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Skin health

by Mark Lamendola, lifelong skin owner

Nobody really likes looking like last year's luggage. Nearly everyone with a crocodile complexion could have prevented it. Let's look at how.

The two most damaging things you can do to your skin are getting direct sunlight on it and breathing tobacco smoke. The ultra-violet radiation of direct sunlight destroys and scars skin cells. It makes them lose their elasticity. Wear a sunscreen! Smoking causes vasoconstriction, which means you starve your skin of nutrient-bearing blood. So, your first step is to stay out of the sun and stay away from smoke. It doesn't matter if the cigarette belongs to someone else--you are breathing the same smoke they are. Steer clear or look like leather--your choice.

Most people are dehydrated. If your urine isn't clear, you are drinking too little water. This is hard on your kidneys, and can lead to painful stones and/or urinary tract infection. Plus, it causes your skin to be as flexible as leather and look about the same. Drink up!

You can buy a sports water bottle at any department store, and keep it with you. Or get a jug to keep at your desk if you work in an office. A good rule of thumb? Drink a quart (or liter) within an hour of starting work, and another quart before lunch. Drink a third quart before dinner, and a fourth quart after. If you do anything athletic, adjust accordingly. Sure, that's a lot of water, and a lot of trips to the bathroom. But, that's the cost of having a human body designed the way it is, and wanting it to look good.

Alcohol dries the skin, so keep it off your skin and out of your diet for maximum skin protection. Sodas don't help. Their caffeine is dehydrating, as is their sodium. The carbonation reduces the amount of calcium in your bones, and that means earlier onset of osteoporosis. The sugar causes insulin problems. There is nothing of value in a soft drink, so always opt for a different beverage or go without.

New skin products can help. However, it's hard to figure out which ones are useful. You really need to develop a skin care program. A skin care program is the combination of skin care products and a routine that will most benefit your skin. You first need to consider your diet and type of lifestyle, since these two factors play an important role in the health of your skin.

More about skin health, below....

Those fast-food meals mean fast loss of skin health. Don't eat them. Fresh fruits and vegetables have a wider range of flavors than do grease-laden burgers. If you put some thought to it, you can make sure there's time to eat a diet rich in these foods.

You need to give some thought and consideration to the type of makeup you use. And be sure to clean your tools regularly. Things such as cosmetic brushes get dirty and can carry bacteria and germs and may cause skin irritations and breaking out. One of the leading cosmetic authorities suggests you thoroughly clean cosmetic brushes at least twice a month. A good way is to soak brushes for about 10 minutes in a dish of warm, soapy water using mild liquid detergent or baby shampoo. Rinse and blot excess moisture with a towel and stand the brushes, handle end down, in a tall glass until they are thoroughly dry.

Prevent your skin from absorbing environmental pollutants, with a good moisturizer that also acts as a skin barrier. Check the labels for those with added Vitamin A, C, and E--these help block the penetration of pollutants.

A good exercise program will activate and rejuvenate the skin, while improving blood flow. Also, body sweat triggers production of sebum, which is the skin's own natural moisturizer.

Get serious about stress reduction. Skin conditions such as acne appear on many people who are stressed out, and chronic skin conditions tend to worsen. Set aside quiet time to meditate or daydream. Be sure to get enough sleep (see our sleeplessness causes and cures course if this is a problem for you).

To avoid morning eye or facial puffiness, sleep on your back so fluid doesn't collect in your eyes. You can keep the oil from your hair away from your face by wearing a head covering or a soft headband when you go to bed. And keep in mind that too much stress can affect your overall health, as well as your complexion. If you're stressing out, look for things that cause you stress and start eliminating them one at a time.

Most of those stress-causing things are not essential. For example, if your credit card bills stress you out, put a one-month moratorium on spending--buy only food, fuel, and other things you cannot do without. Don't buy clothes, restaurant dinners, or even merchandise from this Website. You'll be surprised at how much stress relief this provides. Does traffic stress you out? Find someone to pool with. Or bring an audiocassette so you can learn a new language, hear a great novel, or learn a new subject.

Does your boss drive you nuts? Have a heart-to-heart talk. Just tell your boss some things are stressing you out and you'd like to get back on track. Your boss is probably under stress, too, so approach the conversation with the idea of reducing stress for both of you if possible. Stick to the issues, and go into the conversation with the idea of getting at least one thing you can do to reduce stress. Make sure you smile and don't accuse or complain. You just want to see if there are ways to improve the work process. Maybe you can telecommute one day a week, so you don't have to fight traffic every day.

Spousal stress? Stop and think about what you like about your spouse. Count your blessings in that area. Then, go get a card from Hallmark and add a list of those things to the card. Can't come up with a long list? Then just say "Here are three of the many things I like about you." Finish with a note saying, "I just took a moment to count my blessings." You will be surprised at how much less stress you will get from your spouse. This could ward off a divorce. As we all know, you can "lose your hide" in a divorce. Save your skin ahead of time!

Get your basic nutrition. Forget the chips and soda--save your skin!



Article Authorship

The articles on this site are authoritative, because:

  • Every contributor is an expert in his or her field.
  • The articles comply with the accepted principles of the bodybuilder literature.
  • The articles comply with the teachings of such luminaries as 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney.

 Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.

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