Have you heard this ‘beauty’ quote?
“I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being skin deep. That’s deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?” Jean Kerr, Author
And to that, I would say – absolutely yes! If everyone in this country had a beautiful pancreas, we would not have the epidemic of diabetes we have today. The point is, beauty may be skin deep but that all happens from within. So if you’re suffering from acne, psoriasis, eczema and other skin issues, it’s your insides telling that you have inflammation within that is being manifested on your skin. Stress, poor diet, food allergies, gut imbalances, hormone swings and nutrient deficiencies are to blame for what’s showing up on the surface.
Many of us seek dermatologists to get creams, pills and treatments to address these issues but you really need to start looking beyond the superficial or temporary fix to find the root cause of the skin flare-ups. So in this blog, I’ll share some tips on building beautiful skin from within to keep skin looking gorgeous and young.
Your skin is a reflection of what you put in your mouth
- Stay away from processed foods, sugar, factory-raised meats and artificial additives. Did you know that excess sugar consumption will create Advanced Glycation End (AGEs) products that age your skin? Those sunspots/liver spots you often seen in elderly people are formed when protein, sugars and the heat in our body combine in a chemical reaction known as the “Maillard reaction” to create charring. Desirable in cooking, recipes often call for sugars as a coating on BBQ or steak to create the charring on the meat. The same happens in our body but we don’t want charring to show up on our skin.
- Eat whole foods and up to nine servings of vegetables and low sugar fruits. If you simply cannot eat that much, you can supplement with some low sugar vegetable juices every now and then. This is what I drink when I know I won’t be eating well for whatever reason: https://farmersjuice.com
It’s not cheap but it’s organic, low sugar (very important as a lot of commercial juices are loaded with sugar or cheap high sugar fruit), packs a pound of veggies in each serving and saves me the hassle of juicing my own.
If you have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods, it can flare up on your skin. Well-known culprits include dairy, wheat/gluten, legumes, corn and peanuts. So, you can get an allergy test done or try an elimination diet to see if your skin improves. Check out this resource to learn more.
Optimize your gut
- Your skin is a reflection of your gut so it’s important to keep the trillions of bacteria in your digestive tract healthy and happy.
- Eat prebiotic foods that feed friendly bacteria so it can eat the sugars you ingest before it goes to your gut. According to Dr. Amy Myers, here are some of the key foods to eat:
- Jerusalem Artichoke (not sure about this one? Check out this resource on 20 ways to eat them
- Chicory Root (also in blended form to add to your coffee)
- Jicama Root
- Dandelion greens
- And don’t forget about the probiotics as they work together with prebiotics to maintain the balance in your gastrointestinal tract. Here’s one to try – it contains all three types of probiotics in easy to use packs: https://store.drruscio.com/products/triple-therapy-probiotic?variant=40164201922757
Detox through your skin
Skin is the largest organ in your body and a great vehicle for getting rid of toxins. So work up a good sweat during your exercise routine. If you are like me and do not sweat easily, you could seek a sauna in your area to amp up the detoxification. When used regularly, it will do wonders for clearing up the skin!
You want to ensure that you are getting optimum nutrition from your diet but you may need to supplement as deficiencies can contribute to skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis. Here are some to consider:
- Vitamin D: Did you know that Vitamin D deficiency is implicated in a whole host of skin conditions including cancer? It’s important to keep your vitamin D levels optimal as there is compelling scientific evidence that vitamin D plays a crucial role in cellular function and skin health. Ask your doctor about getting your levels tested so you know how best to supplement.
- Zinc: Did you know that the skin is the third most Zinc-abundant tissue in the body? So, it’s no surprise that zinc deficiency is implicated in skin disorders. Here’s a zinc compound that is balanced with copper and selenium that I use:
- Collagen and Vitamin C: Collagen is an essential protein that is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s made in mammals but not in plants. You can take collagen (l like the multi-collagen form as it gives you all five forms your body need: https://www.vitacost.com/ancient-nutrition-multi-collagen-protein-vanilla) but did you realize that you can eat the appropriate amino acids (L-lysine and L-proline) to have your body make your own? Good options for supplying these amino acids include beets, leeks, Parmesan cheese (and related milk products), avocados and nuts. Collagen is like rebar in our blood vessels and skin but they are knit together with Vitamin C so you need both to keep your skin looking youthful. Since we do not make vitamin C, we have to eat foods rich in vitamin C (oranges, grapefruit, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato juice). In addition to the foods I eat, I take a gram of vitamin C 2X a day. Here are some options to get your C in:
- Powder to add to your shake/drink:
Get proper sleep
Poor sleep not only makes you feel lousy but is associated with increased signs of aging and diminished skin barrier function according to this study. So make sure to incorporate good sleep hygiene into your habits as part of your skin beautifying regimen.
Studies have shown that skin reacts to psychological stress and influences skin diseases. In fact, it’s also been shown that psychiatric treatment (pharmacological and non-drug interventions) has positive effects on dermatologic conditions. So, manage your stress levels with proper sleep, good diet and mind health techniques like meditation and breathing exercises.
Here’s a reality quote:
Like it or not, we live in a world where there is a lot of ‘sniffing’ so put your best skin on by taking care of your insides (and inner self)!