Great Skin: everybody wants It!
Everybody loves to have a healthy glow! When we look good, we feel better about ourselves and have a happier outlook. Great skin is something we all aspire to; in fact, lots of people spend thousands of dollars to maintain a youthful look. But what does the skin actually do for us?
The skin has many amazing functions!
Did you know that our skin’s function is to:
Shield our inner organs from pathogens and dehydration
Provide physical protection from injury
Regulate body temperature (shivering or sweating)
Protect us from the sun and to produce of Vitamin D (for bone, hormonal and immune health)
Excrete salts, water and waste products
Act as a sensory organ (touch, heat, pain, pressure)
Support immune system surveillance (we have beneficial bacteria on our skin as well as in our digestive tract.)
Effective elimination for skin health:
The skin reflects the health of the body’s other elimination channels. The liver, bowel, kidneys, lungs and lymphatic system are all required to be in top working condition to effectively remove waste products from the body. If their function is compromised, then the burden of elimination may eventually fall on the skin. Products of digestion and metabolism, pollutants, medication, dead cells and bacteria are returned to the liver. If the liver is sluggish, detoxification is compromised and toxins are recirculated through the blood. What results is acne, eczema, hives, or dull, oily or tired skin. Other symptoms may include constant fatigue, smelly sweat, poor sleep, constipation, painful periods, poor immune function, headaches or migraines, irritability, anxiety or depression.
Other causes of Poor Skin Health
Food intolerances: this can happen in infancy or even in later life. If the body is burdened by certain foods for many years, then the skin will respond by becoming red, itchy or irritated.
Hormonal imbalances: these may begin at the onset of puberty or menopause, but also can occur from hormonal contraceptive medications or implants.
Lack of exercise: Optimal lymphatic function relies on muscle motion, so sedentary lifestyles create sluggish lymphatic clearance .
Poor hydration: Without water, the kidneys, liver, bowels and lymphatics struggle to flush out wastes, which remain in the body.
Poor nutrition: If the diet contains a steady stream of sugar, caffeine, processed or fried foods and alcohol it results in a heavier load on the liver. As mentioned previously, poor liver function will impact skin health. If fruit and vegetable intake is low, the skin will be lacking in important nutrients.
Stress: When excessive stress is a constant, the adrenal glands produce an excess of cortisol which over time, creates hormonal imbalance and impacts skin health.
Chemical exposure: The average woman puts over 300 chemicals on her body before leaving the house each day! Shampoos, soap, perfume, anti-perspirants, moisturisers, hair sprays and make-up contain many harmful compounds which are absorbed straight into the skin and then the bloodstream, adding further liver burden. Seek out organic, chemical free personal care and cleaning products.
Heavy metal accumulation: excesses of copper, cadmium, lead, mercury can stress the liver and lymphatics. This can be determined by a Hair Mineral Analysis and corrected with nutritional supplementation and diet.
How to have Great Skin
Let’s Eat Healthy!
Carotenoids from orange and yellow fruits and vegetables provide lots of Vitamin A for healthy skin.
Zinc is required for healthy collagen formation and improved skin healing; it’s in whole grains, sunflower seeds, legumes, pecans, dulse, mushrooms, soy lecithin and eggs.
Vitamin E’s anti-oxidant activity protects skin and prevents scarring. You’ll find it in dark leafy vegetables, cold pressed oils, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Avoid or reduce sugar and junk foods. They strip the body of valuable nutrients needed for skin health and feed harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.
Great skin requires good hydration, so ensure that you are drinking at least 6 glasses of water each day. Coffee, tea and alcohol are dehydrating, so for every one of these, drink 2 glasses of water to make up for lost fluid.
Don’t Stop Moving!
If you haven’t got a regular exercise routine, start by brisk walking most days for 30 minutes to stimulate lymphatic function. Cycling, yoga, swimming or an exercise class are great ways to raise a sweat and cleanse your complexion! (My yoga instructors all look absolutely ageless!)
Stimulate Your Skin
Saunas are a great way to sweat out toxins. Those Scandinavians have got beautiful skin, and they have lots of saunas! Dry skin brushing helps remove dead skin cells and stimulate the lymphatics. Or try an ocean swim or a cold water blast in the shower for a similar benefit.
Visit your Naturopath
During a consultation, I check the iris, tongue and nails for signs of compromised elimination and potential nutritional deficiencies.
If you would like to review your contraception or learn more about hair analysis, we can discuss that too. Or perhaps you need some advice on how to manage stress better or how to effectively detoxify. Whatever your concern, help is only a phone call away.
Yours in Health,