ASCP Skin Deep

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2016

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www.ascpskincare.com 23 expertadvice FEED YOUR FACE Green Wonder Avocados can help soothe winter-weary skin by Alex Caspero Avocados are having a moment. Smeared on toast and topped with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, avocado toast might have been the hottest food trend of 2015. This deli- cious, crunchy combination has launched a movement. Avocados are popping up just about everywhere: in smoothies, puddings, or plainly eaten by the spoonful. This green wonder food is good for your heart, and even better for your skin. Avocado oil consists of 71 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 16 percent saturated fatty acids, all of which help to promote healthy blood lipid profiles, enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins, and keep skin healthy and supple. Now that we are in the harsher days of winter, it's even more important we receive enough essential fatty acids, in the form of omega-3 and omega-6, to help heal dry skin. They're called essential fatty acids (EFAs) for a reason: your body can't make them on its own and requires a constant EFA stream in the diet. EFAs, like those found in coconuts, olives, and of course, avocados, are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. These fats produce a natural oil barrier, allowing skin to appear hydrated, plump, and smooth. Monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids help keep skin moisturized from the inside out by absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Avocados pack a one- two punch, as they are a great source of both monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. Avocados also contain vitamin C, which helps stimulate the skin's collagen production. As we age, collagen production naturally decreases, making fine lines and wrinkles more pronounced. Adding vitamin C to help stimulate collagen production improves the skin's ability to absorb moisture, leaving a smoother and more youthful appearance. WEAR IT! You can apply mashed avocado to your skin for a nourishing face mask that will reverse the impact of low temperatures and windy weather. Add a smidge of honey for antibacterial properties if your dry skin is also accompanied by breakouts, and top off your mask with apple cider vinegar, as it helps to restore the skin's natural pH levels. To make, mix together ¼ avocado, 1 teaspoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Mash well, then apply to the face and let sit for 20 minutes and remove with a warm washcloth. If you have any of this mask left over, it doubles as a hair mask! Apply, let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse well.

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