Ahhh Springtime, I'm already walking around in dresses and sandals despite it actually being freezing. I think... in fact I know I'm not alone when it comes to this silly behaviour. We all do it. The moment it's no longer dark in the mornings is the moment that we all collectively start peeling off the layers and introducing our skin back to sunshine.
If you're anything like me, you've probably neglected your skin a little bit or simply covered up any conditions during winter. Well my friends, now it's time to look after it.
There is so much that goes into good skin health. So rather than bombard you with everything at once, I thought it's best to give you a bit of a top line approach and let you consider it before taking action.
When I delve into skin conditions with clients we always look at TWO key things:
1. What's going on with the gut internally.
Gut Health and How it Impacts Skin
When we look internally we analyse how your digestion is; are you gassy, crampy, frequently eliminating, constipated, bloated etc. Poor digestion has direct symptomatic correlation with skin conditions. You see, when your gut microflora is out of whack this can cause inflammatory responses and m. Skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, psoriasis, eczema and pigmentation may be a result of this inflammation. There's also a whole host of other causative factors including poor liver function, hormonal imbalance and poor diet, but gut health really is a great place to start.
What is Leaky Gut?
This is a condition - also referred to as intestinal permeability is where excess inflammatory foods such as gluten wheat, coffee, dairy, soy, alcohol, yeast, casein and sugar irritate the microvilli of the gut wall. Intestinal permeability generally stems from stress relate conditions, chronic illness, poor diet, poor sleep, being overweight, drinking too much or all of the above!
Eventually the micro villi will become eroded in certain areas and the gut wall will form small holes or gaps. The issue here is that the gut wall should have a thick mucosal lining to keep all of the food inside the intestines. Once the holes form, minuscule particles of food begin to float through the gut wall and land in the blood stream. Your body - specifically your immune system - sees them as foreign and attacks them with the same inflammatory response that it would a bacteria or virus.
How To Fix Leaky Gut
This can be a long and tedious road but it's so worth it. Once you repair your leaky gut you'll experience better health overall, improved skin, more enriching sleep, less brain fog, stable moods, improved appetite, better hormonal balance, improved immunity and even better thyroid modulation. As I mentioned before, the gut really is the epicentre of your body and you need to look after it!
The best thing you can do for immediate relief is to stop eating the foods that are causing you issues. Don't freak out! This might be a really delicious and explorative few months for you. An elimination diet generally involves cutting out dairy, gluten, soy, wheat, caffeine, yeast (or any foods that you know upset your tummy) for between 2 weeks and 3 months - depending on how severe you gut issues are. Once you give you body a substantial break from these foods will notice small but signifiant changes to your skin.
How To Heal Your Gut
Once you have removed these foods you must use this valuable time to heal the gut... what to do?
Introduce fermented foods (in small doses) for their healthy probiotic rich properties. You can make your own with my recipe here.
Take a good quality probiotic with a minimum of 25 million cfu.
Drink a cup of good quality bone broth to as it's rich in glutamine and collagen (both of which support gut repair). Try my recipe here.
Eat whole, unrefined and unprocessed foods and plenty of good quality fats (avo, olive oil, coconut oil).
Always consider whether the food your eating is nourishing you or hindering your recovery.
Eat plenty of Omega 3 rich foods like oily salmon, mackerel and sardines.
2. What products and chemicals are being used externally.
The next HUGELY IMPORTANT topic is what are you putting on your skin? People often pack makeup or skin products onto their problem areas in a honest attempt to cover or fix the problem. These products are often full of toxic chemicals, which not only affect your skin on a surface level, they also effect hormone modulation, your entire endocrine system and your liver... just to name a few.
Did you know your skin absorbs 60-70% of what we put on it - and it has a direct pathway to our blood stream!
Now, I am no expert on every chemical in these products but I have resources which I always rely on to get the honest facts.
If you want to switch to natural beauty, then try Nourished Life or Beautiful Because. Both of these brands are reliable and safe places to buy your natural toxin free makeup.
For literally EVERYTHING you could possible need regarding lowering your toxic load both internally and externally jump over the The Low Tox Life and do one of Alexx Stuart's courses. She has more knowledge on the whole toxin story than you could imagine!
So this is just a taste of what skin is all about, but hopefully I've given you some food for thought!