Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

September 27, 2019 16 By Ewald Bahringer


“Beauty is More than Skin Deep” The skin is the largest organ in the body— about 20 square feet— and, the most vulnerable
organ in the body, exposed to both the oxidizing effects
of UV radiation from the sun, and the oxidizing effects
of oxygen in the air. And, years of oxidant
stress can take a toll. Over the years, skin becomes
thinner, more easily damaged; loses volume, elasticity,
and can sag and wrinkle. What can we do about it? “Skin wrinkling: can
food made a difference?” They measured healthfulness of skin
using a microtopographic method. It’s cool; they make a mold of the back
of your hand with a silicone rubber, peel it off, and then look at it
under a microscope. This is what young, tight,
healthy skin looks like. But, then, as we age, our skin
can get all coarse and flaccid. How can we stop it? Well, three things contribute
to the aging of skin: “Oxidative stress…induced by
[sun]-damage, inflammation and ischemia [lack of
adequate blood flow].” Oxidative stress means
we need antioxidants. “Under these circumstances, many
skin antioxidants undergo depletion… and must be replaced continuously
in order to delay the otherwise inevitable deterioration which would
lead to skin aging.” So, plant foods would
presumably help. And then, inflammation
and lack of blood flow. And so, one might predict that
saturated fat (inflammation) and cholesterol (ischemia), might be associated with
adverse effects on our skin. Let’s see if our predictions hold up. “In particular, a high intake
of vegetables, [beans, peas, lentils, soy] and olive oil appeared to be
protective” against skin wrinkling, whereas “a high intake
of meat, dairy and butter” appeared to have an adverse effect. Prunes, apples, and tea
appeared especially protective. A recent study, for example,
found that green tea phytonutrients were able to protect skin
against harmful UV radiation, and help improve skin quality of women. After a few months on green tea, there was a 16% reduction
in skin roughness, and a 25% reduction in scaling. Here’s micrographs showing
the reduction in scaling, as well as improved skin
elasticity and hydration.