Let’s talk skin health
Did you know your skin is your body’s largest organ? When we think of skin health, we tend to just think about the skin on our face, but the truth is our whole body is covered in it, and our skin health is often reflective of our overall health! In today’s post, we are talking about what your skin health may be telling you about your overall health, food and lifestyle factors that influence skin health, our favorite nutrients for skin health, and our top tips for glowing healthy skin!
What your skin may be telling you about your overall health
Your skin’s health is often reflective of your inner health. This can be easily recognized when breakouts pop up during that time of the month or when you have gone a bit overboard on the sweets and fried foods and noticed some zits here and there. But what about when you have consistent breakouts, or what if your skin is dry and dull, or itchy and red? The list goes on!
The truth is, skin is heavily influenced by your gut health, hormones, diet, stress levels, environment, beauty products, and more! This is why our approach to skin health is taking a deep dive into all of these factors to get to the root cause of what is causing your skin to look and feel the way it does.
When your skin is unhappy, it is often inflamed. In some cases, this skin inflammation may be mild. While in other cases, the level of inflammation is more severe, resulting in dermatitis, eczema, or psoriasis.
Below are some of the most common reasons for skin inflammation we see:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Gut dysbiosis (imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut)
- Antibiotics and various medications
- Inflammatory foods (we’ll get into this later!)
- Lack of beneficial nutrients (read below for more!)
- Dehydration (do not underestimate this one!!)
- Chemicals and fragrances (often found in beauty products)
- Food allergies/sensitivities
Working with a health practitioner, like us, is key to finding out the underlying reason(s) behind your skin’s inflammation.
Foods to eat for skin health
There are certain foods the skin loves due to its nutrient profile. Specifically, the skin loves nutrients like Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, Beta-Carotene, Omega 3’s, Folic acid, Probiotics, and Collagen.
Foods the skin loves:
- Cucumbers – rich in water
- Carrots – good source of beta-carotene
- Sweet Potatoes – good source of beta-carotene
- Butternut Squash- good source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C
- Dark Leafy Greens – good source of Vitamin A and C
- Fatty fish – rich in Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory)
- Berries – Rich in Vitamin C
- Broccoli – good source of Vitamin C and folate
- Asparagus – good source of prebiotics
- Artichokes – good source of prebiotics
- Avocado – rich in Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – rich in Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory)
- Hemp and Chia Seeds – rich in Omega 3’s (anti-inflammatory)
- Water (not really a food, but super important!)
- Bone Broth – good source of probiotics and collagen
Additionally, some vitamins and supplements that can help repair and restore the skin include Vitamin C, Zinc, Nettle, Silica, Spirulina, B-Vitamins, Magnesium, Aloe Vera, and Omega-3’s.
Foods to avoid for skin health
On the other hand, some foods can be problematic for the skin because of their inflammatory profiles and additives.
Foods that may be inflammatory to the skin:
- Added and refined sugars
- Processed oils (think: canola, vegetable oil, sunflower, etc.)
- Food Colorings and dyes
- Deli and processed meats
- Fried foods
- Salty foods
- Too much Caffeine
Likely, not all of these foods will be problematic for you. In fact, some may be just fine, while others you may tolerate in small amounts, and others maybe not at all! This is why we recommend keeping a food journal where you can track what foods you eat, when, and your skin’s appearance to see if you can pinpoint the trigger!
Lifestyle Factors that affect our skin
Now that we have covered the influence of food on your skin let’s talk lifestyle! Your lifestyle can stress your skin out and irritate it which is why it is important to take a thorough look.
Common lifestyle factors that affect our skin:
- Use of beauty products containing parabens, phthalates, fragrances, etc (we suggest switching to non-toxic products!)
- Chronic Stress! (When you are feeling stressed, your skin reflects this! Finding ways to manage stress is important!)
- Pollution (make sure to wash your face every night)
- Poor sleep
- Too much time in the sun (SPF is your friend!)
- Sweaty gym clothes
- Mold/environmental toxins
A few of our top tips for healthy skin
- Drink water (aim for 3 L day)
- Consider using oil (avocado, almond, coconut) on your skin! The skin LOVES fat so do not be afraid
- Cut back on the added sugars! (if craving sweets try reaching for some delicious fruit instead!)
- Exercise and sweat regularly – just make sure to shower right after!
- More vegetables! (aim for 5-7 servings daily)
- Less caffeine!
The Bottom Line
What is happening on the surface of your skin is likely reflective of an imbalance deeper in the body. Often we find the gut microbiome and hormone levels being huge contributors to the skin’s overall look and feel. The skin thrives with antioxidant-rich foods, healthy fats, and tons of water which have anti-inflammatory benefits and offer unique properties to support your skin health.
Want to get to the bottom of your skin issues? Click here to work with us!