It is hard to do anything these days without seeing an ad for anti-aging creams, but what you put on your skin is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to skin health. The skin is your largest organ and it helps provide a tonne of information about your health. Did you know that a common symptom or a food sensitivity can be eczema? Hormonal imbalances can show up as acne and sagging skin and skin discolorations? Your digestive and hormonal health play a key role in getting your skin to look it’s best. If you are not working on your skin from the inside out, you will not get the improvements you want. Here are my tried and true methods to get the glowing skin you want
- Ditch The Dairy- I know you may be thinking “but Dr Alexis, isn’t dairy healthy for me, I remember watching all those “got milk” commercials when I was a kid”. Contrary to what you may have been told when you were a child, milk, all dairy for that matter, does not “do the body good.” Dairy is a big obstacle on the road to achieving healthy skin. It is a pro-inflammatory food, and is a common food allergen. Dairy naturally contains hormones, which can exacerbate acne. If that wasn’t enough already to convince you, milk is also high in sugar. You can learn more about the effects of sugar on the skin below. Signs to look for if you consume dairy are dark circles under your eyes, puffy skin, and whiteheads.
- Skip The Sugar- Eating too much sugar (the average Canadian eats 26 teaspoons a day?!?!) increases your blood sugar, which in turn increases your insulin. This stimulates sebum (oil) production and the release of androgens which can result in acne. Excess sugar interferes with collagen and elastin by binding to them and causing skin damage. This results in something you may have heard of in the world of anti-aging Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). AGEs cause the skin to lose its elasticity resulting in more fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. According to the World Health Organization, women should be consuming no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar/day. If you are eating too much sugar, you may notice sagging skin, pus filled acne, thinning skin, forehead wrinkles and sagging under the eyes.
- Forgetting to Wear Sunscreen- I know what you are thinking in my blog on Vitamin D I was praising the benefits of the sun and saying not to totally hide from it. That all still applies here. In order to get enough sun exposure to produce vitamin D you need 10-15 min of unprotected skin in the sun. After that, you are just allowing the UVA and UVB rays to cause DNA damage to the skin which leads to premature aging. The UVA and UVB rays cause excessive breakdown of collagen, and elastin as well as promote the formation of age spots. I recommend wearing a natural mineral based sunscreen of SPF 30 on the face year round
- Eat the Rainbow- By eating the rainbow you can make sure you get a lot of antioxidants in your diet. Antioxidants help combat DNA damage in the skin from the sun, stress, and time. Fruits and veggies that are bright in colours, think yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green contain plenty of antioxidants. Try eating foods from 3-4 different colour groups every day to get a variety of antioxidants in your diet
- Use a Quality Moisturizer- Not only are naturally based moisturizers safer for your skin because they do not contain endocrine disruptors like paraben and phthalates, they are great for anti-aging! There is a myth out there that “natural” skincare isn’t as effective as conventional products and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Natural skincare is more effective for reducing the signs of aging because most natural oils are high in antioxidants and are very well absorbed by the skin. Our Oily Skin Moisturizer is great for oily or combination skin and a great lightweight moisturizer for summer. Our Dry Skin Moisturizer is a good fit for those with drier or more mature skin.
Do you have any questions about skincare? Please post them below
Dr Alexis practices online via telemedicine and is currently accepting new patients. Click here to book your appointment
Naturopathic Medicine is covered by most extended health benefits