10 Ways to Clean Up Your Diet for Better Skin

Everyone wants great skin, some people have it naturally, others have to work really hard to maintain a clear complexion. While topical remedies or a "detox diet" might bring you temporary relief chances are the issues will resurface, often at the worst time. In my experience, skin problems are usually linked to four primary areas—digestive dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies or toxicity. I will tell you a little about each and then give you some tips.

(+) 1. Digestive Dysfunction 
The link between the digestive system (the gut) and the skin has become well known. Antibiotics are often used to treat skin problems, but did you ever notice how you took antibiotics for that cold and your skin looked perfect. This is because the antibiotics are killing the bacteria that live in your digestive system. The problem is that the antibiotics are killing both "good" and "bad" bacteria. The bad bacteria tend to be a major component of many skin issues and until you naturally balance them them through food and lifestyle choices it will be difficult to maintain a clear complexion.

(+) 2. Hormonal Imbalances
Males and females all have the same hormones, just in different ratios. Small changes in hormone levels can cause major changes in how you look and feel. The link between hormones and skin problems is most commonly seen with children going through puberty, supplementation with anabolic steroids, hormone replacement therapy in females, thyroid supplements. The hormonal system (endocrine system) is quite complex and when thrown out of balance from poor food choices, stress, toxicity and supplementation, skin problems can arise. For hormonal breakouts, try the Sloane Clinic's Balancing Program which helps to calm redness and regulates sebum production to restore peace and pretty to blotchy, breakout-prone skin.

(+) 3. Nutrient Deficiencies
Your body requires numerous nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids) to function properly. When you are deficient in a particular nutrient problems will occur and many times these present as skin issues. Nutrient deficiencies can arise from a broken digestive system and nutrient deficiencies can lead to an imbalanced hormonal system, you see how this is all related. The body is a system of systems.

(+) 4. Toxicity 
We are exposed to toxins all day long - breathing air while walking to work, drinking a cup of coffee, taking a shower, using body lotion. Oh, and those "bad" bacteria I mentioned earlier, they produce toxins as well. Fortunately, our body has a number of natural mechanisms for getting rid of these toxins (the liver, kidneys, bowel, lungs, skin). Unfortunately, you often get a double whammy, a clogged up liver (for instance) and a body overburdened by toxins. This often leads to an abundance of toxins in the body that often escape via the skin. Just to bring this full circle, organs like the liver require certain nutrients to function properly so a nutrient deficiency brought about by poor digestion can lead to a poorly functioning liver which will lead to a toxic backup and hormonal imbalances.

Okay, so here is what you were waiting for. 10 Things you can do to keep your complexion clear.

1) Avoid any food that causes digestive discomfort, headaches, low energy, joint pain. You most likely have a sensitivity to these foods and they are setting off a chain of events that will lead to skin problems (common culprits - gluten, dairy, soy, corn, beans, excess fiber, too much raw food, fermented foods, food stabilizers like carageenan and guar gum).

2) Avoid PUFA's (polyunsaturated fatty acids). These fats acts as prooxidants (the opposite of antioxidants) and can stress various systems in your body (vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, safflower seed oil, any other "seed" oils). The only oils you should be consuming are olive oil and coconut oil.

3) Dairy/Sugar. Providing you don't have an issue with dairy, consume organic milk regularly (raw if legal in your state) along with pulp free orange juice. For those of you trying to starve Candida (a common fungal infection linked to skin issues) it generally doesn't work and the skin problems are probably not a "die-off" reaction. I have seen milk and added sugar (from fruit juice) clear my clients' complexion over night. Milk and orange juice both contain valuable skin and health boosting nutrients.

4) Consider a Low Starch diet (not low carbohydrate). The two main carbohydrate sources are Starch and Sugar. Starches can be quite difficult to digest, consider replacing your starches with fruit and fruit juice.

5)Thyroid/Estrogen/Hormones. Ensure adequate thyroid function. The thyroid is called the master gland for a reason and plays a major role in skin health and metabolic function. Balance your hormones, particularly estrogen. Excess estrogen is a very common problem, from the use of birth control to the estrogen boosting chemicals in our environment (i.e. plastic). Raw carrots combined with an overall nutrient dense diet can help balance your hormones.

6) Don't let you blood sugar drop. When you skip meals and get that shaky feeling you are creating a stress response in the body. Stress alone can cause skin issues but this gets compounded by the fact that your body looks internally for fuel and starts breaking down your own tissues to use as energy. This process can cause the release of added toxins in the body (think about the skin issues that arose during your cleanse). It can also "slow" your metabolism and cause hormonal imbalances.

7) Work hard, rest harder. Take one day a week to restore your body (and mind). Infrared Saunas, epsom salt baths, a massage, a walk in the park can all do wonders. You may also want to consider a colon cleanse or coffee enema. Rebound to Health with The Sloane Diet. Choose from the basic 7-day DETOX quickie to flush out toxins and torch extra calories, allowing you to spring into the season feeling recharged and feather light; or the full 30-day FRESH for a thorough fat-foiling, fatigue-fighting, body-rejuvenating deep cleanse.

8) Reduce your toxic load Eat organic food, use non-toxic personal hygiene products, stop taking most supplements (they are usually synthetic), avoid toxic people and relationships. Consume foods that will support your liver - beets, artichoke, bone broth, high quality protein, chicken liver.

9) Correct any nutrient deficiencies by eating nutrient dense foods. Most people have nutrient deficiencies, but especially those on restrictive (dogmatic) diets. Nutrient deficiencies will impair your detoxification and hormonal system. Common deficiencies related to skin health - A, E, K2, B-Vitamins, Calcium, Magnesium, Protein. 

10) Manage Stress/Get Sleep. You have that important event coming up and you get a blemish. The body mind connection cannot be denied. Stress is not going to go away, so manage the stress you can control, eat nutrient dense food, incorporate stress management activities regularly, these will help your body adapt to stress more efficiently. Lastly, your body repairs itself while you sleep, get as much as you can. This is more powerful than nutrition and exercise in my opinion.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.