There are many keys to healthy skin and keeping skin health. Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you with optimal skin health.
HOW IS SKIN HEALTH RELATED TO YOUR OVERALL HEALTH?
Our skin is our largest organ, and can act as a barometer for the condition of our bodies as a whole, a reflection of our insides. It’s the biggest gateway for toxins to get in, as well as out. Paying attention to your skin can reveal more about your overall health. For example, when your liver is backed up, toxins will be eliminated through your skin, which can be a major contributor to acne.
If you have sensitive skin, it could be due to many different reasons such as hormonal imbalance, food sensitivities, a need for a liver detox, gut dysbiosis, or stress. A good place to start is with your diet to determine which foods may be contributing to your skin sensitivity. It’s also important to use products that are designed especially for sensitive skin, as these will have limited ingredients in them to reduce the chances of a reaction – your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong.
Make sure to use skin products that will not clog your pores and that will enhance hydration.
WHAT EFFECT DOES THE GUT MICROBIOME HAVE ON SKIN HEALTH AND HOW CAN WE GET IT BACK INTO BALANCE?
A lot of our overall health is determined by the health of the gut, as more than than 70% of the immune system is clustered around the digestive tract. When the gut becomes inflamed, the balance of beneficial versus non-beneficial microbes is thrown off resulting in improper and over stimulation of the immune response. This can cause adverse symptoms, such as hyper sensitive or reactive skin. It is important to get the digestive system back in order with digestive enzymes and probiotics, repairing any leaky gut, and removing potential food sensitivities that may be causing chronic inflammation in the body.
Reducing inflammation in the gut will help to get your skin back into balance. During this time it’s important to ease any inflammation of the skin with gentle, soothing ingredients, and avoiding any products which contain toxins such as parabens, sulphates, synthetic colors, and phthalates.
Any skin condition also warrants a detox and a strict elimination diet removing the most common food allergens like milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, as well as refined sugar and processed foods.
WHAT EFFECT DOES A HORMONE IMBALANCE HAVE ON SKIN HEALTH AND WHICH HORMONES IN PARTICULAR MIGHT AFFECT THIS – ARE THERE ANY TIPS YOU CAN OFFER TO TRY AND BALANCE HORMONES?
Skin health may be affected by a hormonal imbalance. Whether it is due to a fluctuation of hormones during puberty, menstruation, PCOS, menopause, an increase in androgen levels like testosterone, or high cortisol levels due to stress, an elimination diet, a detox and meditation are the first place to start.
Eliminating foods that contain processed sugar, dairy, refined carbs (white bread and pasta), caffeine and alcohol while increasing foods high in zinc, vitamin A and E, omega 3 and antioxidants is key. Cleansing the liver so that it can properly metabolize hormones is also very important. Supporting the liver is an essential part of treating hormonal imbalance because estrogen-mimicking chemicals found in day to day products such as many skincare ingredients and plastics are eliminated by the liver.
WHAT EFFECT DOES POOR CIRCULATION HAVE ON SKIN HEALTH AND HOW CAN WE BETTER CIRCULATION?
Having poor blood circulation will inhibit proper proper filtration of toxins out of the body. The blood filters toxins out and sends them to the organs of elimination, including the lymphatic system. Poor blood circulation and a stagnant lymphatic system may cause toxins to come out of the skin. This may lead to a dull, pale, and uneven skin tone, dry itchy skin, acne, rashes, and slower scar healing.
There are several things that you can do to improve your blood circulation like a healthy diet, drinking two liters of natural spring water, exercising and sweating, far infrared sauna, detoxing, lymphatic drainage massage, body brushing, using the power plate, deep breathing which helps to move the lymphatic system, and supplements that help increase nitric oxide production in the body, critical to a healthy cardiovascular system.
WHAT EFFECT CAN STRESS HAVE ON SKIN HEALTH AND CAN YOU OFFER ONE TIP TO HELP DE-STRESS?
Our modern life is bombarded with stress our ancestors have never known. Stress alone could make you appear up to ten years older, and psoriasis and eczema are brought on by stress and food sensitivities. Further, chronic stress causes hormonal imbalances – cortisol, thyroid and sex hormones. Dreaming of a day where stress will no longer be an issue seems far fetched. Instead, take ownership of your stress and manage it through meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing and yoga. You have to get your stress under control or your whole body will age prematurely.
Get your body moving, talk long walks, stretch or sit down and do deep breathing meditations. A meditation practice helps to calm an overactive mind and reduce stress. Spend time outdoors and get some sun every day whenever possible. Silica is a natural anti-inflammatory used to alleviate eczema and psoriasis and sooth skin irritations, while magnesium helps to restrict the release of stress hormones.
WHAT EFFECT DOES A POOR DIET HAVE ON SKIN HEALTH AND CAN YOU LIST A FEW FOODS THAT MIGHT BE BENEFICIAL TO ADD IN OUR DIET?
You are what you eat and your skin reflects what you consume. Changing the way you eat can have a hugely positive impact on sensitive skin, and on your overall health in general. A clean diet boosts the liver to perform better and also balances hormones, which affect acne. Eat organic vegetables to make up 75% of your plate each meal, eat high quality fats, and organic protein. Increase your antioxidant levels in your diet and eat the rainbow. It can also help to take supplements to increase your nutritional intake and support your skin. Stay hydrated and drink a minimum of two liters of natural spring water a day.
It is important to note what Hippocrates said more than a thousand years ago, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.” This still holds true today – one size does not fit all and what is good for you may not be good for someone else. We are all different and we have to learn to eat for our own individual needs.
Want more? Check out this article on The True Meaning of Anti-Aging.