Better skin starts not with expensive cleansers and other beauty products, but from within.
For overall better skin health, I find these 6 strategies can help my clients tremendously:
1. Get help to dump sugar and processed foods. Among its many other problems, excess sugar stresses out our liver and digestive system, contributing deeply to issues on our skin. Sugar literally ages your skin and other organs. A variety of different nutrients play a role in healthy skin, so add in lots of healthy whole foods as you work to remove sugar.
2. Eliminate your food sensitivities & Balance your gut. Allergies and sensitivities have become such a big problem. Our imbalanced guts are creating many new issues and allergies for people, and those with gut issues tend to have many sensitivities. Food sensitivities can trigger or exacerbate skin conditions. Studies have shown that dairy can contribute to acne. Work with a Holistic Nutritionist or local naturopath so you can strengthen your gut and begin balancing your bodies' overreaction to foods that should not trigger it.
Your gut influences healthy skin far more than you might realize. Researchers are finding that probiotics impact gut microbiota to influence various conditions including inflammation & skin conditions like acne. If you suspect leaky gut or have other gut imbalances, I recommend working with a practitioner like a Holistic Nutritionist or a naturopath to pinpoint & balance these problems.
3. Eat an omega 3-rich diet. Dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin can potentially suggest a fatty acid deficiency, one thing we look at when clients present with these symptoms. Eat omega-3 rich foods like wild-caught fish and flaxseed regularly, and also supplement with a high-potency fatty acid formula to support your skin (which you can find in my online dispensary.)
4. Exercise regularly. You knew this one was coming, right? When our body temperature rises like when you exercise, skin blood flow transfers heat from the core of the body to the skin. Sweating helps move and excrete toxins from your body, and saunas or steam baths are another smart option that help release the toxins through your skin. Get the toxins off your skin after the sauna or steam. Use a warm shower with a toxin-free soap for best results. Follow this link to see the Flower Child soap that I am obsessed with.
5. Get a great nights' sleep. One study found that regularly experiencing poor sleep increases signs of aging, diminished skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance. "Beauty Sleep" is a real thing, getting eight hours of solid sleep every night becomes crucial not only for how you feel but how you look.
6. Calm your Anxiety. Since our body pulses out stress hormones even when we think of things that aren't going to physically harm us (like an unpaid bill or dirty laundry) long term stress ends up showing on our face. Studies show emotional stress can reveal or even exacerbate a number of skin disorders. It's easy to say "Find something that helps you to de-stress and do it regularly" but most of us need help finding that thing, what it looks like. Work with a practitioner to find the root cause of your stress so you can begin moving away from it.
7. Watch out for highly commercialized skin care products. Products marketed as proper 'skin care' that you find at big box stores are going to contain chemicals you don't want on your skin (since we absorb so much through our skin), chemicals like carcinogens, pesticides, hormone disruptors, plasticizers, degreasers and lead. In addition to the burden on the earth and its living things, these products don't support our skin or bodies' overall health either. Shop carefree at The Green Vanity in Kelowna or online.
As with all daunting tasks, it takes some awareness, planning, preparation, time and care, but with a support team in place to help you move through what you need and when, you can begin taking steps in the 'self care' stadium that will have you feeling amazing each and every day.