The skin is the largest organ of our body. It account for approx 16% of an adult’s overall weight. It’s primary components are water ( 70%), proteins (25.5%) and fats (2%). It is a dynamic, living organ that continually sheds its outermost layer through a process called exfoliation. In fact, our skin replaces itself every twenty-seven days.
Our skin performs a number of vital roles.It is a barrier against micro- organisms and toxic compounds entering our body. It permits a selective exchange of fluids necessary for our survival. It is our natural radiator: by regulating our body’s loss of fluids, the skin helps us maintain our body temperature. It is a primary component of our sense of touch.
At the same time, our skin defines so much of the outer beauty we desire. Manipulating our skin has been a component of the human beauty regimen for thousands of years. For centuries we bathed our skin with oils, painted its surface and manipulated its texture – all for the sake of outer beauty. The role of our skin as a vital organ took a back seat to visual appearance. Today, a remarkable shift is occurring. Skincare is assuming a primary position in our health. Indeed, we now see that healthy skin is the basis for the beauty we desire and that our lotions, masques and creams can nourish the skin in incredible ways. Healthy skin and elegant appearance are synonymous.
Every day our skin is exposed to a number of environmental toxins. Factors like UV light , smog and smoke trigger a cascade of free- radical activity in the cells. To prevent new damage from UV rays, use a sunscreen every day, and reapply it after swimming and prolonged sun exposure. SPF15 works well for most skin types; however, a higher SPF may be necessary for some.
In addition, look for new, deep-penetrating compounds in products that amplify the body’s natural cell-renewal process and minimize the effects of environmental exposure. Scientifically advanced, natural products can help you defy the aging process and enjoy radiant, healthy skin at any age.
Nutrition and the skin
Like every organ in our body, our skin is composed of billions of cells. When we see the skin as an organ, we realize that cellular nutrition is vital for a healthy skin. Any deficiency of vitamins or essential nutrients in our body, negatively effects our skin. The skin is the last organ to receive nourishment from the body and the first to show signs of nutritional deficiency, imbalance or illness. The impact of diet on our skin can not be overemphasized. Poor dietary habits generally appear first in our skin’s texture, tone and color. It also has long-term effects on our skin – the kind that will not be seen until it is well beyond your control to correct the problem.
For example, a vitamin C or E deficiency weakens our skin’s firmness, tone and texture. Low levels of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) damages skin cell membranes and cracks appear in the corners of our mouth and on our lips. An iron deficiency can create poor skin color. The list is endless, but the message is clear: optimal cellular nutrition is critical for healthy skin.
Only recently was the discovery of the free radical and its impact on our body associated with our skin.It is now clear that free radicals are primary contributors to the aging process and can destroy the cells of our skin. Free-radical oxidative stress destroys skin-cell membranes and accelerates the sagging and wrinkling effects we experience as we age. The effects of free-radical damage are cumulative. It is a process that can continue for years before we receive any alert. We may never “see” the damage that free radicals cause until it has irrevocably harmed our skin. Free-radical damage is such a major aging factor that we must incorporate unique substances in our skincare regimen to combat its ill effects.
The primary agents which combat the free radicals are antioxidants. They include several vitamins as well as a number of phytonutrients found in botanical extracts. Any beauty regimen must take into account the nutritional needs of the skin and combat the free-radical activity that damages its cells. Without addressing both of these requirements, our creams and topicals merely hide the unsightly impact of oxidative stress and aging. Rather, we need to enhance our natural beauty while we nourish and protect our healthy skin.
A Vehicle for Health Knowing that our skin is a living organ that facilitates the transfer of nutrients and realizing that proper nutrition is critical for healthy skin, you would assume that the connection between skincare and skin nourishment would be obvious. Not so! We appreciate the damage we do by applying toxic chemicals to our skin in the name of beauty. We no longer poison ourselves for the sake of appearance. Yet we failed to see the real opportunity before us.
The skin is a powerful vehicle for health. Indeed, its selective passage of compounds into and out of the body is an instrument for wellness. Today, scientists use the powerful properties of the skin to deliver pharmaceutical compounds to the body. Medicinal introduction through the skin is now common practice. It is referred to in the medical community as transdermal application. Topical estrogen creams deliver hormones to our bodies. The transdermal introduction of substances has proven to be, in many cases, the most efficient method of introducing drugs to our body.
Once the importance of the skin was accepted and its status as a vital body organ was established, all was needed was a fresh approach that considered more than surface beauty in the creams and lotions we apply to our skin.
The relationship between proper nutrition and healthy skin was proven by Dr. Myron Wentz, a cellular biologist. He saw the power of nourishing the skin through topical applications. The question was: could both beauty-enhancing and antioxidant constituents be provided directly to the skin via a skincare regimen? Could skin cells absorb and be nourished and vitalized through the topical delivery of these compounds and could such a system deliver the anti-aging enhancements that consumers demand from their beauty products? The initial Sense formulas, developed by a team of biologists, chemists
and beauty consultants were provided to an independent third-party laboratory with instructions to test their effectiveness in several ways and under incredibly rigorous controls. At the end of 8 weeks clinical tests, the results were above all
expectations. In short, the viewpoint of a cellular biologist, implemented through the efforts of an interdisciplinary team, brought about a revolutionary advance in the science of skincare. Indeed, it delivered beautiful science! USANA Health Sciences is a leader in this field with a product line called Sense. For more information about Sense, visit: www.nutrobalance.USANA.com