Monthly Archives: April 2011

Supplements for a Healthy Skin and Body

One of the major factors in an anti-aging program is to nourish your body (which includes the skin) with the nutrients it needs.  If you want optimal results from your skin care regimen, your mind and body also has to be healthy and functioning at its best.  Many people don’t associate having good skin with being healthy, but it’s very apparent when you look at people of the same age who have great skin and people who do not.  Smokers and heavy drinkers usually age faster than nonsmokers, with more wrinkles and age spots.  Being stressed and chronically ill or deprived of sleep shows on your skin.  Eating poorly or taking excessive medications affects the skin.  Your skin is a direct reflection of your overall health, especially the older you get.  

Ideally, you should get your nutrients from whole, natural, and organic food.  Minimize the junk, processed, fast foods.  Avoid additives and chemicals.  Unfortunately, with our busy lifestyles, eating enough of the proper foods is next to impossible.  To help obtain your health goals, you should consider supplementing your meals with additional vitamins, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory supplements.

I’ve listed below my standard supplements for overall anti-aging and health.  I break up the dosing during the day (3 times a day) so I’m not popping a bunch of pills all at once.  I rotate and suspend some supplements temporarily to shake up the routine every few months.  I also tend to skip most of the vitamins on the weekend, so I do not become dependent on taking them.     

Many of these have multiple benefits, but I tried to categorize them by their main use:

Vitamins:

1.  Puritan Pride Green Source, an excellent multivitamin based on whole foods and herbals.  A good overall multivitamin; however, they are pretty large tablets. 

2.  E3Live, 100% Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (blue-green algae), or AFA for short.   Organic, wild-harvested  from Lake Klamath, Oregon.  A green superfood, it provides 64 vitamins, minerals and enzymes in a biologically active form, easily digested.  You can purchase liquid or capsules.  

3.  Vitamin D3, a crucial vitamin for preventing a myriad of diseases, including cancer, musculoskeletal, and pulmonary diseases.  I take 5000 IUs a day to keep my vitamin D level at 80.  A level of 30-100 is good; however, cancer survivors should strive for a level of  60+.  As suggested by my nutritionist, if you are dosing very high vitamin D3 levels, use a 5 days on/2 days off schedule to prevent the chance of liver toxicity/overload.  Better yet, try to get natural vitamin D by exposing your arms and legs (with no sunscreen) for 10-15 minutes a few times a week.   

4.  B-complex vitamins, very important for metabolism, nervous system, healthy skin, hair, and vision.  

Antioxidants/Immune Boosters/Cancer Prevention:  To protect against free radical damage to cells, improve cell health, and boost the immune system to ward off stray cancer cells.  I encourage you to research all of these wonderful supplements and read about their health benefits. 

1.  Ubiquinol (a more active form of CoQ10)

2.  Alpha Lipoic Acid with Biotin

3.  EGCG Green Tea Extract

4.  Resveratrol

5.  Curcumin with bioperine

6.  Coriolus Versicolor PSK mushroom extract

7.  BroccoMax with Sulforaphane (SGS)

8.  Astragalus

9.  Melatonin (take only before bedtime, as it will make you sleepy)

10.  Selenium methylselenocysteine.

11.  astaxanthin.

Liver and Detox Support

1.   Milk thistle (Silymarin).  Take this supplement to prevent elevated liver enzymes which can lead to liver disease, especially if you drink alcohol on a regular basis.  A functioning liver is key to preventing many illnesses and staying healthy.    

2.  Modifilan.  Made from a brown seaweed, Laminaria Japonica, harvested from the Pacific waters off Russia, this supplement optimizes thyroid function and detoxifies heavy metals from the body.  It was used extensively to detox victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 

Cardiovascular/Circulatory system

1.  Neptune Krill Oil, the ultimate Omega 3 supplement (better than fish oil)

2.  Nattokinase.   A natural proteolytic enzyme which is good for preventing blood clots (DVTs) and dissolving scar tissue. 

Musculoskeletal/Anti-inflammatory

1.  Black currant oil (excellent for skin health and moisture retention)

2.  MSM (for joint and skin health).

Online Vitamin and Supplement Sources: 

My two favorite sources for vitamins and supplements are Iherb.com and Puritan’s Pride.  Both have extremely easy-to-use websites, fast ordering, fast shipping, and prices are competitive.   Iherb.com offers free shipping over $40 and bonus discounts for frequent customers.  The discount increases depending on how much you order.  Puritan’s Pride offers BOGOs all the time, buy 1 get 1 free, buy 2 get 3 free, etc.   

Important:  Before You Go Buying any Supplements:

Before I started taking any of these on a regular basis, I consulted with my nutritionist who also specializes in oncology patients.   If you have existing medical conditions or take medications, some supplements may not be suitable for you.  So, before you add any supplements or stop prescribed medications, you need to consult with your family doctor first.  Everybody’s requirements will be different, but for me, I find this combination of vitamins and supplements (along with proper diet and exercise) is doing wonders for me.  Before using any of these supplements, research them and see if any would be beneficial for your health issues. 

On this current regimen, I’m maintaining healthy lipid and liver profiles, along with consistently low blood pressure readings.  All my lab results have been excellent for the last 6 years.  I had stage II breast cancer 6 years ago and am still in full remission.  At 55, I have no aches or pains, no postmenopausal symptoms, no major illnesses, seldom catch colds or flu.  I’m on no medications.  Plus my skin looks great!   Aging doesn’t mean your mind or body has to fall apart.  

And remember, healthy body = healthy skin.  

Resources: 

http://www.neptunekrilloil.org/

http://www.smart-publications.com/articles/view/nattokinase-powerful-enzyme-prevents-heart-attack-and-stroke/

http://www.theherbsplace.com/Black_Currant_Oil_p_466.html

http://www.modifilan.com/

http://www.e3live.com/all_products/e3live.html?SID=10138dbac88dba852a539b96fc1d190b

www.iherb.com               

www.puritan.com

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My Favorite Multipurpose 302 Products

I want to get back to my favorite topic, skin care, for a moment.  Although the actives in 302 Skincare shouldn’t be mixed with other skincare lines, there are some products that are so gentle and well-formulated that almost anybody can use them without the strict supervision required of the 302 actives.  302 actives containing Avogen, vitamin C, or vitamin A derivatives should always be used under the guidance of a professional, especially in the beginning.  But the following products are complementary products which I use regularly and can be used by most people without problem:

302 Cleansers

There are specific cleansers formulated for your skin type:   302 Cleanser, Dry/Normal, Oily/Combo, Sensitive, and Acne.  There are also corresponding RX formulas (Sensitive RX, for example) which contain no essential oils for people who have extremely fragile and sensitive skin.  The Face and Body bar is also an excellent face cleanser.  For beginning regimens, have at least 2 cleansers to alternate with.  I would pick the Face and Body bar plus one of the other 302 cleansers.  All the cleansers are non-foaming.   They contain no harsh sulfates or detergents, so you won’t get that squeaky clean and tight feeling afterwards. This feeling of being squeaky clean is not desirable, because you are stripping away the skin’s natural oils and promoting more oil production in the process.  With 302 cleansers, your face will feel soft and hydrated.  These are emulsion or lotion cleansers, which you can also use as a mask.  Apply a small amount of cleanser on your face and let it sit while you brush your teeth or do something else.  Rinse off until all the slip is gone.  I only wash with warm water in the morning and use a cleanser at night.  These cleansers will remove all traces of dirt, makeup, including eye makeup, without tugging.

The Face and Body Bar

This was one of the 3 original products I used back in 2005, and it is still one of my favorites.   I use it to wash my face, and in the shower.  This is the ideal all over “soap” although it is not made with lye or drying like soap bars.  It’s a syndet bar, loaded with avocado polyphenols and extracts.  It is extremely mild and well-tolerated, but acids should not be used with it, as acids may cause irritation.  After you wash your face with this bar, your skin will be as soft as a baby’s behind.  Additionally, it can be used as a skin treatment; it soothes irritated and inflamed skin.  In fact, many people use this to treat minor acne and other skin conditions like eczema.  There is little fragrance, so men and boys will like this as a daily cleanser or a pre-shave.  It does suds up a little, but not much.  I just LOVE this bar and will never be without it.  I buy it by the case load  (6).     

Ointment RX with SPF 15

This is another one of those multipurpose products.  It contains high amounts of green tea extract and zinc.  It soothes irritated skin.  If you have cuts, windburn, sunburn, bug bites, burns, rashes, almost anything requiring healing, apply a thin film.  Do not rub it in.  It will help speed healing and reduce the chance of scarring.  It can also be used as a moisturizer, but apply only a pea size and spread on a wetted face with Calming Mist or Calming Mist RX.   If you use too much or do not wet it down, it may cause clogged pores on oily and acne skin types, as it is occlusive.  Another hint I learned from the 302 company is to apply the Ointment RX on top of the 302 actives to help boost their effectiveness.  There is something about zinc which intensifies their effectiveness.  For example, after applying the C Boost, 302 drops/serum or 302 eye serum, apply a thin film of Ointment RX on top.   Mist in lightly.  

Recovery Minerals 

This is only thing I apply on my face if I go outside and want sun protection for a normal sun exposure day.  It is a mineral powder sunscreen (titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) which provides SPF 30 protection.  It can be applied at night as a treatment for irritated skin as well.  It also contains coral calcium which absorbs excess oil on the face.  I love it because it provides an excellent sunscreen but is not heavy or occlusive like liquid sunscreens.  It sits on top of the skin.  It does blur minor skin imperfections but does not cover well, so you may need additional mineral powder foundation to cover blemishes.  Try to get away from liquid or cake foundation makeup, primers, and concealers; those are notoriously bad for skin and will clog pores over time.  Recovery Minerals protects and heals at the same time, so it is another multipurpose product.   This comes in two shades, Translucent for fair to medium skin tones,  and Tan for medium to deep skin tones.  I use translucent and I’m a Fitzpatrick 4.   

Calming Mist and Calming Mist RX

For moisture during the day or just a skin pick-me-up, I love these mists.  The Calming Mist RX version has no essential oils, so it is extremely gentle.  The main ingredient in these mists is green tea extract (ECGC), proven in studies to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.  So, it is excellent for sensitive and acneic skin.  I use this to wet down my face for ultrasound treatments.  It smells heavenly.  You will want to carry a travel bottle of this with you on long airplane trips to keep the skin hydrated. 

302 Body Treatment and 302 Intensive Body Treatment

Luxurious lotion moisturizers for the body, not intended for the face though  (for dry skin types, you can use either Recovery Plus or Recovery Plus Intensive for the face).  All the moisturizers go on smoothly, feel very light, absorbs quickly, leaves no tacky or greasy feel.   Smells wonderful with a hint of essential oils.  To me, the body treatment smells of almond/mint/vanilla, but it is not overwhelming and the scent fades over time.  I used the Intensive Body Treatment over the winter, and it really reduced the dry, itchy skin on the legs, and softened the skin on the heels.  Loaded with avocado extracts, jojoba oil for softening and essential oils to help brighten the skin.  

302 Lip Balm

Throw out your ChapStick, this stuff is the “balm”.   I’ve been using this since it came out.  It moisturizes without leaving a waxy feel or making your lips dependent on balm like ChapStick does.  It has no color, taste, or scent.  Use it alone or over lipstains.  I apply this every night as a lip treatment.   I also buy this by the caseload, but each balm lasts a long, long time.  

So, Why Not Try it Out

Those are my product recommendations for people who want to try some 302 products but are not ready to jump in with a full-blown commitment with a professional.  I think you find these products are different from anything else on the market, well formulated, at decent prices.  All 302 products are formulated to be non-irritating, gentle, utilizing 90% organic and natural ingredients.  So, you can feel good about using these products on your entire family. 

My hope is that after using these products for a while, you will get a sense of the quality of 302 products and will want to consult with a 302 professional who can help address more serious skin issues with other products in the line.  For more detailed product information and list of ingredients, see www.302skincare.com