By Rene Sacchitella
Everything we do is reflected into our skin. If you want to get the maximum benefit from your topical treatments and services, the best way to achieve that is to look at what you are putting into your body. Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, your internal health is reflected into the skin. Digestion problems and hormone fluctuations are the most prominent factors that affect the skin and are correlated to your nutrition. Below I have broken down some foods to incorporate or avoid to help make your current skin care regimen and services more effective.
Oily and Acneic Skin:
When you suffer from breakouts, one of the first things you should avoid is caffeine. Caffeine is dehydrating and because of its dehydrating effect, it causes the body to be unable to flush toxins from the body. Caffeine can also magnify the stress response causing exaggerated hormonal fluctuations that trigger breakouts. It can also attribute to the disruption of gut flora, making so that you have more harmful bacteria than good bacteria in your digestion system causing inflammation and potentially the loss of absorption of nutrients. The inflammation can cause more redness and irritation in breakouts. Similarly food with high amounts of sugar have a similar response to cause breakouts. Research shows that sugary foods promote inflammation that has a damaging effect on skin cells that cause acne. Greasy processed foods high in Trans-fatty acids can boost the production of hormones, which can also cause breakouts.
Foods that are beneficial to the rejuvenation process for acne include, foods with high amounts of B6 like: Cauliflower, sunflower seeds walnuts, avocadoes, bananas and spinach. B6 is the vitamin necessary for the proper maintenance of red blood cell metabolism, the nervous system, immune system and other important bodily functions. This in turn, counter acts the negative effects of hormonal imbalances. Food with a high fiber count like rice, barley and whole wheat, can flush out the toxins in the digestion tract to help maintain clear skin.
Dry Aging Skin:
One of the most nutrition based causes of aging skin is dehydration. Sugar is also conceived to be one of the most detrimental things to ingest since its speeds up the aging process. Sugar cross-links with collagen proteins making the skin less flexible and dehydrated causing the appearance of dull skin and wrinkles. Another dehydrator is alcohol. Alcohol not only dehydrates the body as it is broken down but it also depletes the body of vitamins, B, C, and A. These vitamins are essential for the vitality of the skin. Vitamin A promotes cellular turnover which keeps the skin supple and vibrant. Vitamin C fights free radicals on the skin to inhibit the environmental effect of aging.
Foods that are beneficial to the skin are ones that have rich amounts of vitamins A, C, B, and K. Vitamin A potent foods include: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, winter squashes, cantaloupe, fish and liver. Vitamin C potent foods include: dark leafy greens (like kale or spinach), citrus fruits, papaya, broccoli and berries. Vitamin B, combats dryness in the skin, and the food that are rich in it are: most meat, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs and leafy greens as well. Finally, Vitamin K, which helps the healing process of the skin is found in foods including: spring onions, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, basil, asparagus, fennel, and cucumbers.
Why Hydration is important:
The final tip for improving your skin and overall wellness is to stay hydrated. It's a popular misconception about how much water we actually need to drink, and unfortunately, it cannot include juice, milk, and soda. Most people believe that the amount of water to drink is 64 ounces or 8 glasses a day. While that might be the correct amount for some people, majority is not getting properly hydrated. To achieve a completely hydrated body you must drink half of your body weight converted into ounces of water. Let me explain, if you are 100 pounds, half your body weight would be 50 pounds, so you would need to drink 50 ounces of water. If you are 300 pounds, you would need to drink 150 ounces to be hydrated. If you are 25 pounds than you would need to drink 13 ounces and so on. When you have appropriately hydrated your skin, which is the largest organ of the body, it can now properly function. This increases the ability for the skin to be resilient against environmental effects, it becomes supple, and it helps flush away the toxins to reveal a brighter healthier appearance.