We all know beauty comes from within – but what about skin health? Can you improve your skin with weekly facials if you’re not eating and drinking the right things first? I believe we can only go so far with ‘topical’ beauty therapy – you need to look after your skin from the inside out. I’m often telling my clients about the benefits of looking after their insides, too but who better than Hayley from Healthy Living Co (my favourite expert on holistic health and lifestyle) to tell us more.
Over to Hayley…
“There are a number of ways we can improve the health of our skin and certain types of foods and minerals directly impact our digestive and gut health, our hormones and in turn our skin health. As a health coach these are my top tips for achieving healthy glowing skin…”
Tip #1: Cut the CRAP!
By which I mean cutting out all foods that are:
- Remove the body’s nutrients
And then replace with clean whole foods.
Those foods are generally the processed ones, foods made with flour (crackers, bread and snacks), margarine, cereals, vegetable oils (corn, soy and canola), soft drinks, most soy products (unless fermented), non-organic pasteurised dairy, GMOs and refined white salt. Any foods high on the glycaemic index – ones that increase your body’s blood sugar levels and in turn its insulin dependence – are also not great for your skin as they impact on the glands and hormones that are responsible for the production of sebum in our bodies. Eating CRAP foods can cause your skin to become blocked by dead skin cells and result in inflammation, redness and – where bacteria is present – acne. CRAP foods are hard to digest, because they aren’t pure, immune boosting or nutrient worthy. Where your skin is concerned they are adding to your toxic burden and reducing nutrient abilities.
Instead, fuel your body with whole foods – organic where possible. Your skin, just like your body, needs lots of protein, healthy fat, fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Foods that contain high levels of Vitamin, A, C, E, Zinc and Selenium are all great for healthy skin, along with Omega 3 fatty acids.
Tip #2: Increase your Vitamin D
Having a lot of Vitamin D3 on board sorts out almost everything. Vitamin D is vastly important for normal immune responses (especially anti-allergies and anti-cancer) and we make ALL our hormones from Vitamin D and fat.
We are used to avoiding the sun, thinking it will damage our skin, but the result is we are not getting enough to perform the basic functions in our bodies, including regeneration of healthy skin cells. The lack of Vitamin D is so rampant at this time of year (coming out of winter) as the inherent protection we get from being in the sun is lessened. While it is a good thought to get in the sun, you are unlikely to build up enough Vitamin D after all these years of all being so scared of the sun, especially in winter. Lack of Vitamin D is more likely to mess with your skin – and the addition of aluminium in sunscreens is a big co-factor in why some of us are suffering with skin problems and deeper health issues.
The answer is to take a vitamin D supplement. I recommend people take at least one 25,000IU capsule daily or two 10,000IU capsules daily to start with. Then as summer kicks in at least two of these weekly or 5,000IU daily.
Tip #3: Focus on your gut health
Epidemiological evidence shows us that there is a triangular connection between the gut, brain and skin – and a clear association between gut problems and skin disorders. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth is 10 times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea; celiac disease also has cutaneous manifestations, such as dermatitis, which occurs in a quarter of celiac sufferers. A recent study found that both acne and dermatitis patients have significant alterations to the gut flora. Intestinal issues also cause both systemic and local inflammation, which in turn contributes to skin disease.
Including probiotic rich foods into your diet can assist your body in fighting against skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. Probiotics are the key to gut health because good digestion influences blood sugar levels, inflammation, stress, hormones and moods, all of which help us maintain healthy skin. Include on a daily basis foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir, as well as a good quality probiotic supplement. Oral probiotics have been shown to decrease lipopolysaccharide, improve intestinal barrier function and reduce inflammation.
Bonus: My top five summer drinks for healthy skin:
- Water! Water! Water!
- Nettle Tea & Green Tea
- Carrot and Beet juice