6 Naturopath secrets to clear, healthy skin
Skin is often the first thing to show the signs of overindulgence and a busy social calendar! Often when we are indulging in salty or sugary foods and alcohol, and are getting less sleep due to a full social calendar, we are left with breakouts and acne, and dull or inflamed skin.
Below I share my top 6 inside and out tips to have your skin quickly looking clear and beautiful after the silly season or any hectic time. The good thing about making these changes is that you will see results quickly and you will be motivated to continue on with your healthy habits.
Move things along
An imbalanced gut can be at the core of disrupted hormones which in turn can lead to dull skin and spots. Slippery Elm and Aloe Vera are preferred herbs when it comes to balancing gut microbes. They contain “mucilage” a naturopathic word which refers to their ability to move things along the digestive system.
Our Inner Essentials Skin +Gut Renew powder contains gut restorative ingredients such as Glutamine along with liver and digestive supporting benefits such as St Mary’s Thistle, Grape Seed and digestive enzymes to assist in bringing gut bacteria back into balance.
How to: Add a scoop of this powder to your smoothie or water on a daily basis. Focus on getting more fibre in your diet. I recommend 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal daily along with 2 cups of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, bok choy, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts) which in turn provide the liver with a boost. Get into the habit of a porridge or smoothie for breakfast. If you are time poor in the morning make overnight oats, by simply soaking oats, fruit (grated apple and pear), nuts/seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) and flaxseed meal overnight with almond milk or water in a glass jar. Top with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and it will be ready to grab and go in the morning.
Up your zinc intake
Not only is zinc responsible for balancing the skin’s sebum production, it is also effective in regulating insulin production, reducing the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria and blocking the production of unwanted hormones. As a bonus it can also help to improve your body’s stress response. Zinc-rich foods include spirulina, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts. If you are zinc depleted, supplementing with zinc may be helpful. Supplementing with zinc daily can be a great way to ensure you are meeting your zinc needs. Our Inner Essentials – Skin + Liver Cleanse tablets contain 15 mg per tablet so 30 mg for both which is the perfect daily dose.
How to: Ground pumpkin seeds and add to your smoothie or lunch.
Ditch the dairy and go low-GI
You would be familiar with the phenomenon of a week of Cadbury chocolate bar consumption showing up on your skin. It is not a misconception that dairy and sugar can exacerbate problem skin. Both dairy and high Glycaemic Index (GI) foods can lead to a chain of events which ultimately lead to oily skin and breakouts. How does this happen? Both dairy and high GI foods create a surge in blood sugar levels, which triggers an insulin response. This can in turn disrupt testosterone balance, leading to an increase in sebum (oil) production and acne! In a recent review of 50 years of clinical studies, eating high GI Foods and drinking milk were shown to not only aggravate acne but also trigger it. So, the first thing I always ask my patients to do is to cut out dairy and remove all processed foods from their diets. Their skin responds favourably very quickly which provides a very strong incentive to keep up the clean eating!
How to: Replace dairy with plant-based milk alternatives such as almond and oat milk. Explore plant-based cheese options such as coconut milk or nut cheeses and use savoury yeast flakes to create “cheesy” bakes. Replace white pasta and flour with wholegrain alternatives made with quinoa and millet or brown rice.
The liver is one of the most important players in dictating the health of our skin. A liver under excess load will result in excess hormone build up and an over load of toxins being released through the skin which manifests as spots or dull skin. I find the easiest way to support the liver is with herbs and via specific foods. Inner Essentials – Skin+Liver Cleanse Tablets contain an abundance of liver-loving herbs including Dandelion Root and Burdock Root and which work to detoxify and repair your liver, getting to the root cause of your skin woes.
How to: Get into the habit of having bitter foods – the easiest way to do this is serving a rocket salad every evening, add lemon juice or apple cider and a dash of olive oil along with your cruciferous veggies. Having our Inner Essentials-Skin+Liver Cleanse Tablets with your two biggest meals of the day is a quick way to cleanse and detox from the inside out.
Sometimes the products we are using to combat our skin concerns can be the very cause of them. Over cleansing or using products which are rich in sulfates and overly foamy can strip the skin of its natural oils, promoting the over production of oil which can be a trigger for acne. Using makeup or skincare products which have irritants such as alcohol or fragrances can irritate the skin which is also a trigger for excess oil production. Switching to a natural milk based cleanser is the key to purifying the skin without stripping it of its natural oil balance. Our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk contains salicylic acid to unclog pores along with nourishing oils to cleanse skin without putting oil producing skin cells into overdrive. Make cleansing the skin a non-negotiable ritual, cleanse morning and night and ensure you are massaging our cleanser onto dry skin, then adding water to emulsify and removing well with a warm washcloth or eco-puff.
How to: Start using a natural milk-based cleanser and switch to natural beauty products! Avoid lactic acid or any stripping ingredients which may aggravate skin further.
Reduce bacterial build up
Unclogging pores and reducing skin bacterial build up ensures that breakouts are kept at bay topically. Cleansing twice daily and using a spot treatment on areas that are prone to breakouts can prevent breakouts. Our Turmeric Brightening Serum contains Turmeric extract which works effectively at stopping acne in its tracks whilst zapping any pus-filled spots. It can work overnight to reduce the severity of cystic spots. Using a hydrating gel is a great way of hydrating the skin without clogging pores.
Our Botanical Water Gel contains the perfect combination of skin calming and hydrating herbs and botanicals for ultra smooth and clear skin.
How to: Get yourself into the habit of a solid skincare regime – start with an evening routine and then build in the morning routine. I Use our Turmeric Serum as an overnight spot treatment on problem skin. You can also make a mask containing 1 tablespoon of turmeric paste, 4 tablespoons of yoghurt and 1 tablespoon of honey or coconut nectar. Mix and apply for 10-15 minutes for a smooth and revitalised complexion! If you are keen to run with an all in one solution to your skincare troubles I have created our Acne Away set, it contains our Cleansing Milk, Water Gel, internal skin cleansing supplement (Inner Essentials-Skin+Liver Tablets) and our Turmeric Brightening Serum -everting you need for clear skin FAST!