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Alive and Well in 2006

Looking good is more than just a soap opera

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Alive and Well in 2006

Beauty maintenance can seem like an ongoing melodrama at times. But, as this year's beauty articles pointed out, it all comes down to a few basic players. Visit heath food stores to find natural, toxin-free products to keep you healthy and looking your best.

Just as any good daytime drama stars heroes and villains, beauty articles published in alive this past year have featured a cast of good and bad characters. They play important roles in the pursuit of health and looking good.

Recurring villains in the 2006 beauty soap opera were free radicals, evil twins UVA and UVB rays, not to mention the myriad of harmful chemicals that pack mainstream beauty products. Enter stage right those long-playing wicked characters: dreaded dry skin, bags under the eyes, brittle nails, premature wrinkling, and excess weight.

Blemished skin crops up in a returning performance, ruining the plot at the most inconvenient moments. Acne may be influenced by factors such as heredity, skin type, hormone fluctuations, stress, and diet. But May’s issue discussed how to keep skin looking fresh using the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Practitioners of this ancient method recommend a diet high in “cool” foods such as squash, cucumbers, celery, cherries, raspberries, and watermelon.

Omega-3 fatty acids appeared repeatedly in the year’s articles as heroes in the pursuit of a healthy glow. They keep hair shiny and supple and provide injection- and side effect-free wrinkle reduction. This year’s smoky new ingenue was cannabis. Cosmetics containing cold-pressed hempseed oil are loaded not only with omega-3, but also with omega-6 fatty acids.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a naturally derived antioxidant, was frequently mentioned as a beauty-promoting good guy. Used topically, it can protect skin from environmental damage and act as a wrinkle reducer. In the June issue of alive, men were advised to use a nightly moisturizer that contains CoQ10 to ensure their sensitive facial skin retains its rugged youthfulness.

Every star knows the secrets for glorious hair that were featured in our July issue. The key to luxurious locks is a diet loaded with antioxidants, an adequate supply of protein from sources such as legumes, fish, and meat, and adequate dietary silicon.

Taking care of our pearly whites is not just to ensure a sparkling on-camera smile.

Poor dental health has been linked to heart disease, premature births, and poor blood sugar control in diabetics. In the January issue, Dr. Sheila McKenzie-Barnswell, homeopath and dental hygienist, advised us to brush and floss regularly, as well as to take a daily multivitamin and multimineral. For those with gum disease, Dr. McKenzie-Barnswell recommended daily doses of selenium (200 mcg), zinc picolinate (15 mg), folic acid (2 mg), and mixed flavonoids (500 mg), along with 30 mg to 60 mg of CoQ10.

February’s beauty feature pointed out that one of the most important beauty practices is taking time to de-stress. Star in your own bubble bath scene or indulge in one of the following low-cost, guilt-free suggestions:

  • Relax in a comfy chair with a good book, a scented candle, and a cup of herbal tea.
  • Rain or shine, the hiking’s fine–get out into nature and take note of the beauty around you.
  • Try an at-home manicure.

Seasonal weather extremes set the scene for special skin protection measures. Hot or cold, in January we were advised to protect sensitive skin by covering up. Check labels for ingredients that soothe and heal such as aloe vera, rosehip oil, and calendula.

Beauty maintenance can seem like an ongoing melodrama at times. But, as this year’s beauty articles pointed out, it all comes down to a few basic players. Visit heath food stores to find natural, toxin-free products to keep you healthy and looking your best. Remember, you’re worth it.

Wrinkle Reduction

For safe, injection-free wrinkle reduction, look for these natural cosmetic ingredients:

  • palmitoyl pentapeptide-3: a natural protein that stimulates collagen production
  • acetyl hexapeptide-3: a non-toxic alternative to the botulinum neurotoxin
  • hyaluronic acid: helps retain moisture resulting in softer, smoother skin
  • topical antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, CoQ10, and sea buckthorn oil, reduce skin damage caused by sunlight and environmental pollutants

Enhance Your Natural Pretty, From the Inside Out

  • regular exercise
  • daily intake of six to eight glasses of distilled water
  • stress management
  • a healthy diet that includes:
  • a high-quality fish oil supplement (2 g to 3 g per day)
  • lycopene, found in red vegetables and fruits
  • blueberries
  • monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocados
  • avoid foods that cause inflammations such as packaged foods, full-fat cheese, and refined flour
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