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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Skin Fitness: Daily Routines for a Radiant Appearance

Apr 28, 2023 09:30AM ● By David J. Sautter
Skin Fitness

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While many of us work out to tone our muscles, we may be neglecting the largest organ in the body: our skin. Every day, it is exposed to a variety of irritants, including ultraviolet rays, air pollution, extreme weather and highly processed foods. Stress can also cause skin irritations and conditions. To serve its important functions and look healthy, our skin needs a fitness regimen. With a few daily routines, lifestyle modifications and coping strategies, a radiant appearance is within reach.

Skin Conditions Exacerbated by Stress 

Acne: When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the production of pore-clogging oils, which can lead to the formation of acne. Stress also triggers inflammation, which can worsen existing acne.

Premature Aging: Stress can accelerate the aging process by reducing the skin's elasticity and causing wrinkles and fine lines. It triggers the production of free radicals, precipitating damage to collagen and elastin fibers, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and supple. When they are damaged, the skin becomes saggy.

Chronic Conditions: Stress can trigger or worsen skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, which are characterized by inflammation, dryness and itching.

Lifestyle Tips to Combat Stress and Improve Skin Health

Get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is essential for skin health. It also helps reduce the impact of daily stress. Aim for no less than seven hours of shut-eye each night.

Exercise regularly. Getting our bodies moving is essential to reduce stress levels and improve skin health by increasing blood flow, nutrient delivery and oxygenation to the skin.

Eat a healthy diet. “An anti-inflammatory diet full of fruits, veggies and healthy fats like those from seeds and nuts will help to keep skin healthy,” says Jennifer Scheinman, a registered dietitian and nutrition coach. “Foods rich in omega-3 fats like salmon and walnuts are great for skin health since they have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and the fats help to keep skin moisturized.”

Practice stress-relieving techniques. Engage in activities that help manage stress, such as yoga, meditation or deep-breathing exercises.

Apply skin-care products designed for the person’s skin type.  According to Dr. Trevor Cates, author of Clean Skin From Within and Natural Beauty Reset, “The most important care tip is to find skin care with mild acidity [4.5 to 5.4 pH] and natural actives [plant-based extracts] that support the skin microbiome. A healthy skin microbiome means less chance for breakouts, blemishes and premature aging.”

According to Dr. Anne Marie Fine, author of Cracking the Beauty Code, “Air pollution has been demonstrated to prematurely age the skin and cause age spots. This is why you want to make sure to consume antioxidants and use antioxidant-containing, clean, skin-care products.”

Best Ways to Improve Facial Toning and Skin Health

Red-light therapy devices use infrared light to stimulate collagen production, improve circulation and promote healing. This reduces wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and other signs of aging.

Microcurrent facial tools use low-level electrical currents to stimulate facial muscles, helping to tone, reduce puffiness and promote a youthful appearance. 

Lasers designed for home use offer a safe way to treat various skin issues such as wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage and pigmentation problems. They can also help even out skin tone by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin.

Gua sha is an ancient Chinese technique that involves gently scraping the surface of the skin with a special tool to increase blood flow, promote healing and reduce puffiness and inflammation.

Oxygen treatments infused into pores using a special device can help nourish skin cells, decrease inflammation, reduce wrinkles and improve overall complexion.

Facial acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into specific points to stimulate energy flow, which may improve circulation, reduce tension and promote smoother skin.

Facial Massage reduces wrinkles by stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. It promotes circulation, drainage and toning.

David J. Sautter is a certified personal trainer specializing in fitness nutrition and sports conditioning, as well as a professional fitness writer. Learn more at

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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