If you want beautiful skin, you have to start from the inside-out. Throwing skin creams, cleansers, and make-up on your face doesn’t solve the reason why you have acne, redness, or other skin problems. ProActiv and all the newest treatments are a waste of money if you don’t take the time to figure out WHY you have acne or frequent break-outs.
It’s not just a myth that certain foods can lead to acne or break-outs. Your skin is the largest organ on your body – of course it needs good nutrition too! Optimizing your nutrition can lead to clearer skin.
The biggest culprits for your skin are blood sugar imbalances, food sensitivities, and inflammation.
I discussed blood sugar regulation here, and staying on the blood sugar rollercoaster often hits your skin immediately. Do you ever notice that after the holidays or a weekend of sweet treats you wake up with out-of-control skin?
Research has linked high glycemic index (GI) foods to acne! High GI foods are quick absorbing carbs, such as sugar, white bread or pasta, soda, and other refined foods. These foods rapidly breakdown to sugar in your body, leading to a huge blood sugar spike and release of insulin. These blood sugar swings may lead to increased sebum production and clogged pores. Skip the refined foods and SUGAR, and eat balanced meals with nutrient-dense carbs, protein, and fat to prevent these blood sugar swings.
Food allergies or sensitivities don’t always manifest as anaphylactic shock or digestive distress. Until you look carefully at possible food culprits, you may not realize your reaction. One of the biggest culprits is dairy, especially non-organic, hormone-laden milk products. I’m a big fan of fermented dairy products (yogurt, kefir) if you can tolerate dairy. Another pore-clogger could be gluten, and there are numerous skin conditions associated with gluten sensitivity.
Common allergens & sensitivities
Try an elimination diet by avoiding dairy and/or gluten for 3-4 weeks. Notice any changes in your skin, digestion, and overall health. After 3-4 weeks, reintroduce them one at a time and give it a few days to look for a reaction. If you notice a reaction, you’re probably sensitive to that food and may want to consider avoiding it.
Inflammation is at the root of all diseases, and if you’re battling inflammation inside your body, it will show up outside your body – on your skin, as redness or swelling. Many of the high-GI foods, especially sugar, cause inflammation, and if you have food sensitivities, constant exposure leads to inflammation too.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet to help fight this. Choose a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 rich foods such as salmon or other seafood, and get rid of the junk food. Choose the right type of fats, limit pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats, especially from vegetable oils, and avoid trans fats.
An anti-inflammatory diet will not only promote healing inside your body and on your skin, but it will give your body the nutrients it needs. Fruits, vegetables, and high-quality proteins are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your skin loves, including vitamins A, E, C, zinc, B-vitamins, and anti-oxidants.
To keep your skin in top-notch shape, it needs to be hydrated! Carry a water bottle with you, or stock up on tea, especially green tea. Avoid drying out your skin with too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
Lastly, don’t stress. Stress leads to inflammation and can worsen your skin. Don’t strive for perfection. Be beautiful on the inside. It may be worth considering cutting back on the skin-care products you use as well, especially since the average women wears 515 chemicals per day (which are absorbed into our bodies). Try going make-up free for a day or more.
If you want beautiful skin, eat a nutrient-dense diet with plenty of anti-inflammatory foods. Skip the sugar and other high glycemic-index foods, and figure out if you have lingering food sensitivities wrecking havoc on your skin. There are plenty of natural skincare products, or homemade ones, you can use to heal your skin, but you have to eat for beauty and heal from the inside out first.
Have you noticed any skin changes with certain foods?