Save Your Skin From Skin Cancer This Summer

Summer Skin CareSummer is almost upon us and with it the increasing risks of contracting skin cancer, including the most deadly form melanoma. Increased loss of the earth’s ozone layer, together with more direct sunlight and global warming, is resulting in more and diagnosed cases of skin cancers, of which often appear years after the initial skin exposure.

There’s no shortage of patent skin lotions and creams for use when going to the beach or to other places where large parts of the skin will be exposed to direct sunlight. Ultra violet (UV) light rays are the main cause of skin cancer; and researchers now say that Americans “soaked in” at least 50% of the maximum amount of UV rays that their skin can tolerate by the time they reach age 21. Although these many type of sun screen preparations will have varying degrees of success in blocking out these harmful rays, a number of everyday remedies and preparations can be very effective as well in protecting the skin. Some of these include:

Zinc Oxide: One of the oldest and best skin protecting preparations, zinc oxide now is available in an assortment of shades and pastel colors. It is an excellent blocking agent of UV light rays.

Green Tea Extract: excellent in anti-oxidants, tree tea extract helps to stimulate the growth of keratinocytes, which make up the outer cell layer of the skin.

Grape Seed Polyphenols: contains flavonoids by inhibiting skin cancer occurring from UV light exposure. Grape seeds have 20 times more antioxidants than Vitamin E and 50 more than vitamin C.

Turmeric: A spice also known as curcumin, turmeric contains the flavonoid curcumin and is excellent as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as protecting the skin against UV light. It has a yellow color that can stain the skin and clothing, but a colorless version is now available.

Rosemary: A perennial spice often found in gardens rosemary contains two antioxidants , carnosic acid and ursolic acid, which are very effective in skin protection.

Protecting the skin by wearing protective clothing, hats and limiting skin exposure are as or even more helpful in reducing the risks of skin cancer. Eating foods high in flavonoids and antioxidants will also help skin cells to resist the likelihood of skin cancer as well as help prevent premature aging. Since signs of skin cancer may occur as long as 20 years after initial exposure, is it recommended to take the necessary preventive precautions from an early age, especially for children.

Dr. Oz: The Anti-Aging Genius

American TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey often has health care experts on her day time programs who are specialists in helping people maintain good health. One of these professionals is Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiologist by profession and a renowned expert in the field of health and anti-aging. Usually known only as Dr. Oz, he has authored more than 350 book chapters, original publications, abstracts and books on how to slow down the body’s physical destruction that is otherwise known as the aging process. Dr. Oz makes frequent appearances on Oprah’s show, as well as on other TV programs, including Larry King Live, and Fox News.

During his career as a Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, as well as directing the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Oz has made natural anti-aging foods and exercise programs a life-long study, as well as a personal lifestyle. By combining a daily program of healthy diet, proper exercise, and adequate sleep (nature’s great restorer), Dr. Oz has proven that persons can reduce their physiological age to a point that it is as much as 12 to 13 years less than their actual chronological age.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Dr. Oz’s program is really very simple. Some of the “age defying foods” he advocates people should eat include anti-oxidants such as asai fruit, a Brazilian fruit found in the Amazon rainforests that is very high in antioxidants; as well as less exotic ones such as blueberries, green and white teas, broccoli, and red wine. He also advocates taking a number of spices including ginger (excellent for decreasing high blood pressure), paprika and cayenne pepper (reduces risks of Alzheimer’s and other brain dementia diseases) as well as others such as rosemary ( which rejuvenates the skin and is beneficial in relieving digestive disorders and headaches).

Dr. Oz also advocates eating foods high in dietary fiber such as whole grain breads and pastas (much better than simple “whole wheat” varieties), flax seeds (full of Omega 3 oils as well as fiber) and fiber rich vegetables such as cabbage and celery. Omega 3 oils, which protect the body against heart disease, are also high on his list of required foods. Fish, which are high in Omega 3 oils, actually obtain them from ingesting algae, he said; and he advocates eating foods containing this vitamin and mineral rich plant from the sea.

Exercise routines recommended by Dr. Oz include those which help expand lung capacities and improve the body’s circulation. These can include yoga and other sports which emphasize deep breathing. Even meditation is a good practice, since sounds such as “yom” help keep the sinuses clear through vibration.

And last, but certainly not least, adequate sleep of at least 7 hours per night is important to help the body’s natural restorative processes to function properly.

One of Dr Oz’s most authoritative health guides is a book published in 2005 entitled You – the Owner’s Manuel: an insider’s guide to the body that will make you healthier and younger. Written together with Dr. Michael Roizen, it was featured on the New York Time’s Bestseller list.

Banana a day keeps the depression away

We are all familiar with the famous rhyme “an apple a day keeps the doctor away“. And well, it’s true! Apples are a great source for essential nutrients, such as B & C vitamins.

But did you know that Bananas are just as important? This soft yellow fruit is simply a treasure box of brain nutrients…

Our brain is the most sophisticated machine ever created. It’s comprised of trillions of cells, among them you could find no less than 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons. These neurons communicate with each other by secreting special chemicals known as neurotransmitters.

Dopamine and Serotonin are two neurotransmitters that are proven to have great impact on our mood, our ability to concentrate, and our emotional stability. In fact, drugs like Prozac and Ritalin work by adjusting the levels of Serotonin and Dopamine (respectively) in our brains.

Now what would you say if you knew that a simple banana is packed with both serotonin and dopamine?! It can be considered a natural medicine for depression, not too mention a very tasty medicine.

Of course bananas can’t replace conventional therapy, but they’re a good addition for anyone taking drugs to combat depression and other mental ailments. For example, children who take Ritalin often experience a period of nervousness when the medication wears off in the evening. This withdrawal effect results from the depletion of dopamine reservoirs in the brain, since the Ritalin has increased dopamine usage throughout the day. So eating a pair of bananas in the early evening might help somewhat with avoiding the withdrawal effect, as it helps the body to renew its dopamine reservoirs.

While medications are central to any form of conventional behavioral disorder treatment, there are some natural remedies that could augment the healing process.

So I think I finally know why monkeys are so “high” all the time… they’re banana addicts!

Hemp Shampoo

Organic Hemp ShampooFor many years we’ve been accustomed to use soaps and shampoos that contain chemicals that damage our skin and damage the environment. These chemicals can be so dangerous sometimes, that most manufactures have to test their products on living animals before they release these products to the market. Countless bunnies have been blinded by soap manufacturers.

However, there are alternatives. Recent years have seen a surge in organic cosmetics. Usually, these soaps, toothpastes, and make-up, are made of herbs, vegetables, and fruits, without being mixed with additional chemicals or color additives.

I want to present a natural shampoo made in Canada from organic hemp. There’s no animal fat in the ingredients — in facts, it’s even suitable for vegans. The delicate smell of the shampoo bar comes from sweet oranges, and it’s both gentle and antiseptic.

This item, along with other hemp products, and even hemp clothes, can be found at Rawganique.

Have a good scrubbing!

Ambrosia Essence and other Organic Skin Care Options

Aloe veraSome days I wonder if I am all alone in my quest for a cleaner planet. Then I find a kindred spirit or read an article and know that the collective consciousness is moving in the right direction. There are many folks like myself who are becoming more aware of the dangers of chemicals in the food we eat as well as in many other household products.

I have not only been purchasing organic foods and reading all food labels but more recently I have started looking at the ingredients in household cleansers, cosmetics and skin care products. My search for healthier products led me to become a representative for One Group, a company that produces certified organic personal care products.

My personal favorite in terms of skincare is a product called Ambrosia Essence. Its expensive, but it is by far the best product I have found to help me with my rosacia. I still have some redness, but in comparison to what I have been living with for years this is heaven. I don’t know if this product would give the same results for other folks but it is working well for me.

If you are on the search for a more natural, or organic option for your personal care products the skin deep website it a great place to start. They have all kinds of products listed and each one has a safety rating. Take a look and see if you can’t find a cleaner, greener alternative to what you are currently using.

Written by Anita Kaiser

Tanning and Burning

Tanning and BurningMany people recall that song sung at the finale for the rock musical Hair: “Let The Sunshine In”. When going to the beach, an outdoor swimming pool, or even lying on your back porch sundeck, it is a very good idea not let too much of the sunshine in – especially to your skin. Many people, especially at the beginning of the summertime beach season, are in a hurry to acquire what is known as a deep, coppery colored suntan. Whether or not you can acquire a proper suntan will depend on your skin’s pigmentation ability to acquire that lovely “Coppertone Tan” as is so often advertised on TV.

Some people, especially those with very fair skin (redheads, etc.) simply cannot acquire a proper tan no matter how much they expose themselves. In fact, overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, especially for “palefaces” can be harmful and downright dangerous. When a person becomes overexposed to the sun, a condition most commonly known as ‘sunburn’ develops. Sunburn occurs when the pigmentation in the skin, known as melanin, rises to the skin’s surface, resulting in a reddish pink color, which in severe case is actually a second degree burn. Besides the change in skin color, and accompanying discomfort, other symptoms of acute sunburn include headache, faintness, and nausea, accompanied by severe dehydration.

Treatment for moderate to severe case of sunburn includes immersing the body in a mixture of cold water and vinegar (an ‘old wives’ remedy that still works) and gently rubbing either a good quality body lotion into the affected areas; especially a lotion or cream specifically designed to treat cases of wind or sunburn. Since sunburn is actually a body burn, no less harmful than being burned by a hot object or fire, the effected top skin epidermal layer dies and later peels off in a similar manner as a reptile shedding its skin. Aloe vera based skin creams and lotions are also very good for sunburn.

Even dark complexioned people can develop sunburn; and in particular because they may tend to be exposed to sunlight for longer periods, thinking that their dark skin is really protecting them.

Proper tanning, which can also be done by laying on a tanning board under ultraviolet lighting, should be done slowly and for just a few minutes per session. A good tanning lotion, cream, or spray should be used which protects you from UVA and UVB categories of ultraviolet light (UVA being the sun’s rays) and with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. If tanning at the beach or pool, the suntan preparation should be re-applied after you go into the water – even for a few moments.

Taking care of one’s skin is very important in today’s world of depleted ozone layers and enhanced sunlight. The consequences of overexposure to the sun’s rays may only show up 10 to 15 years later with skin cancer or melanoma, which can disfigure and in some cases even kill people.

Remember, when “letting the sunshine in” it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The Miracle of Dead Sea Mud Treatment

Anybody who has visited one of the several health spas located at the Dead Sea, or has simply bathe in the sea’s highly saline waters, has surely seen people covering themselves with a black mud which is found abundantly on the shores of the world’s lowest point on earth. There is good reason why this is done, as the Dead Sea’s mineral rich water and mud have some of the most beneficial health properties of any such area in the world. By simply applying this substance to one’s skin and allowing it to remain for an hour or so before peeling and washing it off, those suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis, or if looking for skin rejuvenation and anti-aging effects, will receive numerous benefits from the more than 17 minerals present in Dead Sea mud.

You don’t have to journey all the way to Israel to experience this, however, as a number of cosmetic companies offer Dead Sea Mud and other cosmetic products composed of the wondrous natural products which are harvested directly from the Dead Sea. Pure Dead Sea Mud can be found in both pharmacies and in the cosmetic departments of major department stores worldwide. The mud, which can be heated in one’s microwave oven to desired application temperature (be sure to follow instructions on the package when heating the mud in your microwave) will have almost the same effect as direct application on the shore of the Dead Sea. To give you an idea of this ‘miracle mud’s benefits, many of its minerals and their attributes are noted here:

Boron: Relieves psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
Bromine: Soothes and tones skin tissue
Calcium: Helps cell production and bone tissue; treats osteoporosis
Lithium: Aids in treatment of psoriases
Manganese: Antioxidant; helps delay aging in skin tissue
Magnesium: Stimulates protein synthesis and body energy
Potassium: Helps clear up skin complexion problems such as acne
Sodium: Improves skin cell metabolism
Strontium: An anti-itching and irritant mineral, especially when many cosmetics are used frequently
Zinc: Helps cell renewal and fights free radical tissue degeneration. Good against acne.

Of course, the combined benefits of the enriched oxygen and sunlight radiation found at Dead Sea together with its mineral laden waters and mud give the maximum health results. But for those who live far away, it’s now possible to bring the benefits of the Dead Sea’s curing minerals into the comfort of your own home, and at a very reasonable cost.

Organic Soaps Shampoos and Shower Gels

Organic SoapsOrganic products not only include food and food supplements, but an exciting range of soaps, shampoos, and cleaning products as well. A wide variety of bio-friendly products are available, containing such natural ingredients as natural olive and coconut oils, jojoba oils, cocoa butter, and extracts from large variety of herbs, including basil, rosemary, thyme, etc. Once the near exclusive products of natural products specialty stores, organic soaps and cleaning products can now be found in most supermarkets and pharmacies.

Ingredients in many popular soaps and shampoos have been found to be harmful to peoples’ health, and some ingredients are even carcinogenic, or cancer causing. By substituting harmful ingredients with organic ones, people not only improve their own health and well-being, but that of the environment as well.

To give you a better idea of the benefit of ‘natural’ ingredients, some of these are noted here, together with each one’s own beneficial qualities.

Basil: known not only for a flavorful herb in many food dishes, but for its detoxifying and energizing qualities.
Cardamom: antiseptic, cleansing and invigorating
Geranium: body toning, rejuvenating and uplifting qualities
Lavender: soothing, healing and tension relieving
Lemon Grass: detoxifying, deodorizing, anti-stress relief
Pine: antiseptic and physically elevating
Rosemary: stimulating, revitalizing, illuminating

In addition to herbs, a wide variety of natural essences, many made from plants and flowers, add to the benefits received from using these products.

Virtually no modern shopping mall is without at least one bath and body soap shop selling natural soaps, bath oils, and shampoos. Soaps offered in these shops, along with their wonderful scents and colors make these stores a true “garden of earthly delights”.

Along with personal body products, the harsh, abrasive, and even dangerous compounds found in most commercial preparations are resulting in many people turning to organic home cleaning products. Though more expensive than the commercial ones, the manufacturers of these products claim that they do not contain the caustic ingredients that can today be found in even the most well known dishwashing and laundry detergents. There is still some speculation as to whether organic cleaning products are really 100% bio-friendly. But even so, a growing number of people prefer to trust these products more and more.

Organic ‘soapless soap’ products come in a wide array of colors and fragrances. Ranging from aloe vera to sea weed, these products are found in virtually every modern home. To be assured that the ingredients are indeed from organic sources, one should examine the label carefully to make sure the product does not contain various ‘additives’ usually call “red………..” or “yellow………..” to disguise various chemicals which are definitely not from organic sources.

To be sure these products meet acceptable standards, they should have the logo for Organic Standard Soil Association, or one displaying the Good Shopping Guide for Ethical Companies.

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