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    Toni Ehrhard

    Noevir Independent Consultant

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The Beauty Genie with Skin in the Game

Every woman has looked for the genie in the bottle that would turn her into an ageless beauty or goddess.  You know, the sort of airbrushed beauty we see on those annoying magazines that constantly remind us we don’t look like “that.”  We need  to be reminded often of the real truth —  those women gracing the mag covers don’t really ” look like that.”  A number of magazine cover models that have posed for them have reportedly said they didn’t recognize themselves after seeing the finished airbrushed photos.

And, Twiggy, the 60’s model is a testament to that truth.   After 25 years , she recently emerged again to be the face of anti-aging cream Olay.  However,  pictures of her recently advertising Olay were met with criticism about the obvious “over-the-top”  airbrushing.  With her air-brushed picture along one that isn’t,  the difference is dramatic as you can see in the pictures below.  Twiggy was reported as stating she thought they were a little too heavy-handed with the airbrush.

Air brushing, aside, as we grapple with the inevitable progression of                  “ aging,”  there is no genie in the bottle, but there is hope.  And it boils down to becoming diligent in the prevention of wrinkles and bad skin.    There is no silver bullet, but a combination of things we can do will help us  age gracefully and beautifully.   I’ve personally seen several women in their 80’s and 90’s with beautiful skin.  No, they aren’t totally wrinkle-free but their wrinkles are minimal and their skin radiates health.  A few wrinkles, here and there, only add to the beauty of our character.   So I aspire to having beautiful skin, no matter my age and I hope you do, too.

I will write a series of articles on natural things anyone can do, man or woman, to prevent wrinkling and aging of the skin without botox, plastic or cosmetic surgery, etc.  Let me know what you think, or if there are some natural methods you have discovered that have proven helpful to your skin, I welcome you to share.

My Skin Genie:  A Guide of Foods For Healthier Skin and Overall Wellness

I used to work for the Director of Food Services for our local school system.  She had a poster on her wall that stated “You Are What You Eat.”  And, as we learn more about our body, our health, and our skin, we find that everything we eat becomes us – a part of our inner being and the outer fabric of our skin and body.  Any number of chronic skin problems and ailments can be directly linked to what  foods we consume or don’t consume  daily.

This is a short guide on essential foods to effect beautiful skin and a healthy digestive system.   Think of it as your personal alternative skin care program.  I have changed my eating program to include many of the food items listed here.  My skin and overall health are reaping positive results.  A  balanced nutrition can become a part of your healthy skin care regimen, too.  Try it, I think you will like what you reap – healthy, radiant and glowing skin not to mention, how great you will feel.

 Low-Fat Dairy Products — Vitamin  A.    Low fat yogurt, dark orange, leafy green, and red vegetables

One the most important components of skin health is vitamin A which is obtained from low-fat dairy products.  Experts say that healthy skin cells are dependent on dietary vitamin A which is known to regulate cell production so the surface of the skin  is smooth.  Three servings  (1 cup each) daily should be enough.

 Yogurt is rich in Vitamin A and acidophilus, the “live” bacteria good for keeping the digestion normal and overall intestinal health which impacts your skin.  Include squash, sweet potatoes, and spinach which are also infused with the rich antioxidant beta-carotene.

Fruits – Vitamin  C.   Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, plums, citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli. artichokes, red and pinto beans, prunes, and pecans.

Produce packed with vitamin C is crucial for the production and formation of collagen, skin’s support structure.  Try to have two 1-cup servings of fruit (strawberries, oranges or grapefruit.) and 1 cup of red peppers or  broccoli each day. 

 Blackberries, Blueberries, Strawberries, and Plums.

The common link between these four foods is their high antioxidant content.  The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry  published a recent study stating  these four fruits contained the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. The antioxidants combined with phytochemicals in these fruits can effectively protect the cell which guards against premature aging.  Artichokes, pinto and red beans, prunes, and pecans were also noted to be high in antioxidants.

Vitamin E — Sunflower seed and almonds

These seeds and nuts are loaded with vitamin E, an antioxidant that, with other antioxidants, works to protect skin from UV-related free radicals.  Your skin’s top layer has high levels of  vitamin E which protects its outer membrane keeping your skin healthy.  Strong membranes retain water which in turn, keep your skin hydrated.  You should try to eat at least 2 tablespoons of seeds or  20 almonds daily.

Essential Fatty Acids:  Wild Salmon, Atlantic, Mackerel, Fortified Eggs, Walnuts, Canola Oil, and Flax Seed.

 These foods all deliver essential fatty acids, and  are key foods for healthy skin.  Essential fatty acids are also responsible for healthy cell membranes .  Because  the cell membrane retains water, that means plumper, younger looking skin.  The best-known essential fatty acids are omega 3 and omega 6, which must be in balance for good health . Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation in the body which produces free radicals which contribute to aging by attacking collagen. 

 Healthy Oils. 

These contain essential fatty acids keeping skin lubricated and looking healthy.  The best and healthiest oils for your skin are those labeled cold pressed, expeller processed, or extra virgin and 2 tablespoons daily is enough.   These processes involve  pressing, heating, and bottling.

 Zinc and Iron — Fortified Cereal, Lean Meat,  Poultry,

These protein-rich foods are full of zinc and iron, minerals crucial to healthy skin function. Zinc supports cell production and natural cell sloughing. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen to skin and giving it a glow. Pour one serving of cereal (a cup) into a bowl.  When eating lunch or dinner, and as my doctor recommends,  one  palm-sized serving of meat or poultry is a sufficient portion. 

Whole-wheat Bread, Muffins, and Cereals; Turkey, Tuna and Brazil Nuts.

 The mineral selenium contained in these foods play a key role in the health of your skin cells  

Whole wheat and grains known as complex carbs can clear up your skin.  I eliminated white-flour items (bread, cake and pasta), sugar, and white rice which can affect insulin levels and cause inflammation that may ultimately be linked to skin break outs.   I found that I haven’t missed the white flour nor do my baked goodies.

Water.  

No one disputes the role good hydration plays in keeping skin looking healthy and even young.  That hydration should come from pure, clean water and not liquids such as soda.  Green tea is also good. 

Proper hydration aids in sweating more efficiently which helps clear the skin of toxins and keeps skin clear.

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