“Skin care must be good enough to eat!”

Joanna Runciman

 

Our skin is an excellent indicator of our gut health.  If we really let this truth sink in, we would stop worrying about how to hide the symptoms and instead turn our attention to address the underlying  imbalances. Diet, lifestyle, environmental stressors and/or toxins must be at the top of the list for factors affecting our gut-skin health. The right foods will nourish the skin and help the body repair and regain balance when consumed in a proper diet.

Covering up your skin issues through makeup or potentially harmful chemicals in skin care products will only make the problem worse. Consumers are becoming much wiser as they are opting for more less toxic personal care products. One of the reason I love Beautycounter so much is their primary commitment to health and safety. I have seen vast improvement in mine and many other friend’s skin since swithcing to safer skincare.

Beautycounter includes many essential antioxidants, plant based oils, and fatty acids that nourish, cleanse, and protect the skin.  Since our skin is an organ, we can also nourish our bodies with what we apply topically. This is not a “coverup the blemishes” approach, but an extra step toward improving the skin’s imbalances.

Please visit the Environmental Working Group’s page about skin products to learn more about safety, personal health, and environmental health in personal care prodcuts.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant as it limits the damaging effect of free radicals and improves immune function. It has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants in the body and it is required for the biosynthesis of collagen which is extremely important for our skin, joints, and connective tissue.

Vitamin C helps develop healthy collagen by teaming up with certain enzymes that are responsible for the effectiveness of collagen molecules. As such, it helps provide support for connective tissue plus the healing of wounds and blemishes on the skin.

I always recommend getting your vitamins more from food instead of a bottle.  To eat more Vitamin C look for green, orange and red vegetables and fruits.  Three foods that contain a higher level of Vitamin C than others are broccoli, grapefruit, and strawberries.

Topical Vitamin C can be most effective when used in serums or creams. It has been shown to drastically improve photodamage on the face from over exposure to the sun.  Applying a facial serum with vitamin C  and other antioxidants in the morning is a key step in fighting off free radicals. Trust me, you want to fight the free radicals, they are responsible for increasing the body’s inflammation and pride themselves on speeding up the aging process.

 

Aloe Vera

Aloe contains a fascinating amount of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, hormones, and enzymes.  Some of the vitamins found in aloe are A, C, E, folic acid, choline, plus the B vitamins (1,2,3,6, and 12).  The minerals it contains include calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and selenium. Aloe is also known as an adaptogen that can help with fighting internal stressors on the body.

This study notes its powerful properties in healing, protecting (specifically for UV damage), moisturizing, aiding diegestion, boosting the immune system, and functions as an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, anti-viral, and anti-aging product.

Aloe Vera is very versatile. You can grow the plant in your yard and extract the gel, or you can purchase this kind of Aloe Vera juice to drink by itself or add it to smoothies. See below for an Aloe Vera Juice recipe.

For topical use you can make your own serum or buy one.  As with any supplement, make sure you can trust the source for optimal effectiveness.

Vitamin C + Aloe

  1. DIY: Homemade Vitamin C serum
  2. Beautycounter Brighening Facial Mist and Facial Mask both include vitamin C and kakadu plum.   The kakadu plum contains an incredible amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients for a remarkable immune boosting potential. It is easy to find as a powder or juice or you can use the fruit in a smoothie or on a salad. For more inspiration on the Kakadu plum read below, 5 benefits of the most vitamin c rich fruit on the planet.

 

Fat

Healthy fat and it’s importance in the diet has been addressed repeatedly on this blog and with my client coaching. Omega 3 fatty acids have an incredible affect in brain function, neurological function, mood, gut health, joint support, and is even shown to improve acne.  We know how well it works for improving overall health and reducing inflammation, therefore it is worth considering that it has the same anti-inflammatory and nourishing effects on the skin.  The 3 best foods to eat are cold water fish, walnuts, and coconut.  

Coconut

The coconut in a popular little guy in the health and wellness world. When I was a child, I would delight in taking the entire coconut and slamming it as hard as I could on the sidewalk in front of the house. It would take a couple tries with my little girl strength, but once the shell cracked I would take all the remnants inside the house, peel back the rest of the shell and enjoy the coconut flesh for days. The coconut has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties to help maintain clear skin. The oil in the coconut has both nourishing and protecting affects on the skin. Coconut oil actually contains more lauric acid than any substance on earth.  Studies show that Lauric acid helps to fight acne and stop bacteria from growing on the skin.  Benzoyl peroxide  is a common chemical found in over-the-counter acne medications enough, the coconut contains an amount of lauric acid 15x higher than BPO.

Aloe + Coconut

Beautycounter’s Essential Nourishing Collection contain both aloe and coconut oil.

All 3 Beautycounter Face Oils contain renegerative, nutritive, and protective properties as they combine plant based oils and essential fatty acids which helps set them apart from brands that use synthetic oils.

 

Collagen

Collagen is found in every type of connective tissue and lining in our body; bones, skin, joints, ligaments, tendons, digestive tract, and so on. Our body needs it in good supply. Losing water and collagen is part of the aging process, but taking care of yourself through proper nutriton and exercise can slow this process way down.

I mentioned above that Vitamin C is important for the synthesis of collagen. If you want more reason to regularly get your vitamin C look at this study.  It explains how oral supplementation of collagen improves skin elasticity, even in elderly women.  Including collagen in your diet plus a daily dose of antioxidants are a powerful combination for restoring gut-skin health.

I explain over here that gelatin is the cooked form of collagen. Together they provide our body the building blocks to build great skin, hair, nails, and joints. They help reduce wrinkles, create healthier connective tissue, promote firmer glowing skin, reduce sagging and wrinkles, reduce acne and reduce signs of aging, improve gut health, reduce inflammation, improve joint health, improve metabolism, and improve cardiovascular health. Bone broth is a great way to enjoy nutritious gelatin, here is a delicious Instant Pot recipe.

Collagen powder supplementation can be added to smoothies, coffee, and baking. I use this brand and added a scoop into my kids grain free waffles this morning.

 

Probiotics

Probiotic rich foods should be eaten regulary in a healthy diet. I wrote about probiotic rich foods here and our gut-brain axis.   Did you know our skin hosts its own special microbiome just like our gut?  The healthy bacteria on our skin are there for protection, but their helpful presence can be disrupted by chemicals in personal care products, over sanitization with antiseptics, as well as household and environmental toxins.  This NY Post article explains how, “harmful species will exploit areas with too few good bacteria to fight back.”

So how do we protect or ensure our skin microbiome continues to protect our immune system?  Similar to our gut-brain axis we also have a gut-skin axis. Our skin will only be as healthy as our gut.  “Probiotics taken internnally and applied topically may improve signs of skin aging, eczema, acne, and rosacea.”  The question of treating Rosacea has been brought up a lot in my circle of friends and colleagues lately. In 2014, it was estimated that 14 million people suffer from rosacea in the U.S.   This skin disease is caused by a multitude of factors. Probiotics as a treatment option are increasingly being encouraged by scientists and dermatologists.

Probiotics when ingested internally (in food or supplement) or applied topically have proven over and over again their promising effect in overall health as they work to restore the healthy microbiome in the skin and the gut.  For more information read how probiotics are fueling a skin care revolution.

Check out more studies linking probiotics and skin health:

  1. Anti-aging benefit to the skin of Lactobacillus plantarum.
  2. Reduction of atopic dermatitis with Lactobacillus acidophilus
  3. Improved adult acne with Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  4. Improved hydration and resisted aging with Streptococcus thermophilus
Affiliate links are added to this recipe. If you choose to purchase from these links, I may receive compensation at no extra charge to you. Thank you!

 

Remedy’s recipe for nourishing gut-skin health

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Salmon and Walnut Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing:

Serves 2

Ingredients

  1. 8 oz cooked wild caught Salmon ( the above salmon was broiled with olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper for 15-20 minutes or until flaky)
  2. 2 bunches homemade roasted kale chips
  3. 1/2 pound roasted broccolini
  4. handful of raw organic walnuts
  5. handful of organic fresh blueberries
  6. dash of cracked black pepper
  7. bacon is always optional 🙂

Directions

  1. Cook salmon as desired (see below)
  2. Toss kale and broccolini (either separately or together) with Extra Virgin Olive oil and salt/pepper and roast on a baking pan for 10 minutes at 400 deg F until crisp yet tender.
  3. Once cooked and slightly cooled, chop the broccolini into smaller pieces.
  4. Toss all ingredients together into a bowl.
  5. Drizzle creamy avocado dressing (recipe here) on the salad and enjoy!

 

** ( the salmon below was broiled with olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper for 15-20 minutes or until flaky)

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Need More Inspiration?

 

 

Sources:
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10522500/
https://draxe.com/lauric-acid/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2772209/
http://thechalkboardmag.com/5-healthy-fats-for-better-skin-kelly-leveque
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3038963/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
https://draxe.com/what-is-collagen/