Skincare and food – what’s the connection?
If there ever was a mirror to the conditions of your internal functions, it would be the skin. The skin on our face, chest, and back all reflect what is really happening inside – in your gut specifically.
Yes – the gut. One of the most important (if not the most important) organ in the body. The gut is actually considered a second brain in your body. It determines how your body takes in and out nutrients, it flushes toxins out of your body, breaks down the food you eat, just to name a few. Your gut takes whatever you input into your body from food, drinks, supplements, creams, toothpastes etc. and converts the nutrients into functionalities that your body requires. Functions like hormone balance, mental health, toxin and waste elimination and of course – skin health.
Your skin is an output for the elimination that your gut is doing. When your gut eliminates toxins, other than the traditional way of exiting your body through bowel movement, the next barrier to exit is the skin. Therefore, whatever you input into your body / gut will come through in your skin. So the equation is simple: junk in = junk out.
This is why its imperative to clean up your gut to clean up your skin.
Start in the morning – On an empty stomach, have a glass of hot water and lemon (slices or juiced lemon). There is not that much research on lemon water, but from personal experience I can tell you that lemon water is a blessing to your skin. In fact, lemon is usually the first ingredient for detoxing in general. Whether in foods, drinks or even cleaning counter tops!
For your skin however, the lemon acts as an internal cleanser, it taps on a switch in your skin cells that causes them to detox and forces out impurities and sweat. This is exactly what you need to avoid getting pimples and breakouts.
Another tip with lemon water is that overtime it helps your teeth appear whiter! So when life gives you lemons, make hot water and lemon…
Fruits that will compliment your skin – the list is many! You can eat them, drink them and even put them directly on your skin! However, for the sake of this article, let us talk about what fruits you should eat:
- Papaya: A naturally moisturizing agent that keeps your skin hydrated and soft, it also has a low rate of sugar and is rich in Vitamin A, C and B. A must-have for good skin and better digestion. Have yourself half a papaya in your morning bowl of fruits and your skin will glow from the inside.
- Orange: DID SOMEONE SAY VITAMIN C??!! Your skin loves Vitamin C, it makes it plump and hydrated. A few orange navels will go a long way in improving your skin.
- Strawberries: They contain salicylic acid; you know that active ingredient you look for in your expensive skin care products. Well, it’s plentiful in Strawberries, it’s a cheaper and more delicious option if you ask me. Why we love salicylic acid is because it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can clean your skin pore by pore.
- Avocadoes: Yes, all that “avocado is extra” vibe is very worth it. Avocadoes are rich in Vitamin A, C, K, B3, B6 and dietary fiber; all of which are anti-inflammatory and reduce oxidative stress on your skin. This makes your skin firm and your toast less bland.
- Mangoes: Juicy mangoes are a personal favorite. Mangoes are great for rejuvenating skin, they contain Vitamin A, C, E and K.
The list goes on for skin-friendly fruits, you have cherries, melons, watermelons, pomegranates, gooseberries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. All of which are amazing for your skin. So fear not the fruit, and have yourself some everyday. I would recommend that you eat in doses and choose the fruits with a lower sugar rate.
Spice up your life – A sometimes overlooked staple in good skin care, is the herbs and spices you consume. Herbs such as chamomile, thyme, cilantro, parsley, basil, mint, and my personal favorite lavender are incredible sources of rich nutrients that can give you great skin. These herbs are not only magical, but they also include anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties that create resilient skin that is clear, glowing and strong. You can consume these herbs in their oils, dried up to drink in teas, or even as seasoning on your meals.
Spices that can help with your skin are turmeric, ashwagandha, garlic powder, cloves and black pepper. These spices are rich in antioxidants which helps reduce and even eradicate dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines and blemishes.
Put that junk down – As much as we love ourselves some sugar, chocolate, fried foods and cake during these trying times we are living in; these culprits can cause havoc on your skin. The main ingredient in all of these bad boys is sugar. Sukar, Zucchero, sugar.
Sugar is really bad for your skin- but it’s so sweet! Sugar actually increases inflammation in your body and that immediately breaks down collagen and elastin in your skin. When you notice your skin is dull, pigmented, discolored and quite droopy, you realize your skin is lacking collagen and elasticity. You then buy products and supplements that have extra collagen, or you take retinol to increase the elasticity of your skin so you can look younger again etc. when in fact, it won’t do anything if you are consuming too much sugar. Cut out sugar for a while and notice the difference in your skin.
Reduce dairy and gluten – Now, before you panic and think this is yet ANOTHER article encouraging limited diets, veganism and restrictive eating … hear me out. I said REDUCE not eliminate. Meaning, try not having dairy with every meal, or try switching out your regular milk with almond milk, or switch out bread for rice for example. Small steps that will go a long way in improving the appearance of your skin and reducing the rate of breakouts.
A high consumption of dairy in your diet is shown to increase problem skin because of the raised insulin-like growth hormones that cause an increased production of sebum which is the oily substance that can cause acne.
With gluten, this is only really effective if you have an intolerance to gluten or if you are a celiac. If you are in neither of those boats, then you can skip ahead. If you are however in those boats, then consuming gluten will not only cause a bad reaction in your body but it will most likely cause a reaction on your skin. Reactions are shown in the form of eczema, psoriasis and rosacea all of which can be seen on your face, neck, back, arms and legs.
You don’t have to go all out and eat everything at once in the hope that your skin will improve overnight! Take small steps, introduce these foods into your daily meals, and trust that it takes time for your skin to regenerate. Eat right and your skin will thank you but remember the skin cells regenerate every 28 days, so wait it out and ensure that all you are doing is in balance and you aren’t over eating anything.
Everything in balance, small steps everyday, and before you know it – you’ll be smiling at your glowing skin self in the mirror.
Are there any other foods you know to help give you better skin? Let us know on @womansguideme !