Let’s face it, our diet is filled with so much processed food, it’s a wonder that our skin isn’t falling off.
Have you ever looked at the package labels on the food that you eat? There are so many ingredients, most of which I can’t even pronounce, yet we still put this into our bodies on a daily basis and expect our bodies to perform. Then we turn around and can’t figure out why we have so many ailments, skin issues included. Yet, when was the last time you went to the doctor and they said anything about your diet except eat less fat and more “healthy” foods? Many doctors today seem to be missing the boat on what exactly a healthy diet is. It’s more likely that they are riding the boat of luxury that is paid for by Big Pharma and Big Government. Let’s take this pill to treat this ailment or that one and never REALLY stopping to take a look at the entire picture. While I can go on for days about the foods we eat and certain medical conditions, I am more interested in the skin. What can be done to improve the quality of our skin; from the inside and from the outside?
A healthy diet is a fundamental aspect of healthy skin. Antioxidant rich foods, like gogi berries, blueberries, dark chocolate, artichokes, and turmeric; Vitamin C; Vitamin E containing foods, like sweet potatoes, nuts, olive oil, avocados, and leafy green vegetables; Vitamin A rich foods, like broccoli, kale, spinach, carrots, and fish oil; Omega-3 fatty acids in cold water fish, walnuts and almonds; and drinking plenty of water all play a part in the well-being of your skin. The same goes for your “topical diet” (i.e. skincare). Products that are rich in antioxidants, omega-enriched ingredients, and ingredients that restore and replenish your skin as well as a broad-spectrum SPF suncreen of 30 or above, can all help keep your skin healthy and also reverse signs of aging. Diet and Skincare go hand in hand, synergistically working in harmony to help keep you Forever You.
In our diets, there many pitfalls. The quality, as well of the quantity, of food that we eat can have a big impact on our skin. Sometimes, even the best skincare products can’t overcome the disadvantages that our poor dietary habits wreck on our bodies. Some of the common food offenders are dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, eggs, refined sugars, processed foods and whey protein. In my opinion, wheat/gluten, all grains for that matter, are THE biggest culprits of poor skin quality. When the best skincare products and the high-powered medications have little to no effect on your skin issues, this should be a red flag that something on the inside is brewing. Most signs point to gluten as the biggest offender to this inner turmoil. It has so many ill effects on all of your organ systems, and the skin, being your largest organ, can take a beating. Eczema, psoriasis, urticaria (hives), dermatitis herpetiformis, alopecia aerata, acne, vitiligo, seborrheic dermatitis, and even scleroderma have all been linked to gluten and other wheat products. But I bet your doctor has never told you this. Of course not, because now they would be telling you that just changing your diet could help you with these issues instead of the newest high-priced medication. Imagine that by just changing your diet, you can most likely change the quality of your skin; not just these conditions but your skin in general. Just eliminating grains from your diet can change the quality of your skin in as little as a week. Dairy can cause acne and rosacea. Refined sugars cause a breakdown in collagen and elastin which results in saggy skin and wrinkles and can also lead to acne and rosacea. The common denominator in all of this is inflammation. These foods cause inflammation which effects every organ system in your body. Eliminate these foods and you can experience amazing results: lower blood sugars, better skin, lower blood pressure, weight loss, even reversal of autoimmune disease. The possibilities are endless.
How can I do this you ask? Some of these foods literally have addictive effects like narcotics and heroin…. YES! Eliminating grains has similar withdrawal symptoms that addicts experience when detoxing. This should be another red flag that these foods are NOT good for us. If you can get through the first week of cutting these foods out of your diet, it is smooth sailing afterwards. Believe me, I just went through this about 3 months ago and I haven’t looked back since. I feel better, lost weight, and have eliminated medications that I have been taking since my early 20’s. Try an elimination diet, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel:
Step 1— Eliminate the foods from your diet that you would like to test for 3 weeks minimum.
Step 2— Reintroduce only 1 food at a time per 3-day period.
Step 3— Eat 1 normal serving size of the food you are testing each day for 3 days in a row.
Step4— Keep a food diary of the type of food you are testing, serving size, number of days eating the food, energy level, mood, sleep, skin health, and digestive function.
When you have gotten to that place that you are in a routine of eating a health improvement diet, a good Rule of Thumb is only shop the perimeter of the grocery store. All the bad, processed foods are in the center and the healthy, unprocessed foods are along the outside walls.
Now lets talk attacking your skin from the outside. The best “diet” for your skin.
Some of the best skin care regimens include antioxidants and skin-replenishing, skin-restoring, soothing, skin-brightening, and omega-enriched ingredients, as well as acne- and blackhead-minimizing ingredients and a broad-spectrum sunscreen. I recommend a very simple, minimal product regimen. If you choose high quality skin care products, you can minimize the number of products that you use.
Skin Cleansing— A simple cleanser is the first step in a regular skin care routine. A good, 2 minute scrub is important to cleanse your face. I recommend Alastin Gentle Cleanser. It is a gentle, self-foaming cleanser that removes impurities without drying or irritating the skin. A unique blend of moisturizers and vitamins designed to clean, soothe and soften the skin without upsetting the skin's delicate moisture balance. If you need a little exfoliation, I recommend Glytone’s Mild Gel Cleanser. It is a refreshing, lightweight, rejuvenating cleanser that gently exfoliates and reveals healthy-looking complexion. It has Glycolic Acid that helps remove the dead surface skin cells. I alternate these two.
Skin Optimization— All the years of damage from sun, smoking, environmental agents, and poor skin care routines need to be treated with a product that can get deep in to the skin and help reverse the damage. Alastin has the amazing Regenerating Skin Nectar that can clean out broken down elastin and collagen in your skin and stimulate their regrowth. It is also a great pre-procedure product to help prepare your skin and enhance the results of procedures like microneedling, lasers, and chemical peels. I like to start with the Nectar and move to Alastin’s Restorative Skin Complex which has extra ingredients to help restore volume and plump thinning skin. These are both very good for undereyes as well.
Skin Protection— In your morning routine, it is extremely important to apply sunscreen at the end of your routine. Sun damage is a main cause of premature skin aging. Minimal amounts of daily sun exposure are enough to cause skin damage. So even if you aren’t in the sun for long periods of time, it can damage your skin enough to see fine lines and wrinkles. My 2 favorite sunscreens are the the Avene’ Mineral line and the Image Prevention line. Both are lightweight and can be worn under make-up.
This should be your minimum skin care regimen. Sometimes, you need to treat some skin issues beyond your regular skin care routine. You may need to use a Retinol to repair skin. Alastin’s Renewal Retinol delivers the critical benefits of retinol, which is universally recognized for its ability to combat the signs of aging. Active retinol is encapsulated in a solid lipid, resulting in an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant formula which can be used every evening. Glytone’s Hydroquinone 4% can be used for lightening the skin. Also a good routine to get into is regular Skin Care Treatments. Chemical Peels, Microneedling and Facials help keep your skin in optimal condition and can help with fines lines and sun spots as well.
A healthy “Diet” for your body and your skin is vital to keep your skin in tip top shape. It should be more of a Lifestyle than a Diet. Paying attention to what you put into your body and onto your face is a huge step in staying FOREVER YOU!!