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Short-sleeved shirts, shorts, summer dresses and sandals can expose unsightly scars, stretch marks and other skin conditions. Don’t cover up – discover what to do and act now!
Although scars cannot be completely removed, there are plenty of natural ways to diminish their appearance. Look for natural treatment products such as Derma E Scar Gel, Cicalfate from Avène and Scarscience Gel. These products can help soften the appearance of lumpy or bumpy scar tissue, smooth skin texture, diminish colour, and improve the overall appearance of your scar. Use a natural microdermabrasion scrub twice a week to remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells, which helps to smooth and diminish the look of scars. Plus, the exfoliation will improve your skin’s ability to absorb other topical nutrients, giving you even better results.
Believe it or not, there are effective ways to minimise their appearance. Deeply moisturise stretch mark areas daily with natural skincare formulas rich in argan or coconut oil, shea or cocoa butter, full-spectrum vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. These oils and butters intensely condition skin, helping to increase elasticity and resilience.
Full-spectrum vitamin E gives you unparalleled skin nourishing benefits that promote self-healing. Hyaluronic acid attracts and binds moisture to the skin, promoting a softer, smoother, suppler appearance.
Drink plenty of fresh, pure water daily to flush toxins from the body and promote healthier, more elastic skin. Regular exercise and massage are also great ways to help circulate blood, moving nutrients and oxygen to the skin for healthy renewal.
PREVENT DAMAGED SKINFROM THE INSIDE
Apart from eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids, the following nutrients can work wonders:Put pomegranates to work
Pomegranate extract can boost the effects of sunscreen. In a clinical study, led by dermatologist Howard Murad, volunteers who took pomegranate supplements raised the SPF level of their sunscreen by as much as 23%. Tossing some pomegranate seeds onto your salads may be good for your skin (study Wisconsin University). Their high antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory benefits can reduce the ability of UVB radiation, protecting you from cancer-promoting damage in skin cells.
What to do: Take one 15 mg pomegranate tablet daily; a standardised extract is best. And eat fresh pomegranates whenever you can, too.
Take to teaGreen, black and white teas all contain polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help protect skin against the adverse effects of sun damage.
What to do: Tea can be enjoyed as a beverage, taken as a supplement (generally in a dose of about 300 mg per day), or smoothed on as an ingredient in skin creams (look for it among the top three ingredients on the label).
Get help from plantsReduce your risk of skin cancer with pycnogenol, a standardised extract of the bark of the French maritime pine tree. It has a long history of use and a great deal of very good scientific backing, especially in the treatment of venous and capillary disorders. ‘Pycnogenol binds to collagen and elastin and protects them from degradation caused by free radicals,’ says Frank Schonlau, director of scientific communications for Horphag Research, the Geneva-based developer of the supplement.
Another excellent remedy to include in a prevention programme is ginkgo biloba. It contains a cocktail of ingredients, including genistein, which some research suggests may reduce UV-induced oxidative stress and inhibit DNA damage.
What to do: Pycnogenol’s makers recommend 50 to 60 mg per day for women and 70 to 100 mg for men. There’s no standard dosage for ginkgo, as the research is preliminary; try taking 60 mg of standardised leaf extract daily.
FROM THE OUTSIDE
Warmer temperatures often mean increased UV exposure starting this time of year, so it’s no surprise when brown spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone begin cropping up. On the bright side (pun intended), you don’t need to rely on expensive laser treatments, harmful bleaches, or hydroquinone to get results.
Look for a complete skincare regimen, including a cleanser, toner, and day and night moisturiser that are rich in skin-brightening and skin-lightening vitamins and botanicals such as vitamin C, vitamin B3, bearberry, and liquorice. Not only is vitamin C an excellent anti-ageing antioxidant, but according to Dr Linda Miles: ‘it has also been shown to significantly reduce age spots around the eyes and cheeks; bearberry helps inhibit tyrosinase activity and melanin production, providing a skin-lightening effect; and liquorice helps inhibit UVB pigmentation and inflammation. With regular use of a natural skin-brightening regimen, pigmentation will even, and age spots will visibly diminish, leaving you with a healthy, radiant glow.’
Skin cancer on the riseThe rates of melanoma have been increasing steadily for the last 30 years – which is a pretty good indicator that the incidence of skin cancer isn’t about to plateau. Those who are most at risk are Caucasians and men older than age 50, but skin cancer does not discriminate. Melanoma is the leading form of cancer for young adults – but rates are twice as high in men compared with women by age 60.
A healthy lifestyle will often reveal healthy, happy, beautiful skin, from the inside out and the outside in!
She is editor, publisher and founding member of Natural Medicine and Dreamcatcher Publications. She has a passion for knowledge and strives to share the work of the brightest minds and biggest hearts in healing. For Daleen natural medicine is more than taking a pill for an ill philosophy. Natural medicine also encompasses nutrition, lifestyle, spiritual health, exercise, and emotional and mental well-being. She is the mother of three children.
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