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Clear and beautiful skin starts from within

This small book is a gem. It is not the kind of book you read in one sitting. It is more of a reference book.

Cortisol control and the beauty connectionby Shawn Talbott, Ph.D

The subtitle says it all, "The all-natural, inside-out approach to reversing wrinkles, preventing acne and improving skin tone"

The book starts by explaining something called the FACE program, which is Free radicals, Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), Cortisol, and Eicosanoids.

And here is a reminder for me and those of you unfamiliar with the terms:

Free radicals- that has to do with oxidation.
Advanced glycation end-products- have to do with blood sugar levels.
Eicosanoids- have to do with inflammation.What these are and how the author came to discover the FACE program is explained in detail. It is actually a fascinating read. The cortisol beauty connection actually became apparent as a side effect of a weight loss program called SENSE ( Stress management, Exercise, Nutrition, Supplementation, and Evaluation.) Participants in this weight loss program found that they not only felt better but also looked better after completing the program.

To understand the importance of the FACE program for beautiful skin, here are a few points to keep in mind:

1.Excessive inflammation leads to accelerated skin damage and breakdown.

2. What causes inflammation? Amongst other things-oxidation causes inflammation at the cellular level. But what are the causes of oxidation? Well, that's the next one...glycation
(amongst other things)

3.Glycation is cellular damage by sugars which can lead to oxidation which in tern can lead to inflammation.

4.Stress can lead to glycation, which can lead to oxidation which can lead to inflammation. Confused?

How to put the FACE program in action is covered in a few pages of the book. Those pages include information on what not to eat, good fats and good carbs.

The title of chapter 2 is What's happening under the Skin: The collagen story. This chapter is very interesting. One thing that stuck with me is that the natural collagen turnover can be managed by controlling oxidation, inflammation, glycation, and stress.

It was this chapter and this book as a whole that helped me figure out why is that after I stopped the pill which I took for 4 years, my skin exploded with the worst acne ever. The pimples were not only on my face, but shoulders and chest. They stayed with me for one year and half. From that nightmare I was left with tons of acne scars which I have to this day. At the time of taking the pill, I was diagnosed with PCOS, so in plain English- I think that at that time oxidation, inflammation, glycation and stress were abundant. All this resulted in the destruction of collagen and my body was not capable of supporting the natural collagen turnover. Sigh...

Next, I want to share with you an interesting paragraph from the book on Supporting Nutrients ( Giving collagen a helping hand)
" The process by which amino acids are used by the body to produce healthy collagen fibers is a complicated one. Along the way, a number of specialized enzymes and active cofactors must be present in just the right amounts and just the right times for the whole process to operate optimally. Among these active cofactors are vitamins C, D, E, and B complex, as well as the minerals copper, zinc, manganese, and silicon, which are vital components of the collagen-production machinery. In addiction, there is a wide variety of non-nutrient factors, such as bromelain, boswellia, green tea, grape seed, and gotu kola, that may be able to enhance the process of connective tissue maintenance by reducing inflammation and improving circulation."

Collagen production may be complicated, but it seems doable, doesn't it? We need the above mentioned vitamins anyways.

So where do we start if we want to have a healthy skin? Cortisol control. This book recommends that we start with cortisol control because of its effect on inflammation, oxidation and glycation. In other words, we are to start with cortisol control because excessive exposure to cortisol through sleep deprivation and emotional stress leads to high levels of inflammation, oxidation and glycation.

Chapter five  of this book is on nutritional advice. Nothing new in this chapter. But the chapter after it, on supplements for cortisol control is particularly interesting to me. 13 supplements are explained. After the first time I read this book, I decided to try Ashwagandha. Big mistake. I took it for one week only and had such terrible palpitations I stopped taking the tablets. Was it a bad batch? The reviews on Amazon for that particular herb were amazing. Sadly, it didn't work for me. I will study this chapter again and decide on a different supplement for cortisol control.

The next chapter is on supplements for the control of oxidation. Various vitamins, herbs such as Gotu Kola and nutrients like Lycopene and Lutein are explained in detail.

In the next chapter, the focus is on supplements that can control glacation or the AGEs. Here I find information on chromium, zinc, vanadium, bitter melon, fenugreek etc.

Supplements for the control of eicosanoids include Essential fatty acids, evening primrose oil, borage oil, bromelain and papain, flaxseed oil etc. And in case you've forgotten ( just like me) what Eiconsanoids were: hormone-like cellular messengers. They can be bad or good apparently. It all depends on whether we eat more of the right types of fats and fewer of the wrong fats.

Interviews with experts from the beauty field follow as well as several pages with recipes. The book ends with the recommendation of regular exercise and there are several pages on stretches.

In conclusion, this is a lovely reference book packed with great advice that is easy to follow.

My checklist:

Supplements for the control of cortisol
Ashwagandha - tried and disliked.
I am not sure which one I will try next. Wait for an update on that.

Supplements for the control of oxidation
I take antioxidants in the form of vitamins.
Occasionally I take Lutein/Zeaxanthin  for my eyes.
I took Gotu Kola for a month, to see if it suits me. It was fine, I didn't notice any adverse side effects.
Next, I want to also take Green tea

Supplements for the control of AGEs
I already take multi-mineral complex with chromium, vanadium, and zinc.

Supplements for the control of eicosanoids
Bromelain and Papain is what I'd like to try.

Have you read any similar books on beauty? Please let me know in the comments section below.


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