Taking Care of Your Skin Inside and Out – Part I

Kara Bauer Health Guide
  • Having great skin starts on the inside. Although there are many products on the market that promise a great deal of results, the real truth is that they can never give you healthy skin if you are not consuming a diet that promotes health internally. How your skin looks is the best indicator of the status of your overall health. As with many medications, skin care products attempt to treat and repair the symptoms of bad skin, but don’t address the cause. Even more importantly, most expensive skin care products are full of chemicals that absorb into your bloodstream and impact other aspects of your health.  This is why, you are much better off with gentle natural skin care products, some of which you can even make at home. So, lets take a look at how to take care of your skin from both the inside and outside in a natural way.

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    Starting on the inside, it’s extremely important to consume a primarily organic, whole foods, plant-based diet, while avoiding culprits like processed foods, sugar, pasteurized dairy products, alcohol, and caffeine.  By consuming a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidant power, your skin will begin to glow in no time. Here are some of the most important vitamins and nutrients for great skin.

     

    Omega 3

    These essential fatty acids are mentioned in just about every recommendation I make in relation to diet. They are one of those nutrients many are lacking in as they're primarily found in fish (although with contamination, it’s better to supplement with a good fish oil), flax and chia seeds. You can also supplement with plant-based sources if you are a vegan. Omega 3 supports moisture content and cell repair and gives you smoother, younger looking skin. [1]

     

    Antioxidants

    Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals that ultimately damage cells and DNA. Not only can free radical damage be attributed to many diseases, but they can also cause damage to the kidneys, which in combination with the liver work to filter out toxins, impacting the skin. Here are some of  specific ways antioxidants can support healthy skin:

    • Vitamin C:  Reduces cell damage, especially in relation to too much sun exposure.  It also aids in the production of collagen and tightens the skin. Food sources include leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, and citrus fruits.
    • Vitamin E: Also reduces the effects of sun exposure and prevents skin cancer. As an oil, it’s great for smoothing dry skin and prevents premature aging by speeding up new cell growth and regeneration. Food sources include spinach, turnips, swiss chard, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell pepper and asparagus. [2]
    • Beta carotenes: These get converted into Vitamin A, which prevents cell damage and premature aging. Carotenoids (found in red, orange and yellow vegetables) can also change the pigment of your skin which people have found to be more attractive then the appearance of tanned skin according to research. [3]
    • Selenium: In addition to preventing cell damage, this nutrient also protects the elasticity of the skin. Topical solutions have also been used to treat certain skin conditions. Food Sources include brazil nuts, which are said to be the highest concentrated source, seafood and barley. [4] 

    Fermented Foods

  • The health of your intestines, particularly your large one, directly impacts not only your overall health, but also subsequently the health of your skin. When waste gets lodged in the large intestine, the skin mirrors the impact on this vital organ. Acne and oily skin can result. For this reason, it’s important to drink a lot of juices (which clean out the intestines), stay well-hydrated with water to move things through more easily, and also consume fermented foods or probiotic supplements to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, essential for keeping you healthy and providing nutrients to the body. [5]

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    In Part II, I will discuss some natural outer skin care for cleansing and maintaining that flawless complexion. But, remember, without a healthy diet, it’s unlikely that your efforts to improve your skin will be effective.

     

    [1] Walling, E. (2011, June 8). Use these natural foods for homemade skincare. Retrieved from

    http://www.naturalnews.com/032637_skincare_foods.html

     

    [2] Sarullo, C. (2011, March 5). Benefits of vitamin e oil for skin. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/25515-benefits-vitamin-e-oil-skin/

     

    [3] News.bbc.co.uk (2011, January 13). Eating greens best way to look good research shows. Retrieved from

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/nottingham/hi/people_and_places/newsid_9358000/9358273.stm

     

    [4] Whfoods.com (No date). Selenium. Retrieved from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=95&tname=nutrient

     

    [5] Adams, M. (2007, June 25). How your skin health reflects the health of your large intestine (and other holistic principles of wellness). Retrieved from
    http://www.naturalnews.com/021914_large_intestine_skin_health.html#ixzz26UM6R4bl

Published On: October 03, 2012