Natural Healing

Taking care of aging skin


| July/August 2000



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Keeping your skin smooth, supple, and taut may not be something that you ponder on a daily basis. But as the skin ages, cell numbers decrease and the dermis (the layer of skin lying immediately beneath the epidermis) becomes thinner. As a result, the dermis is less capable of retaining its moisture content. New cell growth is minimal, and existing cells have a difficult time repairing themselves.

Charles Zugerman, M.D., associate professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University and a dermatologist in private practice in Chicago, explains it this way: “There are two types of aging. The first is chronological, which means we get older physiologically and this causes wrinkling. Aging is also caused by sun exposure. Chronological aging is a result of diminishing elastin and collagen resulting in less resilient skin. This sort of aging is very difficult to reverse.”

Zugerman likens popular resurfacing techniques like microdermabrasion (an exfoliation process), chemical peeling, and CO2 laser peeling to stripping an old wood floor. “Once you take off all of the scratched and unattractive wood, you find untouched wood that is lovely,” he says. “The deeper the peeling technique, the more you will find wonderful skin. There is a possibility that collagen is produced because of the damage caused during the process. Because of this, the skin will look better. Some fine lines and wrinkling will be removed.”

Lori Van Wormer, an esthetician for Great Skin, a skin-care provider and retailer in New Mexico, employs more natural approaches. Van Wormer advocates the topical use of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C (ascorbic acid).

Recipes in this article:

  1. Post-Exercise Muscle Saver 
  2. Ancient Energy 
  3. Cool Down with Hibiscus Punch

Always hydrate your skin with a good moisturizer.





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