The Foundations of Beauty
Most of us have heard the old saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.”
Well, it’s not really true. Beauty is the outer manifestation of good health, good genetics and good will. The state of our health is reflected in the quality of our skin and luster of our hair. Beautiful strong hair and clear smooth skin is the result of good nutrition. The state of our mind and intentions in reflected in our smile, in our eyes, and in the regard our loved ones have for us. A beautiful smile and sparkling eyes are the result of a good attitude. Good genetics? Well, that’s just the result of good luck.
Although it’s not skin deep, it is open to interpretation. After all, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Those we love deeply are always beautiful to us, no matter what they actually look like.
Whatever our genetics and luck, whatever our mindset, most women would like to look as healthy and beautiful as they possibly can. Whether want to look magazine-cover perfect; or just as healthy and vibrant and as youthful as possible, the first step in constructing a new beauty regimen is finding out if you are providing the tools your body needs to repair and maintain itself and the health of your skin, hair and nails. The basic factors affecting the appearance of these are 1) nutrition, 2) hydration, 3) toxification, 4) hormonal profile, and 5) sleep.
Your body rebuilds and repairs cellular tissue on a daily basis, and needs adequate protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micronutrients to perform this function. Your skin regenerates constantly, building new cells underneath and sloughing off old cells. Without adequate protein, your skin will not be able to construct strong healthy collagen structures. Without an adequate amount of the right kinds of fats, your hair and nail cells will be weak and easily broken, and your skin will become dry and lifeless.
Adequate hydration is vital to the process. Your body requires enough water to move nutrients into, and wastes out of, cells. Water is the basis of the interstitial tissues that flow between your muscle and fat cells, carrying oxygen and hormones from one to the other. Dehydration can lead to slack skin and lifeless hair.
Detoxification is also another fundamental. Your skin is responsible for eliminating approximately 10% of your body’s toxins and metabolic wastes. By ensuring that the other organs of elimination are clean and functioning well, you lighten the load on the skin, allowing it to use its precious energy on repair and re-growth. Certain toxins can have definite adverse effects on the hair. Heavy metal poisoning from mercury can cause hair to fall out and to break and can aggravate gums. Lead causes neural damage that can lead to faulty signaling between your brain and outlying extremities.
Your body produces many different hormones that are used by the body to communicate with outlying organs and tissues and tell it how to react to changing conditions. Some of the hormones that directly affect your hair, skin and nails are estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and growth hormone. For example, estrogen is important for keeping your skin youthful and resilient, but too much can cause aggravation of the gums and lead to gingivitis. Testosterone is needed to for the important task of producing your body’s own moisturizer, sebum; too much can lead to hair loss from your head and the unsightly growth of excess dark hairs on your face and belly. A lack of progesterone can lead to the skin condition cellulite. The hormones leptin, insulin, and glucagon are important for the maintenance of a healthy weight. As you can see, hormonal balance has a definite and important influence on how you look.
Your body requires a certain amount of rest to rebuild, repair and replace cellular tissue. Interestingly enough, the skin is usually regenerated between the hours of 11PM and 2AM, so for best results, you should be sleeping during those hours. Your body also uses the time during sleep to balance brain chemistry. Adequate sleep and rest is one of the most important things you can do to improve the appearance of your skin and the health of your hair and nails, as well as giving you the energy to live actively and the mood enhancement to enjoy life.
One of the first things you need to do when devising a new beauty routine is to find out whether or not you are getting the right kind of food and enough water to meet your beauty goals. Also, you might want to consider a detoxification routine. Are you are getting enough sleep to put all these other factors to work for you? These are the first things to consider when devising a beauty regimen.