The skin happens to be the major organ among the entire integumentary system (comprising the skin, nails and hair) of our body. The skin has several functions and main among them include regulating the body temperature, immune response, excreting waste materials, and protecting the tissues lying just beneath it.
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In fact, the skin is considered to be the body's foremost protection against toxins and pathogens prevailing in the environment. As soon as the Langerhans cells, dedicated dendritic or branching cells, detect any disease-bearing microbe, such as bacteria or virus, it commences the process to obliterate the pathogen and eradicates it from our body.
Our skin is extremely sensitive and prompts the body to response to heat, cold, acute pain as well as pressure. The skin possesses the aptitude to protect us from injuries and also save the wounded areas from harm during the healing process.
The skin also forms a barrier that puts off dehydration as well as fluid loss. In addition to water, the skin stores lipids - molecules that dissolve in fat, for instance, waxes, fats, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and cholesterol. It also interacts with ultra violet (UV) light and helps in the synthesis of vitamins B and D.
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As aforementioned, the skin regulates our body temperature by means of narrowing down or widening the blood vessels present in the skin. Widened blood vessels discharge body heat, while the constricted blood vessels limit the loss of body heat. When we perspire more, it cools down the body, but inadequate perspiration or lack of it makes our body warmer.
The skin expels excessive minerals and urea from our body. Moreover, findings of latest researches have shown that the skin also lets off pheromones and it may possibly have a bearing on the opposite gender's hormonal equilibrium.
The skin also takes up small quantities of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the environment. The skin also absorbs specific medicines, besides soaking up numerous chemicals present in the environment, for instance, contaminants as well as chemicals from cleansing and body care products.
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Taking an appropriate diet may help in enhancing the quality of your skin and your general appearance. Consume fresh vegetables and fruits, while staying away from sugar, hydrogenated oils, fried foods, dairy products, shortening and margarine. Consume foods that contain high amounts of fiber, as this helps to maintain a clean colon, which, in turn, aids in keeping your skin clean.
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Foods rich in zinc content, for instance, grains, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, beans, fish, egg yolks, meat and liver are helpful for maintaining a clean and glowing skin. On the contrary, consuming foods that have poor zinc content may result in skin flare-ups. It may be noted that zinc possesses anti-bacterial attributes and is essential for the skin glands that produce oil.
If you are keen to have a healthy skin it is essential to quit coffee and alcohol consumption, as these two substances have an effect on the blood and lymphatic circulations to the skin. In addition, you need to stay away from processed foods, especially those that contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt. Remember, inflammation worsens following consumption of saturated fats.
Like in the case of cleansing any other organ, you should necessarily drink no less than eight to ten glasses of bottled or tolerated water with a view to rinse out toxic substances through your kidneys. Dinking plenty of water assists in excreting toxic substances and metabolic wastes to leave the body through various other modes, barring the skin and prevent development of skin rashes and blemishes. Drinking herbal teas also helps in cleansing the skin. If you are using herbal teas, try to use goldenseal, dandelion, red clovers, pau d'arco and myrrh alternately.
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A word of caution: Never use the herb goldenseal every day for over a week and also during pregnancy.
Combine these herbs in equal proportions, add one teaspoon of the herbal mixture to 125 ml of water and bring it to boil. Sip about 125 ml to 250 ml (half a cup to one cup) of the unsweetened herbal tea every day. Continue drinking this tea for several months.
Combine these herbs in proportions mentioned above and infuse the mixture in 125 ml (half cup) boiling water. Sip half to one cup (125 ml to 250 ml) of this unsweetened herbal tea every day.
Antioxidants are vital for maintaining the optimal health of our skin and, hence, ensure that you consume plenty of foods containing high amounts of bioflavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. The last mentioned vitamin protects our skin from damage caused by ultra violet (UV) rays, while bioflavonoids are needed to augment the blood circulation to the skin. In addition, essential fatty acids like evening primrose oil assist in avoiding dehydration as well as formation of wrinkles. An enzyme called protease is also likely to assist in curing a number of skin problems.
Apart from the skin cleansing methods discussed above, you may undertake few other things to detoxify your skin and ensure its health. For instance, it is important to dry brush your skin to cleanse it, as this helps in getting rid of the external stratum of old skin - including uric acid crystals as well as mucus residues. Undertake dry brushing using a supple surgical scrub brush or a natural bristle. Start dry brushing from the feet soles and continue upwards brushing every part of the skin, barring the nipples, in a rotary movement. Take a bath or a shower once you have completed the dry brushing.
Skin brushing offers several other benefits and some of these are noted below.
Brushing the skin augments circulation to skin, which, in turn, stimulates the elimination of metabolic wastes from the body. This facilitates the whole body's lymphatic drainage. After the body has eliminated all toxic substances, it can function further effectively in every area.
It also assists in toning up the skin, as it improves blood circulation to the skin, thereby lessening the formation of cellulite. Skin brushing also revitalizes the nervous system by invigorating the nerve terminals in our skin.
When you dry brush your skin it helps to encourage the lymphatic ducts to drain out mucus into the colon and, in this way, it detoxifies the whole system, which facilitates the lymph to undertake its cleansing activities and ensure that the blood as well as other important tissues are also cleansed. When you have dry brushed your skin for several days, you are likely to note some jelly-like mucoid substances in your feces.
Dry brushing your skin facilitates the skin to take up nutriments by doing away with the congested skin pores. When you skin is healthy and breathing, it improves the total health of your body. This cleansing process also helps to tone up the muscles and distribute the fat deposits further evenly.
People having sedentary lifestyles generally suffer from stiff and aching shoulders and necks, which may even spread to their arms and downwards to their spines as well as the lumbar region. When these areas are dry brushed, it facilitates the flow of more blood and they undergo an augmented electromagnetic energy in their body allowing them to become motivated and pepped up. In fact, even people who spend most of their day sitting in front of a computer screen will find dry skin brushing beneficial and enjoy its advantages.
In addition, massage therapy is also useful for enhancing the skin tone by augmenting circulation. Use of essential oil also assists in detoxifying, soothing, toning, nourishing as well as promoting the functioning of the skin. Some of the essential oils that you may use to detoxify and nourish your skin include sandalwood, geranium, lavender and neroli. Include 15 drops of any of these essential oils, or a blend of these oils, in two ounces of suitable fixed or base oil and gently massage your skin with it.
It is worth mentioning here that cellulite (fatty deposits beneath the skin) is toxic. Precisely speaking, cellulite is toxic substances that amass in the fat cells of the body, because they cannot be eradicated. Hence, instead of undergoing a liposuction surgery, it is always prudent to make use of the dry skin brushing methods together with taking a diet that is alkaline. In addition, regular workouts too facilitate in getting rid of cellulite, especially when undertaken in conjunction with an alkaline diet and dry skin brushing. All these facilitate in breaking down the undesirable detrimental deposits in the body and excrete them through the various elimination means.
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