⭑ These everyday foods will make your skin look and feel better ✔
⭑ Good skin creams work - you can make them yourself ✔ Here's how
⭑ Fact stranger than fiction ✔ Flickering light reduces dementia
⭑ Knowing what being relaxed feels like might change your life ✔
All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
I'm putting a focus on our skin in this week's newsletter.
Since the Covid lockdowns, I have many more skin spots. You can use bleaching creams, chemical peels or Laser treatments to remove them. I'm not keen on these.
Our aging skin becomes less elastic and thinner, and UV causes more damage. This damage over-stimulates melatonin production, which causes the spots.
When younger, your more potent immune system would shut the melatonin down.
Maintaining good skin health, avoiding UV radiation, and boosting your immune system with exercise and diet are the best preventative measures.
Using a commercial base to make your own effective skin cream is a great way to get smoother and younger-looking skin without breaking the bank - see item #2.
Some foods really help our skin; we just don't eat enough of them consistently - see item #1.
01 A Better Diet For Better Skin Health - No Extra Cost
Great news: you can eat your way to better skin health while also boosting longevity.
Retinoids are a group of compounds derived from vitamin A. They play an important role in many aspects of skin health, including:
- Regulating the growth and differentiation of skin cells. This is important for maintaining the skin's barrier function and preventing the development of skin conditions such as age spots.
- Retinoids also boost collagen production, which makes your skin strong and elastic, reducing the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines.
- Additionally, retinoids increase cell turnover, removing dead skin cells and revealing fresh, healthy skin. This improves your skin’s texture and reduces age spots and hyperpigmentation.
How do you get more of this skin wonder drug?
⇒ Eat more of some of the foods you may already be eating, e.g. bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes.
What this means for you: You may not have to eat more of these foods, just begin eating them more consistently, e.g. every day. The most potent everyday dietary sources of retinoids are:
- Animal products: Liver, kidney, and egg yolks are all good sources.
- Fortified foods: Milk and cereal are often fortified with retinoids. Read the label.
- Fruits and vegetables: Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe, are good sources of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body.
⇒ Studies have shown that people with higher levels of retinoids in their blood also have a lower risk of death from all causes, including cancer.
Related - see this in a previous newsletter: A Sardine A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
02 Cost-Effective Skin Lotions Which Keep Your Skin Moist
Retinoids work from the inside out for skin health.
Here's how you can work from the outside in - topically - with your own cost-effective oils, which will:
- Improve skin circulation, and thus,
- Maintain your skin's flexibility, and,
- Reduce dryness.
I use this method for my after-shave cream. When on special, I buy good base creams and then mix my other ingredients. Sometimes, I have three different mixes going at the same time.
Make sure to buy an "on-special" cream with one or more key ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, or vitamin C or E. These are the more expensive components.
⇒ If you don’t want all the other additives and chemicals, you can easily make your own base using jojoba oil, almond sweet oil, rosemary organic oil or emu oil and buy a small amount of the expensive ingredients on eBay.
L'Oreal has the best skin labs in Europe, and Biore (Japan) has the best labs globally. I always look out for these brands on special.
What this means for you: Here's how to make your own:
- Buy your jar on special and split it into two more jars at home.
- Add one of the carrier oils I mentioned above - about the same volume as the amount of shop-bought cream you have in each jar.
- Add a small amount of one or more of the oils below.
- Mix and use.
For step 4 above, choose one or more of the following:
- Frankincense + sandalwood oil. These have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, helping to reduce redness and irritation. They are also both known to promote skin elasticity. Frankincense is also a good source of collagen (a protein that helps keep the skin firm and elastic).
- Peppermint oil + eucalyptus oil. To reduce inflammation and improve circulation - help improve the skin's appearance and look more radiant.
- Rosemary Organic Oil: Improves circulation; relatively inexpensive.
- Basil oil + ginger oil. These oils have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce redness and irritation. They can also help to improve blood circulation, which can help to keep the skin looking healthy and radiant.
Please test a smudge on your skin first to ensure no reactions.
Enjoy better-looking skin at a better price!
Related: Don't forget to check last week's newsletter, where I outlined the benefits of almond meal for skin health in "Almond Meal Can Reduce The Aging Of Your Skin".
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03 Light Repairs Our Brain - There's A Catch
I'll put this in the "believe it or not!" category. Scientists found that lights flickering at a frequency of 40 times per second (40 Hz) rehabilitate some aspects of dementia - in mice.
This has led to a rash of 40 Hz "Gamma Wave" lights for sale. I know because I looked. Being me, I'd get one, except that I don’t want to pay $100+.
The scientists found that the flickering lights reduced the amyloids responsible for dementia and Alzheimer's. This resulted in enhanced mitochondrial function and neuroplasticity - the ability of our brain to remodel itself to recover from injuries and compensate for lost functions.
⇒ There's a catch not mentioned by those selling the lights. The experiments required the subjects - mice - to exercise during light exposure.
The experiments were designed to report on the combined effect of endurance exercise and 40 Hz flickering lights on brain morphology and performance.
What this means for you: I have my garage set up with rowing and cycling machines so I could try the flashing lights. Otherwise, I'd need a long cord while on my 5km runs.
Maybe this works. If you know of a better deal on one of these flickering lamps, please let me know.
In the meantime, it's thought that 40-Hz music positively affects cognitive functions related to attention and auditory processing. These are free on Spotify.
04 How to Develop Positive Awareness of Your Relaxed State
Our exercise of the week is... ankle dorsiflexion.
It's easy to lose touch with what true relaxation feels like amidst our stresses and responsibilities. I have found that by using this 4-7-8 breathing method, I rediscovered what feeling relaxed actually feels like.
This is important. When you know viscerally what it feels like to be relaxed, you can learn to recognise when you are becoming "unrelaxed" and do something about it.
In other words, knowing what "relaxed" feels like gives you a circuit breaker to remain in charge of your circumstances and not be pulled into someone else's circumstances (over which you may have no control). It allows you to retain control over your emotions and respond to stressful situations with more composure.
What sets the 4-7-8 breathing method apart from other techniques is its ability to quickly induce a state of calmness and its emphasis on conscious control of the breath. The technique has been found to work more quickly than other methods.
What this means for you: Sit comfortably, place your tongue behind your upper front teeth, and exhale through your mouth.
Inhale silently for 4 counts, hold for 7, then exhale for 8. Repeat 6 times or until relaxation sets in.
I use the free Breathing Zone app for guidance (on my Apple Watch) for 10 minutes before I get out of bed and before I go to sleep.
Give it a try, you've nothing to lose except your built up tension.
Thanks for reading!
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>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods
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