The Omega 6s and 3s – Learn how to Balance the Omegas in Your Diet for the Right Benefits for Skin and Health

I rarely comment on current events here as I want to stay on subject but I want to send out love and prayers to the French tonight. I lived for years in Paris, did my MBA there, carried my child there, I dined, danced, cried, laughed, partied and loved in that great City of Lights. And, it was with great sadness today that I read about this heinous attack on all of our free rights and security. Laughter is a salve for all humans. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, religions, governments then we exist in a state of fear and poverty – forever crippled. Paris, your lights may have been dimmed today but tomorrow they will burn even more brightly. Al Qeada – you are only convincing the world to turn away from your religion in disgust and shun your people. To France and their dead: Chapeau off. Head bowed. Je suis Charlie.

 

 borage oil

In the quest for the perfect, nourishing skin oil I have come across a lot of options. Avocado, Apricot kernel, Evening Primrose oil etc. Frankly, they are all great and variety is the spice of life for your health and your skin. One oil that came across my radar in Europe that is not so well known in America is Borage Oil.

The more I read about Borage Oil the more I wondered if it was as powerful to consume as to apply topically. And this question led to me to a deeper examination on the limitations and benefits of Omega 6 oils and how what you are eating affects the balance of Omega 6 oil and the very important Omega 3 oils.

Topical Benefits

The essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from borage and other oils has been shown to be one of the most effective agents for the treatment of skin disorders and for the maintenance of healthy skin. The fatty acid profile of borage is unique in that it contains 20 to 24 percent GLA. Evening primrose oil contains 8 to 10 percent GLA and black currant oil contains 15 to 17 percent.

The popularity of borage oil as an ingredient in topical formulations for the skin is growing rapidly, based on the strong research showing that it is of benefit in the treatment of various skin conditions, including dry skin, eczema, inflammation, wounds, and dermatitis.

Role of GLA in the skin
Healthy skin depends on adequate amounts of lipid, in particular certain polyunsaturated fatty acids called essential fatty acids (EFAs), for moisture, suppleness and smoothness as well as to prevent skin disorders. The most important polyunsaturated fatty acids for maintenance of healthy skin and for the alleviation of skin disorders are the essential fatty acids of the omega-6 family, namely linoleic acid (LA) and GLA. Dietary deficiency of these fatty acids results in a characteristic scaly skin disorder, increased epidermal turnover rate, weak cutaneous capillaries that rupture easily, decreased wound healing and increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) leading to xerosis (dry skin). Dry skin is the most common skin condition and is especially common in the elderly. By the age of 80 years, the epidermis may lose as much as 50% of its thickness, which accelerates water loss. Dry skin also exacerbates many other skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis.

dry_skin copia

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Much Ignored Power of Plant Evolution and Vitality for Health and Skin

The other night, I was at the Bowery Hotel Bar in NYC ordering a pre-dinner dirty martini when I was deliciously startled by the bartender’s demand for ID. Convinced he was joking, I laughed. My joy was met with a stony brow and a thin, piggy-bank slit of a mouth. Said bartender held out his hand expectantly with a bored expression and eyes fixed in the non-specific distance. He was ready to catch naughty teen me and deny me my martini. Galvanized, I fished in my wallet and produced my driver’s license. It was his turn to look startled. Did I really look younger than 21 I wondered? Was it the lighting? The good company I was in? Had my friends paid him? My wellness lifestyle? Or was it my fabulous homemade skin cream that utilizes thousands of years of plant evolution and contains no chemicals?

dirtymartini2

Before you think this is the beginning of the kind of skin care commercial  – let me warn you – it is! The story is true and I am making my own anti-aging line – more information on that coming soon. What propelled me to make this line was a combination of many forces… One was certainly my return to Gotham City which has the power to set a fire of action under the most dimpled and sedentary of bottoms.  Another spark to the flame was the sensation I was losing touch with nature (more prevalent in Geneva) and besieged by a commercial onslaught since my return…. Ads for beauty products promising impossible dreams and costing a fortune leap out on every block. Careful examination however, reveals that most contain chemicals, preservatives, toxins, synthetics and some, neurotoxins. All are delightfully packaged and marketed and showcased by barely pubescent models whose perfect skin is rendered fairy-tale cartoonish by further God-strokes of some tech artist.

What is the result of these creams ladies? The chemicals are endocrine and immune system interrupters. You could have long-term weight gain, thyroid and fertility issues, cancer etc. Remember the chemicals are not just in your creams – they are everywhere.  But creams are absorbed directly and cleanly into the skin so they are particularly dangerous.  I was at Bergdorf Goodman the other day and watched, fascinated, as unbelievably chic women of every age dropped their credit cards on hugely expensive creams in plastic packaging – riddled with chemicals.  A good part of anti-aging and health is taking responsibility for self-education.

skin-whitening-10-22-2013

While living in Geneva, I had ample opportunity to read hundreds – wait – possibly thousands of books. Yes, Geneva is that much of a snooze-fest (at least for a NYer). That moment was a semi-sabbatical – a time for re-educating the mind – if not the soul. I became pre-occupied with plants – their powers and sensitivities… I began reading a few long forgotten French books by doctors who were ardent in their obsession for the powers of essential oils. These powers, if true, promised all kinds of rewards for overall health using millions of years of natural evolution – encased in the pungent lifeblood of these plants. Of course, all oils are not created equal. Synthetics and fragrances are added. Oils are standardized to lower the prices. Not all are organic. Some cancel each other. Some can trigger the wrong effects. But, for the average woman who will buy a pot of cream for $400 that is riddled with fake fragrance and preservatives – do the fakes really matter?

Continue reading

Crème Budwig – Anti-Aging and Immunity-Boosting Nectar of the Gods

I recently saw a friend in London who is minefield of information on all things holistic and healthy.  I make sure I always have pen and paper ready when I see her because she gives me so many ideas to google…

She introduced me to the famed Dr. Catherine Kousmine (1904-1992),  – a Russian (her family was well-to-do and fled the country during the Russian revolution) scientist based in Switzerland who believed in nutrition-based medicine.  Dr. Catherine Kousmine devoted her life to medical research in Switzerland, with special interest in the effects of food on overall health, and cancer and disease prevention. Continue reading

The Divine Benefits of Coconut Oil, Be a Goddess – Eat Coconut Oil

Are you one of those people who hasn’t bought a jar of coconut oil yet?  Are you stuck on the idea that coconut oil is a saturated fat?  If the answers to these questions are yes, then you have failed to do your research!

Coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.

This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats. Continue reading

Ghee vs. Butter

For years, my yogi friends have been talking about the magic of ghee.  Frankly, I was only ever half listening to the conversation – until recently when I became obsessed with buckwheat pancakes.  That obsession could take up another article but suffice it to say that for the past 4 weeks I have been having a pancake a day – and it’s now one of the main reasons I get out of bed.  I could not resist having butter with my pancake but every day as I slathered it on  I began to wonder – is this healthy? Are my thighs exploding?  My pants have been feeling a little tight lately…

During a weekend prowl of the most expensive grocery store in Geneva – Globus – I came across a jar of ghee.  It cost $20 and yes – I bought it.  After spreading it on my pancake this morning, I can report: I am hooked.  (Although for $20 I think I can make it myself…) A little research brought me to this fascinating article by Delia Quigley:

The Health Benefits of Ghee Continue reading

Just a Spoonful of Essential Fatty Acid Oil a Day will Keep the Wrinkles Away! So get Oily for a Younger You!

I have been drinking teaspoons of oil before bed for years.  Throughout my pregnancy, I kept 6 bottles of oil and a spoon next to my bed.  Every night, I religiously took a spoonful of each in order to help the brain development of my baby.  It is a common misconception that oil makes us fat.  And I cannot tell you how aggravating it is that so many people think in terms of calories and not overall health.  We Westerners would do well to adopt a more Eastern approach to our bodies by looking at the whole wellness of the body instead of attacking one area.   To deny yourself critical oils because of a diet might make you thinner but your face and skin will likely age more rapidly because (for instance) the integrity of the cell membrane has been compromised.  Yes, avocados may be high in calories but you should be exercising and the oil in avocados is one of the best for your body, your immunity, your skin and keeping you young.  At 105 pounds while maintaining a diet that includes an avocado a day I can tell you that drinking the right oils will not harm you.

Essential fatty acids are, as they sound, fats that are necessary within the human body. Though you’ve probably often heard the word “fats” and associated it with bad health, there are some essential fatty acids that are necessary for your survival. Without them, you could cause serious damage to different systems within the body.  Essential, unoxidized oils speed up fat metabolism. This is a widely misunderstood aspect of human metabolism. Essential oils provide a steady-state source of energy, and prevent sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coasters. Other clinical benefits of essential oils include their value in the prevention and management of the following disorders: Continue reading

Ex-Party Girl Lives ‘Dangerously’ by Drinking Anti-Inflammatory Hemp Oil for Better Skin

Back in the Wild Days of yore, I preferred a delicious long, slim joint to a cocktail but I never would have guessed that my skin would have been better served had I extracted the oil from hemps seeds and spread it on a cracker.

This article, from Natural News by John Mckiernan sums up the little known benefits of hemp oil.

Hemp seed oil, pressed from the seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been named nature’s perfect food due to its balanced concentrations of omega fatty acids. Hemp used to be consumed worldwide, as it was one of the first cultivated and consumed crops. There is a misconception that hemp contains THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant. Needless to say, this is false. Although relativity new to the Western Hemisphere, hemp seed oil is now widely available in health-food stores. Continue reading

Anti-Aging Vitamin Essential: Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil is a fabulous nutrient for your skin (and overall health) that you’ve probably never heard of.

Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of a flowering plant that grows wild in North America and many other parts of the world. The flower opens at night, hence the name Evening Primrose, and its seeds have oil which has been known to have wonderful healing powers – full of essential fatty acids. Continue reading

Oregano – A Miracle Herb for Anti-Aging and Better Immunity

Sure we all see those little green flakes in our tomato sauce and think – OK the chef didn’t forget to shake some oregano in there. But sadly, the average person does not give too much attention to this small but powerful herb. Europe made the same mistake with Napoleon many years ago…

Oregano is known as “delight of the mountains” in Greek and is renowned for its medicinal and nutritional properties. But besides wanting to swallow some ‘mountain delight’, why is oregano important for anti-aging and immunity? Continue reading

An Easy, Hydrating Facial Scrub Recipe Using What’s in Your Kitchen

This facial scrub is so delicious you will want to eat it!   To begin, rinse your face and neck with warm water and then gently apply the mask in gentle, circular motions.  When you are done, rinse with icy cold water – but don’t wash with any face cleaner.  You will want to leave it on for the night.

3 tablespoons sugar  a great scrub to remove dead cells and make way for new ones

4 tablespoons olive oil – soothing and moisturizing

2 tablespoons honey – antibiotic and soothing

Juice from half a lemon – citric acids clears away old skin allowing for regeneration