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Inflammation and skin

Inflammation and skin

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Skin is our largest organ and subject to inflammation from many sources throughout our lives. This can be caused by environmental factors, infection or exposure to other chemicals. Research now shows that inflammation is a key factor in how our skin ages. Here we have put together some advice on how to redress the balance within the skin to both slow down the ageing process and induce regeneration to repair some of the damage done.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, irritation or infection. It plays an important part in protecting the body and help tissue repair or adapt over a short term. However when the inflammation becomes chronic, the tissue can degenerate. The skin reacts to free radicals and antigenic load damage by activating the immune response.

Once the immune system is lowered the result to the skin can be devastating. Our skin is our early warning signal that something is wrong. Most common skin conditions are Acne, Spots, Rosacea and skin sensitivity. Here at Beauty Haven we have a very high successful rate on treating the above conditions using the Ellipse Intense Pulse Light (IPL). Extensive search was carried out into the IPL system before purchasing what we consider to be the best system on the market today. The Ellipse IPL system is ‘clinically proven’.

Prevention plays a huge part in protecting the skin from the elements. Over exposure to the sun can damage the skin’s integrity as the UV rays add to free radials. So its important to apply SPF everyday you are outside, even on a cloudy day, the rays can still get through. Dermalogic have a SPF50 sport protection which can be used on the face and body, its easily aborbed and water-resistant. Very handy as no need to keep reapplying if you splashing around in the water. An after sun balm is always ideal to have just incase you over-do sitting in the sun or if you lucky enough to be sailing on the high seas, this repair cream with help remedy any damage caused by wind exposure.

An extract from a recent article in the Huffington Post regarding inflammatory foods ……..

While it doesn’t exactly make you feel warm and fuzzy, inflammation is the body’s totally healthy response to injury and infection, a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most.

How do those fighter cells get there? Via increased blood flow, which in turn creates the redness, warmth, swelling and pain you likely associate with the word “inflammation.” Say you cut your finger, and notice it turns a little red. “That’s inflammation,” says Dee Sandquist, RD, CDE, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. “It helps to heal your finger.”

But a small red cut that heals over time is entirely different from a state of chronic inflammation. This can be quite dangerous, in fact. When inflammation as an immune response is never “shut off,” so to speak, the constant production of immune cells can do permanent damage, leading to cancer, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s, among other health concerns. “When we don’t see the inflammation system switch off, we end up in a detrimental state,” says Julie Daniluk R.H.N., author of Meals That Heal Inflammation.

The causes of chronic inflammation can vary person to person, but include being overweight, experiencing lots of stress and even breathing polluted air, Women’s Health reported. Lifestyle choices, like smoking or lack of exercise, also play a role. “Sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep — we have these repetitive insults that increase longer-term inflammation,” says Jessica Black, N.D., author of The Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Recipe Book.

The foods we choose to eat — or not to eat — can also affect inflammation. Getting your fair share of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and omega-3 fatty acids — similar, yes, to the Mediterranean diet — has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects. “Diet can serve as a protective function,” says Sandquist. “When our bodies are best nourished, we’re able to heal quicker if we do cut our finger and maybe even prevent chronic inflammation.” It’s likely that no one food is to blame for causing inflammation, she says, but that your overall diet could contribute.

For now, anti-inflammatory diet guidelines are simply suggestions. More research is needed to truly understand the relationship between diet and inflammation and, in turn, disease, WebMD reported.

Still, there are some general ideas about what foods to avoid to keep inflammation and illness at bay. “There are foods that exaggerate inflammation because they themselves are irritants,” says Daniluk. Here are some of the worst offenders you might want to avoid. Let us know what we forgot in the comments.

  • White Bread
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Milk
  • MSG
  • Trans Fats

An interesting article and certainly worth researching if you suffer from joint pain or arthritis.

So How do you maintain a healthy and beautiful skin?

First answer is hydration. Drinking plenty of water to avoid de-hydration, which places added strain on the kidneys and can impair mental function. Of course your skin will love you for this, and your muscles. My second favourite tip is treating myself to a hydrating ant-ageing facial. There are many fantastic products within the Dermalogica range, my favourite for travelling with is the UltraCalming skin kit for sensitive skin which helps to relieve and ease any irritation or discomfort. Restoring a healthy barrier to defend against future assaults.

Finally, a brief mention regarding stress. If you cannot avoid the S word, at least find ways of dealing with the stress that builds in the body and results in the tell tales signs on the face.  Not only can facials cleanse, moisturise and repair. Relaxation and time to yourself to switch off from our busy lives, is what we all at Beauty Haven strive to provide for our customers.

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