Food nourishes more than just body, revives skin as well

Lemons, avocados, honey, sugar, oatmeal and even eggs are not your everyday foods anymore. These foods are now multi-purposed-they have tremendous effects for skin.

“The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is the protector of vital organs,” said Julye Williams, a licensed skin care specialist and speaker at The Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta’s workshop, “Oriental Oasis: Skin Care and Beauty Seminar.”

Williams, founder of Verde, a natural skin care line, explained that skin problems persist often because people are ignorant to what skin type they have-oily, dry, combination or sensitive.

Oily skin consists of large pores in the cheek and forehead areas. People with characteristics of oily skin tend to be prone to acne and blackheads. Dry skin consists of scaly dry, tight skin. People with characteristics of dry skin tend to have tight skin after washing their faces.

Combination skin comprises both dry and oily skin.

Dry skin in the T-Zone areas (forehead, nose and chin) and oily skin in the cheek area. Sensitive skin consists of easily irritated skin. Products tend to burn and aggravate this type of skin.

Another hindrance to achieving clear skin is not taking the right steps to cleanse the skin. Williams stresses that steaming should be the first step practiced at least once a week, no more than twice a week, before cleansing the skin.

“Fill a pot with water and boil it. Take a cloth, put it over your head and let the steam hit your face. This helps open your pores so the cleanser can get deep down in the pores and increases blood circulation,” Williams said.

Steaming, can also be a form of aromatherapy Williams recommends that you add lavender,mint or any other dried herbs to stimulate the senses. After you steam, cleanse the face. “Use upwards strokes when cleansing the skin. Downwards strokes tugs on the skin and can form wrinkles,” said Williams.

After cleansing, exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. Here’s where the food comes in. Williams recommends an oatmeal exfoliator and an exfoliant that contains honey and cornmeal.

“Oatmeal can be combined with warm water or milk to exfoliate for sensitive skin. Honey, heated for ten to fifteen seconds, and 1/4 teaspoon of corn meal mixed together is also a good exfoliator,”said Williams.

After exfoliating, tone the skin. Witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are all natural toners.

After toning, moisturize your skin. Williams said that, “Vaseline and baby oil are not good moisturizers because they both coat and trap toxins in the skin. Get products with almond oil instead.”

Masks can also be added into the skin care regimen once a week. Honey, warmed ten to fifteen seconds, can be used as a moisturizing mask. Rinse after ten minutes. French clay and midnight clays can also be used for masks. Along with cleansing the skin correctly, a good diet along with vitamin use will also improve the skin. Williams said that Vitamins A-E are all good for the skin.

Vitamin A: Helps with the maintenance of the tissue.

B-complex vitamins: Helps in the circulation and production of cells. Chicken, milk, peas and grains contain this vitamin.

Vitamin C: Helps in the production of collagen and battles environmental toxins. Fruits, apples, potatoes and papayas are some foods that contain this vitamin.

Vitamin E: Helps in cell rejuvenation and protects the tissue under the eye and minimizes scars.

“Drink plenty of water, it helps cleanse the system of toxins,” added Williams.

Although few men were in attendance of the skin care workshop, skin care is an issue for men as well as women. “Sometimes when men shave their skin it becomes irritated and because of how African-American hair grows shaving results in shave bumps,” said Williams.

Shaving with a sharp enough blade for a close cut, using an aftershave to cool the skin after shaving and following the cleansing process correctly will help men with caring for their skin suggests Williams.

Russell Dawson, 24, senior accounting student from Miami, said he learned a lot at the skin seminar.

“I learned that waking up every morning and putting alcohol on my face was not the thing to do,” said Dawson.

“And I also learned that teat tree oil can help get rid of some of the blemishes on my face instead of scratching them,” added Dawson.

Leshanta Richardson, 20, a sophomore chemistry student from Veero Beach said, “I didn’t know the pattern for cleansing the face. I usually just wash my face with cocoa butter soap. I also learned new scrubs for exfoliators, now I don’t have to buy exfoliators off the shelf.”

William notes that a common mistake that people make is buying products to “work for their skin instead of working with their skin.”

For more information on Verde products contact Julye Williams by email: