So, I just googled something… “how much is the global skin care industry worth”? Any guesses? If you took a stab at 121 billion USD, you would be correct! Isn’t that wild? We spend endless amounts of money trying to achieve that perfect, glowing, dewy, and unblemished complexion. Have you ever thought, “it has to be easier than this?” Well I am here to tell you that it is! Yes it may come from a place of vanity however, I want you all to feel “good in your skin” without breaking the bank, so I’m going to reveal a few tricks that the beauty industry certainly wouldn’t want you to know. So here’s the secret..that elusive formula for wonderful skin can be found right in your refrigerator or pantry! You just need to understand your skin type and what regime works best for you.
The following are skin types and how to care for each one.
Alright, so you guys are the envy of everyone (I’m looking at you mom). You have hydrated, smooth, and blemish-free skin. This type rarely (if ever) has large pores or areas of excessive oiliness or dryness. Essentially, if you have been blessed by the skin gods then your task is to simply keep your skin in balance, maintain collagen production, and minimize inflammation.
I’m basically saying, your lucky, yes, but don’t get too comfortable. Be sure to stick to an anti-inflammatory diet that will help your skin adapt to alterations in hormones, aging, and stress. The key principles of an anti-inflammatory diet include: lowering your intake of dairy and gluten, minimizing sugar, and adding healthy fats (including nuts, seeds, coconut oil and avocados etc.). These dietary alterations will help your skin maintain balance for decades to come.
For an added boost, incorporate an omega-3 fatty acid supplement, as well as additional fats including evening primrose oil or borage oil, providing gamma linolenic acid, which repairs and supports the skins barrier.
Now this skin type is slightly more work. It is characterized by a mix of normal, dry and oily areas. You also may have a few visible pores. So here is the goal for you folks – balance your pH, minimize oil production and optimize hydration. Many “pH balancing” products work fine for this skin type, however food should be your first line of defence. Add 3-4 oz. of apple cider vinegar to your daily diet, and while you’re at it, use the ACV as a toner nightly, cut with 50% water! Increasing your greens intake is also crucial for this skin type. Green smoothies and an abundance of green vegetables provide fibre, antioxidants, and chlorophyll, thereby helping balance pH while also ridding unnecessary toxins by boosting oxygen. Try one green smoothie and day and I promise you’ll start to see improvements.
Supplements that support combination skin follow the same principles as those for normal skin. In addition, incorporating a daily probiotic that is multi-stranded will help digestive processes, thereby improving pH balance. Taking a greens powder in your smoothie that contain chlorophyll, algae or spirulina, also promote a better pH for combination skin.
Large pores, acne, and a slick T-zone are some of the challenges those with oily skin face. However, there is hope! 99% of these types of skin issues have their roots in the digestive tract – for instance, older systems of medicine would describe acne or eczema as “heat-based” conditions that originate in the gut. So hear me when I say this, it cannot be stressed enough.. It is not only crucial for you to clean up your diet but also to investigate possible food sensitivities (which can be tested easily through you naturopath). Cleaning up your diet means avoiding the most difficult to digest foods. Remove dairy and sugar completely, and get 40 grams of fibre per day from fruits and vegetables. A cup or two of dandelion tea daily would also help clean out your liver (an ally of the gut). Side note: if you have a heart condition, blood pressure issues etc., check with your doctor before taking dandelion tea.
Within 3 weeks of changing your diet and understanding sensitivities, you will notice a shift in your skin, with near or full resolution within 2-3 months.
Probiotics play a role in oily skin as well since they thoroughly support the digestive tract and help balance bacteria. Taking an enzyme after meals can also assist in improving digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Prone to wrinkling and a victim to the elements, dry skin dehydrates easily and can be challenging as well. The main goal with dry skin is to add moisture, collagen, and fat. A diet high in healthy fats and protein is essential to help thicken the skin barrier and add hydration. Simply taking 1 tablespoon of cold pressed olive oil daily can alone help improve dry skin. Of course increasing your water intake should go without saying. In addition, focus on your protein intake which is the source of amino acids that help improve collagen and prevent premature wrinkling. Choose high-quality proteins from a variety of sources, such as meats, fish, poultry, lentils, nuts and seeds to ensure that your daily protein intake is at least 50 grams.
Specifically with dry skin, adding 2 grams of daily omega-3 fats, 1 gram of a collagen/hyaluronic supplement and amino acid support can be enough to keep your skin plump and moisturized!
When it comes to skin, the best course of action is start with the basics and keep it simple! If it seems overwhelming, your issues are chronic in nature or you just do not know what type or approach to take, then I suggest visiting your local naturopath. We are trained to understand that the skin is a reflection of our internal state of health. Diving deeper and working on a foundational level will not only optimize your general wellbeing but will also assist you in finding that glow you’ve been endlessly searching for.
Yours in Health,