Mother Earth Living

Better Skin Naturally

Maintain Magnificent Skin
By Laurel Vukovic
April/May 2004
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Many of the outward changes we associate with aging are the result of insufficient exercise and rest, lack of essential nutrients and too much stress. The more attention you give to eating healthfully, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and reducing stress in your life, the better you will look and feel. You also can improve the appearance of your skin greatly by using natural treatments that stimulate cellular rejuvenation.

Among the best topical skin treatments are alpha-hydroxy acids, natural substances derived from foods such as citrus fruits, yogurt, grapes, sugar cane and apples. These gentle acids work by loosening the glue that binds the outermost layer of surface skin cells together, which increases the shedding of dead skin cells and encourages the formation of new skin cells. Alpha-hydroxy acids improve skin texture and color, lessen fine lines, reduce age spots and make pores appear smaller. For best results, you need to use these products for two months or longer to see a significant improvement in skin quality.

Specific herbs are also helpful for treating mature skin topically. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) contains allantoin, a compound that encourages the formation of new skin cells. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and rose (Rosa spp.) stimulate cellular rejuvenation.

 

Laurel Vukovic is a frequent contributor to The Herb Companion’s sister publication, Herbs for Health magazine, and author of 14-Day Herbal Cleansing (Prentice Hall, 1998) and Herbal Healing Secrets for Women (Prentice Hall, 2000).



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