By Michelle Lauer, Certified Nutritional Practitioner
We’ve all been there: you wake up in the morning to that angry pimple right before a presentation, event or, even worse, picture day. As the seasons change and we get back to the stresses of school and work, it’s no surprise that our skin can get a little upset. Our body has so many ways of communicating with us, and one way is through our skin. As our stress hormones shift, that clear summer skin can backslide. Since beautiful skin starts from within, I’m sharing a list of my favourite skin-healing recommendations along with some of our favourite acne-healing products to use topically.
The Building Blocks for Clear Skin
As we know, our bodies need a wide range of essential nutrients to feel and look our best. These nutrients are needed to keep our moods balanced and our skin clear and glowing. To achieve clear skin, we need to feed our body with these important building blocks at every meal (if possible) in order to balance hormones and reduce inflammation.
Balancing your blood sugar is a major piece of the clear skin puzzle. High levels of insulin from a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar stimulate the production of excess sebum, leading to acne. Including a palm-size portion of plant-based or high-quality animal protein with every meal is the key to supporting healthy hormone balance.
Healthy fats are essential to clear, acne-free skin. Healthy fats are essential to many functions in the body from hormone balance to the absorption of skin-essential fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin A and E. They are also essential for blood sugar regulation. My favourite sources? Olive oil, avocados, wild-caught fish (loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats) and macadamia nuts.
Getting lots of fibre to increase optimal bowel function is another important factor in achieving clear skin. Improper elimination leads to a back-up of hormones and toxins that can cause hormone imbalance and inflammation in the body. Aside from eating lots of fruits and veggies, throwing chia and flax seeds in your morning smoothie can be a great way to sneak that fibre in.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha are loaded with probiotics that have been shown to be beneficial in improving skin conditions like acne by reducing inflammation and stress in the gut. They also help in regular elimination which we know is so important in keeping acne at bay.
Foods Rich in Zinc
Zinc helps to balance the skin’s sebum production and reduces the body’s inflammatory response. This nutrient also helps to block the conversion of acne-causing hormones. Best sources? Oysters, pumpkin seeds, grass-fed beef and spinach are some of my favourites.
Our Favourite Skin-Clearing Products
What we put on our skin can be just as important as what we put in our bodies. Relying on conventional, toxin-loaded acne care can often do more harm than good by stripping the skin of all the moisture it needs to heal. Often times, these conventional products also contain hormone disruptors which we now know is the last thing we need when we are looking to clear our skin. Here is a list of some of our favourite clean acne-healing products:
- Thursday Plantation Acne Care line
- Alba Botanica Invisible Acne Treatment Gel
- Andalou Blemish Vanishing Gel
- Derma E Very Clear Spot Blemish Treatment