Treat Your Skin from Inside Out This Summer By Cathy Burke, RYTJuly 20, 2016
Chiropractic patients care for their health naturally: They visit their chiropractor regularly to improve health and wellness, eat wholesome foods to maintain good digestion and overall health, and do their best to minimize the use of medications. Skin, the largest organ on our bodies, should be no different. While skin changes as we age and every individual is different, everyone can take some simple steps to protect and replenish it. Remember these basic steps to healthy skin:
• Don’t smoke! Smoking accelerates the aging process, contributing to premature aging and wrinkles in the skin.
• Select gentle skin care products with natural ingredients.
• Use a facial sunscreen (with minimum sun protection factor of 15) every day to prevent sun damage to the delicate skin on the face.
• Use sunscreen for areas of the body exposed to the sun for more than 15-20 minutes.
• Drink six to eight 8-oz. glasses of clean, filtered water a day.
• Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugars, which can spike insulin levels and lead to pimples.
• Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals.
Ingredients for Healthy Skin While a wholesome diet is a foundation for the healthful skin, some nutrients have been found to aide in skin rejuvenation and protection.
• Vitamins A, E, and C, selenium and flavonoids help fight free radicals that age skin.1 In addition to receiving these nutrients through diet and supplements, you can also apply them topically. Black, green and white teas also provide a high content of antioxidants.
• Coenzyme Q10 has also been shown to fight free radicals and positively impact the health of all cells, including the skin, protecting them from inflammation and premature aging.2
• Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other oily fish, flax seeds, fish and flax seed oil, and walnuts, are especially helpful in improving skin texture and complexion by maintaining healthy cells and reducing inflammation.3 Cold-pressed oils, such as olive, flaxseed, walnut and fish oils, can help moisturize dry skin. If your skin is excessively oily, it is recommended to limit oily foods.
Common Causes of Skin Problems Many skin conditions are passed down genetically. However, heredity alone does not guarantee that the condition will present. Lifestyle factors such as stress or diet will often draw these pre-disposed conditions to the surface. If you suffer from
• dermatitis—inflamed, itchy skin
• psoriasis—reddish skin covered by white or silvery scales, often itchy
• eczema—itchy, scaly, blistering inflammation of skin or
• acne—pimples, cysts or nodules,
consider visiting a dermatologist and a nutritionist or functional medicine practioner to look for underlying problems such as a food allergy or hormonal imbalance.
• Allergies to foods such as gluten and dairy may present as psoriasis and eczema.4-7 The hormones found in dairy products may sometimes trigger acne.8 An allergy test may be indicated to confirm the allergy. Elimination diets can often help in these cases.
• Stress has been a known trigger for skin conditions. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and journaling are great ways to work through stressful situations.
• Some skin conditions are a reaction to a topical allergy or irritation. If you present with minor skin irritations, consider whether you have started using a new laundry detergent, soap, perfume, lotion, cleaner or even fabric in your clothes or furniture. Identifying and removing this new irritant and replacing it with a pure, mild form of the product can often help improve the skin condition.