Save Your Skin
Amazing stuff – skin – wrapped all round you like a great big, porous yet waterproof, sturdy yet flexible mackintosh. It’s the best product the clothing industry hasn’t got. Did you know the average adult has about two square metres of skin keeping all the bones and jelly-ish bits in and the big, bad world out? Your skin reflects many things about you.
- An adult owns on average 10 kilos of skin, including the subcutaneous fat.
- There are between two to three million sweat glands in your skin, keeping you cool and preventing you from drying out.
- When you blush, your stomach lining blushes too!
- If you live an indoor life, hunching over the telly or the computer, and venturing outdoors only to lock yourself in your air-conditioned car, you are likely to have pasty, dull and flaccid skin.
- If you frequently experience stressful living or working conditions then your skin will be pale and you will have tell-tale dark smudges under your eyes, as stress drains the blood from the smaller blood vessels in the skin, to direct it to the major organs. You will also have more spots, as stress hormones cause the little blighters.
- If you drink no water, you will have bags under your eyes and your skin will lack youthful plumpness.
- If you don’t get enough sleep you will have more wrinkles and skin impurities, as your body won’t have that vital time to do repair work.
- If you are eating and drinking things that do not agree with your system, you may have sensitive skin that easily reacts with a red, itchy or angry rash, or an outbreak of small, red pimples.
We all age and only characterless people have no lines on their faces (no, really…)
Nancy Mitford tells of how one of her sisters practised deliberately blanking all expression from her face, neither laughing nor frowning and doing her best to minimise thought, to preserve her youthful features. If you’d like a featureless, thought-free life that’s one option, but laughter lines aren’t bad things; it’s the cigarette lines, alcohol lines and burning-both-ends-of-the-candle lines that are the problem! So how are you going to keep your birthday suit in good enough condition to see you through quite a few more birthdays?
- Drink water! Skin keeps water out, but we need quite a lot of water inside, to plump up the skin and make it fresh and dewy-looking.
- If you’re drinking a lot of coffee and alcohol but not much else, think about cutting down and interspersing other drinks with the vital water.
- Get some exercise – get the blood flowing to your extremities.
- Don’t smoke. Just don’t. Each fag is another wrinkle line…
Spend your money on:
Silica This is the nutrient that holds the water in your skin. The more of it you have, the more plumped up your skin will be and the fewer wrinkles will form.
Vitamin C This acts as cement for the skin cells, so if you have plenty of it your skin will be healthier and deteriorate less. This is why we’re always telling you to eat fruit and vegetables, which are packed with the stuff. If your intake is below optimal and/or you live in a polluted place, smoke or are exposed to smoke, or lead a stressful life, take 100mg of vitamin C at least three times a day, if not more often.
Vitamin E This keeps youthful elasticity in the skin, does great things for your heart at the same time.
Nettles (Urtica) Take nettle tea or nettle tincture if you are prone to red, itchy rashes and your skin fires up easily. It’s grand for treating prickly heat so take it on holiday with you.
Viola tricolor or Wild Pansy. This herb helps to feed the skin and take toxins away from it, reducing inflammation and generally helping to preserve a better-looking exterior. Use it for mystery rashes, mild acne and childhood eczema particularly; but it’s worth trying for most skin problems.