We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.” But nothing could be further from the truth. Our skin is a reflection of our health. You have seen the radiant, beautiful skin of a healthy infant or a child. His eyes sparkle and her skin is glowing. You know the pale face of someone who is ill, the wrinkles and dry skin of someone who smokes or has a body filled with toxins and poor nutrition. You have seen the face of someone who is stressed, tired, or depressed.
The Critical Role of Nutrition in Health and Beauty
Did you know that, on average, a person consumes the following PER YEAR?
- 29 pounds of French fries
- 23 pounds of pizza
- 24 pounds of ice cream
- 53 gallons of soda
- 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners
- 2.736 pounds of salt
- 90,700 milligrams of caffeine
Do we really think we can create health in such a toxic environment?
Dr. Mark Hyman, who has dedicated his career to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illness through an approach known as functional medicine, shares other average annual intake data: 632 pounds of dairy, 85 pounds of oil and 63 pounds of beef alone.
Do we really think we can have beautiful skin and hair while eating processed food, saturated fat, and preservatives?
Symptoms of Poor Nutrition
Many women experience hair loss. A normal cycle of hair growth is two to three years, growing about a half inch per month. This means 90% of hair is growing while 10% is resting. After about two to three months, the resting hair falls out. Approximately 30 million women have noticeable hair loss. Hair loss may be due to illness, medications, and/or hormones. In addition, hidden food allergies and gluten sensitivity are common root causes of hair loss. Good nutrition is essential for healthy hair and skin.
- Vitamin A helps to secret sebum.
- Vitamin E increases circulation.
- Vitamin B keeps hairs firm on the scalp.
Cracking, scaling skin often signals a vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency. In addition to skin and hair, B3 is important for energy, digestion, the nervous system, and the eyes and mouth. B3 also helps to eliminate toxins and supports the production of sex hormones. This vitamin is found in beets, brewer’s yeast, meat, poultry, fish, seeds and nuts.
Vitamin B6, biotin, folate, and pantothenate are good for your skin. Sixty percent of individuals, however, are unable to convert folic acid into folate. Folate aids the body detoxify heavy metals and other toxins. Therefore, folate should be methylated (a methyl group should be added) to help our bodies use it properly.
Do you have dry skin and hair, eczema or psoriasis? This can be due to low vitamin E. Vitamin E should consist of mixed tocopherols for best results. Eating an adequate amount of excellent quality fish oil, vitamin D, omega 3 and omega 6, olive and avocado oil, nuts and seeds is vital for your brain, body and beauty.
If you are healthy and eating well but still experiencing hair loss, low stomach acid could be the culprit. Fifty percent of people 50 years or older, and 85% of people over the age of 80 have low stomach acid. Obviously, all individuals on antacids have low stomach acid.
Stomach acid is important for two reasons: to digest your food and to kill off the bacteria, viruses, and parasites we eat on a daily basis. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, those with low stomach acid often have nutrient deficiencies causing more problems with your skin and hair. This, in turn impacts all organs in your body.
Food Allergies…and Acne
The skin is great detoxifier. We are familiar with signs such as a rash from a virus or a bacterial infection, or hives from a food allergy. Skin conditions are a sign something else in our body is out of balance, sick, or toxic.
Do you or your teenager suffer from acne? Acne is a common condition characterized by papules or pustules. Acne can be caused by infection, tissue inflammation, plugged hair follicles, nutrient deficiencies and/or hormonal imbalances. Nutrient deficiencies in zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C and selenium also contribute to acne.
According to Dr. Alan Gaby in Nutritional Medicine (2011) numerous investigators suggest that a hidden allergy or sensitivity to foods contributes to some cases of acne.
Food sensitives may be affecting your acne. In fact the effects of biologically active substances in certain foods (e.g., hormones in cow’s milk and possibly amines or other chemicals in chocolate) can trigger acne. Food allergies can be detected in a lab easily by testing 90 different foods. Decreasing inflammation to improve your health and your beauty can change your life!
In one study, restricting sugar in soft drinks, fruit drinks, candy and cake resulted in an 84% substantial improvement or complete clearing of acne lesions. Like most signs and symptoms, skin conditions may have a combination of causes.
If you are suffering from irritable bowel symptoms or are even not experiencing any symptoms, you may have a hidden infection, causing decreased digestion or absorption of foods. This can have a huge impact on your skin, hair, teeth and overall health. A specific gastrointestinal tract test that checks the DNA often is the key to restoring your health. You cannot afford to miss this diagnosis.
Will Rogers said, “Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me—I want people to know why I look this way. I have traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.” Most people other than Will Rogers want fewer wrinkles. Wrinkles and photo-aging may result from age, sun, smoking, nutrient deficiencies, low stomach acid or toxic skin care products.
Here’s a surprise—anti-aging skin care products often contain toxins that over time damage and age the skin!
Every half inch square of skin contains 500,000 cells, 32 inches of blood vessels, 100 sweat glands, 21 inches of nerves, 15 oil glands and 230 sensory receptors. Your skin very effectively absorbs whatever you put on it, including toxins!
According to www.ewg.org (the environmental working group and creator of the skin deep cosmetics database) the average adult woman in the U.S. uses 12 personal skin care products each day. These products contain 168 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are directly linked to cancer and other health concerns. A few common toxic skin-care toxins to avoid are:
- Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate.
- Petroleum, paraffins and mineral oil.
- Propylene glycol and phthalates.
More than 90% of our personal skin care products contain sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate. These are also found in car washes, engine degreasers and garage floor cleaners.
Sodium laurel breaks down the skin’s moisture barriers and easily penetrates the skin. It can cause hair loss. It is in a class called nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Always check your products, toothpaste. and shampoo before you buy.
Hair dye is extremely toxic. One specific lab , for instance, reported several patients with diaminobenzene stuck to their DNA. This toxin is found in hair dye and shampoos. Some of these patients presented with neurological disorders and others with chronic illness. Specific PK intravenous protocols were able to remove the toxin from their DNA, confirmed through further lab testing.
But the point is that toxins damage our health and it isn’t pretty.
Check the labels on your skin and hair products. Do not put anything on your skin you would not eat, because it is all absorbed into your blood stream. This means if it would not be safe to eat your toothpaste, shampoo, or hair dye, then don’t use it.
Many sources provide safer and less toxic skin care products. See www.safecosmetics.org or www.whitelotusliving.com. Compounding pharmacies often make products that allow you to be both safe and beautiful, but always read your labels.
Beauty is more than skin deep! Smiles, clean living, and natural products will make you healthier and happier—and that’s what beauty is all about!