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We’ve all heard the saying “beauty is only skin deep.” When it comes to treating and preventing acne, however, this is not the case. There are a myriad of facial cleansers, creams, and masks that provide a variety of beneficial topical treatments to our more problematic areas. However, when it comes to skincare, we need to keep in mind that our skin is a large and complex organ. As such, promoting total skin health requires a more holistic approach. As dermatologists all over the globe are now discovering, diet may have more impact on acne and blemishes than originally believed. Specifically, our consumption of simple carbohydrates and sugars.

The Scoop on Sugar

When we consume sugar, our bodies set to work breaking down the complex structure to prepare it for absorption. This process converts the sugar into glucose that enters the bloodstream and triggers a rise in insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, soda, and sweets, causes an extreme spike in insulin levels as our body works hard to lower our high blood sugar levels. According to board-certified dermatologist, nutritionist, and author of Ageless Face, Ageless Mind Dr. Perricone, it is this insulin spike that leads to “a burst of inflammation throughout the body.”

Inflammation is the culprit responsible for producing the enzymes that deteriorate elastin and collagen in the skin. This process, known as glycation, exacerbate pre-existing skin conditions like acne and rosacea and also result in sagging skin and wrinkles as our skin loses elasticity. Consuming large quantities of sugar can even lead to insulin resistance, causing dark, patchy skin, and excessive hair growth. As our skin cells deteriorate, they are left vulnerable to the infections that cause breakouts, blemishes, blackheads, and cysts.

Face-Friendly Foods

Eating foods that promote internal health, used in conjunction with topical treatments and remedies, is the most efficient way to ensure healthy, young, and glowing skin.

Blackberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, and Plums

Foods high in antioxidants rid the body of the free-radicals commonly associated with various forms of melanoma. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, these four fruits hit the top of the charts with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food, making them the most efficient way to get your daily dose of antioxidants.

Flaxseed and Walnuts

Rich in healthy fatty acids, these foods offer support to the cell walls that make up our skin. Cell walls are responsible for absorbing nutrients, ridding the cell of wastes, and supporting the cell structure, among other things. Healthy cell walls are essential for skin cells to thrive and remain forever young.

Green Tea

A study featured in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that green tea is not only incredibly high in antioxidants, but also chock full of anti-inflammatories, reducing redness and swelling of the skin. Whether applied topically or ingested, green tea has even proven to reduce the damage to skin caused by the ultraviolet light our skin is exposed to daily from the sun.

Water

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day ensures our skin is well hydrated, so it is able to maintain high levels of elasticity. Additionally, proper hydration allows the body to release toxins into our pores through sweat. A dehydrated body will not sweat as often, or as much as it should, resulting in clogged pores and cracked, dry skin.

The cause of facial blemishes vary from person to person depending on their genetics, diet, lifestyle, and overall health. However, when considering potential blemish remedies, these basic nutritional factors play a part in us all. Before turning to expensive dermatological treatments, incorporate these favorable food groups (along with the right topical treatments) and give your skin a fighting chance.

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11 Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Belongs in Your Pantry

You may already stock apple cider vinegar in your pantry and use it in your favorite recipes, but there are many other reasons to keep it on hand. From health benefits to natural cleaning, apple cider vinegar has benefits that go far beyond the kitchen.

If you have not yet discovered the power of apple cider vinegar, just consider some of these powerful benefits.

  1. Apple cider vinegar can soothe your upset stomach. The ingredients in apple cider vinegar coat your digestive system, relieving stomach upset, reducing diarrhea and preventing stomach upset. Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar dissolved in water or apple juice can be just as effective as store-bought remedies.
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  3. Apple cider vinegar can make your hair look great. Mix 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar with 4 cups of water and use it as an after-shampoo hair rinse. Follow with a thorough rinse with cold water.
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  5. Apple cider vinegar can fix your runny nose. If you suffer from sinus problems or have a cold, try mixing a teaspoon-full of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. It will soothe your nose, help your sinuses drain and make you feel better.
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  7. Apple cider vinegar makes a great facial mask. Mix equal parts bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar, add a tablespoon of honey and apply it to your skin for an inexpensive but highly effective facial mask. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes and rinse it off with warm water.
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  9. Apple cider vinegar can relieve nighttime leg cramps. Dilute a small amount of apple cider vinegar in water and drink the solution twice a day to relieve troublesome nighttime leg cramps. The ingredients in apple cider vinegar dissolve acid crystals in the bloodstream while giving your muscles the potassium, calcium and other essential nutrients they need.
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  11. Apple cider vinegar can make your bath more relaxing. Fill your bathtub with warm water, and then add two caps of apple cider vinegar to draw toxins from the skin and leave you feeling refreshed.
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  13. Apple cider vinegar can cure your hiccups. Hiccups are often the result of an imbalance of acid in the stomach. Drinking a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar dissolved in water can restore that balance and send the hiccups packing.
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  15. Apple cider vinegar can whiten your teeth. You do not have to spend a fortune on whitening treatments; just gargle with apple cider vinegar every time you brush your teeth. The natural acids can remove stains and leave your teeth feeling great.
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  17. Apple cider vinegar can reduce swelling in your hands and feet. Rub apple cider vinegar on your swollen hands and feet to reduce swelling and make them feel better.
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  19. Apple cider vinegar can soothe a sunburn. If you have been out in the sun too long, try soaking a washcloth with apple cider vinegar and applying it to your reddened skin.
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  21. Apple cider vinegar makes an effective and low-cost mouthwash. Send bad breath packing by mixing half a tablespoon in a cup of warm water and gargling with it.

by beconrad


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