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The natural look

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Every individual is born with his or her own element of beauty. As we age, how our beauty develops and matures is a reflection of whether we live a healthy, balanced and fulfilling life. The health and beauty of our eyes, teeth and skin are a reflection of how we treat our body as a whole. There are many techniques available to aid us in our goal of achieving everlasting beauty.

The eyes are considered the pathways to our soul. They show our true emotions and allow us to communicate without using words. Unfortunately, the eyes are the first place we see the signs of aging. The expressiveness of our eyes can often lead to the development of dreaded crow’s feet.

Botox Botulinum toxic is a neurotoxin protein that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. In a diluted form, it is used to enable controlled weakening of muscles by blocking nerve impulses. Health Canada has approved the use of botulinum for cosmetic procedures since 2001, but it has been used for many medical disorders since 1990. By weakening the muscles around the eyes, lines and wrinkles are softened and the eyes obtain a gentle lifting effect, creating a younger appearance that will last four to six months.

A diet of dark, green leafy vegetables and orange fruits and vegetables can help with cataract prevention and age-related macular degeneration. Carotenoids, powerful antioxidants, are abundant in these fruits and vegetables, helping to neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the eyes are partnered with the functioning of the kidneys and adrenals. If stress is a concern and puffy eyes and dark circles have developed, a diet change to support the kidneys and adrenals may be beneficial. Minimizing sodium and animal protein intake and increasing water, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains would be beneficial. Juniper berries are excellent for supporting kidney function. They act as a gentle diuretic, purifier and anti-inflammatory to the body. Juniper berries can be used in many different forms, so asking a naturopath or herbalist would be recommended to decide what form would be most effective for you.

A beautiful smile can make a lasting impression. Brushing twice a day, regular flossing and a healthy diet can help maintain your teeth. As we age, our tooth enamel thins, causing our teeth to look yellow or gray, losing their luster and dulling our smiles. Porcelain veneers, dental bonding and tooth whitening are options to consider when wanting to regain a more youthful and vibrant smile.

Tooth whitening
The desire for a whiter, brighter smile has evolved into a billion dollar industry. Laser-teeth whitening, offered in most dental clinics, is the application of a tooth whitening gel to professionally cleaned teeth. This gel contains a strong bleaching agent, often a peroxide base. A laser light is then applied which facilitates better gel absorption by exciting the peroxide molecules. The procedure takes an hour and can whiten teeth up to 10 shades. Caution to those who have sensitive teeth or thin tooth enamel; your dentist is the best person to advise you on the application of this treatment. If you would rather try a more natural approach to whiter teeth, avoid coffee, tea, red wine, soda and smoking to minimize staining.

You can create your own tooth whitener by taking a mashed ripe strawberry and mixing it with approximately half a teaspoon of baking soda. The strawberry contains malic acid, which helps remove stains caused by foods and beverages. Apply the paste to your teeth and let it sit for three to four minutes. Rinse thoroughly and brush and floss your teeth.

It is the largest organ of the body, the first line of defense, and is exposed to a multitude of environmental stressors on a daily basis. The skin’s conditions can read like a roadmap as we age. The lines and wrinkles, pigmentation spots and loss of elasticity are a record of all the events that have occurred in our life.

Techniques used to beautify the skin include microdermabrasion, photo rejuvenation, laser resurfacing, thermage skin tightening, not to mention thousands of skin care products. The skin care industry serves a huge market, with people desperate to find the secret to achieving youthful looking skin for a lifetime. A few of the more effective anti-aging ingredients available include:

Retinoids: These are compounds derived from Vitamin A, including tretinoin, retinol and retinaldehyde. They are popular in the skin care industry because of their ability to stimulate collagen production. They also help to soften the texture of the skin, refine pores and brighten the complexion.

Peptides: Formed from amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, this ingredient has become extremely popular to aid in minimizing lines and wrinkles. A neuropeptide called argireline is sold as a wrinkle relaxer. The idea is this ingredient can interrupt nerve pulses, causing a relaxing effect in the skin similar to Botox.

Antioxidants: The damaging effects of free radicals on the skin is continuous, developing pigmentation, loss of elasticity and glycation (hardening of collagen fibers). Co-enzyme Q-10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea, Vitamins E and C are commonly promoted as strong antioxidants in skin care to prevent and reverse the damaging effects of free radicals.

The beauty of our skin is a direct reflection of the health of our inner body. Digestion, metabolism, tissue development, and elimination are all related to keeping our skin healthy and beautiful, but are often overlooked in our search for “healthy looking” skin.

The quest for outer beauty is endless and there are many techniques and products available to us. We should not overlook the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Clean water, healthy food choices, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction are all essential to help us achieve our beauty potential. The saying that real beauty comes from the inside is true on many different levels when we desire a lifetime of beautiful eyes, teeth and skin.


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