Our skin is our largest organ and it can tell us a whole lot about the state of our body. Many of us go to great lengths to try and achieve clear skin, understandably, because we all want to glow and look and feel good! Oftentimes these quests focus on finding the best new lotion or cleanser or exfoliator and fail to address what often contributes to our skin troubles: the state of our internal health.
There are countless reasons why one may be experiencing imbalances in their skin, however, the tips I will be sharing are ones that we canall benefit from, no matter your situation!
HOW TO GET HEALTHY, CLEAR SKIN
Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is critical for not only skin health, but digestion, cellular integrity, and the assimilation of nutrients. Many people are dehydrated without even quite realizing it. Dry skin, constipation, and low energy levels can all be signs of simply needing to drink a big glass of water!
I recommend starting your day with a glass of cool, filtered water. For a boost of minerals and to kickstart digestion, try adding a squeeze of lemon. After sleeping through the night, our bodies naturally desire hydration upon waking. If you’re not used to drinking water before anything else, you’ll soon discover just how good your body and skin feels by doing so!
2. GUT HEALTH
Gut health is perhaps one of the most important factors for improving the health and appearance of our skin, among nearly every thing else in our body! Our GI tract is our terrain: it’s where we digest, absorb, and assimilate nutrients. It’s where we break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins into their usable forms for energy, and it’s where we house trillions of bacteria that play a role in mental health, B vitamin synthesis, bowel regulation, and skin health.
We maintain gut health by:
- ensuring we have regular, healthy bowel movements
- consuming probiotic-rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi
- eating plenty of fibre from colourful fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds every day
- avoiding food sensitivities such as dairy, corn, wheat and soy
- avoiding processed foods, especially those that contain refined sugars, starches, oils, and artificial additives
- chewing thoroughly
- drinking lots of water
3. EAT ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Many skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema or psoriasis are inflammatory conditions. This means, well, there’s inflammation present in the body and we need to address it!
We help to reduce inflammation levels in our body by eating fresh, whole foods including:
- leafy greens and other bright vegetables
- antioxidant-rich berries and other fruits
- anti-inflammatory roots like ginger and turmeric
- omega-3 rich foods like flax, hemp and chia
- healthy fats like avocado, coconut and olives.
What causes inflammation? Some foods include:
- refined oils (canola, margarine) especially those that are hydrogenated or contain trans fats
- omega-6 fatty acids including those in some grains and factory-farmed, conventionally raised meats
- refined sugar and starches
4. REDUCE STRESS
Ah, stress. It’s everywhere. When I ask people if they are stressed, an answer I often hear is “Well, yeah, but who isn’t?” It’s easy to think that because stress is so common, it’s not a big deal. But in reality, it is! Stress has been shown to be related to nearly all illnesses. From cardiovascular diseases to mental health conditions, GI conditions, hormone imbalances and of course… skin!
TIPS FOR REDUCING STRESS
- Deep breathing
- Learning how and when to say no
- Taking time for yourself
- Proper sleep! When we sleep, our bodies regenerate and heal. Inflammation levels are reduced, cortisol levels are decreased, our liver gets to work on processing and filtering toxic waste, and our cells repair. Sleep is critical to healthy skin and a healthy body!
- Move your body. Exercise not only reduces stress, but improves our circulation, increases oxygen to our cells, helps remove toxic waste via sweating, promotes digestive function and improves mood! I enjoy simple forms of exercise such as walking and stretching.
5. SIMPLIFY SKINCARE ROUTINE
Many of us have a handful of products that we use morning and night to scrub and polish and tone and moisturize – but these often are very unnecessary and can be more irritating than we’d think.Many products are full of alcohols, fragrances, colourants, foaming agents and other strange things that can irritate our skin.