Digging deep into skin issues
Whilst there is a lot more to beauty then what’s happening with your skin, when it comes to skin rashes, pimples, acne or alike, it can really affect our confidence. When I was in school, the only option advised for acne was to go on the pill, so I did just that up until I was about 21 years of age. When I started to learn about the effects of anything synthetic and that symptoms were just a method of communication that something is out of balance, I made the BIG decision to come off it. At the time I was under huge amounts of personal stress and university, so yep, I broke out. I broke out big time! It was daunting, but when I make a decision there isn’t talk of going back. My stressed was reduced and I began to eat even better, correct nutrient deficiencies, improved my gut health, and voila it was clear. I notice that when I sway from what I know works, that I get a pimples here and there. But again, I know it is just my body communicating with me and I gently say ‘okaaaayyy, I’ll start listening again’.
Unfortunately, no long term true results will come from what you are applying or undergoing externally, because the problem is coming from within. The term ‘beauty from the inside out’ really does exist when it comes to your skin health. The outside applications can really help and support you along the way, however try digging deeper whilst you have that support.
It is impossible for me to cover EVERYTHING about what may be the cause of your skin issues, though here are some of the top things to look into. These tips may assist in skin ailments such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, skin rashes, wrinkles and more.
This is a big one. You may be taking all the supplements in the world and seeing no improvements until you reduce or eliminate particular foods that are causing your personal flare ups. Like I always say, EVERYONE is an individual, so what your body reacts to will always be different to someone else, however, from experience with clients the removal of the top inflammatory foods can make a profound difference. Unfortunately, once one discovers the foods that lead to flare ups, even just a small exposure can really aggravate the skin. Inflammation is your body’s natural immune system response, which can express in many different ways with one being our skin. Our gut is largely impacted by what we eat, and there is a strong connection between our gut health and our skin health. Common triggers of inflammation include sugar, gluten, dairy, corn and soy (unless organic and fermented).
All antioxidants are powerful and critical for health skin (even including UV protection), and apart from some foods that are high in antioxidants including Matcha green tea, cacao and organic berries, let’s talk about mostly Vitamin C and vitamin E! Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is required for the synthesis of collagen, which is critical for the extracellular stability and overall health of the skin. As an example, a severe deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, which major symptoms include skin dryness, poor wound healing and easy bruising. Vitamin C is used to assist in the treatment of acne and dermatitis, can prevent sun damage and reduce wrinkles. Vitamin C rich foods include capsicum, strawberries, oranges, dark leafy greens, broccoli, papaya, lemons, parsley and thyme, and some clients require high potency food supplements like camu camu which is insanely rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so to maintain its potency keep these foods in their raw state! Now for Vitamin A, which promotes healthy skin production and has been used to assist in the treatment of conditions like acne, dry skin and hyperkeratosis pillaris (the bumps on the back of upper arms). Whilst both forms of vitamin A are important, the form that has been shown more promising benefits to your skin includes retinoids, which are mostly found in animal products like cod liver oil, liver, salmon, various cheeses, eggs and butter.
I know, a little random, but this is something I suggest to most clients with problematic skin conditions (mostly acne), and also use it apart of gut healing regimes that are very specific to the clients gut issues. Not only is it clearly evident with clients that it is really effective for acne or controlling pimples, research shows it too! Research is showing applications for acne, psoriasis, types of pigmentation and also for anti-aging purposes. Honestly, many clients notice a reduction in acne inflammation and pimples within a few days. It is high in antioxidants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Black seed oil deserves a blog post in itself I think! HERE is an online version that is cold pressed that you may like to consider if it resonates with you!
Zinc is essential in the development, healing and normal functioning of the skin. It is used as an effective treatment for acne, eczema and dermatitis. Zinc deficiency is something I look out for a lot in my clients, for many other reasons though definitely skin health. A supplement is often required for a period of time (in the form of a high quality liquid), however, food sources include oysters, liver (tablets can be found HERE), meats, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and pastured eggs. A bonus is also that zinc increases the availability of vitamin A in the blood!
Gelatin, collagen and bone broths
This really makes a profound difference in my own skin and many of my clients skin with some research supporting this too. These foods contain the amino acids that make up collagen, which is what makes up our skin!
Omega 3 fatty acids
I highly recommend for a period of time for someone with skin issues to really focus on taking an oil rich in omega 3, particularly uncontaminated cod liver oil as you get the
Too many sugars in your diet
I think we all have likely noticed that when we increase our intake of sugar, we get a couple of cheeky pimples or flare ups post indulgence. Research shows that a diet rich in high
glycemic foods may contribute to acne due to elevating our insulin levels, which stimulates the secretion of androgens, causing an increased production of sebum, which plays a large role in the presence of acne. Of course, this is just one cause of the flare ups that may occur post consumption. What I have noticed in clients, is that those with problematic skin have overgrowths of bacteria, yeasts or parasites in their gut which happily feed off an abundance of sugar. This in turn can cause higher toxin load, therefore more work for your liver, which leads to inflammation and hormone imbalances which can also contribute to the skin issues.
Infections and probiotic rich foods
Following on from the above, imbalances in ones gut flora has been strongly correlated with skin issues. A recent review covered an in depth explanation of how the gut impacts your skin, though in short, probiotics and probiotic rich foods have been shown to positively impact eczema, dermatitis, acne and more. I personally love and use these cultures to get my probiotics. Be careful though with any probiotics off the shelf or in fermented foods, as it may be high in a strain that your gut is overgrown in, such as streptococcus. If your problem is ongoing, then it may be worth taking the next step and considering clearing potential overgrowths in your gut (parasites, yeasts and bacteria) which may be one big cause of your skin issues. You would require a consultation for this or to seek advice from your favourite practitioner that specialises in this area.
I hope this gives you just a taste of where to start. And remember, your body is just trying to communicate with you that something needs to change. Listen carefully, act upon it, stick to it and you and your overall health will be oh so grateful!
With so much love,