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Addressing Acne and Aging From the Inside Out

By: JoElle Lee
Posted: January 2, 2014, from the January 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Addressing Acne and Aging From the Inside Out

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Inflammation. Inflammation is a normal, short-term natural immune response that involves the release of immune cells by the body to counteract infection and heal trauma. At that point, the response is supposed to be turned off. However, if it stays activated, immune cells will remain in circulation and can damage healthy cell functions, such as natural skin rejuvenation and turnover. Eating too much sugar or high-glycemic food ultimately leads to a process in which sugar molecules in the blood bond to proteins and DNA. Over time, this process affects collagen proteins, changing their shape, flexibility, elasticity and function. The result is premature aging and additional inflammation. To significantly improve the tone and texture of the skin, inflammation would have to be reduced. This can be achieved by neutralizing free radicals both inside and out, and boosting immune function through good nutrition, supplementation, hormonal balance and detoxification.

Many aspects of modern living—including poor diet, and exposure to pollution, smoke and environmental contaminants—put the skin in contact with free radicals more than ever before. However, the body is designed to neutralize free radicals naturally with the use of antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in many fruits and vegetables, and in some herbs. A combination of healthful eating with antioxidant supplements can prevent excessive damage from free radicals.

Diet. As clients age, they may experience more difficulty absorbing nutrients and have a challenge incorporating enough fiber into their diets. To compensate, recommend that they eat plenty of whole grains and leafy greens and, if possible, add wheat germ to meals. Oats, flaxseeds and raw vegetables can prevent constipation and will reduce toxins in the digestive tract. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Vitamin C helps fight free radical damage, reduce cancer risk and strengthen the immune system. Good dietary sources of vitamin C include broccoli, citrus fruits, red peppers, asparagus and avocados.

To help prevent dehydration, recommend clients drink a glass of purified water every two waking hours; this will also help with chronic constipation. A glass of red grape juice or an occasional glass of red wine also has antioxidant properties to keep free radicals at bay.

Foods high in free radicals are red meat and processed foods, as well as foods with additives and preservatives. They can also clog up the digestive tract and inhibit proper functioning. Recommend that clients avoid or limit these foods.

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