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 it’s 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.
- Go To The Bathroom- You may not know this, but adults should be having 2-3 bowel movements/day to ensure proper removal of waste from the body. If you are not having this many bowel movements/day your body will look for other ways to remove these toxins. One of the ways is through your skin. It is next to impossible to get a great complexion if your elimination is not working properly. So how do you get yourself eliminating better? Stopping dairy is a great place to start. You can also increase your water intake, eat and apple a day (a great source of fibre and helps to remove excess estrogen), add 2 prunes/day to your diet, try a castor oil tummy rub and get your body moving through exercise.
- Get Moving- Getting your blood pumping is essential for healthy, vibrant skin. Increasing blood circulation helps the body to more effectively eliminate toxins bring more of the essential nutrients to the skin. The first thing to do is to add in some moderate exercise 3-5 times a week. Examples of moderate exercise include: yoga, walking, weight lifting, and swimming. A quick and easy way to get your circulation going is to end your shower with a short burst of cold water. Once you are done showering, turn the water to cold for 10 seconds, then back to hot for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle 3 times, ending on cold.
- Get Some Sleep- Many people in today’s society are chronically sleep deprived. One of the first places the effects of sleep deprivation show up is on your skin. Not only is getting enough sleep important, the time of day that you are getting to sleep is a key factor is your body staying young. Always aim for at least 7 hours of sleep, and it is important to be sleeping between the hours of 10 pm- midnight. During this time the body gets into the deepest and most regenerative sleep. It is also the time when the adrenal glands are best able to repair and is the optimal time for growth hormone to be released.
There you have it! One that it didn’t put on the list but is also a huge factor is using the right skin care products. Toxin laden skin care products make your skin have to work harder and do not contain ingredients that help to increase the health of the skin. If you are looking for a facial moisturizer that helps to slow down the aging process by providing your skin with ingredients it needs to be healthy check out our Dry and Oily Facial Moisturizers. What is the first step you are going to take today to slow the aging process in your skin?
Dr Alexis practices in Kanata and is accepting new patients. To schedule your appointment, click here.
Naturopathic medicine is covered by most extended health insurance benefits.