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Have you noticed that, lately, it seems as though there is an anti-aging clinic or a plastic surgeon’s office advertising the virtues of botox on every corner? It seems as though baby boomers will go to any lengths to avoid aging even if it means injecting the botulism toxin into their bodies. The truth is that aging does not have to be a slow decline into an old and broken body. A well fed and healthy body ages well and gracefully and remains full of energy and vitality. So… why isn’t every one aging gracefully these days? Here are a few of the many reasons.

First a small lesson in physiology. Our bodies have the capacity to cleanse themselves via several different channels. You may be aware that the colon, kidneys and liver are the organs through which your body clears out toxin. What you may not realize, is that the skin is the largest elimination organ and often reacts to less than perfect habits. Years of unhealthy living can take their toll not only on your health, but on the appearance of your skin. Some of the worst offenders are smoking, alcohol, sugar and fake food. Yes, we’ve all heard of the centagenarian who smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish, but he is the exception rather than the rule.

Smoking is perhaps the biggest culprit in damaging the skin. The nicotine and hundreds of chemicals added to the tobacco produce a characteristic facial and skin pattern. The result termed “smokers face” includes wrinkles and furrows usually around the mouth and the eyes, giving the smoker an aged, lined and gaunt look. Unfortunately the powerful addictive quality of nicotine makes quitting very difficult. However, quit is what you must do if you want to save your skin and your health. What you drink is another big consideration. The sugary sweetness of soda and juice, the false sweetness of aspartame and that bottle of wine with dinner every day can take it’s toll on the liver, kidneys and ultimately the skin.

Sugar and fake foods are the most common offenders. The problem is that most of the time, consumers have no idea that they are ingesting large quantities of sugar on a daily basis. That’s because the food industry has learned to artfully hide sugar in food by giving it other names and labels. That makes it very difficult for the average person to know when they are eating sugar. Because of that, sugar consumption has grown from about 2 pounds per person per year to over 70 pounds per person per year. This increase in sugar consumption has resulted in rising diabetes, cancer and obesity rates among the US population. These diseases can and do cause the body to age prematurely.

So what are your options? Abstain from smoking and minimize alcohol consumption. I know that’s easier said than done, but the dermatological rewards will make it worthwhile. Avoid highly sugared foods and especially high fructose corn syrup. Learn to recognize sugars like dextrose, corn solids, corn syrup and fructose in your food. Stick with fresh fruits, veggies and lean meats and drink plenty of clean fresh water to which you can add a splash of lemon or lime. Avail yourself of the many nutritional options to nourish your skin from the inside and explore electrodermal facial rejuvenation which utilizes microcurrent to naturally tone and brighten the skin. The end result will be sure to please you and you will be rewarded with a healthier body and glowing skin.

Dr. Nadia R. Malek, DC, DACBN 

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