How to Optimize Your Skin - From Within
Have you wondered why you’re breaking out or why your skin is looking dull and textured? Want to know how to keep your skin looking young, healthy and fresh - without the need for toxic creams or expensive treatments?
Maybe you’ve consulted professionals and skin therapists or doctors and told you have adult acne. Have you been disappointed when the only support offered is a prescription for an antibiotic like doxycycline?
If you’ve heard you are what you eat, this is incredibly relevant to your skin. In fact, your skin is more of a ‘you are what you excrete’ situation as the skin is a large elimination organ, and if there’s excess junk that needs an exit and the rest are occupied, your skin is the next exit pathway.
Improved skin really does require improved overall health, but to break it down for you, we’ve nailed the top 5 nutrients needed for amazingly clear, glowing skin.
Vitamin A: This is a key anti-oxidant involved in cellular turnover and renewal, reducing inflammation within the skin. Also known as retinol, Vitamin A is vital for sufferers of acne or breakouts as this helps to strengthen the skins integrity and protecting against scarring. It can be found in foods like liver, eggs, butter, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, cooked spinach, red capsicums and mangoes.
Vitamin A is important for cell production and growth, as it is involved in stimulating the fibroblast cells which are responsible for connective tissue production, helping keep the skin firm, healthy and luminous. It also helps to reduce excess sebum naturally (the reason why many people go on the very high Vitamin A drug Roaccuntane/Accutane) – which is what can make skin look ‘oily’.
Vitamin C: Found in most citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables such as papaya, kiwi fruit, blackberries, capsicums, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, broccoli, spinach and kale.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant which helps to protect against free radical damage meaning it produces an anti-ageing effect.
This is also important component in connective tissue and plays a vital role in healing wounds and producing collagen. This means stronger, bouncier’skin!
Zinc: Again, this is vital for skin health! Zinc works as a cofactor with other essential nutrients in multiple pathways including protein synthesis, wound healing, and regulating oil production in the skin.
Zinc works differently to Vit C as it works to reduce potent testosterone (typically elevated in PCOS).
Found in foods like seafood, beef, red meat, chicken, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews and chickpeas. Zinc is anti-bacterial and tightens pores and since it lifts our ‘metabolism’ hormone T3, this means we have more regular, satisfying bowel movement and less waste built up.
Omega 3 fatty acids: essential fatty acids are just that, essential! These are called essential as our body cannot make these by itself, therefore we must obtain them from out diet.
Essential fatty acids help with reducing inflammation and supporting the integrity of our cell membranes, as these make up a key component of our cellular membrane.
Increase you’re intake of foods like salmon, mackerel, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts to help maximize your essential fatty acids to help boost your skin’s integrity.
More on omega 3 fatty acids in SCN’s upcoming blog this month. We'll link it here when it's locked and loaded.
Other key ingredients includes fibre, best found from vegetable sources. Having a high fibre diet helps improve our gut microbiome. Our microbiome is made up of millions of different bacteria, some of which are beneficial bacteria (‘good’) and harmful bacteria (‘bad’) bacteria. When we consume high amounts of processed foods, or foods high in refined sugars, excess alcohol or caffeine this can all increase our harmful bacteria.
By increasing our intake of vegetables (which are high in various fibres), this will help support the growth of good bacteria, and support a healthy microbiome, which will show up on our skin.
Having a healthy gut microbiome helps enable better digestion and absorption of nutrients from our diet and will help enhance our skin via reduced inflammation.
Supporting our liver is key for optimizing our skin, as the liver is responsible for our body’s detoxification. Our liver is responsible for processing food, drink and toxins, both environmentally and internally.
A high load on the liver can create a build up and congestion which means more congestion in our skin, excesses oiliness and breakouts. To optimize your liver health aim to increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and green leafy vegetables like cabbage, and brussel sprouts.
Include citrus rich foods like blueberries, oranges and foods high in vitamin C to help support the liver, as well as healthy fats including avocados, nuts and seeds. Eating anti-inflammatory foods i.e. whole foods and avoiding processed foods high in saturated fats will also help to support your liver, and in turn help with achieving healthier clearer skin!
I hope you found this article to be helpful - please do share with your loved ones.
Dee Zibara Adv.Dip.Nut.Med.ANTA
To book an appointment with Dee and discuss the dietary and lifestyle program that would help you achieve healthy skin from within click here.
For more tips on healthy skin see our previous article 'How to get supermodel skin'
A special thank you to Dominique Salemidom - one of our 2019 graduates of the Sydney City Nutritionist Internship program who helped to research and write this article during her placement.
Dominique is a Nutritionist with a background working with skin therapies including facials, laser therapy and more. Dominique studied Nutrition to assist her clients in achieving better clinical outcomes through the benefits of Nutritional Medicine.