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Skin Deep Beauty and How to Keep it

Soil has been likened to the skin covering our bodies. Both suffer serious erosion from wind, water and sun damage if left unchecked. Sandthorn is one of those rare plants which have proven to be very useful in landscape restoration and cosmetic care of the skin.

Erosion Control
The Dust Bowl of the l930′s was the most tragic land calamity ever to strike the North American continent. Cattle overgrazing by ranchers and over farming by sodbusters removed virtually all of the grasslands from America’s prairies, leaving the unprotected soil to periodic rain washouts and frequent driving winds.

A story circulating in those days told of an old Nebraska farmer sitting on his front porch during a horrendous dust storm. When asked what he was watching so intently, he drolly replied, “Oh, I’m just counting them Kansas farms as they go flying by.”

Such are the ways of erosion when the land isn’t properly cared for as it should be. Similar examples have been found in northern China, Pakistan and portions of the Indian subcontinent, where the systematic removal of old growth forests and the continuous under plowing of surface ground have caused serious soil
erosions and landslides.

But agronomists soon discovered that the sandthorn shrub was extremely useful in helping bind earth and for good soil conservation measures; hence, millions of acres were eventually replanted with it.

The Living Barrier
Just as soil covers much of the ground we walk in, so does another type of material protect the delicate inner parts of our bodies against wear and tear, knocks and physical damage, and extremes of temperature. Skin is the body’s largest and heaviest organ. It covers almost 21½-square feet (2 square meters) on an adult around 9 to 15 pounds (4 to 7 kilograms), representing about one-twelfth of the body’s total weight. If you’ve ever worn an overcoat that heavy, then you would begin to appreciate how heavy your skin is.

Like a shower proof raincoat skin keeps out most of the water and other fluids to which it is exposed, although it is not fully waterproof. Water is repelled by the natural oils and waxes made in the tiny sebaceous glands just under the surface of the skin. These sebaceous products also keep the skin flexible arid supple.

Skin insulates the body too. Underneath is a soft, yellowish layer called subcutaneous fat. It works like the padding in a quilted coat to keep the body warm and also absorbs knocks and bumps.

The world is full of microscopic germs. They float in the air and lie on the things we touch. Even objects that are apparently clean have germs on or in them.

Skin prevents germs from entering the body. Under a microscope, the skin’s surface shows many dead, flattened cells that interlock and overlap tightly, like tiles on a roof. Few germs can penetrate this barrier, which completely covers healthy skin. But they can enter the body through cuts or breaks in the skin.

The natural waxes and oils on the skin’s surface contain germ-killing chemicals. These are the body’s own disinfectants, giving added protection against bacteria, yeasts, and other potentially harmful microscopic organisms.

Dermatological Miracle
The landscape of the skin, much like that of the earth1 undergoes numerous transformations over a lifetime. It experiences different types of erosions brought on by the elements of weather, poor diet, emotional upset, overuse of chemical cosmetics, and gradual aging.

Two types common to many older people are rosacea and eczema. The first condition is characterized by dilation of the facial capillaries, acne like pimples, and sometimes thickened skin on the nose. Certain foods – such as tea, coffee, alcohol, and those that are spicy – are associated with worsening of rosacea. A recent study indicates that the heat in coffee or tea may be responsible.

Eczema is an all-encompassing term, sometimes used synonymously with dermatitis, to describe inflamed, scaly, itching skin that may be due to any number of causes. Recent reports suggest a possible connection between this problem and impairment in the skin’s metabolism of the essential fatty acid linolenic acid. Patients with this condition improved when given supplements containing a natural source of gamma-linolenic acid.

A woman somewhere in her sixties, Lisa J. of Taylorsville, Utah suffered with rosacea of the face and eczema of the scalp for many years. But when she started drinking an exotic fruit blend containing 42 percent sandthorn berry extract, she began noticing improvements in her appearance. In just two weeks most of the dry, rosy red patches on her nose and face had disappeared. And within a month her scalp had healed as well. The dermatologist she had been seeing for some twenty years was surprised by the outcome of things on her next visit to him. She attributed this to her daily two-ounce intake of AlpineV with the sandthorn drink. He told her to stay with whatever she was doing.

The Beauty in Fatty Acids
Fatty acids are common denominators for all life forms. Not only the amount but also the type of dietary fat plays major roles in maintaining health. The human body absolutely requires certain essential fatty acids in the forms of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3) and linoleic acid (an omega-6). That is why they are termed “essential” fatty acids (EFP’s).

But most people are deficient in them and don’t even know it. Data from the 2006 Health & Wellness Trends Database, created by the Natural Marketing Institute of Harleysville, PA, show that almost one-third of the general population were deficient in omega-3′s. An even higher percentage were considered deficient in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) (another omega-6 EFA).6 Yet all three of these EFA’s are vital to the health of the skin. A few placebo-controlled studies over the past 15 years have demonstrated that they improve the symptoms of rosacea, eczema (sometimes called atopic dermatitis) and similar inflammatory skin problems.

It so happens that sandthorn berries are high in all three of these essential fatty acids,8 including others to be mentioned in the next chapter. Sandthorn yields 20-36 percent alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3) and 35-43 per cent linoleic acid (an omega-6).9 Patients with eczema were given sandthorn berry extracts for four months; during follow up they showed substantial improvement in their condition. The results were attributed to the high content of EFAs.10

Nature’s Own Cosmetic
“A man of forty-five looks distinguished, but a woman of the same age is over the hill.” So wrote feminist author Nancy Friday in her mind-jarring book, The Power of Beauty. “We live in a culture, she continues, “that trades in the currency of seeing and being seen. We want beauty not just for others; we want to look the way we feel, which is quite young, quite strong, and quite beautiful, although we are maturing.”

Nature has provided the “natural cosmetic” for women to achieve this. It lies within the beautifying elements of the sandthorn berry. Palmitoleic acid is a principal constituent of skin fat and helps to maintain skin softness while minimizing wrinkles. Sandthorn has a very “high content” of this important omega-7 fatty acid, “which is uncommon in the plant kingdom,” says one noted authority.

Conditions of skin inflammation also fare well with this particular berry. Japanese and Russian studies have shown extracts of sandthorn will reduce inflammation and promote the regeneration of new skin in many instances. My own father Jacob Heinerman took daily intakes of a certain beverage containing 42 percent sandthorn berry for the last six months of his life (he passed away in his sleep at age 93 in early Feb. 2007). His skin before this was as thin and delicate as parchment paper. But when he went on the berry juice the skin on his hands and forearms began getting back some of their natural tone and elasticity. To me, this was the greatest testament of all to sandthorn berry being nature’s own cosmetic miracle for recreating skin deep beauty lost years before.

Manuka Honey Products Are Safe and Effective For More Beautiful and Younger Looking Skin

When you are searching for skincare products that work, you should look into the manuka honey products. This ingredient is all natural and replaces the harmful ones that are found in so many products today. With active ingredients that promote a healthy and blemish free skin, you have nothing to lose. The manuka honey products are also far safer than many others on the market today.

Manuka honey is used in various products such a facial creams, eye gels and others. It is a soothing substance and is not only safe, but it really works. You might have tried all kinds of natural and supposed healing ingredients, but they don’t work. You might have even use very expensive creams in the hopes that they would work because of the cost. Unfortunately, cosmetic companies are out to take your money and very often the most expensive creams are the worst.

If you really want to find something that works, then you should consider the more natural products. Find products that contain ingredients like manuka honey and you will not be disappointed.

This ingredient is native to New Zealand and is made from the manuka bush. It offers healing benefits for the skin, and also prevents moisture loss. It has been scientifically proven to help the skin and can also cure skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Once you have discovered the best products that you need which contain ingredients including the unique manuka honey you can relax. You now have a perfect skincare treatment that is guaranteed to work. It will allow you to live with a more beautiful and younger looking skin. You will be more confident. You will get rid of problem skin conditions, and you can also make sure that they don’t come back ever again.

Beauty and the Breast Issues – Looking Good Post-Cancer

Do you have breast issues? Has breast cancer nodded its ugly head toward you? As a two-time survivor, I’ll share some of my musings on beauty and the breast.

Weight gain

Breast cancer patients often gain weight from treatment. This fact escaped me when I first underwent treatment with chemotherapy. One reason is chemo-induced fatigue, resulting in decreased activity. Another is steroids contained in pre-chemo medications. 
 
To combat these effects, patients should eat a balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthful fats in moderate amounts. In addition, cancer survivors should invest in exercise if at all possible. Once chemo was through, I hit the gym. One study reveals that 150 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week lowered a patient’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Any amount of exercise beats sitting around.
 
Hair

After the second round of chemotherapy, my hair seriously started to shed. I chose to shave my head so my hair wouldn’t fall out in clumps. Then I headed to the local American Cancer Society (ACS) office, which provided a plethora of nice-looking complimentary wigs from which I could choose. They also supplied me with wig shampoo and styling advice. What a blessing to have these services available!
 
I asked my oncology nurses about taking a drug to grow my hair back more quickly. They weren’t enthusiastic about any medical remedies. Since I had wigs and didn’t desire to apply another topical treatment besides hair coloring, I scrapped the notion of a follicle-sprouting lotion.
 
Eventually my hair did grow back. After yearly treatment with Herceptin, however, it did not return as thick as before. Further, the daily pill Arimidex I take to reduce chances of recurrence causes hair thinning. To counter this, my hairdresser advised using Nioxin hair-thinning system, consisting of shampoo, conditioner, and treatment spray. After three months of use we noticed new hair sprouting. Mousses, volumizers, and thickening gels with wheat protein may also create the illusion of thicker manes. 
 
Skin Products

Cancer treatment can cause skin to dry out. Our local dermatologist gives monthly free skin-care advice to patients undergoing chemo or radiation. At his sessions he not only talked about how and why cancer treatments affect the skin, hair, and nails, but also showed us how to use cosmetic products correctly. We learned that creams are better than lotions in moisturizing the skin. Best of all, he handed out free samples of skin products in generous quantities.  
 
Fingernails

Another beauty symbol rife with breast issues involves fingernails. Chemo caused permanent ridges to form on mine, and Herceptin gave them the consistency of tissue paper until the drug left my system. ”Sally Hansen Hard as Nails” nail polish helped to strengthen them. At my dermatologist’s urging I also took biotin supplements to counteract nail brittleness as Herceptin coursed through my veins. I continue on biotin, as I believe it makes a difference. Before taking any supplements, however, patients should consult their oncologist.
 
Makeup

The program “Look Good … Feel Better” offered by the ACS is well worth the time invested. This free service is dedicated to educating cancer survivors about beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during treatments.  Cosmetologists taught us the best way to apply makeup. We also received hundreds of dollars of free cosmetics as a favor bag from this “party.” My take-away message?  Blush and lipstick work color magic on faces pale from chemo.  And they take so little time to apply!
 
Reconstruction or Prosthesis

One of the largest breast issues is the decision whether to have reconstruction. For personal and medical reasons I opted against this procedure after my double mastectomy. To many women who undergo disfiguring surgery, however, reconstruction is an image-saver. 
 
I discovered that my local ACS office offers a large assortment of free prostheses and mastectomy bras.  Governments may require insurance companies to cover purchases of this sort; the patient seeking faux breasts should investigate all possibilities so she can look and feel her best in public.   

Jewelry

Since my cancer journey I have discovered jewelry of every style, color and shape.   Each piece helps brighten my day.  I found my post-chemo short hair looks cool with dangly earrings. But rings provide a challenge for me, a lymphedema patient. I have solved the dilemma by wearing my wedding band on my unaffected hand and buying rings with elastic bands so I can still dress up fingers on my swollen hand. We survivors are ever resourceful as we face each new trial.  
 
I pray that these musings on breast issues will help you sort through truths you can use when dealing with the modern-day obsession with beauty. Like objects in a side-view mirror, beauty is closer than you think.