Our skin acts like a barometer – revealing much about our inner health.
Our skin is a 3-layered organ, and if your detoxification organs are overloaded and out of sync, this large organ can’t cope. Acne, rashes and eczema may result as the skin tries to rid the body of toxins. Naturopathy theory holds that pimples, acne, rashes and eczema are attempts by the skin to clean out the body of chemicals, toxins and waste.
The idea is to change your skin from the inside out and to make lifestyle changes –
▪ drinking more water
▪ getting more sleep
▪ improving your nutrition
▪ stop smoking
Skin – an Outer Manifestation of Inner Problems
The skin plays an important role as it keeps all our inside parts intact and together. It is the first line of defence against germs that can cause disease.
Perhaps the most wonderful part about the skin is that it is an indicator of what is going on inside our bodies.
▪ A typical example of this is a person who has a yellow skin colour. This usually indicates that there are problems with the liver. A toxic liver and body will begin to show tell-tale signs such as a sallow complexion which is dry and prematurely aged.
▪ A hormonal imbalance shows up on the skin too. You may experience dry skin, pigmentation and acne break-outs. Diets high in refined carbs stimulate overproduction of the androgens, triggering acne and oily skin. Certainly, for women, maintaining a healthy hormone balance with natural oestrogen is important.
▪Junk food, chemicals and toxins as well as extreme temperatures all contribute to giving us a dull and tired looking complexion.
Carcinogenic Skin Products?
Many people spend a fortune on skin products which make impossible claims, knowing full well that the multi-billion dollar beauty business sells products which haven’t necessarily been tested for their full impact on humans. Some skin products even come jam-packed with chemicals and then people wonder why their skin responds with rashes. Carcinogens in skin care products can pose cancer threats, entering the blood circulatory system.
The Natural Answer
The natural solution is nature. In fact a naturopathic approach to skin health includes hydration, eating a whole food diet and reducing stress, simply because of the link between the stress hormone cortisol and inflammation in the skin.
Natural skin products with pure plant extracts care for the skin. They suit normal, dry and oil skins and are free from artificial colours and chemicals. Drink chlorine free water, use a healing moisturizer for your skin and supplement with flaxseed oil, evening primrose and the omega’s 3 and 6.
We need to keep our bodies hydrated by taking in adequate amounts of pure water. Without the right amount of water, dehydration and puffiness can result. You’ll recognise dehydrated skin as it is lifeless, dull, dry and wrinkly. Filtered water is an excellent way to hydrate the body as is the consumption of fruits and vegetables with a high water content.
Many of us have grown up believing that we should be having plenty of dairy products, however the hormones in milk as well as allergenic proteins seem to contribute to acne in certain individuals. Milk contains some powerful growth hormones. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a hormone found in milk, creating problems for some acne sufferers. It stimulates the growth of skin cells and may increase sebum production in sensitive individuals. Reducing milk and dairy products may be a valid option for some when it comes to clearing a variety of skin issues.
We are what we Eat
We are what we eat and a diet laden with pastries, sugar, fizzy drinks and unhealthy fat’s will take its toll on the skin. Of course these treats can be enjoyed once in a while, as long as it’s balanced with a diet high in good fats, antioxidants like vitamins A and C (These help regenerate skin cells and produce collagen), complex carbohydrates, lean protein and adequate hydration.
In essence, the naturopathic approach can assist you to understand what your body and skin are trying to tell you, so that you can look your best with clearer, healthy and radiant skin.