Everyone genuinely likes to look and feel their best. It’s hard to be fully in the moment when you have a painful and obvious breakout. Giving a big presentation at work with a giant zit in the middle of your forehead distracts you and leaves an impression on your audience. And nothing kills a romantic vibe like trying to keep your clothes on and the lights off to hide deep, painful cystic blemishes.
Beauty is skin deep, however skin health is a big deal. Your skin is your largest organ and makes for a huge surface area for your body to rid itself of toxins. The health of your skin on the outside is a good indicator of your health on the inside.
If you’re at your absolute wits end with your skin, tie a knot and hold on a little longer. There’s a lot healthy life choices, especially nutrition can do for you.
Surprising, Non-Nutritive Culprits
When is the last time you took a look at what was in your laundry detergent, fabric softener, skin care products and even the scented candles in your home? Artificial fragrances have a way of messing with hormones, which in turn messes with your skin. Now, more than ever, no one needs their hormones messed with – no one. What’s more is the dyes and other harmful chemicals in these products can irritate, inflame and breakout your skin.
Choose laundry detergents that are fragrance free and dye free. Swap out chemical fabric softener and fire-hazard dryer sheets for a natural alternative such as wool dryer balls or a coffee filter dampened with vinegar. You can add a few drops of essential oils to either and now you have soft clothes that are fragranced with something that is good for you.
As for those skin care products… dig deep and look up each ingredient on the label. Diethanolamine (DEA), Homosalate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and formaldehyde are generally no bueno. To get the full lowdown on chemical crud to avoid check out SafeCosmetics.org – word to the wise, it’s a bit traumatic how many awful things are in skin ‘care’ products. Choose skin care products free of nasty chemicals, which is easier than ever to do these days with skin care lines like EVER. (See what I did there?)
Skin care products means more than makeup. Check you lotions, body scrubs, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and even soap. Then swap out the scented candles for unscented, naturally scented or a diffuser and essential oils.
Ah freak out! Stress can destroy your skin. In fact, stress can do a ton of damage to your body inside and out, head to toe. Hell, stress kills. Living in these tense times with the stakes higher than ever for many of us stress is rampant.
Put your shoulders down, they’re not earrings. Close your eyes and take a couple deep, calming breathes. The great news is that stress is something that you can get rid of in your life if you put in the work. Not saying it’ll be easier, but not having to figure out what shirt covers the acne consuming your shoulders and back will be a lot easier.
Like everything else in life, there’s an app for that, if not a few 1000 apps for that. Check out yoga videos on YouTube, such as Yoga with Adrienne. Download a mediation app or 2. Get a couple audio books on the subject to listen to while stuck in traffic on your morning commute or to block out that negative Nancy in your life.
Then look into mindfulness apps, positivity apps and apps that help you focus like the sweet app called Forest. Nothing makes a day better than an app that blocks you from wasting your entire day on social media. Except maybe counseling. Yeah, try out some counseling IRL.
As you get to the root of your issues and tackle your stress, your body can start to function better and your hormones can return to a healthy state leaving you with clear, beautiful skin.
You are what you eat so don’t be cheap, fake, greasy or slap loaded with chemicals. One of the worst culprits to skin breakouts is fried simple carbs. Breaded acne anyone? If you’re consuming a “golden-brown” diet chances are you’re dealing with bright red, deep cystic acne from head to your tookas.
All that grease loves to ooze out your pores and those carbohydrates love to feed acne causing bacteria above and below the surface of your skin. And that is after they get done causing damage to the inside of your body.
Fried foods are a sometimes food – an occasional treat. Kick them to the curb until your skin is clear and then you can enjoy a small amount here and there upon occasion.
As for simple sugars, also known as refined carbs, 74% of all food products on the market have added sugar. Much of it goes under the radar as organic rice syrup, apple juice concentrate, high fructose corn syrup or some other nonsense. Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Well in this case, would sugar by any other name still destroy your body inside and out?
Simple sugars cause A LOT more problems than destroying your skin, so when you kick them out of your diet you’ll notice many other health benefits. Scale WAY back ASAP and never equivocate naturally occurring sugars in fruits and vegetables to processed, added sugar. That leads to an unhealthy relationship with food and can result in strange logic that has you opting for a skin-ruining sugar cookie over a nutrient rich bowl of skin healing berries.
If you’ve been on a golden brown dietary binder click HERE to find out what you can do ASAP to get all that crud out of your body, especially your skin. Well, finish reading this article and then scroll back up and click HERE or up there to get your detox game plan.
Food Additives to Avoid
For overall health watch out for toxic food additives. An easy way to avoid the 100s of potentially toxic chemicals in our food supply is to avoid high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, monosodium glutamate (aka MSG), hydrogenated oils and artificial flavors and dyes (red 40, blue 3, caramel coloring, etc.). If you avoid those you’re generally going to dodge the bullets of many other rotten food additives.
When it comes to healthy skin, avoiding those artificial food dyes is an absolute must! Made from chemicals or bugs (yeah, look up red 40) artificial dyes are not going to agree with the human body. We have limited ways to excrete toxins out of our body and the skin provides a large, easily accessible route to get rid of a large amount. Those dyes come up to the surface of the skin causing irritation, inflammation and breakout. The last thing you want is the dye from your soda dyeing your zit and then getting trapped in your skin for all to see.
Food that Heal and Help
The great news is that there are tons of healthy, delicious foods out there that can heal your skin and keep it healthy. Foods rich in vitamins A, C and E can give you that complexion you seek. The key is choosing real foods over supplements.
To find vitamin A rich foods look for produce items that are fall colored: red, orange, yellow and dark green. They contain vitamin A’s skin loving precursor carotenoids. Examples of vitamin A rich foods include apricots, berries, carrots, kale, nectarines, oranges, peppers, spinach, squash and tomatoes.
Interesting fact, bell peppers and strawberries have just as much, if not more, vitamin C that citrus fruits. They’re all great choices for vitamin C rich foods and happen to have a healthy dose of vitamin A. Other vitamin C rich foods are apricots, berries, cranberries, kiwi, lemons, peppers, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon.
Vitamin E, from real food, is amazing for skin and overall health. It’s readily found in many plant oils, as well as seeds and nuts. Foods super rich in vitamin E are almonds, avocados, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, kiwi, peanuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Most vitamin E rich foods also happen to be rich in skin nourishing, heart healing healthy fats. Healthy fats are good for you inside and out. Great sources include avocados, seeds, nuts and fatty fish. All of those foods are going to contain other healthy nutrients that are great for your skin and overall wellbeing.
The Best for Last
Drink your water – 10 or more cups a day. Having a glass of water can solve most of your issues in life. Dehydration can make you irritable, illogical and headache ridden. When it comes to your skin, water can help flush out toxins from your body through your urine instead of them coming out of your skin. Additionally it will plump up your cells given your skin a full, youthful look.
Warm lemon water first thing in the morning prior to any other food and beverage can help flush out toxins and many claim it boost energy levels. Sounds like a win-win. Lemon water throughout the day is a great alternative to soda and the such, however, heads up, it REALLY helps flush toxins from the body, which may having you flushing in the bathroom a lot. To keep your job and not stay up all night peeing, limit lemon water to 3 to 4 cups a day.
It Takes Time
Making all these changes in and of themselves takes time. The longer it takes, the longer it will take for your skin to heal. Set yourself up for success with both reminders to make all the changes you want, as well as with patience and understanding. We are our own worst critics and being a real hardass on yourself won’t clear up your skin.
Start today by having a nice glass of water to sip on while you go through all your food products, laundry detergents and skin products and check their labels for toxic chemicals.
Click HERE to get health, nutrition & wellness information you can use in real life.