Healthy skin; how to glow naturally from the inside out
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Glow from the inside out; the secret to healthy skin.
Your skin is your largest organ. It is a barometer of our inner health. Our skin has many roles we are unaware of such a detoxification, it is our first line of defence from infections and plays a major role in the formation of vitamin D.
Skin issues are common across all ages. Acne being the most common skin complaint, followed closely by eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, dryness, rashes, hives, and sun damage. Skin care is a billion dollar business, whilst many of us invest in promising lotions and potions the real trick to glowing skin is from the inside.
Changing your diet is one of the best ways to achieve healthy skin. Due to the diverse range of skin disorders it is impossible to give one blanket solution to everyone. Below are some guidelines for optimising your body’s ability to leave you with radiant skin. I hope you find them helpful!
Happiness is the best face lift as they say, but so are these tips…
1) Drink lots of water. Whilst this is very obvious, many of us do not drink enough water. Think of a balloon filled with water – taut and firm. As you release water from the balloon shrinks and becomes more shrivelled. Skin cells need enough water to remove waste and also to repair and regenerate. Water makes up a very large portion of our skin cells. There isn’t much science to say what the ideal amount of water is but the general consensus is around 1.5 litres to 2 litres a day.
2) Balance your blood sugar. There are endless benefits to having a stable blood sugar but radiant skin is defiently one of them! Blood sugar imbalances mean we may have excess insulin floating around. Excess insulin can lead to an increase in sebum (oil) production and blockage of skin follicles – particularly troublesome in acne.
Things you can do to help balance your blood sugar are; eat lots of fibre, have a bit of protein with every meal, avoid processed and refined carbohydrate foods, eat all your food within a 12 hour window so you are ‘fasting’ for 12 of the 24 hours in a day, minimise alcohol intake, eat healthy fats every day and add foods that naturally balance blood sugar like cinnamon, fennel and any foods high in magnesium and chromium.
3) Take care of your gut. Chances are if you have an optimally functioning gut you are unlikely to have any major skin issues. Many skin issues can be the result of problems with digestion. For example, rosacea can be a result of low stomach acid. Poor absorption may lead to decreased absorption of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A, zinc and vitamin C, to aid skin cell regeneration. Another example of the gut/skin relationship is often eczema can improve with the removal of certain foods.
Taking a good probiotic can help lessen inflammation on the skin. Many people see improvements in skin conditions when they remove cow’s milk products, but interestingly studies show that gut friendly fermented dairy – like kefir – have not shown negative impacts on acne.
A rule of thumb is to eat whole, unrefined, unprocessed foods. Choose a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables and try to consume bone broth a few times a week to greatly increase the chances of a happy gut.
Vitamin A can boost the health, radiance and robustness of your skin – vitamin A is also known as ‘retinol’. Retinol is commonly used in beauty creams and serums because of its proven anti-ageing effects. Most foods that are red or orange contain lots of vitamin A, like peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and also in eggs and yogurt. You can also get a good dose of vitamin A and other vitamin and minerals through a quality multi/mineral supplement.
Personally, I use topical retinol drops from a company called ‘The Ordinary’. Clean products and not expensive!
4) Fish oil. You can take fish oil through supplements or by eating oily fish 2-3 times a week. Oily fish include, wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and anchovies. The benefit is omega 3, which also comes in vegan forms through the consumption of chia seeds, hemp oil, or flaxseeds.
Fish oil has been shown to lessen inflammation in skin and protect skin cells from sun damage. Omega 3 helps skin become soft, moist and supple. It often takes 2 weeks or more to see results but the impact can be significant.
5) Detoxification. Detoxification can come in many forms but here I am focusing on ridding your body of harmful chemicals that may be contributing to your skin problems.
The body’s preferred detoxification avenues are the gut, liver, and kidneys. When these are overloaded the skin works extra hard to try and eliminate toxins which can lead to redness and other irritations. One of the best ways to avoid exposing your skin to toxins is to be mindful of the ingredients in your lotions and potions you apply daily.
Neals Yard and Pukka offer a great range of clean organic products. Another option is to make your own. It can be easy and very cost effective! I mix about 1/3 a cup of coconut oil with 10 drops of lavender and 15 drops of frankincense and use it as a moisturiser. Other skin friendly essential oils you can add to your face moisturiser are rosehip, myrrh, or tea tree oil.
Almond oil is a great option to use as a body moisturiser. It makes a great carrier oil for essential oils and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
And last but not least, don’t forget the basics. Sleep, exercise, and stress management are key players in how much you glow from within. If you need a plan tailored to you please feel free to get in touch.