Our skin, the outer covering of our bodies, is the first line of defence against the ravages of time and everything that life throws at us. So it makes sense to look after it. The human skin is the largest organ of our body and is made up of several layers of tissue. The top or outer layer, the epidermis, and a layer of soft tissue underneath called the dermis. The epidermis grows up towards the outer surface of the skin and is constantly shedding dead cells. The main function of the skin is to protect against the environment and also to insulate and maintain body temperature. It detects and fights off infections and also contains hair follicles, oil glands, sweat glands, nerves and blood vessels.

We all want young, healthy and vibrant looking skin. But as we age our skin deteriorates, it becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Intensifying this effect is the inability of skin to heal itself as a person ages. The speed at which our body replaces the new skin cells slows down. This ageing cannot be stopped, its part of our natural lives. However, it can be slowed down. Regular use of preventative measures such as skin creams and anti ageing creams will certainly help. The market for these skin creams has grown considerably over the past ten years as the cosmetic industry has jumped on the band wagon. The problem now is the there are so many products to choose from. So which skin cream product is the best for you ?


We are all individuals so what works for your friend or work colleague may not be suitable for you. It may be a case of trial and error. Remember your skin is not perfectly smooth like a sheet of glass. If you were to look at your skin through a microscope, it would look more like a tree trunk. Full of lumps, bumps, cracks and holes. The correct dermatological names for these being pores, skin lines and sebaceous glands.


The majority of mass produced skin care products are made up of man made ingredients including synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals and chemical preservatives. These can be potentially toxic chemicals and highly modified natural ingredients. The cosmetics industry produces so called 'natural products' regardless of their chemical contents. So be very selective. Better still, use only genuine natural products. There are many small companies producing quality natural products and they can be sourced over the internet. These natural products use ingredients such as herbs, oils and juices. You will also find that natural products are more sensitive and delicate to your skin.

Ordinary commercial soap can be abrasive and can contain 'fillers', petroleum based oils and harmful chemical detergents. Using these soaps can strip away the natural oils that keep your skin healthy. Some of the ingredients found in these soaps include sodium cocoyl isethionate, stearic acid, sodium tallowate and sodium stearate. Non of which will benefit your skin.


Skin types can be divided into three main categories. Normal, dry and oily. If you are fortunate to have the normal type then minimum attention is needed. Despite all the advertising telling you that your skin needs all these different products, the truth is that a general moisturising is all that is required


Dry skin. Caused by lack of oil being secreted by the skin glands. If you suffer from dry skin then regular and frequent moisturising is very important. Drink plenty of water. The best natural moisturiser for dry skin is honey. Make a paste from honey and milk, apply to your face and leave for about 15 minutes. Keep a close check on your diet and drink plenty of water.


Oily skin. This is the result of having skin glands that produce too much oil. Because of the extreme amounts of oil being secreted  acne and blemishes are very common. An application of a mint and sandalwood  paste will help. These two powerful ingredients are well known for controlling and improving oily skin. Cucumber is another well known natural product for oily skin. Cut into slices and use as a face mask.


Poor dietary habits can lead to poor looking skin. What are you eating You can look after your skin from the inside by eating well. “Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to skin health,” says Indy Rial of the British Skin Foundation. “If your diet is healthy and well balanced, your general health will benefit and this will be reflected in your skin”


Although sunshine is a vital ingredient for staying healthy, and is your best source of vitamin D. Exposure to the sun, or rather over exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. If you are going to expose your bare body to the sun make certain that you are protected. Cover yourself with a sun block. Skin cancers are the fastest growing forms of all cancers, over taking lung cancer and breast cancer.


If you have serious skin problems and are looking for a natural solution, then you should consider ayurveda. This ancient form of medicine emphasizes on yoga breathing, diet and herbal treatment.