Healthy Advice From VÄXA
Great Looking Skin
for Back to School
A lot of great kids
out there are getting ready to go back to school and may be
self-conscious about how their skin looks. What if they look
in the mirror on that first day and see a red mountain staring
back at them?! Acne breakouts can affect self-esteem, social
life, and school.
"Teen acne" of some form affects nearly 90%
of teenagers, and this can extend into the college
years. We're familiar with dozens of advertised products that
claim to solve acne problems by just a wash of the face and
"miracle skin cream" application. These are sponsored
by a multi-billion dollar skin care industry that sells images
of perfect skin. But research shows that when it comes to
looking good outside, it depends on what we put INSIDE as
True Skin Beauty Really Starts
on the Inside
Our skin is the largest working organ of the body! The outer
epidermis, which gives us our coloring and protects against
the sun, isn't a stand-alone covering. There are two other
layers. Below the epidermis is the dermis. It covers nerve
endings, sweat glands, oil glands, and hair follicles. Then
comes a layer of subcutaneous ("under skin")
tissue, a fatty layer covering our insides.
So obviously, what's going on inside with all those glands
and tissues is important to what shows up on our skin.
What causes teen acne? Acne or pimples appear at the
time of hormonal changes when young girls and boys mature
from childhood to adolescence. This time, known as puberty,
is when the hormone "androgen" can cause the sebaceous
glands to enlarge primarily in the face, neck, and chest.
The sebaceous gland produces "sebum", an oily substance
which eventually reaches the surface of the skin where it
mixes with dead skin cells, bacteria, and white blood cells
to form whiteheads, blackheads, nodules, or cysts (teenage
Sebum seems to stimulate the lining of follicle walls, resulting
in a higher rate of keratin production. Keratin is a protein
found in hair, skin and nails. The mixture of keratin and
sebum in teenagers promotes bacteria growth that causes inflammation
associated with acne. The white blood cells, whose role is
to fight off infections and destroy bacteria, on occasion
fight a losing battle, adding to the acne.
Nutrition and Diet play important roles in controlling
Doctors now agree that nutrition and diet are key to healthy
skin. It's not so much the chocolate they had after school,
but what they didn't have. And what nutrients isn't
the body properly producing or absorbing? These two factors
may be the bigger reason for acne breakouts.
Foods that can help keep acne under control are:
But because teenagers don't always pay
attention to what they eat, and stress can add to the teen acne
- Fruits: A good source of vitamins
and antioxidants. Antioxidants ward off harmful molecules
(free radicals) produced in the air or through environmental
toxins that can harm our cells and tissues.
- Nuts, grain and seeds: A great
source of omega-3 "fatty acids". Fatty acids are
responsible for healthy cell membranes, the passageways
for nutrients to cross in and waste to get out. One ounce
of nuts, grain or seeds provides the same omega-3 as 3.5
ounces of fish.
- Olive oil: Our skin should get
at least 2 tablespoons of oil each day for proper lubrication.
Olive oil is also beneficial due to its monounsaturated
fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Vegetables: Sorry, teens!!! Vegetables
provide the body with endless vitamin, mineral, antioxidant
and digestive properties that reflect in healthy skin.
- Brazil nuts, turkey and tuna:
Rich in the mineral Selenium. It helps reduce inflammation
that is associated with acne.
- Teens should also carry water
with them and drink the equivalent of 6-8 glasses per day.