Discovering Your Skin: Its Purpose and the Four Different Skin Types

Did you know that your skin is the largest organ on your body?  People often think of skin in terms of what it looks or feels like-rarely giving a thought to what it actually does for you.  Believe it or not, your skin is actually a protective barrier that provides the following functions:

  • It is a natural pathway for one of the most important hormones, Vitamin D, to enter your body.  Vitamin D is a necessity for optimal health;
  • It helps to detoxify the body through perspiration;
  • It prevents your internal organs from being exposed to the elements;
  • It prevents viruses and bacteria from entering your body; and
  • It has a high amount of receptors that communicate weather conditions to your brain (which is why you know if you are hot or cold)

These are the things that all healthy skin has in common; however, when it comes to skin types, well that’s where things begin to differ. According to dermatologists, skin can be divided into four basic types: sensitive, under-active, active, and overactive.

 

  • Sensitive skin is generally a delicate, thin skin that is dry. It is usually a lighter color and tone; and is therefore, more prone to aging due to excessive heat, cold, wind, and ultraviolet light. Because of its thin texture, the capillaries are closer to the skin, which makes this skin easily irritated. Sensitive skin also does not do well with synthetic chemicals in skin care products, such as fragrances, colorants and preservatives.  Therefore, it should be cleansed with a mild cleanser with all natural ingredients.
  • Underactive Skin is similar to sensitive skin in that it is generally fair skin that burns easily. This skin type lacks elasticity and plumpness, and is prone to peeling and flaking because the sebum (natural oil) production is lacking or damaged. One of the best courses of action for this skin type is increased blood circulation through massages. Also hydrate this skin type with a rich moisturizer like squalane both morning and night.
  • Active Skin is not as common as other skin types. It is normally found in pre-adolescents or health oriented adults, i.e. those adults who eat a very healthy plant based diet with very little sugar or simple carbohydrates.  It most often has a firm, supple and smooth appearance, and radiates good health inside and out
  • Overactive Skin is generally hereditary and is prone to high sebum production. This skin type is usually thick in texture with large pores, especially around the nose area.  The appearance of the skin is usually smooth, plumper, and younger looking than underactive skin due to the excessive oil production. In adolescence, this skin is more prone to acne.

 

To treat all of these skin types, it is important to choose products with ingredients that are botanically based and scented with essential oils. Your skin is a living organism. Therefore, you should choose products with ingredients that are as close to food as possible, so that you can provide the much needed nourishment that all living things need in order to be healthy. CUSH’s Stay Young Anti-Aging Collection would be a great start towards maintaining beautiful skin.

Toxic Chemicals to Avoid when Purchasing Personal Care Products

Studies continue to show that personal care items have a high amount of toxins that can be extremely harmful, if not deadly, to people who use them. It is estimated that each day, women wear about 515 chemicals on their bodies from head to toe. The degenerative diseases that these chemicals are linked to include the following: cancer from eye shadow, kidney damage from synthetic perfumes, hormone disruption from body lotions and shampoos, and premature puberty from nail polish, just to name a few.  Needless to say these findings are disturbing; however, they borderline something more sinister when you consider that they are also found in personal care products that babies use each and every day.  How do these harmful toxins find their way into our personal care products?

 

Unfortunately, the cosmetics industry is highly unregulated and do not have to list many of the harmful ingredients found in their products. With that said, what can you do to avoid exposure to these toxic chemicals? You should know which harmful chemicals are the most prevalent so that you can avoid them. Below is a handy list of the most frequently used toxic chemicals that you should be aware of:

 

Chemicals Used as a Preservative

Parabens

  • methylparaben
  • propylparaben
  • butylparaben
  • Ethylparaben

DMDM Hydantoin

Moisturizing Chemicals

Propylene Glycol
Butylene Glycol
Polyisobutene

Cleansers

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Myreth Sulfate

Petrochemicals

Petrolatum
Mineral Oil
Paraffin

Chemicals Used for Sunscreens

Oxybenzone
Avobenzone
Octinoxate

Solubulizers

Phthalates

Eating Trans-fat has been Linked to Depression

It seems like everywhere you turn, there is somebody somewhere who is cranky or saying that they are depressed-it might even be you making the claim. In fact, depression is so common now that even children are moodier than they were a generation ago.  Even in the happy land of social media sites like Facebook, you are apt to view a post streaming through your rss feed, proclaiming depression. However, before you seek therapy or play doctor and prescribe Prozac, you might want to check out your diet.

It turns out that a study done by the universities of Nacarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canria in Spain showed that depression is also linked to a diet high in trans-fat.  Unfortunately, consuming trans-fat is very common in conventional foods. Conventional foods are processed foods-or foods that have been alterned from their natural state.  They are usually found in the inner aisles at grocery stores or at restaurants (especially fast food restaurants). However, don’t despair-you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of depression.  While consuming trans-fats is highly common, it can be avoided by making the following changes:

(1).    Increase your intake of omega 3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil, cod liver oil, flax seed oil and/or flax seed. Everyone should be consuming these even if they’re not depressed; and

(2).   Read your labels.  Don’t take the claim of “zero trans-fat” that’s found on the front of the package as the gospel. The FDA allows companies to put “zero trans-fat” on their packaging if one serving of food has less than 0.5 g of trans-fat.

(3).  Go the extra step and turn to the back of the package where the ingredients list is, and, allow me to quote the late William Faulkner, “read, read, read.” If the ingredients list has the words partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, that’s a trans- fat.  You might be saying that you are only going to eat one of those cookies. But let’s not fool ourselves; many of us always eat more than one serving of food, especially when we are snacking.  And if that’s not reason enough, the FDA says that there are no safe amounts of trans-fat so that means none should be consumed.

Now you see that avoiding trans-fat is quite simple and moreover, being happy really can be a choice. If you fuel your body with the right whole foods, you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully happy you can be. Before you know, the whole world could truly be happy-Now imagine that!

See California Bans Trans-fat video

 

 

 

Vitamin D is What Your Body Needs!

One of the biggest health epidemics today is vitamin D deficiency; therefore, everyone should get their vitamin D levels checked during their annual physical. Moreover, you should request that your doctor give you the more accurate 25(OH)D blood test for the best results. What exactly is vitamin D and why is it so important?

Technically, vitamin D is not a vitamin, but rather a metabolic product called calcitriol. Calcitriol is a secosteroid hormone, which means that it is similar to a steroid and has an endocrine mechanism of action. Over 2000 of the genes in your body are regulated by vitamin D. Therefore a deficiency in this hormone has a tremendous impact on your health and has been linked to several diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, and birth defects. In addition researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas say that there is a correlation between low serum levels of vitamin D and lupus. If you are deficient in vitamin D, let’s examine how you can restore your levels safely?

If it is summer time, good old fashion sunlight is the ideal way to obtain vitamin D. If you have pale skin, you only need about 10-50 minutes in the sun with 40% of your body exposed. If you have dark skin, you will need to stay in the sun significantly longer. Also, note that sun bathing for 30 minutes during the summer, produces about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D. During the winter, you can use safe tanning beds such as The Vitality Home Tanning Bed (for body tanning) or the D Lite tanning system, which produces vitamin D in your body; however, your body doesn’t tan. If you’re one of those people who are afraid to catch some ultraviolet B rays, you can always take an oral vitamin D supplement or you can buy a vitamin D spray.  Do not take the synthetic vitamin D2 supplement that your doctor might recommend. Instead, take a vitamin D3 supplement for optimum absorption. Adults can safely take up to 5,000 units per day (children should take half of that amount). Make sure that your progress is being monitored monthly by your doctor because over dosing on this vitamin can be fatal. Your vitamin D levels should be at least in the 50-60 ng/ml range for optimal health. If you have cancer, your levels should be in the 60-90 ng/ml range to aid in restoring your health.

Here what Dr. Oz  has to say.