Beauty begins with the skin.
So, let's understand that the skin is actually an organ. It's a very wonderful organ.
It surrounds our body, protecting us from the outside world. It protects us from the myriad organisms and fungi that are all around us, and it must remain intact and healthy. The skin is what we call epithelial tissue, or covering tissue.
Being epithelial tissue, the skin is nourished internally by vitamin A. I have found best success with the use of natural vitamin A from fish liver oil.
Part of the skin's effectiveness comes from a slightly acidic mantle of skin oils and perspiration, with which it discourages the multiplication of bacteria and fungi.
The problem that we face is that every time we bathe, especially with soap, we wash off this protective covering.
And, no, I'm not encouraging you to remain dirty, but there is a way to get around this conundrum.
When I work in my office, I can get rather "dirty," so I shower with an abrasive loofah sponge and no soap. A brisk rubbing will remove all perspiration.
Most folks way overdo the soaping up.
I'm reminded of the guys at the YMCA. After a hard workout and a steam bath, they go to the showers and totally soap up.
How clean can you get? But suffice to say, the protective mantle is thoroughly washed off.
Now if you have spent hours in dust and grime, you will need to soap up.
Still, that's OK if you then do the right thing.
Most folks don't realize that soap is very alkaline (the opposite of acid) and aside from washing off the mantle, one cannot help but leave a slightly alkaline residue. But that leaves the door open to infection.
So, make a mixture of eight parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. And, everywhere you used soap on your body, sponge on some of this mixture. This will help to bring back the acid mantle and your protection.
One fact that you must remember is that the skin can absorb chemicals that come in contact with it. Proof of this is that medicine is using this fact by the many patches -- nicotine, hormonal and other medicines -- that are now being produced.
You should be aware that bad stuff can be absorbed through the skin also, and be careful with any chemicals that come into contact with your skin and scalp. Try to avoid them. That goes for soaps and detergents, rinses, bleaches and coloring agents.
A natural deodorant
Most commercial deodorants contain aluminum and other potentially harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Some can be harmful if used over a long period of time.
In my former practice, I have had numerous patients presenting swollen lymph glands around the underarm areas. When the aluminum-based deodorants and antiperspirants were discontinued, they disappeared.
In a test of comparisons of commercial products, the one that was consistently best was simple baking soda (not baking powder). It is cheap and very effective.
I use a small container and a powder puff. A tiny puff will keep you odor-free all day. Because it is alkaline don't over apply. A tiny puff will do.
Conditioner and dandruff prevention
After washing their hair, most folks need a hair conditioner or else they have a hard time getting a comb through.
Remember, the scalp is also part of the skin. So let's use the 8:1 mixture of water and vinegar.
Shampoo hair as usual, rinse all the soap out, then use the vinegar solution. Let it remain on your scalp for about a minute, then lightly rinse it off.
Dry your hair as usual then try running your comb or brush through it. You will be amazed.
The vinegar solution will normalize your scalp's pH and you don't have to worry about absorbing harmful chemicals.
For safety's sake, make your mixture in plastic. Don't take glass into your shower.
By using this procedure several times, dandruff problems should disappear.
Develop beautiful skin naturally
For a facial scrub, you'll need avocado oil, fine-grain sea salt, honey and water
Set out four saucers in front of a mirror, preferably at a sink.
In the first put some avocado oil, in the next a little honey, in the next some warm water and in the last some salt.
Dip fingers in oil and spread over entire face.
Dip fingers in honey and spread over face. Honey is a natural moisturizer.
Dip fingers in water then into salt.
With salt sticking to fingers, begin sanding face in tiny circles, always circling toward the center of your face and up.
Repeat the water and salt as many times as necessary to gently abrade the entire face.
Rinse off immediately when done with cool water.
Caution: Do not overdo the abrasion; all we want is to gently exfoliate the outer layer over a several-week period.
This will bring out the new skin beneath.
Repeat this procedure three times each week for several weeks, then perhaps only once each week thereafter.
For a facial mask, you'll need quick oats, honey and plain yogurt.
Blend some quick oats in a blender until they are a powder. In a separate container mix honey, oat powder and yogurt into a soft, moist paste.
Spread over face. Keep it on for up to a half-hour but don't let it dry on your face.
If you have any young children, don't let them see you -- you'll scare them to death!
Wash off with plain cool water.
Repeat as often as desired.
Retired chiropractic doctor Francis Trapani's background includes active practice for 41 years; investigative reporting for many years on stations KTRG and KPOI on Hawaii radio and exercise/fitness yoga TV broadcasts on channel KHVH, also in Hawaii. He has written three books and is working on a fourth; a yoga self-help manual "The Doctor Prescribes Yoga." For more information, go to drftrapani.com.