Whilst having a good, organic skin care regime is imperative to keep our skin clear and for anti-aging we cannot overlook the importance of diet. Taking care of our skin not only externally, but internally as well. What we put into our bodies is reflected in our skin. So let’s look at the top 10 dos and don’ts when it comes to the most effective clear skin diet.
Drink More Water
There is no way around this one and it is No.1 for a good reason. Water is essential to flush out the toxins, increase bowel motions, help nutrients to circulate, enhance nerve impulses and hormone functions. Water also acts as a protective barrier to prevent fluid loss and can plump the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Drinking 1-2 litres of water a day can help to clear and plump up the skin by locking in the moisture aided by a good moisturiser externally.
Cut Out Refined Sugars
Yes by cutting out these processed and refined sugars you will notice a big improvement. But why? Simple sugars cause an insulin spike, which in turn causes inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that actually breakdown the all important elastin and collagen, so important to keep our skin firm and wrinkle free. The inflammation also exacerbates acne and rosacea.
Cut Out Alcohol
Alcohol is both dehydrating and hepatotoxic. We need plenty of moisture in our skin to plump it up and to flush away the toxins. Hepatotoxic means it’s toxic to the liver. Our most important organ for detoxification. This is why people suffering from alcoholism or liver failure often have sallow skin with large pores. If you must drink alcohol - on occasion - stick to a clear alcohol with no sugar or additives. Vodka, soda and lime or lemon.
Processed and Fried Foods
Processed foods contain preservatives, colourings and chemicals that are damaging. They are often high in refined carbohydrates which break down quickly to sugar and increase sebum levels and clog pores. Fried foods cause an imbalance in our good fats/bad fats levels and can again increase breakouts.
Milk contains the hormone IGF-1. Really good for growing calves but not so good for us and our skin. It causes inflammation, an insulin spike, an increase in sebum production and clogged pores.
High in antioxidants that fight off the effects of free radicals, they are excellent for levelling our insulin levels also and starving off that inflammation.
Eat a salad a day. With plenty of dark green leafys in there. There are a multitude of reasons why you should eat a salad a day. They are raw so the nutrients are still bioavailable - they haven’t been killed off in the cooking process. They are high in fibre, therefore increasing bowel transit time and effectively detoxing. High in nutrient content, antioxidants and water. Just what we need for beautiful, plumped up skin.
Raw, unsalted nuts. Again, high in fibre, good fats and nutrients, especially selenium and zinc. Research shows there is a direct correlation between zinc and selenium deficiencies and poor skin. So grab a handful a day.
Sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin contain beta carotene which converts to vitamin A. This vitamin increase oxygen flow to the skin and therefore improves the detoxification process.
Yes this small seafood is a giant when it comes to minerals. Ever wonder why they are considered an aphrodisiac? It is because they are so jam packed with so many minerals even some of the lesser known and found microminerals such as molybdenum that when we ingest them we get a burst of energy. You can find everything from Vitamin A to zinc and selenium.
Keep it simple. Just adopt these principles mentioned above into your everyday life and keep up your clear skin beauty regime and your skin will be clear and glowing again in no time.
Sienna Wolke ND
Naturopath and Nutritionist