As many of you are well aware I am extremely passionate about skin health. Our largest organ and yet we don’t truly think about it unless something crops up and makes us feel unhappy appearance wise. Sad but true. There is SO much more connected to our skin than what we topically apply. In fact I always say that if anything is going on in the inside it will absolutely show up on the outside.
Let’s start with my favourite place… The gut!
You may know how important the ratio is between gut balance and function and I believe it can be the root cause of so many of our issues, skin being a major culprit! I often say, “That we are not what we eat but what we digest and absorb”. This couldn’t be more apt when I refer it to our skin. If our digestive system is sluggish, you may be familiar with experiences like constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, hormonal imbalance, but did you know that it could be the underlying reason for some of your skin issues? What’s happening on the inside will be reflected on the outside, and it’s no surprise that our skin as the largest organ in our body takes the hit…
Why and how digestion plays a key role in your skin’s health:
It helps you absorb vital nutrients. The absorption of nutrients is an essential factor in maintaining healthy skin. If your gut isn’t functioning optimally, it can’t absorb the vital nutrients and vitamins, healthy fats your skin needs to thrive. You can chuck all the almonds, spinach, berries and avocado into your super-skin smoothie but that’s wasted if we can’t absorb the benefits of it.
It clears toxic build up in the body. The gut helps to eliminate toxins, so if your digestive system is compromised, you may not be eliminating toxins as effectively. A poorly functioning gut can re-absorb these toxins, which can show up in your skin think dull complexions, blemishes, pimples, and acne.
Calms inflammation. If your gut flora is imbalanced, it can cause leaky gut and inflammation. This can lead to an immune reaction in the body, which results in redness, swelling and breakouts of the skin. There’s research that shows how our gut microbiome is linked to acne.
Once we know what’s going on inside and that are gut health could be to blame there are lots of things we can do to actively improve our skin, complexion and also digestion along with it…
Now you know that skin and gut health go hand in hand here are a few of my pointers to help get you started in healing from the inside out…
Eating real wholefood is my number one for skin. Look for good-quality proteins, healthy fats, plenty of greens, veggies, hydrating fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and gluten free grains. Eliminate your takeaways, processed, packaged and convenience foods, and steer clear of sugar, inflammatory seed oils and artificial sweeteners. They are the worst culprit for our skin health!
Optimise digestive enzymes. Having good amounts of hydrochloric acid in the stomach helps to break down food, thereby aiding digestion and helping you absorb nutrients. Try taking digestive enzymes just before each meal.
Supplement if you need. To support your gut and therefore skin I recommend taking a strong probiotic, I like Renew life, VSL3 or Symprove.
Enjoy probiotic-skin-rich foods. Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kefir, are great for the gut and reduce inflammation and support digestion. I also love organic coconut yoghurt for its wonderful fat AND probiotic support it’s a double whammy!
Stay hydrated. Especially in this warmer humid weather and when you’re in and out of air conditioning. Upping your liquids is easy we can all do it and its one of the most important action steps we can take each day for better more hydrated and supple skin. Each day, aim to drink two litres of water. This can be aided by enjoying some herbal tea and flavoured waters. Ideal herbal drinks for skin are those that help to support flush the liver and kidneys of unwanted toxins so look for fennel, dandelion, nettle, milk thistle and green teas.
Eat healthy fats. Foods that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the building blocks of cell membranes, which mean they’re essential for healthy skin. Foods such as oily fish like wild salmon, chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, brazils, walnuts, organic free range eggs, avocados, coconuts, extra virgin olive oil, all have fatty acids that nourish the skin and are important for a radiant, soft and clear complexion.