Recently, I gave a food talk at a local beauty school. The owners asked me to speak about diet and nutrition and what role it may play on our skin health. The class was intrigued with what I had to say and asked a ton of questions. It was great. Here are a few things we spoke about.
• No diary. As my friend and colleague, Dr. Trevor Cates, says, “Dairy comes from a lactating mammal and a lactating mammal is hormonal. One of the root causes of skin breakouts is hormonal.”
◦Personal note: One week of completely avoiding dairy, both my daughter’s breakouts disappeared.
• Decrease sugar. Sugar increases inflammation in the body, insulin, sebum and androgen activity: all contributing factors to acne. Breaking the sugar habit is difficult and I generally suggest that people wean themselves off by replacing sugar with nutrient rich raw honey, stevia and maple syrup.
Skin health almost always comes down to food. The old saying, You are what you eat, still holds valid. Often what you eat, will show up on your skin. The big food culprit with skin aging is sugar.
Normal sugar physiology begins with eating carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are typically nutrient void yet loaded with sugar and when broken down by our amazing digestive system, will yield glucose. Now glucose is a good when in balance, as it gives us fuel, yet, when we have too much in our system, it has nowhere to go, and many things can happen, one being glycation.
Glycation is the process in which glucose sugars attach to proteins within the body ( i.e. collagen, which gives skin its firmness) and damages them. With damaged collagen, our skin will lose its integrity;our skin will appear dry, wrinkly and saggy.
( side note: collagen is the most abundant protein in the body)
• Fiber. Eat more veggies; the fiber in them will bind on to the stuff the body doesn’t need, and push it out. This helps the liver tremendously and keeps the body clean. The goal is at least 30 grams a day.
• Hydrate. Drinking more water and herbal iced tea and water helps flush the body via the kidneys of toxins.
Lemons. I begin my day squeezing a lemon in a glass of water. It is refreshing, tasty, and packed with vitamin C that will not only brighten and cleanse your skin but will also ward away any potential sickness.
Bottom line: If you don’t address the nutrition part, you will be continually covering up the cause and skin will not get better.
Have you read my free ebook on Safer Skincare: Top Chemicals to Avoid? If not, check it out here.