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You are not alone! Achieving clearer skin is an ongoing mission throughout the lives of most men and women. Some individuals are a little more gifted with naturally clearer skin no matter their diet and lifestyle, others it is their sensitive area where it requires a little more attention. But that is okay, as your skin is just your body’s way of communicating with you an underlying imbalance you may be able to rectify. The following tips may assist in skin ailments such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, skin rashes, wrinkles and more.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant (which is crucial for skin health such as UV protection) and is required for the synthesis of collagen, which is critical for the extracellular stability and overall health of the skin. A severe deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, which major symptoms include skin dryness, poor wound healing and easy bruising. Vitamin C is used to assist in the treatment of acne and dermatitis, can prevent sun damage and reduce wrinkles. Vitamin C rich foods include capsicum, strawberries, oranges, dark leafy greens, broccoli, papaya, lemons, parsley and thyme. Other less available foods though can be taken as supplements include camu camu and Kakadu plum. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, so to maintain its potency keep these foods in their raw state!
Vitamin A promotes healthy skin production and has been used to assist in the treatment of conditions like acne, dry skin and hyperkeratosis pillaris which is the bumps on the back of many individuals arms. Whilst both forms of vitamin A are important, retinoids have been shown to exhibit more promising benefits to your skin which are mostly found in animal products like cod liver oil, liver, salmon, various cheeses, eggs and butter.
Imbalances in one’s gut flora has been strongly correlated with skin issues. A recent review you can read here dives deep into the intricate details of how the gut impacts your skin, though probiotics and probiotic rich foods have been shown to positively impact eczema, dermatitis, acne and more.
Zinc not only increases the availability of vitamin A in the blood, though is essential in the development, healing and normal functioning of the skin. It’s shown to be an effective treatment of acne, eczema and dermatitis. I commonly test clients for zinc deficiency due to its great importance in our health. However, food sources include shellfish (particularly oysters), liver, meats, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and eggs.
These greatly assist in the reduction of inflammation and assist in treating acne, dermatitis and overall skin health.
According to some research, a diet rich in high glycemic foods may contribute to acne as this leads to elevated insulin levels, which stimulates the secretion of androgens, causing an increased production of sebum, which plays a large role in the presence of acne.
Inflammation is your body’s natural immune system response, which can express in many different ways with one being our skin, therefore it is important to reduce any form of inflammation as much as possible. Our gut is largely impacted by what we eat, and there is a strong connection between our gut health and our skin health. Although everyone is an individual, some common triggers of inflammation include sugar, gluten, dairy and soy. If you suspect any of these foods to be a trigger for you, try going 3-4 weeks without them, and slowly reintroduce them to see how they have an effect on your skin.
Of course, the causes of skin issues will vary from person to person and may go far deeper than what I have been able to cover here. However, I really hope this gives you a start to treating or enhancing your skin health!
Nutritionist and Gut and Psychology Syndrome Practitioner