In part one I covered the reason why we get acne and skin conditions. If you haven't read that I suggest you do so you understand how acne is caused.
The root cause of acne can vary from person to person. For some of you it may be as simple as using heavy cosmetic products on your face as these can contain chemicals that are harsh on our skin. For others, it may be that you're living in a heavy polluted city or that you are using all the right products but your diet is sub optimal. Perhaps it’s a combination of the above.
The skin is an organ of absorption: anything you put on your skin is directly absorbed into your bloodstream. My simple rule of thumb is - if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin.
However, in today's society, that is virtually impossible for most people. We are constantly exposed to different chemicals and substances every day, whether we apply them to our skin ourselves or not. That is why it is extremely important to keep on top of all aspects of our health and ensure that our bodies are well equipped to overcome anything that can be harmful to us. The best way to start is to get a good feeling in your gut…
The inside of your intestinal tract is the outside of your body
Nourish your gut
The first thing you have to do is to optimise the gut flora in order to have healthy skin. Start healing from the gut and out. Consuming a plant-based diet, fermented food, healthy fats, probiotic supplements, green juices and smoothies. These promote natural detoxification and are very high in important nutrients. When I talk about detoxification I mean cleaning your intestinal tract, optimising your gut flora and speeding up your metabolism.
For you science nerds:
"Basic science research and clinical studies have demonstrated the gut microbiome’s contribution to host homeostasis, allostasis, and the pathogenesis of disease. Through complex immune mechanisms, the influence of the gut microbiome extends to involve distant organ systems including the skin. With intentional modulation of the microbiome, probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics have proven beneficial in the prevention and/or treatment of inflammatory skin diseases including acne vulgaris, AD, and psoriasis. In this up-and-coming field, future research should improve our understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying the gut-skin axis, investigate the therapeutic potential of long-term modulation of the gut microbiome, and potentially expand therapeutic manipulation to include commensal gut fungi and viruses in order to fully harness the gut microbiome’s influence in the treatment of skin disease." (I. Salem, et. al 2018)
We are all exposed to toxins (i.e. pollution), and this is why we need to consume antioxidant rich foods on a daily basis to fight off free radicals which are detrimental to our skin. As a start try to get more beta-carotene, vitamin A, E and C into your diet. Some other good ones are listed below as well:
· allium sulphur compounds – leeks, onions and garlic
· anthocyanins – eggplant, grapes and berries
· beta-carotene – pumpkin, mangos, apricots, carrots, spinach and parsley
· catechins – red wine and tea
· copper – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
· cryptoxanthins – red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes
· flavonoids – tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples
· indoles – cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower
· isoflavonoids – soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk
· lignans – sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables
· lutein – green, leafy vegetables like spinach, and corn
· lycopene – tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon
· manganese – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
· polyphenols – thyme and oregano
· selenium – seafood, offal, lean meat and whole grains
· vitamin A – liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, and egg yolks
· vitamin C – oranges, blackcurrants, kiwifruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, capsicum and strawberries
· vitamin E – vegetable oils (such as wheatgerm oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains
· zinc – seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts
· zoochemicals – red meat, offal and fish. Also derived from the plants that animals eat.
Remember the skin is made up of fat and so we need to consume fats for your skin to function properly. Eating healthy fats help the skin to renew cells quicker, protect against damage and repair the skin.
· Organic butter
· Extra virgin olive oil
· Coconut oil
Supplementation is crucial, we live in a world were its impossible to get all nutrients from our daily diet. The top 3 supplements for healthy skin are omega 3s, vitamin D3 and prebiotics.
· Omega 3's - help to fight inflammation
· Vitamin D3 - vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to a collagen problem
· Probiotic - add more healthy bacteria to your gut
· Prebiotics - helps to improve growth of good bacteria
· Vitamin A - vitamin A deficiencies linked to skin conditions
· Vitamin E - most powerful antioxidant
Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon.
Now, there are of course other ways to help out when acne breaks out. There are so many natural ways you can help your skin rather than using harsh chemicals. Part 3 will be all about what you can put on your skin to improve acne and other skin conditions.
Any questions? Leave a comment in the comment section below! :)
p.s. I will go into detail of many of the points I’m writing about in this series in the future. This is just a brief overview.