Our skin is the largest organ of our body, governed primarily by genetics, influenced by our external environment and is a reflection of our internal health. By incorporating various practices into your lifestyle and eating habits, the skin can be supported to enhance the integrity and appearance.
1. Support cellular health, collagen synthesis and connective tissue
There are various specific nutrients that if deficient, can impair the cellular health of the skin. These include vitamin A, zinc (especially essential for immune health of the skin), silica, biotin, vitamin C, Omega 3 (EPA/DHA) and vitamin E. Gotu Kola is an Indian herb specific for assisting in rebuilding collagen, minimizing the appearance of scarring and wrinkles and has been referred to as ‘botox in a bottle’ due to this remarkable ability.
2. Achieve youthful radiance – consume a rainbow of colours!
Colourful vegetables and fruit are high in phytochemicals, which are able to reduce the impact of nasty free radicals in the body and promote a glow from within. Try and consume variety of colours throughout the day including deep purple – beetroot, blueberries, acai berry, green – kale, spinach, broccoli, orange – pumpkin, sweet potato, mandarin, yellow – lemon, red – tomato, apples, capsicum.
3. Protect from harsh environmental toxins
Queensland has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world so protect yourself by using an SPF 30+ sunscreen (natural is preferred due to absence of nanoparticles), antioxidants in your diet will also help to reduce the impact of sun damage. Choose skin care and cosmetics that are paraben, alcohol and sulphate free. There are so many great alternatives in natural skin care that are affordable and gentle to the skin. Almond oil is a great non-toxic eye make-up remover that will also nourish the sensitive eye area.
4. Support pathways of elimination
Our body has an intelligent way of dealing with the excretion of exogenous wastes and endogenous by-products, these include via our liver/bowel, kidneys, lungs and skin. Over burdening these organs of elimination may result in a wide array of symptoms from general fatigue to headaches to eczema and skin rashes. It is quite simple to support these in the best possible way – drink plenty of filtered water, eat a high fibre diet – minimize animal foods, foods high in preservatives and pesticides, engage in deep breathing of fresh air/do regular aerobic exercise and practice dry skin brushing.
5. Lower unnecessary inflammation
Inflammation can be a normal process in the body to initiate an immune response or to heal trauma, however it can also be triggered by things such as high stress, alcohol and drugs and an overly acidic diet. From a skin perspective, this may contribute to collagen breakdown, wrinkle formation and dull/dry skin. Stress management techniques are essential for health and mental wellbeing so it is crucial to know what works for you... just don’t bottle it up! Anti-inflammatory foods in the diet include ginger, garlic, turmeric and most culinary spices, oily fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines.
6. Promote healthy hormones
Hormonal imbalances can lead to high sebum production which causes blocked pores and acne, dietary and lifestyle influences can impact this. For women especially, consuming foods high in phytoestrogens such as linseeds, chickpeas, alfalfa and fermented soy products may help balance hormonal cycles. High amounts of dairy products have been linked to acne exacerbation therefore limiting these may assist in reducing the incidence. Zinc and vitamin A supplementation can also help reduce mild to moderate acne due to the positive effect on androgens. Consume a low glycaemic index diet as high G.I. has been linked to worsening of acne conditions. Herbal medicine can also help so it is best to see your practitioner for them to establish a personalized, individual herbal prescription.
7. Make use of oils (inside and out)
Scarring and inflammatory skin conditions can be minimized with the use of Tamanu Oil – from the pacific islands, it is rich in nutrients and has skin healing properties when applied topically. Rose hip oil has also be clinically proven to reduce appearance of wrinkles, scarring and provides fat-soluble vitamin C and vitamin A, helps to absorb UV rays and hydrates the skin if applied after cleansing. Internally, Omega 3 (EPA/DHA) and Evening Primrose or Borage oil capsules taken daily can help to relieve dry, itchy skin and promote a healthy glow.
Some other useful tips:
*Upon rising, drink warm water with a squeeze of lemon to promote flushing of toxins from the liver and contribute to glowing skin.
*foods to incorporate that are specific for skin health – wheat/barley grass powders, berries, seaweeds, citrus (especially the white part), bitter foods (especially for skin eruptions), avocado and almonds (high in vitamin E and beneficial lipids).
*Dry skin brushing involves using a soft bristle brush (try tapioca derived), starting from the feet up – use circular motions and brush toward the heart. This helps promote circulation, and assist in draining the lymphatic fluid.
Do you have a specific skin condition that needs addressing? Book in for a consultation and treatment plan J ph. 0421323888