What is inflammation? It’s the reaction of tissue distinguished by pain, swelling, redness or feeling of rising temperature on the skin.
What causes inflammation?Food or poor diet choices, infections, injuries, stress, pollution, sun radiation or certain medical conditions.
What happens within the skin?This is where we get a little more technical. Inflammation is important to understand because it’s the body’s way to repair itself and fight off external invaders. There are 2 types of inflammation that can occur, an Immunogenic Inflammation (triggered by immune system) or a Neurogenic inflammation (triggered by nervous system). As soon as there is a trigger, 3 main skin cells (Mast Cells, The Langerhans cells and Macrophage cells) work together to start the inflammation process, hence the road to repair what’s wrong. It’s also important to realize that anyone can be susceptible to have inflammation, whether it’s caused by genetic elements or an allergy due to external elements (such as pollution or pollen).
What can I do to prevent inflammation?
Be aware of FREE RADICALS: A free radical is a skin cell that has a damaged cellular membrane. In order to fix itself, it steals from the other healthy skin cell membranes. How do they appear? They are born from exposure to: pollution, UV rays, bad diet food, stress and medical conditions. So basically, the damage cell eats away the good cells, but even the ones that aren’t necessarily good (like a bacteria for example.) They eat whatever comes there way.
“The body is under constant attack from oxidative stress. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, so these atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to seek out other electrons so they can become a pair. This causes damage to cells, proteins and DNA. […]Substances that generate free radicals can be found in the food we eat, the medicines we take, the air we breathe and the water we drink, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University. These substances include fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides and air pollutants.”
SOURCE: Szalay, Jessie, 2016, What Are Free Radicals, online: https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html, consulted March 14th 2019
HOW to fight FREE RADICALS:
1.Include Anti-Oxidants in your diet: There is a way to minimize the presence of skin radicals: Anti-Oxidants! They stabilize the damaged cells. You can only find them through nutrients. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance capacity) is the one and only way to know the level of antioxidant in certain foods. Goji berries and raspberries are one of the highest ones on the list. Check out the list annexed below, it will give you the best nutrients to find.
Source: 2013, Foods Rich in Anti-Oxidants ORAC Values, online: http://greenlifeuniverse.com/health/foods-rich-in-antioxidants-orac-values.html, consulted on March 6th 2019
2. Watch your lifestyle choices: Diet wise, whichever foods you decide to eat directly affects your health, but also your skin. Make sure that you consume highly nutrition foods! Think about it, whenever you eat junk food, do you feel the best the next day? No. You feel sluggish. It directly affects how your body functions, therefore how the health of your skin is (ex: eating too much dairy/carbs/sugar may cause acne flair ups!). Lifestyle choices also affect the health of your skin: don’t smoke and minimize your exposure to UV rays. Move your body to activate circulation, move your muscles and let them “breath”!
3. Use proper skin care products: You might disregard the usage of professional products, but the truth is that if you are using products that are either too harsh for your skin type, or not proper for your skin condition, you might damage your protective lipid barrier. This barrier locks the moisture in and protects it from harmful bacterias, germs, pollution, etc. For example, using a soap bar to cleanse your skin will destroy this barrier because the product you are using has a high PH level, which will remove your natural oils. No need to make everything complicated: use a proper cleanser, a toner and a moisturizer to maintain healthy water levels and to protect your skin!
Source: 2018, Your Lipid Barrier, Online: http://yesgirlyourvaginaisnormal.blogspot.com/2018/11/your-lipid-barrier.html, consulted on March 6th 2019
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