(me last fall with a homemade green tea and lemon juice mask on)
We all want beautiful skin. Growing up it was all I wanted in the world. I didn’t care that my boobs were small or that my thighs were thick or that I had baby fine bird hair that did nothing but be straight.
I just wanted to wake up in the morning without pimples and angry underground zits that threatened to ruin my life (remember the good ole days of being a pubescent high schooler?).
I did not always have beautiful skin.
I wanted to be able to leave the house without worrying about whether or not I had remembered to pack my compact and my concealer in my purse
I wanted to not be horrified about going to pool parties without makeup on
I wanted to feel confident in my skin (literally!) and not be thinking about my zits all day every day
This was the plight for so many of us. And sometimes, this plight extends far into our adult years. Whoever said that acne was a thing for the teenagers was either lying or they were just seriously sheltered. I was dealing with acne regularly up until about 3 years ago (I’m 34 …)
OUR SKIN IS A WINDOW INTO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR GUTS
ANGRY, RED, INFLAMED, TENDER SKIN ARE ALL SIGNS OF INFLAMMATION
IF YOU ARE SEEING INFLAMMATION ON THE SURFACE LEVEL, THEN YOU CAN BE PRETTY POSITIVE THAT THERE IS INFLAMMATION HAPPENING ON A MUCH DEEPER, CELLULAR LEVEL
Remember, the body is ALWAYS giving you messages. When you feel bloated and gross and lethargic and sugar-crashy after eating a certain food, that’s your body’s way of telling you that that particular food is not great for you.
When we hang out with certain people (or even THINK about hanging out with certain people) and we have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety, fear, and on-edginess, that is a sign from the body that this person is NOT bringing out the best in you.
The same goes for your skin! If your skin is angry and dull and covered in blemishes, this is a sign that something is amiss inside your body.
The body never lies.
The skin is the largest detoxification organ (the liver is the next largest, but the liver is technically a gland soooo yeah), so things like sweat, toxins, and cellular debris are able to exit the body by way of the skin cells.
Many times the answers from our dermatologists and the skincare companies are to treat the skin problem topically. Treating something topically does not address the root cause. The fact that there is a skin problem there in the first place is your clue that something is wrong. Sometimes dermatologists even put severe acne sufferers on systemic antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline and clindamycin (yep, I was on all of these at one point or another). Remember – antibiotics are NOT without collateral damage! They may kill the bacteria responsible for causing your zits, but they are killing off other strains of bacteria that are no doubt beneficial to your body and your microbiome as a whole. And besides, taking a medication every single day, in my opinion, is NOT getting to the root cause. That is called the bandaid approach. And I am NOT here for it.
I’m also not here for using the birth control pill as a solution to acne problems. What doctors who prescribe birth control don’t tell you, is that the pill is also not without collateral damage. The reason the birth control pill works for acne sufferers is because something is amiss with your hormones (hence why you have acne), and as it is the pill’s job is to SUPPRESS your hormones (being on the pill will not “balance” your hormones – this is another popular misnomer that doctors use with unknowing patients), of COURSE your acne will wind down.
Guess what will most likely happen when you get off the pill, say when you are ready to have a baby or something? Yep! You guessed it! Your hormones will go back to being all whackado and out of balance because now you’ve been on the pill for 9 years and your initial hormone imbalance that gave you acne in the first place IS STILL THERE AND IN FULL SWING.
(Can you tell I get super irritated at the BC pill being doctors’ “answer” to acne???? Grrrr)
There may not be one single reason why your skin is lacking in luster.
Your hormones may be imbalanced.
You may have gut dysbiosis happening.
Your liver may be sluggish and having trouble detoxifying efficiently.
You may be experiencing stress.
You may be dehydrated.
You may be using products that are causing more harm than good.
While there may be a multitude of reasons that your skin is suffering, the tips included here will help you create balance and harmony in your body, and by extension, your skin will follow suit.
Lets get to the fun part already!!
How can we eat for our skin?! And what healthy habits can we cultivate that will support our skin?
Well, it’s pretty interesting actually! Food that is good for your gut also happens to be great for your skin!
Natural foods that support hormone balance in general will greatly support the health of your skin.
The BEST Foods For Your Skin
Healthy fats, Leafy Greens, Cruciferous Veggies, Fiber, Collagen
Healthy fats in the diet are essential to gorgeous skin. Every single one of your human cells has a fat layer surrounding it, called the cell membrane. Fat is deeply nourishing to our cells and it provides our bodies with literal raw material from which to create more healthy cells. Fat is not your foe. Fat is your dear dear friend. You want to make sure you’re consuming plenty of high quality fat because certain minerals and vitamins absolutely must be in the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. This is why you want to include a sexy EVOO with your green salad. My favorite fat sources are avocado, nuts, ghee, raw butter, and tallow.
Micronutrient deficiencies are huge contributing factors to skin problems. In order for your body to create the right hormones, at the right time, and in the right amounts throughout the various phases of your cycle, you need certain micronutrients. Eating foods that are naturally high in minerals like the leafy greens mentioned above, help keep all the hormonal processes running smoothly. Examples of leafy greens include kale, collard greens, spinach, chard, bok choy.
Cruciferous veggies contain a compound called indol-3-carbinol, and this compound helps the body eliminate excess estrogen via the liver and bowels. Many hormonal problems (and hormonal skin problems like acne) are a result of excess estrogen floating around in the blood stream. By eating plenty of cruciferous veggies, your body will be able to conjugate harmful estrogen and escort it out of the body via your poops. Examples of cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco, broccolini, asparagus, brussels sprouts
Everyone here knows I’m the colon’s biggest cheerleader lol. When clients are suffering from acne or other skin related issues, I always ask them how their poops are. Pooping is how we eliminate garbage from the body. Remember, the colon is the toxic waste center of the body, and it needs to be taken out just like the garbage in our house needs to be taken out. Otherwise, its going to get stinky and attract flies and grossness and overall just make our house a nasty place to live. Remember, estrogen leaves the body via the poop. Get 25-35g of fiber daily so that you move your bowels regularly. This will absolutely help support your skin health! Get your healthy fiber from flax seeds, chia seeds, celery, legumes, beans, raspberries, pears
Collagen is fabulous for the gut lining, helping to heal it by providing it with amino acids, the building blocks of all things in our bodies. And we all know that collagen is an important part of our skin matrix and connective tissues in our faces. Add a scoop of collagen to your tea, coffee, smoothie, or green juice. Make sure your collagen is sourced from animals who were not raised on antibiotics or with growth hormones. My favorite brand is Vital Proteins.
The WORST Foods For Your Skin
Processed vegetable oils
Highly processed foods
Soy tends to create too much estrogen in the body, and estrogen overload is hugely responsible for skin problems.
Ugh I cannot state enough how much I LOATHE vegetable oils. Processed vegetable oils are also very inflammatory and they are processed in such a way that makes them absolutely horrid for regular consumption. They use chemicals like bleach, deodorizers, de-waxers, and hexane to extract the oils from the original source. Do any of these things sound like they are good for your skin health? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no.
Processed foods are not the foods create a healthy body and by extension a healthy complexion. They are shelf stable which means they can live for literally years on a shelf somewhere. Preservatives, colorings, and other nasty shit live in those packages to ensure they don’t wither and die and get rancid. You know how a banana or a head of lettuce will rot and become nasty in a few days if not eaten? That is because these are living foods. Living foods create happy, healthy, beautiful, perfectly functioning cells, skin and otherwise. Processed foods can have a place in a healthy diet, but they should not be the bulk of your diet and they should be eaten at a minimum.
Gluten is also guess what – highly inflammatory! Every single person on the planet (not just those with celiac disease or gluten intolerant peeps) will have an inflammatory response to consuming gluten. This is because of a protein called zonulin that literally opens up the tight junctions in the gut and allows things like undigested food particles, bacteria, toxins, etc into the blood stream. This then creates inflammation and has a cascading effect on everything from your digestion to your skin.
Quick Tips For Beautiful Skin
Increase water intake
Increase leafy greens
Reduce processed foods
Reduce animal protein
Increase your detoxification practices (dry brushing, sauna, rebounding, exercise)
I’m not saying that topical treatments don’t have their place – they absolutely do. I carry around my HD Clear roller ball in the rare instance a zit pops up.
But full disclosure – since balancing my hormones and tending to my gut health, I have noticed VAST improvements in my skin that still baffle me. When I tell people I have not always had beautiful skin, they don’t believe me.
I don’t say this to be all full of myself and imply that I have like the most gorgeous skin on the planet (I am still a work in progress, and there will always be work for me to do), I say this to highlight what is possible when you choose to heal your body from the inside out. And as someone who literally never thought a beautiful complexion was in the cards for her, this is a pretty phenomenal feat to behold.
I’m also not saying that you can never have a processed food again. Just be mindful of what you are consuming and take notice of how your body feels afterward.
The bulk of a healthy diet should comprise whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, pasture-raised and grass fed/finished animal products, and healthy fats. Sure, have some goldfish crackers when the time calls for it, but focus on consuming mainly whole foods and you will be feeling (and looking) great!
This post focuses on how to support the skin from the inside out. I do think there are some lovely products out there that also greatly support the skin and help with things like anti-aging support and boosting collagen production. That will be another post for another day. Today, let’s focus on healing the body with real food and bearing witness to how your healthy habits can and will reveal a glowing, radiant, vibrant you to show to the world.
Tell me below:::
What are some of your favorite foods for feeding your skin?
What foods aggravate your skin?
What tips would you give to someone wanting a brighter, clearer complexion?
Tell me in the comments!
(This is not medical advice)
Here’s to you and eating for your skin!!