Monthly Archives: January 2019

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Skin During Winter

Skin TipsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Now that cold months are here, those who live in areas that experience frigid temperatures may notice that wintry weather can wreak havoc on their skin. Outdoor exposure to harsh winds, freezing temperatures and dry indoor heating can result in chapped lips and skin that is rough, dry, itchy, and irritated. Cold weather and low humidity result in dry air that takes moisture from the lips and skin. While sitting by a roaring fire may be cozy and warm, it can also contribute to dry skin. A hot shower or bath is a tempting way to warm up on a cold day, however hot water can strip natural oils from the skin, which keep it soft and pliable.

During winter months, normally fine facially lines may become more visible and skin may lose its youthful glow. While most people pay careful attention to their hand and facial skin, the body also requires some extra TLC, as dry skin commonly occurs on the arms and legs. Very dry skin can cause severe itching that may interfere with sleep or daily activities. Because cold air has very low humidity it can dry out the skin, as well as mucous membranes. Dry air can aggravate sinus troubles and asthma or cause throat discomfort and nosebleeds.

Simple changes to one’s usual skincare routine and a few lifestyle adjustments can help to combat the harsh effects of winter weather. Extra hydration and dietary considerations can help keep the skin moist, supple and comfortable throughout the season.

  • As long as it’s properly maintained, a cool mist humidifier can be utilized to add moisture to the air. A humidifier can be especially helpful during a cold or respiratory illness or to relieve a case of extremely dry skin or associated dermatitis.
  • Use warm, rather than hot water for baths and showers. Hot water actually dehydrates the skin and quickly evaporates, which can subject the skin to “winter itch.”
  • Limit showers or soaks in the tub to no more than 10 minutes every 24 hour period. Adding a few drops of essential oil to the bath water will help moisturize the skin but may also make the tub slippery, so be wary.
  • Use only mild unscented soap designed for sensitive skin or try a gentle moisturizing soap to repair and protect the skin’s moisture barrier.
  • After bathing, pat skin dry and apply a moisturizer while skin is still damp to help prevent moisture evaporation. For very dry skin, apply moisturizer again later in the day or before bed.
  • If skin is dry in winter, switch to a moisturizing cream rather than a light lotion. Avoid fragrances with can also further irritate dry skin. Use a noncomedogenic cream on the face to avoid clogging pores.
  • Don’t exfoliate if the skin is very dry. Gentle exfoliation of normal skin can give the skin a healthy glow. As well, gentle exfoliation removes old skin cells and helps speed up skin cell regeneration, allowing better penetration of applied moisturizer.
  • Gently exfoliate lips when they are dry or chapped. You can lightly brush them with a dry toothbrush or use a wash cloth and a splash of warm water.
  • Thin skin of the lips tends to dry faster than skin on the body. When lips are chapped try to avoid licking them, which exacerbates the problem. To repair and prevent chapped lips, regularly apply lip balm with natural moisturizing ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, coconut butter or olive oil.
  • Cuticles also tend to be dry during winter months. Use a cuticle cream regularly or apply olive oil several times a week.
  • Chronic skin conditions can worsen during seasonal changes. Symptoms of stress can also exacerbate the skin. Relaxation techniques can help bring both the body and the skin back into balance, helping to keep skin conditions under control.
  • Drink plenty of hydrating fluids to moisturize the skin from the inside out. Limit caffeinated beverages that trigger the body to eliminate water.
  • Indulge in watery foods such as soups and salads, as well as antioxidant -rich colorful vegetables and fruits to nourish the skin and provide a healthy glow.
  • Be sure the diet includes healthy fats found in nuts, olives, avocados and fatty fish. A diet deficient in essential fatty acids can result in dry, lackluster skin.

Vitamins are crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Collagen plays a central role in skin health and may help with skin elasticity and hydration. Vitamin D aids skin, immune and bone health. Fish oil may help soothe inflammation. Antioxidant vitamin C helps to prevent cell damage and stimulates collagen synthesis, while vitamin E helps preserve skin health. Curcumin has been shown to help relieve inflammation and soothe skin irritation. Vitamin A provides a first line of defense against skin issues, and helps reduce signs of aging when applied in a topical cream directly to the skin. Multivitamins provide a range of nutrients that support skin repair, skin elasticity and overall wellness.

Professional Supplement Center offers many high quality nutritional supplements in support of skin and overall health:

Collagen PeptidesCollagen Peptides by Vital Proteins: These highly digestible bioavailable collagen peptides are sourced from grass-fed, pastured-raised bovine hides in support of skin, joint, ligament, tendon, hair and nail health. Odorless and tasteless, each serving provides 20 g of collagen containing 18 essential and non-essential amino acids. Gluten, dairy and sugar free single ingredient formula.

Vitamin C Renewing...Vitamin C Renewing Moisturizer by DermaE Natural Skincare: This synergistic eco-ethical skincare moisturizer provides a stable non-oxidizing form of vitamin C along with probiotics and rooibos in support of the skin’s natural defenses. A lightweight radiance-boosting moisturizer, this 100% vegan product supports collagen health, helping skin to appear smoother, firmer and revitalized. Free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, soy, petrolatum and artificial colors. Non-GMO formulation.

Lip BalmLip Balm by Living Nature: This truly nourishing lip balm seals in moisture to prevent dehydration with antimicrobial manuka honey, calendula, soothing essential oils and fruit waxes. Good enough to eat, this certified natural balm leaves lips beautifully soft and supple. Use alone or as an ideal color-free base before applying your favorite lip color. Free of parabens, surfactants, petrochemicals, phthalates, BPA and artificial fragrances. Non-GMO formulation.

Lip Care StickLip Care Stick by Dr. Hauschka: Moisturizing and protective, Lip Care Stick nurtures dry, chapped lips, soothing and softening even the most sensitive lips without causing dependency. This fortifying  formulation promotes healthy lips with sweet almond and apricot kernel oils, shea butter, rose hips, beeswax, carrot extract and more. Free of synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives, mineral oils, parabens, and PEGs. Dermatologically tested, 100% certified organic fair trade ingredients.

References:
Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin. https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/dry-skin
Winter dry skin. https://uihc.org/health-topics/winter-dry-skin
Top 10 Tips for Healthy Winter Skin. https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/top-tips-for-healthy-winter-skin.aspx

Vital Proteins® – Featured Brand

Vital ProteinsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Maintaining that there is nothing more important than one’s health, Vital Proteins® manufactures a line of sustainably-sourced nourishing products designed to promote wellness and natural beauty. The products provide naturally derived bovine or marine collagen peptides, providing a full array of amino acids. Bovine collagen is sourced from grass-fed Brazilian cattle raised in alignment with Global Animal Partnership 5-step animal welfare standards. Marine collagen is derived from sustainably sourced wild-caught non-GMO Hawaiian fish in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. Collagen peptides help support connective tissues, as well as promote joint, skin, hair and nail health. Odorless and tasteless, collagen peptide powdered formulas quickly dissolve in hot or cold liquids, making them very easy to incorporate into the daily diet.

Products are manufactured in an NSF certified cGMP facility. Additional certifications include USDA Certified Organic, Kosher Certified and Non-GMO Project Verified. Products are tested by third party independent laboratories to ensure the absence of heavy metals and microbials. Vital Proteins’ clean, natural nutritive products contain no fillers, binders or artificial sweeteners. Vital Proteins® supports the Primo Center for Women and Children, a non-profit 501(c) organization committed to providing essential resources to empower individuals and families facing homelessness in and around the Chicago area.

To see more products from Vital Proteins®, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Collagen PeptidesCollagen Peptides: This single ingredient top selling product provides highly digestible, quickly absorbed bioavailable collagen peptides in support of healthy joints, ligaments and tendons, as well as skin, hair and nail health. For maximum benefit, each serving provides 20 g of collagen peptides containing 18 essential and non-essential amino acids. Collagen peptides are sourced from pasture-raised, grass-fed bovine hides. Gluten, dairy and sugar free, paleo friendly.

Marine CollagenMarine Collagen: This Non-GMO highly bioavailable marine collagen is sourced from the scales of fresh wild-caught snapper. Each serving provides 10 g of marine collagen in support of bone, joint and digestive health, as well as youthful skin, stronger nails and healthier hair. Marine Collagen has no taste and quickly dissolves in hot or cold liquids. Gluten, dairy and sugar free, paleo friendly, single ingredient formula.

Collagen Beauty...Collagen Beauty Greens: This nourishing anti-aging blend combines Non-GMO marine collagen peptides with healthy organic greens such as wheat grass, alfalfa leaf, kale, spinach and barley grass. The formula provides 12 g of protein per serving along with vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid and probiotics in support of digestive and overall health, as well as glowing skin, strengthened hair and strong nails. Flavored with coconut water and Madagascar vanilla beans. Gluten and dairy free.

Organic Free Range...Organic Free Range Chicken Bone Broth Collagen: Low sodium, MSG free and rich in vitamins and minerals, this beneficial one ingredient bone broth formula provides 9 g of collagen per serving along with chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid. USDA certified organic bone broth is slowly simmered to extract the maximum benefits in support of joint, ligament, digestive, immune and overall health. The powdered, tasteless formula quickly dissolves in food or beverage of choice. Gluten and dairy free, kosher formulation.

2019 Health, Fitness and Nutrition Trends

2019TrendsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

In the health, wellness and nutrition world, there’s a lot of interest in what’s trending for the new year, while the prior year’s predictions that didn’t make the cut simply fade away. For every trend or wellness product that is actually helpful, there are many that don’t even come close. While not everyone knows that dairy cows are sweet gentle animals, “cow cuddling” therapy sessions haven’t really caught on. Goat yoga apparently still has some followers, although some yogis found that having goats climb onto their backs while attempting a pose was incredibly distracting from the mindfulness intentions of yoga. While some trend watchers follow gimmicky celebrity advice, appetite suppressant lollipops are likely not a sustainable way to lose weight.

Which ideas, diets and products are forecasted to trend 2019? The Natural Grocers Top 10 Nutrition Trends list for 2019 includes green personal care products, nootropics, medicinal mushrooms, healthy fats, collagen supplements and bone broth, all of which may appeal to individuals striving for purposeful ways to protect or improve their overall short- and long-term health. Some popular trends from recent years have now become movements, as manufacturers strive to provide natural, healthier products driven by consumer demand. Plant-based diets, sustainable food sources and holistic land management remain high in importance for those looking for measurable ways to support their own health as well as the health of the planet and all its inhabitants.

What’s trending in fitness:

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – HIIT was number one in fitness surveys in 2018 and has been in the top five since 2014. This time-saving, extremely popular program typically involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest.

Fitness programs for older adults – As people are looking to protect their long-term health and quality of life, many gyms offer classes specifically geared towards older generations. In the top ten since 2007, fitness programs for older adults was in position number nine in 2018.

Body weight training – Body weight training involves essential movements such as squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups and planks, as well as jumping exercises. These effective strengthening exercises utilize multiple muscle groups, burn calories and provide a great cardiovascular workout. No special equipment or gym membership necessary.

Yoga – Once considered an alternative form of exercise, many styles of this mind/body practice have gone mainstream. A combination of breathing exercises, physical postures and meditation, many enjoy the relaxing and balancing benefits of yoga, as well as the challenging poses. Trending over the last ten years, the popularity of yoga is expected to rise even more sharply in the coming years, as science continues to illustrate the many benefits of the practice.

Outdoor activities – As people long to get back to nature, organized outdoor group activities, such as walking, cycling and hiking have become very popular. Often planned by a fitness professional, these activities may be short events, daylong events or planned weekend hiking/camping excursions. Corporations that sponsor outdoor team building activities find that outings help relieve stress and lift team spirits, as well as create a general sense of healthy teamwork and competition, as well.

What’s trending in nutrition and wellness:

CBD and the endocannabinoid system – As more hemp-derived CBD products hit the market, we may be learning more about the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is central regulatory system that affects a wide range of biological processes, including the stress response and hormone secretion. Cannabinoid receptors, located largely in the central and peripheral nervous systems, bind with the body’s own natural endocannabinoids, as well as phytocannabinoids found in CBD. Through these receptors, the ECS helps to regulate glucose metabolism, mood, sleep, memory, pain perception, pleasure/reward, immune function and more, aiding homeostasis and influencing many aspects of health and wellness.

Circadian rhythm – As people become more aware of the importance of sleep to hormone regulation and overall healthy function, many are striving to get more in touch with their own personal circadian rhythms. Natural factors within the body produce circadian rhythms, which respond to signals from the environment, such as light as darkness. Irregular rhythms have been linked to various chronic health conditions, such as sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. Maintaining a consistent sleep/wake cycle is one of the best ways to reset the circadian rhythm, positively affecting sleep quality, energy levels, productivity and mood.

Brain health – As the population ages, public awareness of the fundamental role of lifestyle modification as it relates to brain heath and reducing the risk of cognitive impairment is increasing. The brain receives nourishment strictly though the foods we eat daily. Therefore, cleaning up the diet appears to be our strongest defense against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Experts advise eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables that contain plant pigments such as carotenoids, and anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that protect against oxidative stress and cellular aging. Taking a break from overexposure to technology and placing more focus on physical activity, nature and socialization are additional lifestyle strategies that support brain health. Nootropics, such as lutein, bacopa, magnesium threonate, phosphatidylserine, L- theanine and vitamin B1 are often used to boost, memory, focus, motivation and creativity.

Planetary health diet – Recommended by functional medicine physicians, nutritionists and the World Health Organization (WHO), a largely plant-based diet supports the long-term health of people and the planet. Sustainable diets have low environmental impact and provide safe healthy nutrition, while optimizing natural and human resources. Based on extensive research, a flexible dietary pattern, that consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, healthy fats, a moderate amount of seafood and poultry, and little or no red meat, added sugar, refined grains and starchy vegetables, provides major health benefits including a longer, healthier lifespan. Ultimately, our food choices impact more than just ourselves. A primarily plant-based diet is seen to protect human health, as well as the health of our environment.

References:
What Is The Endocannabinoid System? https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-the-endocannabinoid-system-4171855
Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends For 2019. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2018/11000/WORLDWIDE_SURVEY_OF_FITNESS_TRENDS_FOR_2019.6.aspx
10 Wellness Trends You Have To Try in 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonisweet/2019/01/04/top-10-wellness-trends-2019/#4b01be955ea1
Sustainability. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sustainability/
Circadian Rhythms. https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx