Is beauty really only skin deep? - Coeur d'Alene Press: Healthy Community

Is beauty really only skin deep?

Doctor of Oriental Medicine

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:00 am

They say "beauty is only skin deep." That's true when you are talking about personalities, but when it comes to how beautiful your skin is, that's a whole different story! Your skin is an external manifestation of what is going on internally. When your body is clean, healthy and vibrant, so is your skin. Therefore, if you're tired of spending your hard-earned money on expensive products and procedures, it's time to look inside of you.

The skin is an organ and, like all organs, needs certain substrates to function properly. Critical to skin health are various vitamins. They are protective, needed for repair if injured or sun-damaged, or needed for strength and tone. Vitamin A is especially helpful if your skin is dry and scaly, and is a primary repair component for wounds, acne, scrapes and burns. It also helps to keep wrinkles and lines under wraps as you age.

Vitamin C also helps prevent premature aging in the skin and is responsible for the stimulation of collagen in the skin. Collagen gives tone, suppleness and smoothness to the skin. It keeps your skin from sagging. Vitamin C helps with healthy turn-over of old skin cells.

Vitamin E helps offset the effects of smoking, pollution and sun exposure which contribute to aging skin. It gives pliability and stretch. It also appears to prevent age spots, wrinkling, lines, acne and other undesirable face markings.

The B Vitamins help boost circulation in skin, helps with oxygenation and contributes to a healthy glow.

But this is only the surface. These nutrients are essential not only for skin health, but for operation of many functions in the body. Whereas nutrients are critical, so is bodily cleanliness. A toxic body will reveal toxic-looking skin. If your diet and lifestyle are full of garbage, the accumulation can cause deterioration in health. "Garbage in, garbage out," as the saying goes. Many cases of acne are clearly this. Detoxification programs that eliminate garbage accumulation in the fatty tissues, liver, colon, lymph and skin can be extremely useful in clearing up skin.

Hormonal health is important. When hormones are out of balance, not only do you not feel well, but neither does your skin. Organs/hormones need essential nutrients for health. Collectively, they need vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, good quality proteins and plenty of hydration.

Blood sugar that is out of balance and the presence of bad fats (such as hydrogenated and fried fats), contribute to an unhealthy body as a whole, mirrored in poor skin. Essential fatty acids (such as Omega 3's), keep the skin supple, strong, are protective and are needed to help get Vitamin D into the body better.

The greatest nutrient benefits you will get come in food form. Foods or supplements that are made from foods, and not from chemicals or faux vitamins will do the most for improving body and skin health.

Beauty is not just skin deep. The whole body contributes to the health of the skin. If you want healthy looking skin, just look inside.

Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with more than 32 years of experience. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health-care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d'Alene clinic. Visit Carling's website at to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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