One of the most important things to understand about our skin, is that it is a key organ of elimination. Along with the liver, kidneys, and intestines, the skin acts to rid the body of impurities and wastes. When these organs aren’t functioning optimally, we start to see outward symptoms of dysfunction such as changes in bowel habit and skin health. Because of this, it is important to understand how to decrease the burden on our organs of elimination, and optimize their function in detoxification.
Dull, dry, or acne prone skin can be a sign that our organs of elimination, need support.
Detoxification has a lot to do with lessening the burden on the organs of elimination, namely the liver. This means watching what we expose our bodies to; chemicals (pollutants and pesticides), toxins (including alcohol), allergens, and even stress! By lessening burden, we allow our organs to function optimally so that they can carry out regular body functions. The liver in particular does many things, and plays a big part in hormone regulation. A burdened liver may result in imbalanced hormones, which often leads to skin issues. The liver also produces bile, which is crucial for digestion and proper elimination; this function can be affected when the liver is burdened also. So here are a few ways to support our processes of detoxification, that will in turn, facilitate that beautiful natural glow!
Add these foods into your diet:
Lemon water: rich in vitamin C, stimulates enzymes to improve digestion, and promote liver detoxification.
Greens: spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro, dandelion greens, and sprouts. Greens are rich in minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll which help detoxify the body, and improve oxygenation of cells.
Soluble fiber: chia, pectin/apples, vegetables and legumes. Help bind wastes in the colon and promote elimination.
Water: necessary for effective elimination via the kidneys and bowels.
Limit these foods:
Limit inflammatory foods that put a burden on the immune and detoxification system: dairy, processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, wheat, and red meat. Start taking notice of how you feel from certain foods, food sensitivities result in inflammation, an immune reaction that causes burden on our systems. Signs of food sensitivities may be bloating, bowel habit changes, stomach pain, headaches, and skin changes including breakouts, eczema, rashes, and facial puffiness. Avoid these foods!
Optimize lymphatic drainage: Exercise, and hydrotherapy (jumping in a cold lake on a hot summer day) improve circulation and therefore the exchange of nutrients, and elimination of wastes from the body. Proper hydration is also essential to the function of the lymphatic system. Ridding the body of wastes and decreasing inflammation, decreases toxic burden on the system.
The skin benefits from a few specific nutrients:
• Omega 3 fatty acids: anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and essential for skin cellular repair and function. Omega 3 fatty acids have also been show to improve wellbeing and happiness; that shows on the skin too!
• Vitamin E: an antioxidant that fights free radical damage, and therefore prevents early aging.
• Vitamin C: supports collagen production, and is an antioxidant.
• Vitamin D: helps to fight free radical damage, and prevent aging. This one we can get naturally in the summer, but it is important not to overdo our exposure to the sun which can damage our skin, and ultimately have the opposite effect we are looking for!
• Zinc: helpful for clear skin and acne prevention, regulates inflammation and helps deliver vitamin A to the skin.
• Antioxidants: Vitamin A/C/E, selenium and zinc (available as ACES and Zinc) help promote liver function, detoxification and prevent premature aging due to free radical damage.
Rest/Sleep: Sleeping results in improved blood flow to the face, and decreased stress hormones. Managing stress is crucial for minimizing inflammation in the body. This is our time for our body to repair. Proper sleep is essential for all body functions, including detoxification and repair. This time is very important for cellular regeneration, and skin health.
Lastly moisturize! We need to do this on the inside and out. Healthy fats and proper hydration allow you to maintain proper fluid balance from the inside, and effective moisturizing techniques help from the outside. Make sure to moisturize within 1-3 minutes after a shower or washing your face to lock in all the moisture and get that extra boost of glow!
Dr. Brett Simpson has a special focus on stress and anxiety management, hormone balance, and digestive health. To book your initial consultation with Dr. Brett, please visit our website www.theiv.ca to book online or call us at 604-974-8999.