Where Health & Beauty Meet

The Connection Between Beauty and Health

For many people, health and beauty inhabit quite distant altitudes on a "proper" hierarchy of values. Health belongs high on the scale for them, while beauty should be low on our scale of importances. Health is an important concern.

Beauty is a frivolous obsession with youth, they think. After all, health is a deep, core value, while beauty is by definition superficial. It's only skin deep, right?

Of course, whether you happen to believe this way or not depends at least partly on which definition of "beauty" you have learned or adopted.

If beauty means holding everyone to the same media-derived standards of glamour and attractiveness, we might be more inclined to agree. If beauty means slavishness to fashion, dieting to the point of anorexia, or even compulsive miror-gazing, we would definitely agree.

But that's not the kind of beauty we want to talk about here. We're much more interested in the kind of beauty that not only lights your eyes but warms your heart when you encounter someone who has it - be they young or old, man, woman or child. This is "the beauty that comes from within," and we don't discount that.

"Momma, am I pretty?" "You're beautiful on the inside, Sweetheart."

Some might hear a consolation prize in the mother's reply, and our status-driven, possession-accumulating culture provides plenty of support for that interpretation. But we hear a positive affirmation of the best values a child could learn.

The beauty that comes from within. We firmly believe this kind of beauty rises an internal foundation of health: physical health, emotional and psychological health, and spiritual health. That's why you find support for all these aspects of health here at WellnessWatchersMD.

Just as redness and swelling are symptoms of inflammation, true beauty is one of the symptoms of good health. Vibrant aliveness, happiness, clarity grounded in positive purpose - when you see someone with these elements in chorus, your heart can't help singing in response. And when you have all these elements in place for yourself, you don't need to look in the mirror so often, because the people around you constantly reflect back your true beauty in their smiles.

And the best part is, it's available to everyone.

Soothing Super-Stressed Skin

By our Health Guru

Stressed-out skin probably got that way for a reason. If someone wants to look 10 years older than their chronological age, smoke and go out in the sun. If your skin's seen better days - whether from years of photo-damage or other types of long- or shorter-term abuse - there are skin solutions that can get back its brilliance.

What to do if your skin lacks luster? These are dermatologists' top-of-the-list dos and don'ts.

  • Do: Buy products made for sensitive skin. The products should be specifically tailored to provide TLC - try Aveeno, Eucerin and other low-priced products first and they might just do the trick. For others, the higher-priced brands like Jan Marini and Prescriptives might prove to be better.

  • Do: Wash in the evening only, with a gentle cleanser. If your skin isn't oily, a once-a-day wash will suffice - your face doesn't have to squeak to be clean.

  • Do: Exfoliate to remove the dead skin layer that dulls. Your body will naturally exfoliate every 28 days, but why wait four weeks? You can exfoliate with a facecloth and your favorite cleanser, or buy an alpha hydroxy acid exfoliator to clear up your complexion.

  • Do: Consider getting a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser or other skin-saving procedure to undo damage. Ask a dermatologist to help you decide on the easiest route for right-away rejuvenation, or a deeper-reaching procedure that requires more down time.

  • Do: Make lifestyle changes to save your skin, and in some cases your life. Don't skimp when applying the sunscreen. Quit smoking - besides causing lung cancer, it causes lines to be etched on your face. Get regular sleep. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine. Load up on nutritious foods, such as vitamin-rich leafy vegetables, and take a multivitamin if you don't always eat quite right.

  • Don't: Use toners, alcohol-based astringents or scouring products that make your skin sting or itch. These products, as well as those with high fragrance content, can further irritate sensitive skin.

  • Don't: Assume that spending big bucks will buy you better skin. When choosing from the overwhelming array of skin products that are available, don't think that a pricey product will necessarily work better for you. The $150-per-ounce French face cream could cause your skin to break out when the much cheaper drug-store brands wouldn't bother you a bit.

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