When you take a holistic approach to achieving healthy, radiant looking skin, starting from the inside out is the only way to go to get that long lasting natural healthy glow.
Clear skin says a lot about your health. It’s very important to know that what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it. Your skin really is a reflection of your overall health, and unhealthy looking skin is an indication that you may be unhealthy or out of balance on the inside.
If you’ve followed my blogs for a while you’ll know my advice always focuses on your diet, but over this blog series I will delve in to both internal ways to heal your skin and external ways to get your skin glowing from inside out!
Why Skin Problems Are Often An Internal Issue
From a holistic point of view, acne and breakouts generally occur when your detoxification organs, mainly your liver and skin, become overburdened due to a heavy load of toxins in your body.
These toxins can come from pesticides on the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and bath in and even chemicals from household cleaning products.
I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t mention also that refined sugar, processed foods, food additives, and preservatives are also considered toxic to the body, and are closely linked to acne and inflamed skin conditions.
Your liver deals with a multitude of processes in the body in addition to its job as the body’s main detoxifying organ, and it can become quite overburdened when toxin levels become too great, or when they are entering your body constantly.
When the liver becomes tired, toxins accumulate in your system and it’s your body’s natural reaction to eliminate them. The next organ on duty to take on this extra burden is your skin. When these toxins come out through your skin, they can cause acne and breakouts.
Whether you suffer from acne or just get the occasional spot, there’s always an underlying reason why these breakouts are happening. The exact cause is unknown and of course comes down to various factors, but we can narrow it down.
Clogged pores are one cause, often the result of chemical-filled ‘beauty’ products or cleansers disrupting your skin’s natural oils, as well as the meddlesome hormones each month (ladies, you know what I’m talking about); but almost always these breakouts are caused by an internal issue.
It may be an overburdened liver thanks to the aforementioned toxin overload; malabsorption of ingested fats from the diet, poor overall digestion, unstable blood sugar levels or a result of poor food choices.
If you’re not making good food choices, your health will go askew, so it is important to clean up your diet if you want to achieve clear skin naturally.
Ok, now that you have a basic understanding on how acne and breakouts can be caused, let’s find out some effective ways to address them from the inside!
No. 1 CONSUME A PLETHORA OF FERMENTED PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS
Probiotics are also known as friendly gut bacteria, and this bacteria plays a very important role in determining your body’s ecosystem.
There are good bacteria and bad bacteria, and it’s the beneficial good bacteria that you want to dominate your gut. The bad bacteria (sometimes known as acne causing bacteria!) can cause all matter of chaos in the body when it outnumbers the good, including but not restrained to fungal issues like candida albicans, digestive complaints and disorders and skin problems, including acne.
Therefore it’s very important that your good bacteria always outnumber the bad, and you can easily accomplish this by eating certain foods that are loaded with good bacteria every day.
Recharge your gut with healthy beneficial good bacteria by eating probiotics from, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and unsweetened, plain organic yogurt – all excellent ways to begin including more beneficial bacteria in your diet. (all available from most of our Nourish stores!)
If this isn’t an option for you (though I highly encourage you to try!) opt instead for a high quality probiotic supplement to give you a good whack of probiotics daily.
Remember, when digestion is at its peak, complete assimilation of nutrients is achieved creating a healthy body, great energy levels and glowing skin!
No. 2 EAT SKIN-LOVING FOODS
The more we care and nourish our bodies on the inside, the more our bodies can absorb and utilize the nutrients we put in to make our health sky rocket and our skin glow.
Having a well-nourished and hydrated body is key to having a flawless complexion. Therefore eating a varied, balanced diet containing foods filled with plenty of Zinc, B vitamins, selenium, protein, healthy fats, magnesium, .vitamins C, E and sulphur is a great start.
Think Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, grapefruits, strawberry, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, kiwis, pineapple, mango, Green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, Broccoli, peas, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, avocadoes and fresh herbs.
Also think about including nuts and seeds like – walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts (super high in selenium), pine nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, sesame, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and Chia seeds.
Not only are these loaded with skin loving nutrients, but you’re also giving yourself plenty of fibre, prebiotics to feed the good bacteria, essential fatty acids and an abundance of natural hydration to really get your skin glowing!
No. 3 GIVE YOUR LIVER SOME SWEET SWEET LOVE
Here is a list of super-duper liver loving foods you should start including into your diet to really help clean you up from inside out and really help your lovely liver that works so hard on your behalf.
These foods are jam packed with nutrients like sulphur, zinc and potent antioxidant vitamins that rejuvenate the liver, plus plenty of beneficial fibre.
Cruciferous Vegetables – Including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, watercress, garden cress, mustard greens, and turnips.
Citrus fruits =-Grapefruit, Lemons and Limes
Leafy Green Veggies –kale, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens and chicory.For more on Greens, see my blog on the benefits of Green Leafy veg here.
Turmeric – For more info on turmeric see my blog here
Dandelion root – These roots provide a bitter extract that can stimulate digestive enzymes in the liver. This bitter extract helps to detox and purify the internal systems. Dandelion root tea aids the liver in breaking down fats, increasing bile, works as a diuretic and removes toxins
If you need some recipe inspiration, try out the following cookbooks!
Rosanna Davison – Eat Yourself Beautiful
The Happy Pear
Rozanna Purcell – Natural Born Feeder
No. 4 AVOID SKIN-DECEIVING PRO INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Processed, refined, packaged foods are on the no-go list. Cut the fried foods, the overly processed candies, chocolates, crisps – the lot.
Refined sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and processed food are all substances that play a major role in inflammatory conditions including acne, plus they build up toxins in the body and cause dehydration the body.
I’m not saying you have to avoid them all completely, but instead enjoy them every once in a while. You’ll really notice a huge difference in your skin’s appearance once you cut them out.
No. 5 MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Managing stress is crucial when it comes to keeping our cortisol levels in check and our hormones inline.
When our hormones go out of whack, whether from an increase in our stress levels, a lack of sleep, poor dietary choices, or a lack of exercise – the more our skin shows us signs of being too stressed out.
When you’re stressed and your cortisol levels are too high, your digestion takes a step back which causes all kinds of things to go askew.
Find ways to deal with your day to day stress levels, whether it’s breathing exercises, moving around, going for a walk at lunch time, taking yoga classes, reading a book – whatever you need.
No. 6 SHOULD YOU WISH TO SUPPLEMENT…
I encourage you to eat your way to better skin health, but sometimes higher doses are needed, therefore if you wish to increase your liver-loving, skin-worshipping natural foods, I recommend the following:
Milk Thistle – Milk thistle has a long history of use as an herbal medicine, largely for ailments of the liver, being used for its protective and restorative qualities as well as its detoxification properties.
Milk Thistle is known to help prevent liver destruction and enhance liver function, as well as stimulating the growth of new liver cells to replace old damaged cells allowing for regeneration to occur.
For more information about milk thistle see my blog here.
A Happy liver = a happy digestive system and a happy inside!
Turmeric – Turmeric has been shown to protect the liver, help improve circulation through the liver, increase bile production and enhance both phases of liver detoxification. Turmeric is also rich in anti-aging antioxidants for ultimate skin health.
Probiotics – For complete gut health, probiotics are the key players in digestive happiness and well being.
Popular brands include Udo’s Choice Super 8, and Optibacs’s Optibac Every Day and Optibac Extra Strength
Greens Powders – Greens are highly detoxing, alkalising and cleansing to the body and great friends of the liver
Omega 3 – For beautiful skin, omega 3’s are your man. They can help to bring down skin inflammation such as psoriasis and eczema, and are also great for problematic dry skin on the body, face or scalp.
Omega 3’s help to balance hormones too, helping to keep your skin at ease during monthly flare ups (again ladies, I address you!)
Popular choices include Nordic Naturals Omega 3, Nourish Omega 3
Lastly, make sure to drink plenty of water, engage in fulfilling exercise and aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night
Next up on the Beauty Blog Series:
5 Natural Home Remedies for Acne
Foodie Facemasks – Uncovering the Natural Beautifying Foods in Your Kitchen [and then wearing them!]
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*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication