Skin Food: What to eat for healthy skin!
There are so many things that can go wrong with the skin: dryness, redness, blemishes, eczema, etc.
Healthy skin is a reflection of internal health. There are many creams and cosmetics to put on top of your skin, but in the long game those are just band-aids to the real problem.
If you’re having reactions coming out through your skin, this is your body telling you that there is something going on within. There are various areas to look at internally, but ultimately if your skin is breaking out in any form, it’s most often an indication that your detox organ and other elimination pathways are blocked in some way.
The skin (although our largest organ) is the last one to push out the toxins. If you haven’t eliminated it via the other 4 main elimination pathways (colon, liver, kidneys, and lungs), the toxins will eventually have nowhere else to go but go out through your skin. And this is often not a very pleasant experience.
For more information on detoxification, check out my 2-part blog posts starting here.
When it comes to getting clear skin, it’s not something that can be fixed overnight and requires some internal healing.
I know this first hand.
I dug through some old pics and I found a bunch back from 2010 when I was documenting my skin journey. The picture you see here is of my hand during an eczema flare. I was in school for Holistic Nutrition and really trying to figure out what was causing all my skin issues.
I’ve had eczema flares from when I was a young child, but starting from my mid-20s it was getting out of hand. At this point I had been having full body rashes; face, chest, legs, hands. And some were turning into hives. It was terrible and so uncomfortable. (I won’t post these other pics, don’t worry! Lol!)
Turns out I was full of Candida, had leaky gut, was intolerant to my own proteins, probiotics, along with multiple food sensitivities.
And this is a big reason why I’m so passionate about gut health and helping people heal from their food sensitivities, because I know it sucks! And I know you can heal!
So, there are lots of things you can do to nurture and nourish your skin to better health from the inside. In today’s post I’m going to talk about some basic nutrition tips you can start implementing right away to help improve your skin.
Food is our medicine, so let’s start here!
Your skin needs many nutrients: water, essential fats, vitamins, and amino acids. Here are five foods (and drinks and lifestyle tips) I highly recommend if your goal is healthier-looking skin. I’ve also included a short list of some key foods to consider avoiding.
Let’s dive in.
Skin Food #1: WATER!!
No doubt hydration is key for healthy-looking skin! Water and other hydrating fluids are great to help your skin stay moist and supple.
Better with a visual? Think of the difference between a grape and a raisin. You want to keep your skin (and body of course) as hydrated as possible to keep your skin supple and minimize wrinkles!
GOAL: Drink half your body weight (lbs) in ounces. For example, if you weight 150lb, you would want to drink 75oz in water a day. That’s about 9 cups (just over 2L).
BOOST: Wanting to give you water consumption a boost? Try some of the following additions to your water:
1. Add in pure therapeutic grade citrus essential oils for added detoxing effects.
2. Add in a pinch of sea salt to help hydrate your body better. This also is very supportive your kidneys and adrenals.
3. Add in some chlorophyll. This powerful green helps pull out the toxins from your body. Side note, your pee might also get a green colour to it, that’s totally normal! 😉
4. Make some tea. Herbal teas count towards your daily water intake (no - coffee or caffeinated teas do not count!). Try adding in some healing herbal teas like Tulsi for adrenals, milk thistle for your liver, red clover for blood cleansing, ginger tea for your gut and circulatory support, and so many more!
Skin Food #2: Fish
Fish contains many nutrients important for skin health - omega-3s, and vitamins A and D to name a few.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory to help cool the flames of inflammation. Vitamin A can help with blemishes and dryness, while vitamin D helps with skin tone.
Not into fish? No worries. Add in a good quality Omega 3 supplement to your routine to get in a good amount of anti-inflammatory fatty acids.
GOAL: Eat a good quality fish 1-2x a week. Otherwise, supplement with an Omega 3 with a daily dose of 3g of EPA + DHA a day.
Skin Food #3: Collagen
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body. It’s also known to help our skin stay firm, supple, and even improve elasticity.
There are so many health benefits with collagen on top of skin health, including: brain health, heart health, digestive health, joint health, and even nail health.
How to get collagen into your diet? Honestly the best way is to make bone broth. Homemade bone broth contains so many healthy properties, including a lot of the amino acid glycine. Glycine is another essential component of the skin protein collagen. Glycine helps speed the healing of the skin and the gut. Win-win!
Not into making bone broth? Check out your local health stores or healthy restaurants. They often will sell pre-made bone broth. You can also purchase collagen powders to add into your smoothies as well which are super easy for compliance!
Skin Food #4: Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is necessary for your body to make collagen. And vitamin C is very abundant in many foods!
Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, citrus fruits, spinach and other dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes to name a few.
FUN FACT: Overcooking vitamin C-rich foods can destroy some of the skin-supporting vitamins. So, try having these lightly steamed or raw for maximum vitamin C levels.
Skin “Food” #5: Sleep More + Stress Less
I know these aren’t exactly foods and not always easy to do, but they’re an important part of naturally great skin. When we don’t sleep enough, or stress too much, our body flips on systems that affect our whole body… including our skin.
Stress hormones can increase inflammation and lead to not-so-healthy looking skin. Prioritize sleep and stress management, and you can see results in your life, and in your skin.
What Foods to Avoid
A big part in healing skin is also removing the things that might be irritating your body. Food sensitivities often will create skin issues, whether it’s breakouts or rashes.
Some foods are by nature of them inflammatory or more prone to allergic reactions. These can cause all sorts of issues in your body, including affecting your skin.
It's hard to come up with one list of inflammatory or allergenic foods for everyone. Each person is biochemically unique, so you may have to go through this and see what applies to you.
If you’re interested in having your food intolerance testing done, I offer this service as part of my regular intake assessment with clients. Using muscle testing, I go through a 100-item food list to see what foods might be giving you issues. Curious about how the testing works or what to learn more about my services, sign up for my free 30 min consultation below. In this session I go over your Whole Body Health Profile which gives me a better idea of where the imbalances are within your body. This allows me to give you a better idea of how I can help. Sign up below for your free 30 min consultation.
However, without an individual test, you might want to try eliminating a few of the most common allergens from your diet.
The first is processed foods. These are pretty much not-so-good for everyone. And they can affect your health in so many ways, including how your skin looks & feels. Try ditching pre-packaged and fast foods in favour of whole foods as much as possible. Not just for your skin, for your whole body (and mind).
The second is gluten. While only a small number of people have serious reactions to gluten (i.e., celiac disease), many more people are intolerant to it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and a few other grains. Many people have had several health concerns, including skin issues, clear up after eliminating gluten from their diets.
Third is dairy. There are many factors when it comes to dairy and our skin. It could be from a food sensitivity, the increase mucous formation, a hormonal response or even an insulin response. Each person is different, and you could have one or multiple factors of why dairy affects you. But many people who cut out dairy report better skin.
Still having issues after cutting out the above 3? Try eliminating next eggs, almonds, corn, garlic, and peas! (yes, including pea proteins!) I’m seeing more and more issues with peas these days due to the increase in use in various ‘healthy’ foods like vegan protein powders and even coconut yogurt. These 5 foods are the most common ones I see in my practice.
Could you skin issues be from poor gut health?
If eliminating some foods improved your skin, this is a good indication that you probably have an imbalance in your digestive system. Most commonly with digestive issues, people will get the typical symptoms of bloating, pain, gas, constipation or even diarrhea.
However, getting rashes and increased breakouts is also a sign that there is a potential imbalance in the gut. You might have a yeast overgrowth (like Candida) or even a parasite. Once you have an imbalance for an extended period of time, your gut lining gets compromised and your gut permeability gets compromised (think leaky gut!).
I know I was having all the symptoms, typical digestive ones and skin reactions…
If you think your digestive system is part of the root cause for your skin imbalances, schedule in your free 30 min consultation with me and I’ll go over the main tests with you to see what could be going on. Sign up below.
Skin health is not just about what you put on your skin, but what your skin gets from the inside too. There are lots of important nutrients and foods to help support healthy skin. Which also means, that there are lots of foods that can affect your skin in negative ways as well.
Hydrating, eating nutrient dense whole foods, and avoiding common allergenic and inflammatory foods might make all the difference for you.
You might need to do a digestive cleanse like my 30-day Candida Crush or maybe your liver needs additional support. Hormonal acne is often caused by congestion in the liver which causes a slow down the elimination rate of excess hormones.
Making sure you’re eliminating your toxins is such a key component for skin health. Via all pathways, colon, liver, kidneys, lungs, and or course the skin.
I was able to heal, so I know you can too! ❤️