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One of the first signs of poor nutrition is unhealthy skin. The saying “You are what you eat” is cliché, but true when it comes to African American skin care. The skin is a reflection of the body’s overall health so it makes sense that your diet will affect the appearance of your skin. We’ve included some foods and why they are good for your skin!

 

Fats

Good fats are essential for healthy and beautiful skin. Because our bodies don’t naturally produce these fats, we need to make sure good fats are incorporated into our regular diets. Healthy skin is able to retain water and, as a result, appears bright and youthful. Good fats strengthen the skin cells’ membrane to keep water and nutrients in and allowing any waste to filter out. Strong skin cell membranes also keep the skin firm and lessen the chances of getting wrinkles. Good fats also increase blood flow to the skin, which increases the amount of nutrient going into the skin. Since we know that more nutrients in the skin give the skin a healthy glow, make sure to incorporate good fat into your diet. They can be found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish.

 

Protein:

Getting enough protein in your diet is essential to having healthy skin. Protein contains certain amino acids that increase the body’s collagen production. This is excellent for African American skin care as it helps to keep the skin subtle for longer. Not only does protein help the health of your skin, it helps hair and nail also! Eat poultry, meat, eggs, beans, and seafood to get your daily dose of protein!

 

Fiber:

Fibrous foods also play a role in healthy skin. These are foods like corn, beans, whole wheat bread, broccoli, apples, nuts, and berries. Fiber works by getting rid of toxins that affect the entire body. Toxins can cause acne and break outs on the skin. Incorporating more fiber into your meal plan can improve your entire health, and show huge improvements to be seen on the face.

 

Balanced Diet:

The not-so secret to attaining overall health is to maintain a well balanced diet. Getting the right amounts of the right food will automatically increase the health of Black skin. Daily vitamins also work to give the skin a boost of health.

 

We all know what acne is and we all share a sort of dislike for the stubborn blemishes that appear when it’s least convenient.  Acne can affect anyone at almost any age so it’s important we are living a lifestyle that positively affects African American skincare.  A couple of weeks ago, we showed you how to determine your skin type and to create a personalized skin care routine. There are multiple factors that trigger acne break outs, so it’s important to understand how they work.  Caryl Karcher, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology stated that the “skin is a reflection of your total body health”.  So this week, we’re focusing on  building an anti-acne lifestyle that we’ve broken down into three parts: nutrition, activity, and stress

Nutrition

What we eat plays key role in the way our bodies function.  When it comes to skin care, it’s all about eating more nutrient packed foods, and avoiding the foods that have processed most of the nutrients out.  Foods with high amounts of antioxidants are ideal for the health of Black skin, because they neutralize a lot of the damage caused by the environment such UV rays and pollution.  Dark berries like blue berries, black berries, raspberries, and strawberries are full of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Also be sure to incorporate good fat foods. Foods with good fats contain omega- 3 fatty acids, and work amazingly to increase the health of skin.  “These fatty acids are responsible for the health of the cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell,” says Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.  Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in tuna, salmon, sardines, avocados, walnuts, and among others.

Activity

It’s no secret that exercise is essential in attaining an overall healthy lifestyle.  “But how does it factor in with acne directly?” you might be wondering.  Exercise is a great way to nourish the skin with much needed oxygen and nutrients.  The increased activity helps to circulate blood flow, which carries nourishment to all parts of the body, including the skin. Circulating blood flow also helps to flush certain toxins out of the body that can trigger acne.  By maintaining a healthy activity level, we can achieve that radiant skin that we love in Black Women’s skin care.  If you’re working out in the sun, be sure to also protect your skin from the harsh UVA and UVB rays with Clear Essence’s Skin Beautifying Milk with SPF 15.

Stress

Stress has an effect on a lot of bodily functions including acne.  When a person is stressed – either physically or emotionally—the skin is affected directly. The walls of clogged pores break, and the body produces an increased amount of oil.  Monitor a few aspects of your life to decrease stress, and in turn, lessen your acne break outs!  Lack of sleep is a common source of physical stress and is one that affects our entire bodies.  The average adult should get 7-8 hours of sleep a night or at least moments of rest from a demanding schedule.  On the contrary, a sedentary lifestyle can also cause physical stress.  As mentioned earlier, an active lifestyle can help the body’s overall health.  Physical activity releases dopamine (the “happy” hormone), which helps fight stress.

Always remember, “Fresh skin, Just lip!”

Aging African American Skin ProductsAnyone who has skin, has aging skin. That may sound like a no-brainer, but it is important to note that everyone’s skin is constantly aging. During the early years of life, we don’t tend too spend much time worrying about our skin becoming saggy or wrinkly, because it is not relevant to us at that time. Yet, as the years go on, we start to become more and more aware of our aging skin and ways to counteract the aging process. 

Aging skin is inevitable, as it is part of the body’s natural development. As we get older, our bodies do not generate as many skin cells as it used to. The amount collagen (what makes the skin firm) and elastin (what gives the skin its elasticity) in the skin start to decrease as well. Although we cannot control the body’s internal aging clock, we can monitor some of the external factors that affect the way and rate at which our skin ages. 

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is large part of the skin’s aging process. So much so, that there is a term to describe its effect. That term is photoaging. It refers to the damages done to the skin by UV rays, and how those damages expedite the natural process of skin aging. Photoaging is collective, meaning the affects come from years of sun exposure and improper protection. Wrinkles, leathery skin, sunspots, and drooping skin are all products of photoaging. To lessen the amount of sun damage to the skin, remember that African American skin is not exempt from wearing sunscreen.

Smoking

Smoking leaves lasting effects on the skin in many ways. Many of the chemicals in tobacco are detrimental to the production of collagen and elastin. As a result, those who smoke begin experiencing deep wrinkles and drooping skin much earlier than those who do not. Smoking can also create an uneven complexion, which is exactly what we want to avoid in Black skin care. The chronic lack of oxygen and nutrients takes a toll on the skin, and often causes a pale and splotchy skin tone.

Facial Expressions

Because mature skin lacks elasticity, repetitive and exaggerated facial expressions can cause wrinkles and fine lines. The skin does not snap back into place as easily, and over time we can see traces of those facial expressions. Most often these lines appear on the forehead, around the eyes and near the mouth area.

Alcohol consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates the body, which can be problematic for all organs including skin. When the skin is dehydrated, lines and wrinkles become more visibly apparent and irreversible. Alcohol also increases blood flow to the face, which can cause an uneven complexion. Again, an uneven skin tone is something that African American skin should try to avoid.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)

Alpha-hydroxy Acids are derivatives of fruit and dairy products and are found in many African American skincare products. AHA is a chemical exfoliant that can give the skin a more youthful appearance. By removing the outermost layers of skin, AHAs can remove the damaged skin. Another benefit of AHA is that it helps to increase skin cell production. Skin cell production decreases with age and is one of the main reasons we see wrinkles and other signs of aging in mature skin. Find ways to incorporate products with AHA into your regimen to treat aging. Clear Essence an entire line of skin care products that are anti-aging and feature AHA.

Retinoids

Retinoids are chemical compounds similar to Vitamin A. They are used in medicine for the way they affect cell growth. Retinoids increase cell production while decreasing cell loss. They also help lessen the deterioration of collagen and elastin in the skin, which is essential when fighting wrinkles. Depending on the level of treatment you are seeking, it is best to consult a dermatologist and see what type of retinoid product is best for you. Another way to gain the benefits of retinoids is through food. Beef liver and dark leafy greens are known to have significant amounts of retinoids and can help with aging skin.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion works similarly to exfoliation. It is done by buffing a hard substance onto the skin, by which dead skin is rubbed off and collagen production increases. Similar to the way sandpaper makes a piece of wood smooth and splinter-free, microdermabrasion creates a softer skin surface with fewer wrinkles and lines. Often times, it is done my professional and takes a multiple sessions to see optimal results.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great because it enhances the effects of all the above-mentioned methods. It can help to protect the skin, encourage collagen protection and enhance the effectiveness of exfoliation/ microdermabrasion. Products with vitamin C are excellent for African American skin because it can treat hyperpigmentation. To incorporate vitamin C into your daily skincare regimen, look for products like the ones in Clear Essence’s Lemon Plus Vitamin C Skin Care Line. The individual products in this line can makeup an entire regimen, and they all have vitamin C.

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