigmented, or blotchy.

Dry Skin:

Not many people are aware that while you sleep, you perspire, but it’s true. While you are asleep your body’s hydration rebalances and regains moisture, and so makes sleep a natural moisturizer and a great help to smooth out wrinkles on the skin.

Missing out on important sleep can affect the moisture levels in your skin and lower your complexion’s pH level. A skin imbalance is produced when your PH levels drop. This imbalance causes your skin not to provide the moisture it so badly needs, consequently leading to drier skin.

Tired Eyes:

tired eyes 2

The skin area around the eyes is very delicate and thin, it is one of the most striking aspects of the face, but it can become very noticeable especially when skin isn’t looked after correctly. It is an area that requires special treatment and care, or a change in lifestyle to maintain a healthy appearance.

Dark circles are a widely known common symptom of not sleeping. A lack of sleep makes your blood vessel dilate leading to dark circles.

Wrinkles, bags, dark circles, and hooded eyelids are not very flattering and can alter our appearance drastically.

You may also find that not sleeping enough can result in reduced water balance that creates dark circles and puffy eyes.

Another thing that is not good for the appearance of your eyes is sleeping on your stomach as fluids can drain and catch in the trough under your eye and cause inflammation and puffiness.

Collagen production/aging process:

When you are not getting enough sleep, this directly affects the body and lead to chronic stress. Prolonged stress harms the quality of the collagen in the skin. Collagen is an essential ingredient in the elasticity and composition of the skin. When collagen is disrupted, the skin shows more obvious signs of aging by becoming thinner and less firm. When the skin is thin, its appearance is less smooth and subtle and showcases wrinkles more prominently.

Sleep And The Skin:

Top Tips for better sleep and rest that can improve your skin:

Establish a bedtime routine and try to get at least 6-9 hours of sleep per night.

five more minutes

Limit alcohol and cigarettes before bed.

By limiting alcohol four to six hours before bed, avoiding caffeine and heavy meals before sleep, getting more exercise, and developing a regular bedtime and morning wake-up call, even on weekends, your skin will radiate in a healthy glow.

Keep up your sleep hygiene to promote a good night’s rest.

Get high thread count sheets and pillowcases to help avoid any pulling on the skin.

Wash your face nightly and apply skin care treatments which help promote a flawless complexion.

If you are prescribed a CPAP machine – Continuous positive airway pressure therapy is a standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Researchers recently found apnea sufferers who use their CPAP machines look younger and fresher than those who do not, two good reasons to use it!

Most of us will usually experience different levels of sleepiness and alertness during the day. These are caused by two body systems: sleep/wake homeostasis and the circadian biological clock. In layman’s terms, homeostasis tells our body when we need sleep, and our circadian clock regulates the timing of periods of tiredness and wakefulness throughout the day.

If you still find yourself having missing out on sleep even after practicing good sleep habits have a talk to your doctor about your sleep problems and schedule a consultation with a sleep specialist — various sleep disorders include sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and more.

Skin Care Routine:

face wash

So, we now understand how important getting enough sleep is for our skin, but do not forget to allow sufficient time before going to bed to follow your good skin care routine.

At bedtime, the aim is to fix damage from the day’s pollution, sun, and stress, and to ensure you hydrate since you lose more water from your skin as you sleep.

Using a cleansing brush like the Clarisonic and a gentle face cleanser in lukewarm water to wash off grime and oil. Being extra careful not to overdo it with the cleansing brush. If you see any changes in your skin, minimize or stop usage immediately.

Pat or dab dry the face, you then administer a small amount of retinoid. Avoid the area close to the eyes, the corners of your mouth and creases of the nose. These creams are used to improve and heal the skin.

When you purchase ‘Over-the-counter’ retinoid products these contain ‘retinol’ or ‘retinaldehyde,’ However, retinoids that you get on prescription are higher strength and these can dry the skin out, so make sure a decent layer of facial moisturizer always follows it.

The significant difference you find between daytime and nighttime moisturizers is that the former is lighter in consistency and often contain sunscreen. The texture of nighttime moisturizers may not feel or look aesthetically pleasing to the user, but they make skin soft and supple.

When searching for an evening facial moisturizer, it is essential to read the ingredients label looking for antioxidants, peptides, and vitamins C and A to help fix the ‘abuse’ from the day. You won’t go too far wrong if you use pure and simple hydrating products. Allow the retinoid do the anti-aging work!

Gently dab on eye cream after you put on your night cream.

cheek creamIncluding eye cream into your evening beauty routine is a perfect way to keep a youthful-looking appearance. It protects and hydrates the delicate skin around the eye.

Eye creams made with caffeine, which helps to reduce puffiness, and niacinamide, which boosts moisture levels, keep skin from drying out and hold back those unwanted wrinkles!

Bonus tip:

Get some actual sleep for better skin!

sleeping lady 3

Remember, if the body doesn’t rest, the evening skincare products can only do so much!

How much sleep do you get each night, what tips do you have for coping with tired, stressed skin? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com


 

Detox Body and Skin – Maintaining Healthy Skin

Detox

If you thought that a ‘detox’ was something you did just to benefit your inner body, its time to think again. With the busy festive season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to get your skin in pristine condition. A Detox Body and Skin diet means you benefit internally and externally from one cleanse.

What is a Detox Diet?

A Detox diet means that you eliminate unhealthy foods, and replace them with food that is pure and natural. They usually last from 3 to 21 days, and the results are amazing and very beneficial to your general well-being. The process of detoxification is not as easy as it seems, especially if you are a fan of sugar, processed foods, and caffeine. We know to begin with cutting these products from your diet is going to be tough and challenging.

Here is a little something that you may not know, the liver and how well it is ‘functioning’ has many implications that may lead to epidermal problems.

So, you want to improve the appearance of your skin, a good place to start looking is at your gut since digestive well-being directly impacts your complexion.

The liver that is best known for breaking down amongst other things’ alcohol is closely connected to how healthy or poor your skin is looking.

Alcohol, as well as being high in sugar, is toxic to your body’s own ‘detoxifying’ cells, this can hinder your system’s own ability to ‘cleanse.’

A troubled liver can lead to your skin becoming dry, itchy, inflamed and cause acne to flare up.

There is a proverb in traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that “if your liver is in harmony, then the rest of your body will be in harmony as well.”

What can I do to help my Skin?

Consequently, it makes sense that a good place to start your cleanse would be to cut back on the alcohol intake, excessive alcohol will lead to a buildup of toxins in the liver,

Everything that we consume is processed through the liver, so we really need to think carefully about what we eat, drink, and even the air we breathe, it’s vitally important to keep it as healthy as we possibly can, your skin is a representation of what is going on inside of your body.

All of that means if we overload the body with crude substances, whether they are environmental pollutants, inflammatory foods, or alcohol, the results of these are going to show up on your face. If the liver is unable to break down toxins, your body makes every effort to remove these toxins through other ways, such as pores in your skin.

Every day our skin is exposed to various external pollutants – smoke, fumes and UVA/UVB rays to name but a few, it is nearly impossible to avoid encountering toxins on a daily basis. In actual fact, air pollution is now being associated with visible signs of skin damage.

As the skin is the largest organ of the body, toxicity can often manifest itself in conditions such as breakouts, eczema, or dermatitis.

That said, the right topical treatment can certainly help. Look for an antioxidant-rich serum and day cream to fight free radical damage and serve as a shield between the face and the elements. By preventing the toxins from reaching the skin’s lower layers, you actively protect against the breakdown of essential elastin and collagen – which means skin stays ‘younger’ for longer.

Unfortunately, we find in many skincare products chemicals are put into them to restore estrogen levels, these will also need to be removed by the liver!

What Toxins affect your Skin?

Its a frightening thought, but we are exposed to toxins nearly every day of our lives, not only in the air, water, and food but many other ways too, such as personal products that we use. Toxins can also be found in the pesticides that we apply to our lawns, there can be harmful residue on our food, solvents found in paints and cleaning products.

Most plastic products contain the chemical Bisphenol-A, better known as BPA and phthalates, these are odor-free liquids that do not evaporate quickly, they are used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft and flexible, these are commonly called the ‘everywhere chemicals’ because they are used in making countless plastic products that we are in contact with and use every day.

We all try our best to live free of these dangerous substances, but the truth is some are unavoidable.

Relax, everything is under control!

Relax

On the plus side, we can relax a little in the knowledge that we do have organs that work hard to clear these toxins from our body. The most significant organs used to detoxify the body are; the skin, lymphatic system, digestive system, the kidneys, and the liver. But, the liver is the most important organ when it comes to clearing these deadly toxins, it protects the body from harmful substances by decreasing their toxicity and making them ready for discharge.

When the liver and other organs the body uses to detoxicate are not operating correctly, this may lead to poisons forming in the body. This increase also happens when we are exposed to more toxins than our body can cope with. We will notice when our body isn’t dealing with the excess levels as we may see skin rashes and itching, acne especially hormonal acne, inflammatory conditions such as eczema, constant headaches and generally the whole body aching.

The Fat Factor:

The liver is not only responsible for dealing with toxins, but it is also used for breaking down fat. If you indulge in a very unhealthy diet, drink excessive amounts of booze the liver may struggle to cope with the overload, the fat will instead circulate in the bloodstream, and it ends up getting into the sebaceous glands.

Another problem that occurs if the liver is ‘overloaded’ is Cholesterol and triglycerides which are fatty substances that travel around in our bloodstream, can end up getting into the tissue and ‘storing’ themselves there, when this happens, it can disrupt the oil on your skin, known as sebum and this becomes very stressful on your complexion.

The quality and quantity of the fats in your bloodstream have an impact on how thick that sebum is, the thicker it is, the more likely it is to clog pores, this results in chronic breakouts.

If a contented liver equals radiant skin, how exactly can you help both organs perform at their best?

It all comes back to healthy eating and lifestyle.

Detox Through Your Diet:

You can start with simple changes to your diet, this can be a great start towards a healthy liver, and to keeping your skin clear. It is the liver that is responsible for breaking down hormones so they can be adequately eliminated and maintain a healthy balance.

Therefore, helping the liver combat hormonal imbalance is one of the most essential things’ we can do. If the liver becomes full of fatty buildup or strained, all the right things’ you are doing won’t be beneficial until the liver is cleansed and restored. If you suffer from hormonal acne, this is especially relevant for you.

Over the course of time, our body can become unbalanced, our hormones and digestive system need to be purified, by doing this it enhances the functions of the organs and helps us regain a balance.

Consider taking the following measures to help to cleanse the liver:

During your detox, you will need to provide healthy nourishment to your body to help support your liver, kidneys, and colon.

You should consider staying on a healthy diet for a very minimum of three days to see some benefits to your skin, but remember the longer you are on it, the better your skin is going to look, and your body feeling invigorated.

Here is a list of food and drinks that would be beneficial when detoxing:

Cruciferous vegetables – especially broccoli, also cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts.

Sulfur-containing foods – onions and garlic.

Fiber-rich fruits – bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, raspberries, and strawberries.

High fiber vegetables – beans, peas, and Potatoes with skin.

Antioxidant-rich foods – Artichokes, Raspberries, Kale, Red Cabbage, Beetroot, and Spinach.

Herbal Teas – Red Clover, Burdock Root, Ginger tea, and Cayenne Pepper tea.

You should eat organic food, drink filtered water and choose non-toxic skincare products.

To aid your liver in removing unwanted toxins that may be in the process of being absorbed into the body you can use Lemon Juice. Lemons contain a lot of vitamin C that boosts your immune system. Warm Lemon water in the morning helps your digestion, it flushes out toxins and cleanses the liver and is an easy way to give a little extra help.

Try to avoid obvious reactive foods. These are foods that can lead to inflammation, this, in turn, can lead to many symptoms and ailments, including persistent skin problems such as acne and eczema.

The most common reactive foods include Dairy products, Eggs, Peanuts, Gluten, Alcohol, Caffeine, and Sugar.

When you decide to give the body a ‘cleanse’ it is an excellent time to take a break from these foods, and you will see for yourself how much these can impact your overall health.

To obtain the best results from your detox, you have to ensure that your bowels and kidneys are working effectively to remove toxins released during the cleanse. For bowels, as we mentioned earlier fiber is vital. For kidneys, it’s imperative to drink plenty of filtered water. Also, the skin releases toxins when you sweat, so it’s a good idea to exfoliate and ensure clean pores so you can sufficiently release toxins and discard dead skin.

While you are on your skin detox, you have to be more careful with what you eat. For this period it is essential to adapt to a healthy balanced diet. Stay off dairy products, fried foods, and try to cut out sugar, these will all lead to blocked pores and dull looking skin, for the duration of your detox. Instead, opt for foods that are going to assist your body, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to keep up the water intake!

All essential to overall health and wellness.

Drink Lots of Water – and Only Water!

Drinking enough water daily (minimum 6 – 8 glasses per day) is vital for your overall health, it helps with your circulation, digestion, absorption, and excretion, and promotes a healthier, hydrated, younger-looking, and radiant complexion.

This amount is the daily recommendation to help eliminate toxins from your body and remain hydrated, few people actually drink this much, and to make matters worse, they are drinking dehydrating liquids like coffee, sugary juices, and alcohol.

But if you are trying to help your skin, maybe taking a break from these beverages, at least while you are detoxing, you should try swapping your morning cup of coffee for a hydrating and skin-clearing green tea.

Read more on the Benefits of Drinking Water For Your Skin

Glowing Skin

beautiful skin+commitment

The solution when detox body and skin is implementing what you have benefited from it, and introduce it into your everyday life, by doing this you can continue to see results long after the detox is over. By putting more care and effort into your daily skincare, and try to keep up with facials and occasional spas, add a selection of healthy foods into your diet, your skin smooth and glowing, and you will feel the changes in a few days.

With minor changes like these, hopefully, your skin won’t need a detox very often!

What are your preferred methods of detoxing? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.

jo@yourskincarehelp.com


 

Benefits Of Drinking Water For Your Skin

pour water into a glass

The Benefits of Water:

How often do you read about doctors advising us we are not drinking enough water? A lot, yet studies show that people do not like to drink water and many people find it difficult to drink the advised amount to keep their bodies functioning.

Pure, clear water is the lifeline our bodies depend on to be able to remain active. Without it, the human body would dehydrate, our vital organs would stop working, and we would eventually grind to a halt. Read on to learn the benefits of drinking water for your skin.

Our body mass is made up of approx’ 60-80% water, including organs, cells, skin, and tissues; our skin alone is 64% water. That figure tells us just how vital water is for our existence, and how reliant our body is on it. So, keep your body topped up with fresh water, and it is going to be extremely happy!

What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough Water:

boy jumping into water

You are going to start feeling pretty rough! Dehydration is not a pleasant feeling; your mouth will get very dry, this is telling you that you have gone far too long without water, and you need to start drinking water immediately.

Dehydration can lead to your blood pressure falling which in turn leads to headaches and dizziness, and your skin becomes dry and will lose its elasticity, very bad for those wrinkles!

All of this will leave you feeling tired and fatigued. So, isn’t all of that enough to make you want to keep those water levels up?

How can you avoid all these nasty side effects?

By drinking the stipulated amount recommended by doctors:

  • Men should drink approx’ 3 liters (about 13 cups) a day.
  • Women should drink approx’ 2.25 liters (about 9 cups) a day.

If you are having trouble drinking these amounts, you can break it down to just four to eight sips of water per hour; it’s easy to forget to do this if you’re busy at work and so busy that you don’t even realize that you are getting thirsty.

An excellent way to avoid this from happening is to keep a glass or bottle of water around you, just seeing it will make you want to keep sipping.

Try to create good habits, for example, every time you go to the bathroom incorporate drinking water, after answering the phone at work, take a sip of water, you will be surprised quickly it will become second nature and begin to increase your water intake.

Something else that you can try is to add a little flavor to your water. Some fruit or cucumber adds flavor without adding sugar; something else I find that helps is to drink sparkling water, adding a slice of lemon or a little ginger will give it a little variety.

You will be pleasantly surprised how, after you change those bad habits, and you start to drink more water your body begins to crave it and you’ll realise just how important it is for your body.

Celebrities and Water:

Barely a week goes by without a superstar who swears their perfect skin and water and palm treescomplexion is all down to drinking liters of water per day, it even prevents them from aging, so they say!

However, despite all the benefits we get from water, very little research has been done to back this up. Some say that is due to the fact the ‘big’ pharmaceutical companies are unable to patent & sell water, so finding anyone to fund the research is near on impossible.

With regard to what actual information I could find, there was one study that looked into long-term benefits from water on skin health; this study was in 2007! They found drinking between 2 and 3 liters of water a day for four weeks changed skin density, and thickness. However, little information is out there on what this means for the appearance of your skin.

How Water Affects Your Skin:

If we benefit from drinking water and it improves our skin and overall appearance, does it matter that research hasn’t adequately confirmed the benefits gained from drinking water yet?

I think most people know that regardless of scientific proof or not water is going to do more good than harm. It is getting this message across to a higher number of people, and letting them know the benefits you can gain from monitoring how much water you drink during the day, and make sure you stick to it rigorously.

Our body needs water to help maintain optimum skin moisture and to deliver nutrients to the skin cells. It helps with replenishing the skin tissue and elasticity.

girl drinking water in river

With regard to our facial appearance, people should set themselves a little experiment. Aim to drink the correct amount of water for four weeks, take a before and after photo, and see if after the four weeks either you or other family members notice any benefits from drinking the purest drink of all! What have you got to lose?

By drinking the stipulated amount of water each day it can plump up the skin, in doing this, it can make wrinkles look less visible, and it also has a similar effect on pores.

Water could also help to prevent skin breakouts: if your intake is sufficient, it can decrease the concentration of oil on your skin.

Skin heavily covered in oil relative to water can lead to clogged pores with breakouts and blemishes, also by drinking the correct amount of water it can help with skin disorders like psoriasis, and eczema.

Water helps to generate new cells, so keeping your body hydrated will help keep the cycle of new hair and skin cells going, and that can only be a good thing in our search for perfect hair and skin.

You gain all of these benefits so long as you keep your water intake up to the required amount. Drinking water will mask the impurities, it doesn’t remove them, and if you withhold the water intake, your skin will show the original flaws again!

Water Keeps The Body Stable:

man drinking water at beach

Water helps with the digestive system to flush toxins out of the body; this will help to give your skin a very healthy glowing appearance.

The skin is also a means to remove toxic chemicals from the body and controls the body temperature. It contains millions of small sweat glands just below its surface that are involved in the separation of pollutants from the blood.

These impurities are carried to the surface of the skin via pores. So when you perspire, toxins are brought to the surface of the skin for removal. If these are not removed from the body through proper hygiene and daily washing, they can lead to many health issues.

Spa’s have become very popular; people like to visit these places to detoxify and improve appearance and tighten the skin, this is done by having a session in a steam-room followed by a plunge into cool water.

If you are doing any physical training, make sure you drink plenty of water.

water and lime in glass

When exercising, our body sweats, and we lose a lot of water content. It is our bodies way of lowering the body temperature so that we don’t overheat.

Muscles are 75% water, having enough water will prevent you from getting muscle cramps during exercise.

When you are sweating excessively, it is essential that body fluids get replenished so as not to dehydrate. Keep a bottle of water with you if you know you are going to be doing any physical exercise.

Dehydration can have fatal consequences.

Consistency is the word:

In everything we do in life, one of the keys to success is consistency!

children drinking water

Drinking more water can change your life for the better. When you’re correctly hydrated, you can digest easier, sleep better, and think clearer, and the appearance of your skin will improve markedly. When you allow yourself to love the taste of water, and you will soon realize every sip is beneficial for you.

To reach your goal and to keep your body hydrated, you must act every single day.

Don’t give up, even if you genuinely struggle to reach the recommended amount, just by being consistent will lead you to excellent results!

How do you ensure you drink enough water each day? Please leave any comments or questions below, and I will be happy to discuss them with you.