The key to clear skin is to support the body’s pathways of elimination, reduce the production of excess hormones, reduce toxic substances from your diet and feed the body with skin nourishing foods. 7 Tips For Clear Skin The following guide can help you to transform your skin and I hope it will help you to achieve the skin you were meant to have.
1. Have A Healthy Gut
I know we nutritionists are fixated on the gut – but having a healthy digestive system is the key. If you do not have regular bowel movements toxins build up in your body, causing inflammation. As the skin is an excretory organ the body tries to rid itself of the excess toxins through the skin, resulting in spots. Increasing your vegetable intake should help to promote regular bowel movements, as will avoiding any foods your body has difficulty digesting (wheat and dairy can be common trigger foods).
2. Go Sugar And Grain-Free Sugar plays havoc with your skin.
It triggers an inflammatory response in the body causing the body to release hormones such as insulin and other androgenic hormones. This surge in hormones causes (as described above) the skin sebum glands to go into overdrive, therefore resulting in spots. Sugar also feeds the bad bacteria in your gut, compromising digestive function. Sugar can come in two forms:
Simple Carbohydrates/Sugars: Cakes, biscuits, and chocolates, fruit juices, soft drinks, alcohol. I would suggest strictly limiting these and working towards eliminating them completely. Complex Carbohydrates/Sugars: Pasta, potatoes, rice, whole grains and legumes (like lentils, chickpeas, and kidney beans). Although these have higher nutritional value than simple carbohydrates, they still get broken down into sugar by the body, so if acne is a problem for you I would limit these also.
Always choose higher fiber alternatives like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes and beans and pulses, however, ensure to watch your portion sizes. Little to no grains are best. Choose green vegetables over starchy carbohydrates wherever possible. A high sugar intake is especially problematic when your liver function is already being overworked (for example from high alcohol and processed food intakes) as it’s your liver that deactivates and clears excess hormones from the body, which brings me to my third point..
3. Support Your Liver!
This is crucial to achieving clear skin. If your liver function is compromised it cannot clear excess hormones and toxins from the body, a build up of which we now know results in spots. Foods that support and promote good liver function include green, leafy and brightly colored vegetables, berries, eggs, oily fish and nuts and seeds. On the flip side, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods place a burden on the liver so keep these to a minimum.
4. Feed Your Skin
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and needs to be fed the right foods. Essential fats found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel, avocados and nuts and seeds help to keep the skin plump and dewy, help to reduce inflammation and help to balance hormones.
5. Don’t Drink Milk Dairy, especially milk, is thought to negatively affect skin health in two ways. Firstly, due to the sugars in the milk and secondly, due to the hormones found in milk – milk which is taken from pregnant and lactating cows contain particularly high amounts of hormones which are then passed onto you. Try organic milk and if you still find your skin flaring up switch to dairy-free alternatives such as rice, oat, coconut or almond milk (my favorite).
6. Chill Out! Stress exacerbates spots. Have you ever noticed how you break out during exam time or a busy period of work? The reason for this is that your body produces hormones to deal with the stress, creating imbalanced hormone levels, and we know by now what that does to our skin. It also compromises our digestive and immune functions, making us more prone to breakouts. Try and find ways to manage your stress levels such as taking up a relaxing hobby like yoga.
7. Drink A Lot Of Water
I can’t write about skin health without mentioning the Holy Grail H2O. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, but water really is vitally important in achieving a clear complexion. It helps to keep your skin hydrated and removes waste and toxins from the body.