Are you looking for 5 Simple Steps to Clear Skin?
From GFG: This is a guest post from my dear friend and neighbor Carla. She has struggled with her problem skin for years. She has finally found relief from a healing ancestral diet and lifestyle modifications. She is a talented nutritionist who has helped many people fix their own acne and eczema. I hope her expertise can help you with your skin issues!
Your skin and face is your first impression to the world. It could be radiant confidence that you exude, or shameful embarrassment. No one should ever have to feel the latter, and everyone should be able feel beautiful in their skin. My personal story and struggle with acne is a long one that took me years to get under control, and more importantly, understand the reason behind why this was happening. Although everyone’s reasoning and experience is different, there were 6 major changes that I made, and still recommend to clients I work with, which drastically improved my complexion.
5 Simple Steps to Clear Skin
1. Go Paleo and JERF!
OR at the very least get rid of food sensitivities! The reason I say “Paleo” is because I see dairy and grains as one of the biggest culprits for those struggling with skin issues. If your not familiar with the term JERF, it stands for Just Eat Real Food, and it really is that simple. Cut out the processed, packaged, fancy marketing food products and focus on whole foods that provide real nutrition. We all know someone who can eat whatever they want and still have beautiful skin, but remember: No one person is the same. Those with clear skin may be affected by other issues, symptoms, conditions from these foods; health effects everyone differently. Dairy (especially pasteurized dairy) and wheat are on the top food irritants I see negatively affecting skin, especially contributing to acne. This study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 44% of severe teenage acne was due to consumption of dairy and skim milk products. Although, this could very well be the quality of the milk used in the study, the majority of people I have worked with do much better without. This is more than likely due to the high insulin response given by these foods (and SUGAR in any form), creating hormone disruption leading to an inflammatory response. Again, everyone is different, but in my experience both personally and clinically, getting rid of these foods makes a difference when it comes to the severity and frequency of breakouts.
2. Focus on Your Fats-
Fats can either make you or break you. High quality fats are critical to obtain that natural glow, smoothness and plumpness we all desire. Animal fats which are typically shunned in the diet world, are excellent for healthy skin, inside and out. Think fish oil, lard, tallow, eggs, butter/ ghee. Other great fats for skin include avocados, olive oil, coconut, and nuts and seeds. The worst oils and fats you can consume are rancid and/ or man made fats. These are typically called “vegetable oils”, such as soybean, cottonseed, safflower, peanut and canola oil being the most commercially used. Where some may think the word vegetable is a good thing, the majority of commercial oils are highly processed damaging oils (including the majority of commercial olive and grape seed oils) that take the place of good fats in your body, damaging all over health on a cellular level, including skin cells, which speeds up the aging process! The majority of vegetable oils which Americans consume are also polyunsaturated omega 6’s, and the least consumed are omega 3’s. The current ratio for the standard American diet consumption of these oils is 20:1, where it should be 2:1! This is a HUGE contributor to skin inflammation.
3. Get Your Beauty Sleep
I can’t emphasize the importance of sleep and rest enough. We live in a constant high stressed culture where there is a work hard, play hard mentality, and very little time to recover. When we are eating, exercising, working and driving all day, our bodies prioritize survival (dealing with stress) over recovery, and therefore if we don’t give it the rest it deserves, it never can repair properly. The amount and quality of sleep the body receives dictates the capacity for proper detoxification. This is the only way our body can cleanse appropriately and therefore allow the body to repair more efficiently, which means skin can heal quicker.
4. Work On Improving Your Digestion
The importance of optimizing digestive function has been overlooked in mainstream skin treatments. This is critical to addressing the root cause of skin concerns, or at least one of them. If you’re having trouble digesting and absorbing your food, you can assume that this is partially, if not completely effecting your skin. Since our skin is our largest organ, and one that supports detoxification, if food stays in us too long (even healthy food) it will eventually start to ferment, create bacteria and toxins, and come out through the skin as in the case of acne. Even if you don’t have any physical digestive discomfort, this still isn’t evidence enough to rule out your gut as a contributing factor. An imbalance of good and bad bacteria is crucial to immunity, and keeping a healthy environment to keep bacteria and pathogens at bay.
5. Hydrate Properly
Drinking water is not enough. It’s about the quality of your water and whether it’s actually hydrating you. It’s extremely important to make sure you’re drinking clean water, that usually means filtered water for most people unless you have access to a spring near you. Tap water is not going to cut it for most people. You want to lower your toxin exposure as much as possible, and therefore filtering is suggested, or at the very least, get your water tested to know what is going in your body. It’s also not just water you need, but minerals. This ensures the water is entering your cells to properly hydrate and nourish you. An easy way to do this is by sprinkling a good amount of real unprocessed sea salt into your water, or using a mineral supplement to add back the minerals that filtering removes. Minerals make all chemical reactions possible in your body, including healing and repairing, so if your lacking minerals, which many are in their diet, consider this. If you don’t want to drink salty water, you can also consume vegetables juices or add cucumber, celery, or lemon and lime juice to your water, which are also rich in minerals and electrolytes.
Bonus Tip: Detox!
Making sure your body is constantly releasing toxins is crucial to keeping your skin looking its best. Those that are overly toxic with a sluggish detoxification system are more likely to experience skin problems. This happens for the simple fact that the skin is being overworked when the digestive system and bowels are not working at their full potential. The best way to support your body is by supporting these organs and systems through other therapies while working on the internal causes. This means exercising, rebounding, epsom salt baths, sauna, and massage to name a few. In summary, go for a sweat session! Your skin will thank you.
About the Author
Carla Hernandez is a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) who uses nutrition, diet and lifestyle interventions to support physiological mechanisms within the body. She is the founder of Wise Roots Nutrition, which is an integrative approach that focuses on customized plans to support the root cause of a person’s health and skin challenges.
Carla educates and empowers you to make responsible and healthful food choices that restore balance and proper function to your body, as well as offers lab testing to provide accurate recommendations and effective solutions. She believes in finding the root cause of a condition, rather than just treating the symptoms. Carla works with people locally in San Francisco, as well as long distance via phone and Skype. She specializes in Digestive and Skin Conditions.
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