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Feed Your Skin!

By Jackie O'Neal

Considered the body's largest organ, the skin is comprised of millions of cells, a complex network of blood vessels and nerves. An important organ, healthy skin is generally free of any disorders, and nutrition continues to be the key to maintaining its optimum health.    

Of course, the individual woman's nutritional needs are contingent upon factors such as physical build, age and activity level. Most skin care professionals you'll come on contact with, will tend to place a strong emphasis on your skin's health- while closely studying the affect nutrition poses for the skin.

Dr. Joel Gershon wrote: "Studies have shown that excessive use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs can contribute to pre-mature aging of the skin."  In like manner, lack of proper nutrition can also have adverse results and lead to pre-mature aging of the skin.
Overall, the skin receives nourishment by nutrients in the bloodstream.  Consequently, a balanced diet is essential to ensure good skin health and guard against pre-mature aging.  

In addition to proper hydration and nutrition, the skin requires cleansing, stimulation and moisturizing on a consistent basis to remain supple and moist.  

So what are the nutrition essentials that lead to healthy, vibrant skin?  Basically, it's the four food groups: milk and dairy, meat and alternatives for protein, bread and grain, vegetables and fruit.  

Some cosmetics companies claim that the inclusion of vitamins in their formulations appear to give skin health an edge.  Although, some of the vitamins in cosmetics are readily absorbed by the skin, the majority of skin care experts insist that the best way to nourish the skin- is through proper nutrition.    

Bon Apetit!  

Jackie O'Neal holds an M.F.A. in Fiction/Poetry from the Sarah Lawrence College Writing program. She has been a journalist for several years, contributing to various magazines and newspapers including The New York Amsterdam News, Mar Magazine  and The Press of Atlantic City.She is also a contributor to several online publications and has functioned as an editor of Women's Online Magazine. Her charity column on one of the largest women's sites, Bella Online features relevant charitable endeavors around the world. Recently, her religious broadcast segment "Godward" featured on NBBTA Radio was nominated for The People's Choice Podcast Award, and the station with over 113,000 listeners received a Black Web Award 2007-2008.

After teaching English for twenty years, she recently transitioned into public relations and finds her role as a publicist with Breakthrough Promotions, a national public relations firm,energizing and challenging.  She is also the founder of O‘Neal Media Group and offers public relations services to non-governmental agencies in the developing nations, primarily Africa. Her clients have benefited from her resourceful and creative approach, as well as her research skills. One of Jackie’s clients, Josephat Mwale, Secretary General of the Y.M.C.A. Kabwe, Zambia, says: “I am grateful for the commitment she has shown us, and her outreach on our behalf gives us hope and sharpens our vision for the future.”

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