Beauty and skin health radiates from the inside out. You can often treat the face by treating the gut. It’s not ALWAYS what you put on your skin that matters, it’s what you put in your body that matters. Our diet and lifestyle determines a lot of what’s happening with our skin health.
Acne is the number one skin condition in the United States affecting more than 17 million people, costing over a billion dollars a year in treatments and often leading to other problems. It’s a condition that not only affects teenagers, but many adults.
What is the root cause of acne?
The main cause of acne is linked to a diet that is driving inflammation, that is in turn driving acne. It also is a diet that destroys our gut microbiome with processed food, lack of fiber, antibiotic use, environmental chemicals, all destroy microbiome and lead to imbalances in the flora that drives inflammation through the rest of the body, causing a multitude of skin issues.
The biggest culprits are dairy and sugar. Or anything that turns to sugar like refined carbohydrates, bread, rice or pasta, bread, so forth.
Another big one, stress. Stress is a big factor, and that raises cortisol and messes up your hormones. Hormonal changes can happen in women that are affect their skin health and lead to acne breakouts, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
The other thing that is a big factor is a certain kind of fat, particularly trans fats, or refined oils, they can be driving more inflammation and cause more acne.
Food sensitivities can be a big factor. You may not have a true food allergy, but different foods may trigger inflammation. For example, you may have a gluten intolerance. Different foods may be uniquely inflammatory to you, so you may want to consider an elimination diet or food sensitivity test.
How can I help repair my gut and balance my hormones?
Zinc, vitamin A, Vitamin E, all play a big role. Omega-3 fats are really important in keeping inflammation down. Certain fats actually are really important, like Omega-6 fat called gamma-linolenic acid, which is actually a very effective anti-inflammatory and helps with gut repair. This important dietary component (found in eggs, walnuts, and chia seeds) seems to be hormonally regulating in women and can help with the reduction of acne.
Where do I start?
The first thing you want to do is get rid all the dairy. Make sure you eat a very low glycemic, low sugar, low starch diet. Zero liquid sugar calories, flour products, and sugar - just cut them out if you’re really having problems. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Lots of fruits and vegetables, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Things like turmeric, fish oil from eating fish, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark, purple and red foods like berries, green foods like dark leafy vegetables, Omega-3 eggs, also, really helpful.
Still not clearing up?
Doing a full gut reboot may require working with one of our professional skincare providers or even a functional medicine doctor. The overuse use of antibiotics (often prescribed for acne or bacterial infections) used either temporarily, frequent, or long term is not just disruptive to your microbiome but destroys healthy gut bacteria, breaking down the gut lining wall , and therefore causing chronic inflammation. Soy products can also be linked to your acne issues. The isoflavones and phytoestrogens in soy products are endocrine disruptors and are directly linked to skin breakouts and blemishes. Lastly, your skin care regimen could be completely wrong. The skin microbiome balance is a bio-individual, often complicated problem. The exfoliation of dead cells, moisture balance, repair, and protection are managed differently for each of us.
If you’re looking for help in your acne journey, we are here to help!
Body Tonic offers cutting edge skin-clearing laser treatments, facials, peels, and product regimens that are customized to your needs. Come in and see our Skin Specialists to create a treatment plan and discuss your specific goals for your healthy skin journey!
It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your skin health.
Let’s get that beautiful skin glowing for the holidays!