Creating healthy & radiant skin requires a truly integrative approach. While topical products help, looking at the health of your skin from the inside out can really help you achieve beautiful & luminous skin for good. In this post I will share helpful, step by step guidance that will empower you to create the skin you have always desired and deserve. The best part about the steps is that they are mostly free! No expensive drugstore purchase of products is needed. As you read along, keep in mind that for changes to be sustainable they have to be gradual and you have to understand the reasons behind W H Y you are making the changes. Once we have a better understanding of what helps or harms the body, our skin, and our overall health, we become more and more inspired to continue along our new path to radiance.
Then, before you know it, you will start seeing results. You will start to see a glowing, clear and youthful complexion. Not only that, you will find an improvement in your overall health and wellbeing – increased energy and vitality felt from the inside out!
Skin Transformation: which foods to limit to enhance health
The truth is that what you eat affects not only how you look and the radiance of your skin, but also how you feel. It can do wonders for your skin if you avoid chemically processed, genetically modified or any foods that trigger an inflammatory response in the body. Chronic inflammation is a precursor to wrinkles, blemishes and redness in the skin, so a diet filled with anti-inflammatory foods strongly supports skin health.
- Casein (found in cow milk): Dairy products made from cow liquids contain a main protein known as casein, which can lead to an inflammatory response in the body; especially to those that are sensitive to it. Without a doubt, I was one of them and never even knew it. In fact, my whole life I gobbled up cheese at every chance I got. Little did I know it was my protein rich cottage cheese and yogurt (cow derived) that were causing my skin so much grief (cystic acne, eczema patches, itchy skin, keratosis pilaris and hives). Please note that sensitivities to casein will vary and will not be the same for everyone. In next Sunday's blog post will share healthy, protein and calcium rich alternatives to cow liquids.
Processed Meats & Nitrates: These are full of harmful toxins and preservatives that can lead to allergic reactions (rashes & hives), amongst other skin and general health ailments. You're best to steer clear. Next Sunday's blog post will share plant based protein rich alternatives to cows, pigs & chickens.
Processed Sugar: Processed sugar can also be called things like high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, dextrose, fructose or anything that ends with the word syrup. I know… it is tough to avoid this ingredient as it is in almost everything these days but the truth is that it increases chances of breakouts, cellulite and more. This is because sugar messes with our hormones, blood sugar and the immune system, and can even steal nutrients and hydration from our skin. Next Sunday's blog post will share healthy sugar alternatives, including my favourites (honey and organic coconut palm sugar).
Sugar Substitutes: The most detrimental choice you can make regarding a sugar is by picking a substitute that is marketed as "sugar free" or zero calories. These are made with Sucralose or Aspartame (also known as AminoSweet after rebranding to sway the public). These contains toxins & carcinogens which rapidly age the body, including the skin. These ingredients also increase the bodies insulin production response. The more insulin we have floating around in our blood, the more our body is going to respond by increasing our fat storage. Interesting how the "zero calorie" and "sugar free" products are the very things contributing to type 2 diabetes and obesity due to the abnormal insulin response it causes in our bodies. As an Exercise Physiologist, it is very common that my clients who suffer with type 2 diabetes or obesity, have been mislead with incorrect information regarding sugar free sodas and they negatively impact their insulin response.
Refined White Carbs (also known as enriched wheat flour): As with processed sugar, refined white carbs get immediately converted to sugar once ingested in body and in turn cause the same side effects (spiking blood sugar and releasing more insulin). This puts stress on the body and kickstarts more inflammation.
Gluten: The name says it all. This glue-like substance can clog up our body and our skin, while further increasing inflammation. This all stems from what happens to our gut as a result of consuming it (especially if you are gluten sensitive).
Carrageenan: Although this ingredient is derived naturally (you’ll find it is added to many organic food products or drinks to thicken the consistency), it is actually harmful to the body as it too promotes an inflammatory response. This is because it is difficult for the digestive system to break down.
I know that can sound overwhelming! I don’t suggest anyone quit cold turkey. The goal is to simply become more mindful and aware of what we put into our bodies and to understand how what we eat impacts our energy, our mood, our health and even our skin.
I use to eat a ton of processed meat, as well as cheese and gluten. Presently, the only animal products I consume include wild caught fish & organic eggs from free range chickens. I also avoid gluten & dairy 90/95% of the time. For me, the biggest thing that healed my skin disorders (which included eczema, cystic acne, red bumps on the back of my upper arms (keratosis pilaris), and itching skin/regular breakouts of hives), was the removal of processed meat & most dairy and gluten.
I know this to be true because the rare time I consume cheese or gluten, I will experience a light flare up of old skin issues. But let me stress, my dietary changes did not happen over-night! It was very gradual process overtime (a few years) that eventually become solidified based on the results I was seeing and how much better I started feeling. My energy also started to soar as my body was no longer in a state of chronic inflammation.
Hope some of this information helps and if you are curious to explore more non-toxic and healthy facial products, please click here to see BODYCHERISH's new Facial Ritual Collection.