Everyone wants healthy, clear and radiant skin. We can see this play out in the health and beauty section of stores as people routinely purchase lotions, creams, toners, moisturizers and skin care products in an effort to optimize skin health. And it makes total sense to optimize skin health. There are plenty of unwanted physical symptoms of skin problems like itchiness, scaly skin, flaking skin, inflamed and red skin, etc. Additionally, there is a very real associated emotional component of skin problems. The emotional element can keep people from wanting to be in social settings, can sabotage self-esteem and confidence, can lead to anxiety and depression and can be so frustrating and difficult to manage. I was familiar with the physical and emotional pains associated with skin problems for a period of 9 years. Boil after boil plagued my face going through high school, college and into practice after school. I have an obligation and duty to share the true solutions to overcoming skin problems being on the other side of them now.
The first critical step to overcoming skin issues relates to optimizing lifestyle factors. A variety of lifestyle factors plays into the health of our skin.
1) Anti-inflammatory diet. A diet that eradicates inflammation is of utmost importance. We know that inflammation is at the root cause of chronic diseases today, and that includes skin inflammation. We will do best to avoid the four major food categories of inflammation, which include: gluten-containing grains, conventional dairy products, industrial seed oils and artificial sugars. We want to focus more on healing foods laden with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols.
- sweet potatoes, squash, berries, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, wild/brown rice
- avocados, chia and flax seeds, walnuts and almonds, fatty fish like Salmon, ghee
- organic turkey and chicken, grass-fed beef
- fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, goat milk kefir, kombucha, miso
- a plethora of vegetables and moderate fruit intake
- prebiotics like asparagus, apples, leeks, onions, garlic, unripened banana, chicory, inulin
- herbs like ginger, turmeric, oregano, pau d'arco, dandelion, astragalus
Along with this category is adequate hydration. This is so necessary for optimizing skin and overall body health. Aim to achieve a light yellow to clear hue of the urine to make sure dehydration is kept at bay.
2) Sleep quality.
Sleep is where the repair mechanisms of the body are initiated. The body likes habit so I'd recommend to try to get to bed every night between 10 and 11 pm if possible. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Body healing and skin health depends on proper sleep.
Here are some tips to maximize the night sleep:
- use blackout curtains or make sure there is no artificial light streaming into the room
- don't eat heavy food or drink much fluid within an hour of going to bed
- limit electronics and blue light one hour before bed or use blue light limiting glasses
- read before bed
- diffuse lavender essential oil
- drink chamomile tea a couple hours before bed
I find it so interesting the results of a study I was reading recently showed. It revealed that the gut microbiomes of sedentary individuals harbored more pathogenic species of bacteria compared to the microbiomes of active individuals.
Exercise is important to make sure the balance of gut bacteria is achieved. A dysbiotic gut can influence leaky gut syndrome, allowing toxins and antigens to get into the blood stream and cause allergic reactions elsewhere, including the skin.
For exercise, start by doing what you enjoy. With time it can be good to structure things more with cardiovascular and resistance training. But for now, focus on anything that will get you moving that you enjoy. Tennis, a walk, biking, swimming, etc.
Having the right mindset is essential to truly heal. Proverbs 4:23 says be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
Our thoughts and subsequent words matter. Let us get a vision for where we would like to be and start to believe that we can get there. I love to include the idea of gratitude under this heading as well. I find it so powerful the effects that gratitude can have on the healing process and on our overall mood and well-being.
It's so helpful to start the day constructing a list of about 10-20 things we're grateful for. This orients the mind in a positive space as opposed to focusing on all the things that are wrong in the world.
When I revamped my diet to be ultra strict as I was working to clear up my skin issues, it turned out it wasn't enough. It blew my mind that eating super healthy still led to terrible skin issues on my face. I realized then the importance of stronger, more concentrated nutraceuticals, botanicals and herbals to more powerfully detoxify and cleanse my body.
Not all supplements are created the same. I was reading a shameful article recently talking about big box retailer supplement stores have little to no active ingredients in their supplement formulations. What a shame. If you'd like advice on quality supplement brands to focus on, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to discuss them with you.
The second component to achieve healthy skin relates to a particular message I share quite often. That message is this: Optimal skin health requires lab work. There are three major body systems that relate directly to skin health. Understanding what is happening at the core level of these systems is crucial to effectively address skin issues at the source. Without lab work, people are essentially shooting from the hip hoping they're addressing the right thing. Resolving skin issues takes precision and specificity working from the inside out.
The three systems are: gastrointestinal, endocrine/hormonal and detoxification. It's beautiful that there are three at home lab kits designed to address each of these body systems. There is a stool sample, adrenal saliva test and a urinary heavy metal test. These labs will show us what's at the root cause of all skin problems.
So there we have it! These two major factors help resolve skin problems by addressing the source of the problem by going more upstream to tackle it there.
If you're looking to take your skin health to the next level, join my free 4-Day Get Clearer Skin Challenge in my private facebook group! Click here to join.
For those suffering from eczema or if you know someone who suffers from eczema, I'd love for you to check out my free guide on how to overcome it naturally. This can be a total game-changer to help clear this up and restore confidence and self-esteem. Click here to get the free guide.
I love talking about eradicating skin issues naturally. In fact, that's why I opened Emunah Health LLC, my telehealth business to help others overcome skin problems. If you're interested in private 1:1 health coaching to eradicate skin problems naturally, I'd love to discuss further on a free consultation. Visit the link so we can schedule a complimentary Zoom consult. Schedule free consult.
I hope you found this article beneficial for optimizing skin health. I'm an open resource to you for any questions, comments or thoughts you have pertaining to skin health. Please don't hesitate to reach out.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC