Like everyone, as I get older, I want softer, smoother, younger, glowing skin, mostly free of wrinkles. But like many of us, I didn’t take very good care of my skin when I was younger. I had acne all during my teenage years and into my twenties. It wasn’t until I went on a vegan diet and eliminated all dairy products that I realized that dairy was causing the acne. It also caused the dark circles under my eyes, and just made me look pale.
- Food Sensitivities/Inflammatory Foods
Many foods can cause skin to look less than its best as well. Gluten is a big one, it causes puffiness, dark circles, and nasal congestion, all of which reflect in the face. Gluten can also cause B vitamin deficiencies which can wreak havoc on your skin, causing acne, rashes, dry flaky skin, cracked lips, and wrinkles. It can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, personal care products, and other potential aggressors, and can accordingly lead to excess redness and irritation.
Corn is another skin irritant, and can have the potential to cause a vitamin B3 deficiency, as well as a zinc deficiency. Both of these nutrients are essential to healthy skin. A deficiency of nicotinic acid (niacin, vitamin B) can show up as dry flaky skin, eczema, red patches and brown pigmented patched. B3 or nicotinic acid is often added to topical skin care products to help smooth out the surface of the skin, take away redness and help with brown spots and blotchiness.
Any foods that cause sensitivities or inflammation in other parts of your body can easily show up in your face as redness, rashes, blotchiness, dry patches. Inflammation also shows up in the whites of the eyes, creating bloodshot eyes, and dark circles.
Alcohol is very dehydrating and causes widespread inflammation all throughout the gut, so drinking more than one drink a day will definitely show up as sallowness, dark circles and superficial wrinkling. Sugar also causes similar problems to the skin.
- Omega 6 vegetable oil
Certain vegetable oils can actually change the structure of the skin cells, making them more brittle and more prone to breaking down. Sugar also breaks down collagen in the skin, which is the skeletal structure of the skin that holds it up. Without collagen, our skin would be extremely saggy and wrinkled.
Other lifestyle factors reflect not only the whole body’s health, but show up in the skin. Generally, the state of one’s health is reflected in one’s skin. Have you ever seen the skin of a heavy smoker? It’s usually ashen, paper thin, and very wrinkled. Don’t smoke if you value your skin—and your health!
Getting plenty of exercise to encourage blood flow helps to promote better circulation of the blood and the lymph glands which filter out toxins continually. Hot saunas also work for this and are recommended not only for longevity and better health but also for glowing skin. In contrast, cold water plunges help to lower inflammation and are also great for glowing skin.
Diet is a huge factor that cannot be overlooked for long if you want to have smooth glowing skin. A diet high in a huge variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables contains many antioxidants that help to overcome and eliminate many of the free radicals that can be created in response to exercise, environment, air pollution, processed foods, and even the sun.
I also recommend you get adequate amounts of healthy protein in your diet, especially grass-fed meats and wild caught fish which are full of anti-aging omega 3 fats. Other fats that help the skin include saturated fats such as butter, coconut oil and monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil. In fact, in a survey of plastic surgeons, it was found that the people who had the most wrinkled skin ate a diet low in saturated fat and high in vegetable oils.
Don’t forget the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. 7-8 hours consistently creates overall health, and healthy longevity, and it’s no different for your skin. Nothing shows up more in someone’s face than a lack of sleep. One night of bad sleep can really make you look pretty haggard.
Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention hormones. Male and female hormones have much to do with the skin’s appearance, especially as you age. Estrogen is the hormone in women that is primarily responsible for smooth, soft skin and silky hair. When estrogen and progesterone drop during peri-menopause and menopause, aging in the skin begins to accelerate. For men, testosterone creates thicker skin, that is more resistant to wrinkling and sun damage. While I realize not everyone can, or wants to take hormone therapy, this does make a difference in the skin’s appearance.
I have a few of my favorite supplements I recommend to help your skin look great, but don’t overlook the value of your overall Health and Wellness. A healthy body equals a healthy brain, and healthy skin.
See my favorite medical-grade supplements for smoother, softer skin here at 10% off.
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As always, I am here to help you and if you’d like to sign up for health coaching, I’ve got you. Please let me know how I can be of service to you to help you live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Yours in Health and Happiness!