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Do you want to improve the skin you're in?

6 Jun 2017 9:08 AM -

Are you happy with the skin you're in? 

It is not uncommon for clients to come in to our clinic with skin related issues such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis, redness and eczema.  

Your skin is one of the key elimination pathways in your body alongside the liver, bowel and kidneys.  So, when one of these pathways is not working as well as it could, it places an extra burden on the remaining pathways.  This can then present as skin problems.  

Want to know more about the causes of your skin condition? Read our blog “Happy with the skin you’re in?".


What can you do for skin that looks and feels great?


Eat lots of plants

Eating a plant based diet is good for your skin because it provides your body with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants essential for good skin health.  

Plants also provide thousands of phytochemicals and whilst not considered “essential nutrients” provide numerous health benefits to your skin such as supporting the integrity of cell membranes (think plump, firm skin), providing antioxidant support to the cells (preventing skin damage) and promoting optimal detoxification of hormones and toxins (keeping skin clear).

Your liver also loves plants, especially those green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts. For more on your liver refer to our blog “How to love your liver”.


Aim to get 30 grams of fibre every day

Fibre is integral to your skin health.  Fibre is essential for good bowel health.  It helps your bowel clear waste and toxins from your body.  A healthy bowel with regular bowel movements that are soft and easy to pass is the goal.

There are different types of fibre, however if you eat a variety of fruits, vegetables and wholegrains you will have your fibre bases covered.

If you want to know more about fibre, we have a blog for that: “How to get 30 grams of fibre in a day”.


Drink water

Water should be your main hydration throughout the day so aim for about 2 litres per day.  

Water helps your kidneys flush out toxins from your body and helps your lymphatic system and bowel to remove waste from your body so it doesn’t end up in your skin.

Plain water is ideal throughout the day, however adding in some herbal tea is a good way to increase your water intake if plain water isn't your thing.


Targeted nutrition

Zinc

Zinc can repair damaged skin, modulate the immune system to avoid bacterial breakouts and reduces inflammation in the skin.  

Get your zinc from sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, walnuts, almonds, lentils, split peas, wholegrains, oysters, shellfish, sardines, fish and red meat.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant, quenching free radicals to help your skin glow by protecting the membrane of your skin cells.  Vitamin A also supports the production of new skin cells to keep your skin firm and fresh.

Add some vitamin A into your diet by including orange coloured fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato, red capsicum, mango and apricots.  Vitamin A is also in green leafy vegetables, poultry, liver and organ meats, cod liver oil, egg yolks and cheese.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also potent antioxidant and supports collagen synthesis which keeps your skin plump and youthful looking.  Topical vitamin C is becoming more popular and some studies suggest it may protect the skin from damage.

Boost your vitamin C intake by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in their raw form as Vitamin C degrades in heat and light.  

Some foods particularly high in vitamin C include; red capsicum, brussels sprouts, papayas, kale, red chilli, parsley, kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, lemons, blackcurrants, mango, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, melon, spinach, tomatoes and tangerines.  Basically ‘eat the rainbow’.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Vitamin B5 is great for keeping the skin moisturised and hydrated therefore reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.  It is also a great vitamin (along with other B vitamins) for managing your stress response.  Less stress = better skin.

You can get your vitamin B5 from peanuts, liver and organ meats, avocado, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and brewer’s yeast.

Protein

Protein is required for tissue growth and repair and is used by every cell in the body, including your skin cells.  Protein makes up collagen, elastin and keratin which keeps your skin firm and plump.

Get your protein requirements by eating lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils nuts and seeds.


Exercise regularly

Regular exercise is great for your fitness and overall health, but it is also excellent at keeping all of your detoxification pathways operating efficiently.  

Exercise helps your bowel to work regularly and easily and supports your liver to convert toxins and waste products into substances that can be safely eliminated.

Movement is what drives your lymphatic system; essential for clearing toxins from your skin.


Relax and get some sleep

Leading busy and stressful lives shows on your skin.  Having a dull complexion, dark circles under your eyes and dry skin can all be signs of stress.  Stress can also have an impact on your body’s ability to have deep, restful sleep.  

Learning to relax can be difficult if you are a naturally active person, however it is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.  

Practicing relaxation when you’re going through a stressful time is often difficult.  So, start when you are feeling good and incorporate it regularly into your day/week so that when you do encounter stressful situations you already have the tools to calm your nervous system.

Your liver, kidneys and bowel all do some serious clean up while you're sleeping so good sleep is required for good skin.  If you have trouble establishing good sleep, these tips might help: “9 ways to improve your sleep”.


Choose natural skin care products

Natural skin care products such as Olive & Ash do not use synthetic substances, harsh chemicals or detergents. They promote skin health by using simple natural ingredients that do not strip your skin of its natural oils.  

Avoid skin care products with lots of ingredients that you can’t pronounce.  There are many excellent natural products on the market so take a look and find one that works for your skin.


Do you need help to improve your skin?

Chronic skin conditions can be very unpleasant to live with and sometimes they require more than just a healthy diet and lifestyle (at least initially).  

Herbal and nutritional supplements may be required to nudge things along. Functional testing may even be useful to identify the underlying drivers of your problem.  Identifying the cause will be the key to your success.

If you need help to improve your skin, get in touch with us at the clinic on 03 9620 9503 or, if you prefer, you can email me directly at lee@lavidahealth.com.au.


Love yourself; love your health!


Lee Copeland
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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