#SkinishMom Investigates – Weight Loss and Sagging Skin

Weight loss does lead to sagging skin – sad truth especially for those of us who have worked so hard to reduce weight. The reason was when we put on weight, our skin stretches to accommodate additional fat tissues but as this is lost, the skin doesn’t shrink back. This leads to sagging skin often seen after rapid weight loss.

The obvious way to reduce the effect that weight loss has on sagging skin is not to lose weight so rapidly. Here are 5 tips on limiting sagging skin as you try to lose weight.

#SkinishMom Investigates Weight loss and Sagging skin

Share these 5 tips with someone who is exercising lots for weight loss!

Tip #1: Don’t Lose Weight Too Quickly

Losing weight too quickly, especially when combining crash diets with lots of exercise, can lead to a loss of both fats and muscles. The aim is to lose weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week), without losing muscles that support your skin.

Tip #2 Resistance Training

Mild to moderate intensity resistance training each week help to build muscle mass which “fill out” loose skin, reducing the appearance of sagging skin. The resistance training does not tighten your skin but shape your muscles and fill out your skin with increased muscle mass.

Tip #3 Don’t Suntan and Smoke

Both lead to oxidative stress, damage to collagen and elastin fibres and lead to sagging skin (plus UV exposure lead to skin cancer).

Tip #4 Eat Well

It is especially important to eat well when you’re exercising – we mentioned not taking a crash diet but we should also avoid diets that are highly inflammatory. In an interview with dermatologist Dr Cherly Lee, her advice was to reduce processed foods, animal proteins and sugars.

To build muscle, ensure adequate complex carbohydrates, proteins and sleep. Also include minerals and vitamins in your diet, along with essential fatty acids (EFA). In this WebMD article, nutrition and skin experts advised that EFA built cell membrane which not only acts as a skin barrier (to prevent irritants from penetrating and transepidermal water loss) but also as a pathway for nutrients and waste. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce inflammatory compounds, limiting skin damage from oxidative stress. Include also vitamins A, C and E which can increase collagen production and reduce UV damage to skin.

Tip #5 Drink Enough

We have investigated effect of water on skin and the conclusion was lack of water is bad for the skin but excess water does not benefit skin. Drinking enough is important when you’re exercising as water helps to carry nutrients, regulate temperature, improves your ability to work out and reduces heat cramps and heat stroke. However, drinking too much has drawn much concerns, due to abnormally low sodium (hyponatremia).

There are products that you can use or surgical and non-surgical treatments to counter sagging skin. Products containing retinols, vitamin C serus and alpha or beta hydroxy acids (AHAs or BHAs) are believed to increase collagen production, restore skin elasticity and renew skin. Be careful of overuse of retinols though, as it has been linked to skin irritation. Laser, ultrasound, radio-frequency, infrared, skin lifting/ tightening, dermal fillers and skin removal treatments are available to help sagging skin.

Off to do some squat press, planks and catch some zzz, #SkinishMom

#SkinishMom Investigates – Sagging Face Myths

Recently, I was asked about sagging breasts. As I read more about ‘sagging’, I realized that there are many myths surrounding sagging face. So as usual, I did some ‘Skin Investigation’ and here are 3 Sagging Face Myths.

Wait.. What causes Facial Sagging?

There are many factors and it makes sense that if we reduce the causes, we can limit facial sagging. Some factors like genetics and age are impossible to limit, graceful aging comes with sagging.

Genetics – There are certain genes that are studied to have an impact on how much the skin is affected by UV exposure.

Gravity – Can’t escape this one overtime.

Weakening skin structure – Key tissues that hold up our skin are collagen, elastin, fatty tissues and muscles. These reduce with age as the skin doesn’t renew itself as fast. Muscles that support our skin also gradually weakens, allowing fats to accumulate in areas that result in the appearance of sagging skin.

UV exposure – UV exposure damages collagen and elastin and it is a clear observation in studies involving twins where the twin who suntanned looked older. Collagen is a structural component of skin connective tissue. Elastin allows our skin to return to its original shape after stretching and contracting. Elastin also keeps skin smooth as the skin stretches with movements.

Sagging face looks sunken with less tissues around the cheekbones. A jowl means hanging skin around the neck/jaw. There are also marionette lines between the nose and corner of the mouth.

3 myths on Saggy Face

Don’t start that Facial Exercise!

Myth #1 Exercising (Jumping, Running) causes your Face to Sag

Not true –  The pounding motion does not have sufficient impact to damage collagen. What is more likely to fuel this myth is for people who exercise a lot outdoors, the UV rays damage the collagen AND if your exercise successful yielded rapid weight loss, your skin couldn’t shrink back and appear as sagging skin. Study had shown that moderate exercise had anti-aging benefits, however too intensive exercise may lead to oxidative stress that damages skin.

Myth #2 Sleeping on Tummy causes Facial Sagging

Not true since tummy sleep does not affect collagen but it affects wrinkles. The more the pillow pulls against your skin, and with age, your skin starts to wrinkle (study).

Myth #3 Facial Exercises work Your Face and reduce Sagging

Not true! Actually all that facial movements lead to wrinkles and possibly, unnatural ones where wrinkles wouldn’t have normally formed (review article showed no benefit).

Laser, ultrasound, radio-frequency, infrared treatments, skin lifting/ tightening and dermal fillers are some of the ways to fix sagging skin, but I won’t want to be so ‘unnatural’ in my aging. What’s your take?

Why do Chores Divide? #SkinishMom Stumped

Last week, I’ve answered the question on Working Mom – Helping or Harming my Child by Working and while research seemed to give the thumbs up for working mom in terms of parenting, there’s still a lot of Ds over Chores.

Divide – How do you divide chores equitably between both parents?

Divided – Why is chores always a matter of stress and contention in dual-income families? (and a topic that keeps on coming up when mothers get together)

Dread – Ever heard of someone getting excited over chores?

Delegate – How do you delegate chores to kids?

Damn it, just get it over with! (week after week after week… is there chores in heaven?)

Chores is also something most commonly nagged about and I’ve got comments in my Am I Really Nagging? post whether I’m helping men to find excuse not to do chores,  because I’ve said

#1 First ask yourself – Do you really want him to do it or is it easier if you just do it? Put aside equality of sexes and fairness, and consider seriously. If you can answer no and yes, just do it yourself. And read on.

I admit that I’m stumped when it comes to chores. I used to do chores grudgingly, resentfully because I think my spouse has to do the same thing that I do. But it gradually evolved to an appreciation that he does chores that I don’t do and there’s no need to calculate chores. Now, I’m at the stage of ‘Leave me alone to do my chores’ and ‘Can you do this other chore, please?’. It has been working peacefully for the past 2 years.

YET sometimes chores is a real chore. AND many working moms continue to do more chores. Let’s look at some of the studies:

OECD study showed that women spend more time on chores, read this Time article ‘ Closing the Chore Gap

Report that showed women spending 17.8 hours per week on chores and men spending 9.8 hours (for couples with kids below 18)

Interesting infographics on Cozi that showed women tended to perceive doing more chores

In Chore Wars: Working Mother Report – working moms still do more chores but millennial dads are doing more housework than their babyboomer dads

So chores are indeed tricky:

1st, it’s a dread

2nd, what chores need to be done is often perceived very differently by every family member

3rd, how much chores had actually been done by who is also perceived very differently

4th, is it right to ask another family member to do what you want done but not agreed by all needs to be done?

I’m stumped when it comes to chores. Every working mom would have found a way of dealing with it. I think that whatever don’t get you cursing under your breath, shouting at the top of your lungs, bottled with negativity is the right way – you don’t need to hear how other working moms manage chores (or their men!). One solution is being creative to keep chores to a minimal – a smaller house, outsourcing, rotating the chore duties and not being hung up on dirt. Some cartoons for you!

Removing House Dust Mite even when there's no sensitization improves eczema

This is a sure sign you’re doing too much cleaning!

Mom NeedyZz cartoon on Fair Parental Baby Care EczemaBlues

Dividing chores start from birth!

Ask #SkinishMom – Am I Helping or Harming my Child by Working?

#SkinishMom Parenting Skin Expert

Ask #SkinishMom any question – parenting, skin, eczema or plain venting!

Sometimes I feel that I spend too little time at home – I reach home at 9pm, my kid goes to bed at 11pm (sic, I know it’s late but I reach home at 9pm). That’s only 2 hours, of which I spend 30 mins to cook, 30 mins for must-do chores and 45 mins for dinner. (Anyone doing the math?). 

So uhmm.. very strictly, quality time speaking, I only have bedtime routine from 11 pm to the time my kid falls asleep (which is 11.45pm to midnight, I know (double) sic). Bottomline – I’m a working mom who is not so much feeling guilty but worried if earning that 2nd income harm my kid.

Worried Working Mom

Totally understand! Your question applies so much to me, it’s spooky! Ok, we all love to be validated by hard evidence and there are quite a few studies that suggest, point toward, conclude that working moms are not harming, but helping our children. Studies have reported:

  • Review article found that children whose mothers worked before age 3 didn’t have worse academic or behavior problems later in life than those with stay-at-home moms.
  • Based on meta-analysis study, toddlers with working moms grew up to have fewer depression and anxiety issues and got better grades.
  • Open-ended questionnaires study did not find that children wanted more time with their parents or thought that their parents were inadequate in their parenting.
  • On the other hand, having resources (including money) and offering stability seem to correlate positively with a child’s academics. Childcare quality is critical to a child’s development, especially since working mom’s kid will spend longer hours at childcare. Quality childcare is associated with better academics and higher likelihood of college graduation.
  • Based on review of surveys, there were observations that daughters of working moms had higher incomes (supervisory roles) while sons were more likely to spend more time at housework and childcare.

Sounds good right? I’m a working mom and when I first read the headlines, I was saying ‘Yes!’. But (there’s always a BUT) deep down, I know I don’t need studies on other families to tell me if I’m doing the right thing. You also don’t need me to tell you if you’re doing the right thing. Well, since you wrote in, you’d probably like some advice.. so here’s my Working Mom – Work or Stay at Home? thought process!

#SkinishMom thinks Work or Stay at Home? for Working Mom

#SkinishMom thinks Work or Stay at Home?

That’s what I believe – I don’t think it’s so much of an issue whether you’re a working mom or stay at home mom. I think (I can be wrong though!) that it’s THE ISSUE that got to be sorted out. So what’s the issue? Hmmm.. maybe

  1. You are impatient or get upset easily with your kids from work stress?
  2. You are not happy at work?
  3. You want to pursue an interest, a cause but that can’t be achieved while you’re holding a 9 to 5 job?
  4. You don’t parent when you should be parenting? (I’m all for chilling at parenting, but sometimes it needs warming up.)
  5. You find cracks in your marriage from how little time you spent with your spouse (and not with your kid)?
  6. You find yourselves hiding behind the excuse of ‘busy work’ to not do what you know it’s right?

If you often think about whether you ought to be a working mom, you ought to think why you’re thinking about it. And of all the studies in the world on what’s good for our child, no study can tell you what’s right for you. Only you know what’s right and being happy is a clue if something’s right.

Signing off with xoxo, #SkinishMom

Ask #SkinishMom – Present for Mom of Eczema Kid

#SkinishMom Parenting Skin Expert

Ask #SkinishMom any question – parenting, skin, eczema or plain venting!

I want a surprise! A present! I’ve worked so hard (at work + at home), and we all know that eczema isn’t the easiest condition to manage. Can you make some suggestions on what presents my husband should get for me so that all dads reading your column will ‘GET IT’.. (got it?)

Surprise-Deprived Mom

You are so right! We love presents, especially for those of us whose love language is ‘Receiving Gifts’ (click here for your love language test from Dr Gary Chapman). Here are some suggestions, for men to get your spouse:

Presents and Love Language for Mom with Eczema Child

Gift Ideas for Mothers with Eczema Children!

#1 Time off – Sometimes your wife may seem like she has it all under control and she may even appear not to trust you with eczema care. BUT she may have been wishing for you to step up and volunteer to spend some daddy-child bonding time so that she gets time-off. You never know if you don’t ask, and ask on the day you bring flowers home.

#2 Cheesecake and Coffee – If you don’t know the type she likes, buy a different one each time or even those where you can mix different flavors. Top this with time alone without kids/chores to do when she’s savoring them

#3 Beauty products – Sometimes it can get maddening when you’re applying all the moisturizers on your child but your own skin is dry. Getting beauty products for a mom of eczema child has a deeper meaning – you appreciate her efforts in your child’s skincare (please don’t get one with irritants on the list! Check this ingredients to avoid interview with dermatologist Dr Verallo-Rowell)

#4 Hotel staycation – Even with children along, this is a break from the daily routine. The important part? Be in-charge of packing and playing with your kids during the staycation!

#5 Love – Any small ways you show love is good, including doing your share of chores and not adding to the chore list, hugs and kisses, not snapping at her but showering praise instead. Comes from the heart, man.

Wishing my spouse is reading this too! xoxo, #SkinishMom

Ask #SkinishMom – How to Love when You’re Tired

#SkinishMom Parenting Skin Expert

Ask #SkinishMom any question – parenting, skin, eczema or plain venting!

Is it possible to love when you’re tired? I’m too tired to think, feel or do anything, can I still actively love someone? Some days I ought to smile more, hug more or even really look at my loved ones more, but I’m too tired. Eczema parenting + full-time work.. love, it’s (almost) out of the window.

Tired Mom

Love when you tired #Marriage

Have you loved when you’re tired?

Close that window.

Totally understand that it is difficult to love when you’re tired. I feel the same way too. Some days my eyes are only looking at the computer at work or looking at the floor, or the sink or the clothes hangers. But some days I think back of how doing something I know is good and loving will refresh me.

When I was living in Shanghai, I had to travel all the way from city area to the very west end of Shanghai for bible study. Almost every Friday, I felt like skipping bible study, especially while jostling in the cramped train (it’s so cramped that when the driver announced to get ready and move to the door for alighting at the next stop, he really meant it!). But every time at the end of the bible study, I felt refreshed and not tired – my husband felt the same. I kept this in my heart, knowing that if traveling so far, under such crowded (and often stale air) conditions, I could still feel refreshed, week after week for two years. Then, maybe I can love when I’m tired too.

Whoever are your loved ones are the people who God had put on earth for you to love, with the full knowledge that life on earth is no bed of roses. Love and your loved one was never meant to be a burden from the time of Adam and Eve (though that was the start of the ‘blame game’ among couples!). So how can a tired mom love? Especially if you have a child who needs extra care.

6 #SkinishMom Love-When-You-Are-Tired Tips

#1 Don’t blame or beat yourself up on bad days when you snapped or didn’t show TLC to your loved ones

#2 Don’t blame anyone, for anything

#3 If you are constantly too tired, then you should do something about it – ask for help, cut down on work that don’t matter

#4 Smile – Mother Teresa said

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love,

a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

#5 Hug – it’s de-stressing, from Dr Mercola’s website

Hugs are one of the most succinct ways to encourage your body to release oxytocin, and the more oxytocin your pituitary gland releases, the better able you are to handle life’s stressors.

Oxytocin decreases the level of stress hormones (primarily cortisol) your body manufactures and lowers your blood pressure response to anxiety-producing events

Oxytocin has also been found to reduce the cravings of drug and alcohol addiction, as well as for sweets. It even has a positive influence on inflammation and wound healing.

#6 Warm someone’s heart – When I’m tired, I’m bogged down by too many things to do. Usually none of these things satisfy my heart (it satisfied my brain though cos I’d have checked off my to-do list!). When you love, someone else who may be as tired as you has been loved. Knowing that you have done something to warm another heart will warm yours too.

I hoped this post has warmed your heart too, #SkinishMom

“Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Mother Teresa

#SkinishMom Investigates Confusing Citrus on Skin

It was reported end June 2015 that an association (not causal link) was found between the consumption of citrus fruits (grapefruits and oranges) and skin cancer. Key points in these reports were:

  • Increased risk of skin cancer melanoma with drinking orange juice and eating grape fruit
  • Association, not causal
  • Possible (in theory) that psoralens and furocoumarins in citrus fruits make the skin more photo-sensitive
  • Association found from questionnaires filled by about 100,000 health professionals

#SkinishMom looked up Pubmed for more on citrus fruits and got into ‘Citrus Confusion’ – studies seemed in general to point to benefits from citrus fruits, including that of skin cancer protection. Below are the studies:

Citrus Confusion - Is it causing or protecting against skin cancer?

Citrus Confusion – Is it causing or protecting against skin cancer?

  1. Citrus peel use is associated with reduced risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin – showed that peel consumption, the major source of dietary d-limonene, is not uncommon and may have a potential protective effect in relation to skin squamous cell carcinoma
  2. Hesperetin induces melanin production in adult human epidermal melanocytes -Hesperidin, a flavonoid in citrus fruits, may protect from photodamage if its capacity to increase melanin production in human melanocyte cultures could be reproduced on human skin
  3. Topical hesperidin prevents glucocorticoid-induced abnormalities in epidermal barrier function in murine skin – Hesperidin can stimulate epidermal proliferation and differentiation, therefore protect against the side effects of topical glucocorticoids
  4. Protective effect of red orange extract supplementation against UV-induced skin damages: photoaging and solar lentigines – Red orange extract intake can strengthen physiological antioxidant skin defenses, protecting skin from the damaging processes involved in photo-aging and leading to an improvement in skin appearance and pigmentation
  5. Oral dose of citrus peel extracts promotes wound repair in diabetic rats – showed significant reduction in blood glucose and time to wound closure. Tissue growth and collagen synthesis were significantly higher

It is true though that psoralen (compound in citrus fruits) make the skin more photo-sensitive; there is a treatment for severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) in adults that prescribed psoralen to be taken 1.5 to 2 hours before phototherapy so that the skin will be more sensitive to the light (“PUVA“).

Taken together, #SkinishMom isn’t going to stop taking citrus fruits but always, sun protection please.

#SkinisMom Investigates – Tattoo Skin Rash

There was a recent study published “Self-reported adverse tattoo reactions: a New York City Central Park study” where lead researcher Dr Marie Leger, Assistant Professor at NYU Lagone Medical Center, and her team surveyed about 300 people. It was noted that up to 6 percent suffered from rash, itch or swelling that lasted longer than 4 months. About 10 percent surveyed had short-term skin complications.

This again highlight that we ought to take tattooing seriously – it is not just ‘fashion’ because tattoo works by damaging skin barriers. Tattoo also cannot be ‘taken off’, as the process of doing so is a series of painful laser treatments to remove the skin layers that can take months.

As covered in this post, red ink results in the most allergic reactions. However, it is not clear what about the tattoo ink causes the reactions (dye, preservatives or brighteners). There is no easy way to know ahead if you will get a rash/ hypersensitive reaction because patch test may not be accurate since patch testing is meant to test for contact reactions (not when the chemicals are embedded into the skin layer). Tattoo presents a risk of skin rash or irritation/ swelling AND such skin reaction will change the way the tattoo looks! Wrinkled skin will also change the tattoo appearance.

Why Tattoo is Becoming Popular

Tattoos were once popular among sailors, bikers but for the past few years have been increasingly popular among celebrities. Today, ordinary folks in traditional occupations like teachers and government work also spot tattoos. For some, tattoo is about lending a voice to their life with tattoos that mean something to them. Other reasons include beauty, art, group affiliation, on impulse or addiction.

Step by Step Tattoo Safety Tips from #SkinishMom

Step-by-step Tattoo Safety Tips

Step-by-step Tattoo Safety Tips

#1 Is your skin generally hypersensitive? If yes, it’s best to skip it. As patch testing is not full-proof, there’s no absolute way to know you won’t get any skin reaction. Some reactions can appear months later and get only be rid of by removing the tattoo.

#2 Consider patch testing for the common chemicals used in a tattoo, such as mercury sulfide (cinnabar), ferric hydrate (sienna), sandalwood or brazilwood. Each ink has different components so you can decide on your colours and then patch test the ingredients. It is not a full-proof though.

#3 Check regulation monitoring tattoo establishment. Different country and state has different regulation, including inspection and equipment/supplies (contact with blood) handling procedures. You may even want to travel to a state that has stricter regulations.

#4 Go to regulated tattoo establishment.

#5 Get a tattoo you won’t regret! It is reported that more than 20% of adults regretted their tattoo choice… for instance, do you really want the name of an ex-girlfriend on your skin?

#6 Check the batch number of the pigment used. Also check if the brand of tattoo pigment is from more established companies, such as Millennium Colors Inc. Also make sure that sterilization is practiced.

#7 Protect your tattoo by keeping it clean and out of the sun. The better your skin heals, the better your tattoo will look.

Have you tattooed? and how did it work? Recommend your tattoo artist, brand or inks in the comments!

#SkinishMom investigates – Acne and Vitamin B12

A recent study by researchers at UCLA examined the link between Vitamin B12 and acne, as it had been suggested in numerous studies or published observations of vitamin B12-induced acne. It was observed in the small sample of 10 participants that after taking Vitamin B12, there were higher levels of the vitamin on the skin. This led to a skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes to produce more porphyrins, a molecule that is pro-inflammatory. The researchers stressed that the take-away from their study was that skin bacteria is a critical part of understanding acne (and the take-away should not be to stop taking vitamin B).

Acne is linked to the increase of oil/sebum on the skin but the development of acne is not entirely lucid. In an interview MarcieMom had with dermatologist Dr Lynn Chiam, Dr Lynn shared her insight on acne and also tips for those suffering from both acne and eczema.

  1. Acne can be divided into whiteheads or predominantly inflammatory with papules (zits) and pustules (zits filled with pus)
  2. Large and deep zits can result in permanent scarring
  3. Acne usually starts during teen years
  4. Acne can be triggered by increased facial sebum, oily face creams, hormonal changes (pregnancy/ starting or stopping birth control pills/ menstruation), smoking, pollution and high humidity
  5. Mild acne can be treated with creams containing benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and tretinoin
  6. Avoid applying steroid creams (for eczema) on acne as steroid creams can make the acne worse
  7. Anti-acne cream can cause skin dryness, so avoid applying over eczema skin

The key objectives of acne treatment is to heal the pimples, stop new ones and prevent scarring.

Tips for Caring for Acne Prone Skin

Tips for Caring for Acne Prone Skin

Tips for Acne-Prone Skincare

  • Clean away excess oil from the face and wash using gentle (non-soap) cleanser
  • Do not scrub the acne or squeeze, pinch, or pick the pimples as that increases the risk of scars or dark spots
  • Shave carefully – never dry shave or use a blunt blade
  • Stay out of the sun, if on topical medication
  • Choose oil free and noncomedogenic makeup

Do you have a special regime to care for your skin and any particular diet? Share with #SkinishMom in the comments!

#SkinishMom Investigates – Summer Foods and Skin

Summer Foods for Skin-  #SkinishMom.pngThere are quite a few articles out there on what summer foods you can eat in order for glowing skin and #SkinishMom decides to investigate! You can never take for granted that if a food is recommended on numerous health/ beauty websites, it means that it is the summer (super) food to eat for your skin – sometimes it’s just one website copying another. So #SkinishMom compiles the common summer foods and look at what they are recommended for (vitamins, antioxidants) and research Pubmed to see if there is a scientific basis for such recommendations.

For Water

This has been covered in this #SkinishMom column where it’s concluded (based on general dermatologists’ views online and research (or rather, lack of, since no one can earn money from researching water!) that being dehydrated is bad for the skin but excess water does not benefit the skin.

Foods to eat for water during summer is watermelon, cucumber, celery, cantaloupe, tomatoes and strawberries.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is studied to varying extent (meaning: the trial is either small scale, or it may be at higher dosage than in a fruit or for application instead of oral or studied in mice) to:

  • Increase collagen production
  • Protect against damage from UVA and UVB rays
  • Helped skin healing, including pigmentation problems
  • Improve inflammatory skin condition (do you know mice are injected with a pro-inflammatory chemical to create inflammation, then administered an oral supplement to test the results, gasp!)

Summer fruits loaded with vitamin C are citrus fruits, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and watermelon.

Antioxidants

Our skin, being the largest surface of our body, is subject to oxidative stress – from the sun, air pollutants, stress, alcohol and the foods we eat. Free radicals are formed during our body’s natural metabolism and oxidative stress but our skin have antioxidants to balance the free radicals. Intake of antioxidants have been studied to prevent carcinogenesis (formation of cancer cells) and protect cells from oxidative damage (e.g. limit the effects of sunburn). One study showed that sunburn to cells was decreased by antioxidant treatment via (i) protection from free radical and (ii) increasing epidermal thickness.

Foods with antioxidants that are popular during summer are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Drink up green tea too!

Lycopene

This compound is studied to for collagen production and quite extensively known for its anti-cancer properties for melanoma (along with proanthocyanidins in grape seeds). Together with soy isoflavones, vitamin C, vitamin E, fish oil, lycopene has been studied to induce an improvement in the depth of facial wrinkles after long-term use.

Foods rich in lycopene are guava, water melon, papaya, grapefruit and cooked tomatoes.

Vitamin A

Retinoic acid is essential for skin and bone growth and in the studies, mostly linked with cell development and use in cancer treatment. Be careful about taking too much neonatal vitamin A supplement as it has been studied to be linked to atopy and wheezing in children.

Foods rich in vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins (but these are considered fall vegetables). The case for beta-carotene for skin isn’t so clear in studies though.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E protects skin membrane and guard against UV damage as it has UV absorptive properties.

Avocado, broccoli and tomatoes are foods rich in vitamin E.

Omega 3

Essential fatty acids are essential from the time of our development in our mother’s womb! It’s critical for brain development (our brains are actually quite full of fats!) and for our skin, omega 3 is able to regulate oil production, have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 is also studied to maintain our skin (stratum corneum permeability) barrier, inhibit pro inflammatory compounds and elevate our sunburn threshold and promote wound healing.

Experiment different recipes using avocado, chia seeds and salmon! 

Green tea polyphenols

Geen tea polyphenols (GTP) inhibits chemical carcinogen, induced by UV radiation. Green tea being calorie-free is a healthy drink to acquire a taste for.

So this summer, drink enough water and eat some of these summer foods to help protect your skin – sun protection is still a must though!

#SkinishMom

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