If anyone has had a conversation with me over the last few months, you’ll know that I’ve been having some battles with my skin (because I’ve been complaining about it!) I’ve been struggling with pimples constantly errupting around my chin and around my temples.
Those two areas are very problematic for some women who suffer from adult acne like I do. The chin area can often signify a problem with hormone levels, and the temples can signify sluggish liver function. The skin is very good at telling us what’s going on inside our body.
So I decided to take control of the situation with some changes to my diet and lifestyle, and I’ve been getting really good results that I want to share with you now. If you know anyone going through a similar battle please show them this post. Print it off and put it on their fridge, or email them the link. They’ll be sure to appreciate it!
Here are my 10 Steps to Glowing Skin
1. Take a Probiotic Supplement
As soon as I started doing this I noticed an improvement in my skin almost straight away. Probiotics increase the number of good bacteria strains in your gut, improving the efficiency of digestion and balancing out any bad bacteria you have. Your gut is kind of like a car engine; if you don’t maintain the engine it can’t run the car as effectively as it could. The same is said for your digestion. More efficient digestion means that your body can absorb more of the nutrients from your food, creating a more nourished and balanced body that can naturally eradicate free-radicals leading to brighter, clearer skin.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
As with the probiotics, including fermented foods increases the amount of good bacteria thriving in your gut, creating a more efficient digestive system leading to better nutrient intake into the body through the small intestine. This is good news for your skin as it can use all that good stuff to heal and clear the complexion, as well as create harmony in the body systems and hormone levels. My favourite fermented foods at the moment are kombucha tea, which i’ve had a crack at making myself (a future post perhaps?) as well as sauerkraut and kimchi which i include in salads. It’s so tasty and adds a real tang of flavour to any meal.
3. Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
This one is probably an obvious one, but can often be a hard thing to do! Caffeine and alcohol are very acidic acting in the body. They create inflammation and a sluggish liver which means that you’re body’s natural detoxification system slows down and will not remove toxins as effectively as it could. This can lead to fatigue, low immune responses and, you guessed it, poor skin health.
4. Take a zinc supplement
I’ve started doing this and I’m finding that my skin looks more even toned with less redness, and any blemishes are healing faster with less redness left behind. Zinc supports cell production and wound healing which is helpful for healing blemishes and clearing the complexion. It is also helpful for hormone balance and production, which can be beneficial for women like me who suffer from acne around the chin; the hormonal zone of the face.
5. Cleanse with Oil
You may have heard this idea being thrown around before. I had, and didnt really believe that this would be useful for my skin type; oily and blemish prone. But once I started doing this I saw almost an immediate improvement! Many people would argue that cleansing with oil is just adding to problem of oil overproduction on blemished skin, but really the opposite is true! The skin needs healthy oil to maintain strong, clear skin. By cleansing with oil you are cleaning away the dirty oil that causes acne, and replacing it with healthy oil. I have been using coconut oil, this is a great oil to use for acne sufferers for its anti-bacterial and inflammation fighting properties. Apply to dry skin using your hands to massage in to the skin. If the oil is hard the warmth from your hands will start to melt it immediately. Massage in concentrating on any blemished areas you have. Then wipe away using a clean face cloth. I tend to repeat the process to make sure that I’ve removed all the dirt, oil and makeup from my face. Yes oil is great for removing makeup!
6. Moisturise with Oil
Yep! Just as with cleansing, oil is brilliant for replacing moisture and maintaining healthy skin. I have been using Jojoba and avocado oil. My skin is smoother, clearer, and less oily! Nourished and hydrated skin reduces the overproduction of oil, leading to clearer skin. I was having problems with flaking skin around my chin and forehead which have now all but dissapeared since using oil to moisturise my skin.
7. Reduce your Dairy Intake
I’ve taken dairy out of my diet completely. Dairy can be very congesting and acidic in the body causing inflammation. This is bad news for acne sufferers as it can exasterbate the problem. Since removing dairy i’ve felt lighter in the tummy and less bloated after meals. As mentioned earlier, better digestion means the body can absorb more of the good stuff it needs to repair and rebuild cells and maintain all systems. A healthy inside leads to a healthy outside.
8. Reduce your Gluten Intake
I might get some backlash from saying this as a lot of people might not agree that this is beneficial. I am sharing this based on own experience. I’m not saying that gluten affects everyone or that this is a hard and fast solution. I’m saying this has been helpful for me in my search for a solution to my skin problems. People who are gluten intolerant notice poor digestion, irritable bowels and general fatigue. I decided to remove gluten from my diet for awhile to see if it had any impact on my skin given the link between acne and poor digestion. Nutritionists call this an elimination diet. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to see if you are intolerant to something. I often feel tired and lathargic after ingesting wheat. My sister is a diagnosed coeliac, so I thought it was probably a good bet that I might be intolerant in some way myself. Having removed gluten from my diet I am definately feeling like my energy levels are much more stable, i’ve had less cramping around that time of the month, and yep, clearer skin.
9. Increase the Amount of Dark Green Vegetables in your Diet
This tip is one of the best ways to not just improve your skin health, but improve the overall health of your body. Packed full of fibre for cleansing the bowel and digestive tract, as well as all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain healthy systems like vitamin A and C, calcium and magnesium. Including a cup of dark leafy greens at each meal is a winning step. I have been having a green smoothie each morning full of kale, cucumber and other good stuff. I feel full from the fiber and full of energy, ready to get the day started.
10. Reduce your Sugar Intake
Sugar and processed foods consistently showing up in your diet are bad news for your hormone balance, your digestion and as a result, your skin. It wreaks havoc on your immune system and leaves you susceptible to diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. I’m not saying that you have to be perfect. Life needs to happen and if that means enjoying a desset when your at a beatiful restaurant then so be it. However try to control your daily intake by replacing sugary and processed foods such as muesli bars with more fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds.