Ever noticed how dry and dull your skin looks the night after a few too many drinks? Or found yourself struggling with breakouts after bingeing on a little too much sugar?
You aren’t imagining it!
Absolutely every single thing you choose to put into your body on a daily basis has an impact on your health and the state of your skin. In fact, the appearance of your skin is a great indicator of what’s happening within.
Usually, a glowing radiant complexion reflects a healthy internal environment, whereas constant skin issues and flare-ups may be a sign of internal inflammation and an anti-inflammatory diet may be in order.
Don’t panic! Managing skin issues is easier than you think, and by making the switch to a cleaner diet, you’ll also boost your health and welcome an abundance of energy into your life!
Many people rely solely on skincare to do the work, but if you aren’t taking care of yourself both internally and externally, then no skincare products are going to provide the results you are after, no matter how excellent they are.
Healthy skin comes down to a variety of factors, but paying attention to what you eat is the very first step.
In this article, we’ll address some of the most common skin issues, foods that contribute or aggravate the problem, as well as provide natural, healthy options so you can feel good within yourself again!
DRY AND AGING SKIN
Dry skin can be a real pain, there’s no other way of putting it, and if you struggle with dry, flaking skin then you know what we mean!
Dry skin can appear dull due to a build-up of dead skin cells and a loss of moisture through the pores. Exfoliation can help to slough away old skin and provide some temporary relief, but ultimately you’re going to want to focus on finding ways to increase moisture levels in your skin and prevent water loss through the pores.
Foods that contribute to dry skin
All processed, unhealthy foods will keep the skin dry and dull, but two of the biggest culprits are sugar and alcohol.
Sugar saps moisture from the skin cells and even breaks down collagen, a structural protein essential for keeping the skin taut and plump (1). Think of collagen as the “glue” that connects the skin cells and gives them structure. If this “glue” breaks down you’ll have bigger issues than just dry skin, you’ll deal with sagging skin too, that is at a higher risk for the signs of aging like lines and wrinkles.
Alcohol is incredibly drying and puts your body, as well as your skin at risk for dehydration. Alcohol causes widespread inflammation in the body and if you indulge too often, you’ll start to notice enlarged pores, discoloration, lines and wrinkles, and an overall dull appearance (2).
Healthy tips for dry skin
It’s unrealistic to say you’ll never have a sugar cupcake again or that you’ll abstain completely from alcohol if you usually enjoy a glass or two of the good stuff.
We believe that everything should always be in moderation and to make healthy changes where you can.
For example, try natural sugar alternatives that are more easily accepted by the body, such as pure maple syrup or honey, both of which do have a high sugar content, but aren’t as processed and also contain a heap of vitamins and minerals. Coconut sugar, monk fruit, and stevia are a few more sugar alternatives you may want to look into. You should still monitor your intake of natural sugars, but at least you know they’re a heck of a lot healthier than that processed white stuff!
A great tip when drinking is to drink one glass of water alongside every drink you have (try and keep it to two, three max). This will help to counteract some of the negative effects and you’ll thank us when you wake up without a nasty hangover the next day!
OILY AND INFLAMED SKIN
Oily skin is when your skin is unbalanced and over-produces sebum. Sebum is your skin’s natural oil and when it’s balanced your skin is healthy and clear with a dewy glow.
When too much sebum is produced, it may clog your pores and result in unwanted blemishes that may range from a few mild pimples to more severe acne breakouts.
Foods that contribute to oily skin
Once again, sugar tops the list, along with dairy. Sugar causes inflammation in the body. Not only does increased inflammation raise your risk of developing disease, but it also manifests externally as skin inflammation, which then results in those large inflammatory pimples that you try so desperately to hide away.
Sugar also increases sebum, which alone can cause pimples, but if you’re already struggling with your skin it will only make it worse.
Dairy is packed in hormones that can affect your own hormones, resulting in hormonal disruptions. Whenever there is any sort of hormonal imbalance in the body, you may notice breakouts along the jawline and chin and on the cheeks. Dairy also contributes to internal inflammation, which you now know is no good when it comes to your health or your skin (3).
Healthy tips for oily/inflamed skin
Cut out the processed sugar and try some of the healthier alternatives we mentioned above, you’ll never know the difference!
Switch out dairy for plant-based milk instead, you’ll be surprised at just how delicious it is! We especially love organic almond and cashew milk, coconut milk and hazelnut! They’re super creamy and loaded in healthy fats, which help to reduce inflammation and balance the skin. If you must include dairy opt for grass-fed and organic which is higher in omega-3 fatty acids without added hormones or antibiotics.
Also, increase your intake of zinc, a mineral that is excellent for clear, healthy skin. Zinc-rich foods include pumpkin seeds (try them roasted!) eggs, legumes and nuts.
If you switch out processed foods for natural, healthier alternatives and fill your belly with a rainbow of fruits and veggies, along with loads of leafy greens then you’re going to see some remarkable changes taking place in your life.
Not only are you going to feel like a whole new person, but your skin is also going to glow with health and everyone is going to want to know your secret!
Skin loving foods, along with a healthy skin care ritual, using products straight from nature, will work together to provide you with the best skin care ritual of your life! Wait to see the results for yourself if you don’t believe us...
It’s rare to find someone in this modern day and age who doesn’t know at least a little about the chemicals found in our food supply; documentaries like Food Matters have made us well aware of the difference between GMO and non-GMO food, as well as pesticides.
Of course, the food you choose to fill your body with on a daily basis dictates your health and it’s no secret that processed foods increase your risk of disease (1).
The best way to enjoy a long life span, abundant energy and a low risk of disease is to fill your body with whole foods and to enjoy a rainbow of organic fruits and veggies.
But what about the ingredients you apply externally to your skin?
If you wouldn’t eat a chemical then why should you apply it to your skin? We are firm believers in using products formulated with ingredients from nature; ingredients that you would feel comfortable putting into your body.
Why you ask?
Did you know that a percentage of everything you apply externally can actually be absorbed into your bloodstream ? This makes sense because the skin is the body’s largest organ after all and very porous.
In this article we want to highlight just 3 top reasons it is so important to be aware of everything you apply to your skin, it’s about more than just your health!
YOU'LL EXPOSE YOUR SKIN TO REAL NUTRIENTS FOR VISIBLE RESULTS
By using plant-based oils and nutrients from antioxidant-rich fruit, you will be treating your skin to an infusion of real nutrients that will provide long-term, visible results.
Conventional brand hair, body and skin products are usually mass produced and in need of serious preservatives to ensure drastically long shelf life.
While this may be good news for the companies in question in terms of increasing their bottom line, it’s not such great news for the consumer, who simply trusts that the products they purchase are going to be safe and effective.
Often, if you really take a good look at beauty labels and become a pro at decoding them, you’ll notice that water and synthetics are the major players in the formula with the good stuff being way down at the bottom. The ingredients at the bottom are at the lowest concentrations, meaning they won’t do much when it comes to providing visible results.
Don’t be too deterred by long, foreign-sounding names. While these may indicate chemicals, if you’re seeing them on all natural skin care products, it may simply be the botanical name.
If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask! If a company has nothing to hide, they’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions.
YOU'LL REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO TOXINS
“Toxins” have become a buzzword in recent years, simply because we’re finding them in everything from our yogurt to our face masks and hair serums.
When you purchase a conventional or drugstore product, you simply have to accept that there’s a high likelihood you’ll be exposing your skin to toxins, which in turn may put your health at risk.
Some common preservatives and synthetics like parabens, phthalates, and BHT have been linked to hormonal disruptions and even an increased risk of cancer and we don’t think any beauty product is worth such a risk (2)!
However, when you make the switch to all natural skin care you make a conscious choice to not only start showing your skin some real love, you’ll be taking care of your health too, by reducing your exposure to chemicals.
YOU'LL EXPERIENCE LESS SKIN SENSITIVITY AND FLARE-UPS
Usually, if a natural product causes a reaction it’s because an individual has a specific food allergy or the skin is going through a natural detoxification period. However, when skin irritation occurs with conventional ingredients, it's often due to harsh chemicals that can affect almost anyone, even people who don’t usually struggle with sensitive skin.
Often, not much research has been done regarding certain chemicals, so when you purchase a product filled with them, guess what... You’re the guinea pig!
Acne products are a common example of ones that cause redness and flare-ups due to harsh ingredients that strip the skin of beneficial oils and provide only temporary results.
Natural skin care, on the other hand, relies on wonderful plant oils and botanical actives that soothe, nourish and nurture the skin for excellent results, but in a gentle way.
We hope this article has helped to make you more aware of the importance of not only letting food be thy medicine but allowing natural food ingredients to heal you from the outside in too!
The plant-based movement is growing larger by the day as people (and perhaps you too) are becoming a lot more conscious of what they put into their bodies.
But have you ever thought about the products you’re applying to your skin?
With absorption rates ranging from 60 to 100 percent, it’s time to start paying attention to the ingredient labels on your skin and body care products.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body after all, so it deserves just as much time and care that goes into planning your organic, free-range meals!
LET'S TALK ABOUT ABSORPTION VS. PENETRATION
Often used interchangeably, absorption and penetration actually have two very different meanings you should be aware of… especially with sneaky marketing tactics being used to pull the wool over your eyes.
Penetration simply means that the ingredient is able to sink to the deepest layer of the skin, while absorption means the ingredient makes it all the way to your bloodstream and lymphatic system.
When it comes to the varying rates of dermal absorption, the 60 to 100% is quite general, and does certainly vary from person to person. There are also many biological factors to consider; namely:
Even so, it’s better to stay on the safe side (as you’ll learn below). In fact, you may be interested to know that one study found the skin on the face to be seven times more penetrable than other parts of the body, while genitals and underarms also see a whopping 100% absorption rate (1).
UNDERSTANDING CHEMICAL ABSORPTION
Your body is an amazing, complex machine, capable of incredible things. Unfortunately, when you bring chemicals in the mix, your body is unable to fight them off, and it’s quite as simple as this...
Our bodies were not made to ingest or absorb chemicals!
Certain chemicals like ethanol (a very common additive used in skincare) acts as a “skin penetration enhancer” (2) by breaking other chemicals’ molecules into smaller parts and by disrupting your skin’s natural barrier function.
On the other hand, silicones are commonly used in skincare and makeup for their ability to create a smooth layer on the top of the skin. The problem with these chemicals is that they act as a trap (3), blocking skin’s natural processes like sweating and eliminating dead skin cells.
Below is a list of the most widely used chemicals in skin and body care products. Don’t be alarmed if you find more than a few on the labels of your favorite products currently sitting in your bathroom cabinet.
The list goes on and on and on! See the Environmental Working Group’s list of chemicals that should disappear from cosmetics.
HOW CAN YOU AVOID ALL THIS?
If I’ve done my job right in this article, the next question you have is “How the heck can I avoid all these chemicals?”
Fortunately, it’s as simple as avoiding and replacing.
We’re fortunate to live in a time where there are great amounts of options available to us when it comes to natural skincare. A simple Google search will yield many great options… but since
you’re here right now, why not have a look at what Earth Soldier has to offer you for your personal care needs?
With “natural and purity” being a running theme here, you’ll find a selection of organic non-GMO products suitable even for the most sensitive skin!