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Skin Care Cream
by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, PhD, ND, DACBN
Skin care creams are commonly developed to nourish the skin and treat any of the skin conditions that may require attention. There is a skin care cream for every skin blemish and disorder thinkable. Skin care creams can help to reduce wrinkles, even out skin tone, decrease the visibility of spider veins, remove age spots, heal dryness, and reverse free radical damage. Here is a look at some of the common ailments and conditions that may require a skin care cream, as well as some tips for finding the skin care cream that's right for you.
Why use cream?
Wrinkles develop over the years as skin loses its elasticity and thickness. These noticeable depressions within the skin's surface may be characterized as either coarse or fine, depending upon their depth and severity. Wrinkles occur as a result of a reduction in muscle mass and skin thickness, a loss of skin elasticity and a restructuring of the tissues within the skin. The overall collagen content of the skin decreases approximately one percent per year after we reach thirty. These changes occur naturally with age. They result not only in the development of wrinkles, but also in an increasing dryness in the skin.
Another common characteristic of aging skin is irregular pigmentation. As the skin ages, it experiences a reduction in the number of melanocytes, or pigment producing cells in the skin's tissue. Melanocytes decline by six to eight percent per decade after age 30. This accounts for the lighter skin color and irregular pigmentation that occurs with age as well as the hypersensitivity to the sun.
Spider veins or dilated and broken vessels commonly occur on the face, arms, and legs. Their development increases in frequency with age. Spider veins are due to the dilated blood vessels that become more apparent through the years as the skin begins to thin.
As skin ages there is also an increase in the development of age spots, or sun spots. The medical name for these flat brown or tan spots is solar lentigo. These blemishes develop as a result of sun exposure incurred over time. They often first appear after the age of fifty. As can be expected, these spots occur most frequently on areas of skin that are most frequently exposed to the sun, such as the face neck, and hands. They are less frequent on areas of the skin such as the inner arms, legs, and buttocks that are typically sheltered from the sun.
Skin typically gets drier and drier with age. Studies have shown that the amount of hyaluronic acid found in the dermis starts to decrease as early as our forties. This disrupts the skin's ability to hydrate itself. In youthful skin, hyaluronic acid is found around the edge of collagen and elastin fibers and at the connection between these fibers. In aged skin however, the hyaluronic acid connection is lost.
Free Radical Damage
Each time the cells of the skin replicate they incur more and more damage. Free radicals develop as a by-product of toxic based reactions within the skin. Free radicals are toxins that can wreak havoc in the cells by disrupting other chemical reactions. These free radicals cause a noticeable decline in the overall immune response of the skin, accounting for the increased incidence of premalignant and malignant lesions in maturing skin.
Choosing A Skin Care Cream
Identify Your Needs
Skin has different needs based on how dry, sun-damaged, oily, sensitive, thin, blemished, or normal it is. Before you choose a skin care cream, you need to identify your particular skin care needs. Don't buy into skin care product advertising that tells you what your skin should be if you are twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty. Rather, decide for yourself (or with the help of a skin care specialist) if your skin is dry or sun damaged, or if you need to even out your skin tone.
Know Your Skin Type
This is especially important if you have dry or sensitive skin, as you should be sure to look for a skin care cream that caters to these skin types. Both dry and sensitive skin can become severely irritated by skin care products that contain a lot of dyes or perfumes. Also, if you have oily skin, you may not need to use a skin care cream at all. And if you do have a condition, such as age spots, that requires the use of a cream, you should look for one that is made for oily skin to avoid making your skin too greasy and heavy.
Make Your Own Skin Care Cream
Here is a recipe for a basic, nourishing skin care cream that can be used to hydrate dry skin and improve the overall condition of aging skin.
Mix together one cup of ground organic chamomile in one cup organic hot milk for a few hours. Strain the mixture, reserving the liquid. Add four tablespoons organic honey and eight teaspoons organic wheat germ to the liquid mixture. Blend well and refrigerate. This cream will last for approximately one week. Apply 2x daily to skin
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