01 Nov Lifestyle Considerations For Clear Skin
Working here at the lab I have noticed that one of the biggest issues that women are repeatedly having with their skin, is acne. While people may argue that it’s vain to be so concerned with your appearance (its what’s on the inside that counts,) I have learned not only first hand experiencing the issue myself but also through listening to clients talk about their struggles, the isolating effects that acne can have, and how much it effects mental health. Here are some lifestyle factors to consider when you just can’t seem to clear up your skin through topicals and treatments alone.
How much water you are drinking?
This clear substance is essential for life, but most people are not drinking enough of it. Water aids in digestion, circulation and absorption which is super imperative for skin health. These processes allow us to get all the beautiful vitamins and minerals our body requires from all the things we consume! This will also prevent dehydration in the skin allowing skin to be less susceptible to conditions such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, premature wrinkling and acne. Dehydration prevents your body from flushing toxins out of the body, causing the toxins to escape through the skin which in turn can cause of course, acne. How much should you be drinking? There is the classic 8×8 rule which says to drink 8, 8oz glasses a day or what I like to do is to fill up a 1 litre water bottle 2-3 times throughout the day. Of course, the amount of water you consume depends on your size and activity level. Keep in mind if you are feeling thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Try an elimination diet! Cut out the foods that are more likely to cause inflammation, such as sugar, processed foods, dairy, gluten and any high allergy type food is a great way to start on the path to clear skin. This can also give you insight into any food sensitivities you might have. Keep them out of your diet for at least a few weeks and see if any improvements are made. The next step it to reintroduce. When reintroducing, add in one food in at a time and note which ones are causing problems for you. This can be a frustrating process when all your favourite foods are on the no list, but this is an essential step when it comes to healing acne.
Eat the rainbow
While cutting out foods that are inflammatory is important, it is just as important to introduce foods that improve skin health. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” as said by Hippocrates (Father of Medicine). Fruits and Veggies come in all different colors, and range in many different vitamins that can be utilized to improve skin health. For example: bell peppers have beta carotene in them, which your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A stimulates production of new skin cells, it also prevents cell damage, premature skin aging, and other skin diseases such as acne. Bell peppers are also an amazing carrier of vitamin C, which is necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong. Berries and other highly pigmented foods are known to have high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are ideal to fight free radicals which wreak havoc in the body causing damage and inflammation (acne is an inflammatory condition). If we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, we will absorb the benefits of these skin friendly vitamins, which help to improve our skin health. A great way to get a varied amount of nutrients is to eat a multitude of different colors of fruits and vegetables.
How are your stress levels? Stress is often an overlooked factor with acne sufferers. When we are stressed our cortisol (Cortisol is our stress hormone) levels are heightened, and when stress becomes chronic it becomes a problem. Why do we even have cortisol? It is crucial as it drives our fight or flight response, needed in dangerous situations so we can preform our best (aka run fast from a bear). The problem is when it becomes chronic our body cannot relax. This can create an imbalance with our other hormones, which negatively effects skin health — leading to acne. While we cannot control all the stressors in our lives, we can take time to reduce stress. While meditation had been proven to have many health benefits, it can be a difficult thing to get into for some and if you do not enjoy it, well it’s not relaxing. If you have given it a try and its not for you, you may want to consider exploring other healthy ways to relax. Find your own personal therapeutic activity; some people enjoy taking a long bath, some like to get lost in a book, others to take a yoga class. If mediation is your thing. Fantastic. If it is not, find your form of meditation and remember to take the time to do it. You and your skin deserve it. Another aspect of stress reduction is frequent exercise. Exercising releases happy hormones that make you feel good, alleviating stress! One important thing to remember after exercising, is to ALWAYS wash your face! Our favourite post workout cleanse is Teoxanne Micellar Water as you can use it on the go with a cotton pad — no rinsing off required.
When sound asleep, your body boosts blood flow to the skin which can allow you to wake to a healthy glow. Unfortunately, most people are sleep deprived! Missing out on sleep causes your stress hormone cortisol to be released, which in turn allows inflammation to flourish in the skin. As we discussed earlier, chronic high cortisol levels in the body messes with other hormones which can also cause sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil, causing flare-ups in your acne and other skin conditions. Not only should you look at the number of hours you are sleeping — which should be a good 8 hours — but also at the quality of sleep. If you are tossing and turning or waking up several times a night your body will not receive the rest it requires. Try relaxation techniques before bed and avoid any blue light at least an hour before sleep so that your body can release proper amounts of melatonin (sleep hormone) and allow you to get in a night of restful sleep. My favourite nighttime tincture is a cup of tea with a scoop of our True Marine Collagen + Magnesium which helps to relax muscles, calms nerves and gives your skin a boost!
While coming to the lab for medical grade topical skin care and doing regular chemical peels/acne laser are great tools that should be utilized, focusing on certain lifestyle factors at home like quality sleep, a healthy diet, and stress management will take the treatments you are investing in further, and ensure long lasting clear skin.