Healthy, glowing skin doesn’t have to be elusive this Autumn. Check out my top tips for your clearest skin.
1. Eat for clear skin
If you suffer from skin irritations such as acne, dermatitis, recurrent infections, psoriasis, redness, rosacea and flakiness you will find that cleaning up your diet really is the key to do the same for your skin conditions! Your skin is your biggest elimination organ so one of the first things that we want to do is make sure that your other elimination organs are functioning on all cylinders.
KIDNEYS: to ensure optimal kidney function drink plenty of water, absolute minimum should be 1.5 litres daily plus a litre for every hour of exercise. You should aim to alkalise your diet by minimising meat, sugar and alcohol and add in some green smoothies with celery.
BOWELS: yes, we do need to discuss your poop! You can tell a lot about your health by turning and looking at what you are flushing or NOT flushing! You really want to be passing a stool at least once daily. Not happening? You will need to ensure that you are drinking the minimum recommended amount of water, increase your fibre intake by ensuring that you are having minimum 5 cups of vegetables daily. If medications or antibiotics have bound you up then a course of probiotics may be the answer?
My favourite herbs to get the bowels moving are slippery elm, licorice and aloe vera.
LIVER: You can’t have a congested liver and glowing skin. The biggest liver loaders in our diet are alcohol, caffeine, chemicals and sugar so it is best to minimise or abstain from these.
Get beets in your diet! My favourite vegetable for supporting the liver is beetroot. Grated beetroot in salads, roasted or in your vegetable juice are all great ways of showing your liver some love.
Add broccoli and broccoli sprouts to your diet. They will add in antioxidants and increase glutathione supporting both phases of detoxification. Broccoli is also great for increasing indole-3-carbinol which will help to eliminate excess hormones in the body.
Supporting your body with some skin cleansing detoxifying herbs such as St Mary’s thistle, dandelion, turmeric and yellow dock go a long way to supporting the liver in its natural detoxification processes.
2. Cut the fermented vegetables WHAT?? Fermented vegetables are good for you I hear you scream! For some this is in fact true but for others not fermented vegetables are the devil.
With the increased consumption of fermented vegetables, spinach, avocado and kombucha in recent years as you wellness warriors are trying to get healthier I have seen a dramatic increase in skin rashes and hives in my clinic.
If hives and rashes are your skin issue a comprehensive diet overhaul may be in order. To start with you could check out my high histamine food list and try to minimise the number of high histamine foods that you are consuming.
Along with this it is then essential to heal the gut so that you can improve your bodies ability to break down histamines. This is not a diet you want to stick to forever!
3. Check your vitamins
Are you on the oral contraceptive pill? If so, it is worth taking a zinc supplement as the pill will decrease your zinc levels. Zinc is not only essential for good skin health but also for production of brain neurotransmitters to make you happy and for your immune health.
Eat your red, yellow and orange vegetables to increase your intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A thickens and stimulates the dermis – where your collagen, elastin and blood vessels are – so it reduces wrinkles and increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. Vitamin A actually increases the deposition of collagen; therefore, it slows the normal aging breakdown of your collagen and elastin.
Vitamin b is also essential for your skin health as it helps to support your nervous system which helps your body to manage stress. We have all seen breakouts occur when our stress increases……those pesky hormones like us to be chill!
Do you eat enough essential fatty acids? If you don’t like fish and can’t digest raw nuts and seeds well the chances are that you are not getting enough essential fatty acids in your diet. I do see the intake of good quality fish oils have dramatic impact on all skin conditions. Good quality fish oils will work to balance hormones, nourish your skin and reduce inflammation. Please don’t scrimp on your fish oils. Cheap, poor quality and poorly processed fish oils can do more harm than good to your health.
4. Get your Zen on and manage your stress levels.
Stress impacts on gut health and hormonal balance both which play a direct impact on the health of your skin.
Stress causes a chemical response in your body that makes skin more sensitive and reactive. … This is because stress causes your body to make hormones like cortisol, which tells glands in your skin to make more oil. Oily skin is more prone to acne and other skin problems.
Stress also leads to the damage of mitochondrial function which will impact on your skin health.
5. Eliminate chemicals on your skin
After, cleansing, moisturising and applying makeup many people have put over 200 chemicals on their face before leaving the house in the morning! Not only is this not good for your skin but these chemicals are all absorbed through your skin and add to the other liver loaders in your life. Be sure to use only natural skin care products on your skin and employ good skin care professionals!
Have your facials done by people who understand the science behind skin and have the most effective therapeutic products to improve skin health.
My favourite place for facials in Newcastle is Coco skin and laser clinic. The ladies here are all registered nurses with extra training in skin health. They will not guide your wrong!
My favourite skin care products are: Jane Iredale (available at COCO) and ANNOD These products are not just pretty labels but quality skin care ranges that enhance your skin health without the nasties.
6. Hormonal balance
Many ladies take the oral contraceptive pill just to have clear skin.
The pill works to reduce acne by reducing the production of androgen hormones such as testosterone. There are however more natural ways of balancing your bodies androgen production. Try remedies such as vitex, peony and zinc. These will prevent the conversion of testosterone to DHT which will minimise the acne promoting effects of this hormone.
Alcohol, dairy and caffeine can play havoc with your hormones. So, if these are a big part of your daily intake it may be time to reduce them.
7. Gut health
I know, I say that gut health is essential for everything! Truthfully it is! If you suffer from bloating, indigestion, constipation, thrush, history of antibiotic use or the pill then these are all signs that your gut could do with some more love.
There was a Danish study of 50, 000 patients who all had a gut issues including: coeliac disease, chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, helicobacter pylori, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and irritable bowel syndrome , these patients all had much higher prevalence of skin conditions than the control.
Thus, we know that you cant look and feel vibrant and healthy without a healthy gut.
Naturopathic principles around gut health include removing irritating foods and following a customised protocol of healing based on your test results and symptoms.
Three things that you can do today to get started on improving your skin health
#1 Go to the free stuff section of my website and download a copy of the diet diary and start tracking what you’re putting into your body every day.
#2 Start on a gut-healing tonic or detoxification herbal tonic which you can purchase here.
# 3 If all of this seems overwhelming and you feel you need some support, I would love to help you to re discover your innate beauty via face to face consultation. You can invest in your self and make an appointment over here.