We all notice it from time to time, you’re not feeling 100% and your skin is telling everybody all about it. Sometimes though it is your skin that is telling you first, so what is it trying to say? And what can you do about it?
Lots of things can wreak havoc on your skin, after all it is the largest organ and it is that first protective barrier which is exposed to everything around you. But did you know it is (probably more often than not) what is going on within that is showing it’s evidence on your skin.
Your skin is linked to your gut health, your other organs, including the detoxification processes, your mental health and your nervous system. Problems with any of these, such as stress hormones, dietary toxins, sex hormones (e.g. oestrogen), and digestive problems can therefore cause skin conditions and a whole lot of frustration.
So what do you do, and where should you start?
Start form the inside, and be gentle with the outside.
Depending on the problem, and it isn’t always obvious, you first need to look after what you can and observe the results. A few simple things you can do to get the ball rolling towards that gorgeous glow are:
Drop the Sugar – highly sugared foods play games with your hormones and in doing so thicken up the skin sebum. A recipe for breakouts among other more serious conditions.
Avoid Processed Foods – they are low in nutrients, which your body needs to operate everything from skin building to those important hormones that balance everything out. They are full of additives that need processing, which keeps your liver too busy to deal with its back log of toxins… and they have to go somewhere!?
Drink Water – Water is important for everything! And your skin needs it too. It helps remove waste which you want being processed efficiently. It keeps your cells plump and happy and allows the body to move vital nutrients around where they are needed.
Nutrient Rich Foods – As mentioned, these nutrients are super important for health in general, but also your skin. Your skin requires proteins, vitamins and minerals of all kinds to really be gorgeous. Just a couple of great ones include vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc, good fats, and antioxidants. So get into those whole grains, fruit and veg, and leave the ‘non-foods’ out of your diet.
Love Your Skin – be gentle with the skin. It has a micro biome just like your gut and it needs to be loved so that it too can do its job. Many skin products are not supportive of your natural outer layer. Make up often clogs the pores and makes healing that much harder. Chose products wisely and try not to over-kill.
Gut Cleanse Warning – Its all the rage. And usually people honestly believe they are doing good for their health. But colon cleanses and products that strip the gut are dangerous and unhealthy and can lead to severe and ongoing health problems. Unless you need one for medical reasons give it a miss. You may remove all that is good in the bowel also, and this can have the opposite effect of what you may have been trying to achieve anyway, such as weight loss. Always get medical advice first. And perhaps look at supporting your gut to work more effectively rather than stripping the lining.
Exercise – Yep, moving your body also makes your insides more efficient. Your venous blood supply, that is the nutrient rich one that is heading back up to your heart is pumped around by your muscle movements (calves specifically). Wow right? SO when you are sitting all day it is much harder for that highway to move. Also exercise effects your digestion and supports your muscles which play important roles in energy and body composition. But you knew that.
De-Stress – It’s hard in this day and age to let go, I know it! But your stress adds to an imbalance in your system that exacerbates poor digestion, toxic build up, hormone imbalance, poor sleep, and leaves you in a state that does not promote well being. I won’t go into this too much, but basically your nervous system thinks fight or flight, or rest and digest. One or the other. Stress causes that fight or flight which increases hormones that are great if you need to run away, they aren’t great for everyday life or looking after those body parts that have nothing to do with tackling a tiger. So support your stress levels through relaxation techniques regularly.
Be Wary of Dairy – It can often be worth looking into dairy as a source of skin problems. Before making any dietary changes (especially permanent ones) seek advice. Calcium and other nutrients supplied by dairy are important for the body so any changes should accommodate these nutrients.
Beauty Sleep – As mentioned before, your nervous system has 2 settings ‘rest and digest’ or ‘fight and flight’. Good sleep is an extremely important time for your body to completely let ‘rest and digest’ take over. This period allows for healing, digesting, detoxifying and many important functions that can get swept aside during the day. Try to get your 8 hours or so, and if sleep is hard to come by try avoiding caffeine, screen time too late and eating before bed. Get some exercise during the day too.
For more advice about how to get your gut health up to scratch, or how to support those amazing organs working hard to detoxify your system feel free to get in touch.
Love the skin you are in, and remember:
Beauty is not in the face;
beauty is a light in the heart.Kahlil Gibran