Did you know that skin is the largest organ in your body?
It accounts for approximately 16% of your total body weight and, besides protecting delicate internal structures, it assists the colon, lungs and kidneys in the elimination of toxic waste. It also helps to regulate your body’s thermostat by increasing sweat when you get too hot or producing goose pimples when the temperature falls.
Many factors effect the health of your skin, including heredity, age, climate, pollution, diet, stress levels and fluctuations in hormones. However, changes in your completion are usually swayed by two major factors;
- How well your internal eliminatory organs are working.
- Whether or not your body is lacking in vitamins and minerals.
Both these factors, in turn, influence each other.
Struggling skin health
The beauty business is a multibillion-pound industry. Whether you’re combatting something as chronic as psoriasis or on a lifelong search for the perfect cream to erase the signs of ageing, your skin will benefit if you start feeding it wisely. With a combination of proper nutrition, hydration and clean beauty, everyone will be asking how you maintain your gorgeous glow!
The skin consists of two layers – the epidermis and dermis – and below that a layer of subcutaneous fat. The dermis is replaced approximately every 40 days, so with the right ingredients (literally) you can improve the quality of your skin in just over a month.
Eczema or psoriasis, through to ache, wrinkles and earlier than expected sagging are signs that your skin may need a bit of TLC from the inside out. Symptoms are painful, dry and flaky skin, an excess of oil production leading to pimples and breakouts or thinning of the skin.
What’s causing it?
Often the symptoms of poor skin health indicate a lack of nutrients or a struggling digestive system, such as absorption problems or an imbalance of beneficial good bacteria in the digestive system. More directly, it can also be linked to a diet that is high in acidic-forming inflammatory foods such as meat, dairy, alcohol and caffeine, which alter the body’s natural slightly alkaline environment and allow those lesser- friendly bacteria to thrive. Skin membranes also need to be hydrated to remain strong and supple. Not drinking enough water can leave the skin thirsty. If the detoxification pathways in the body are overloaded, this can result in unpleasant skin symptoms.
Drink that juice!
For clear healthy skin, drinking fresh juice can act as a simple and effective way to hydrate, at the same time as stimulating and supporting the detoxification process.
Nourish your skin with nutrients
You can achieve a radiant completion by taking in nutrients that promote good skin health. This includes packing in lots of vitamin C-rich foods such as peppers, chillies, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi, and berries, as well as vitamin A-rich foods including sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, dandelion greens and swiss chard. Zinc is also another key player, as it helps to regulate sebum production and assist in the structure of skin cell membranes, and you can find this in pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts and raw cocoa. Healthy oils such as those found in omega-3s and 6s are essential in helping to nourish the skin cell membranes as well as supporting anti-immflamatory processes in the body. These are present in oily fish, chia seeds and flaxseeds (linseeds).
Out with the old
Time to incorporate exfoliation in your skincare regime. Removing dead skin cells allows for easier detoxification, and reveals a fresher, newer batch of cells ready to glow. Use a body brush at least three times a week on dry skin before you shower. If you wash your face with a cloth, you probably only need to exfoliate your face once a week, but if you’re washing just with cleanser and water, exfoliating two or three times a week will remove make-up debris, and allow for proper detoxification and eliminate dead skin cels from the surface.
Glowing skin juice recipe
Coriander, fennel and apple are an amazing base for this sweet and easy green juice. Go on try it for a few days and watch your skin start to glow!
1 cup of broccoli pieces (florets and stems)
- 1 cup of fennel
- 2 cups of spinach
- 2 apples (stalks & seeds removed)
- 1/2 cup coriander
- 1 cup cucumber
Why it works?
Broccoli and spinach are great sources of folic acid and vitamin C, which are both essential for cell regeneration and repair. Vitamin C also supports the process of collagen formation and works to reduce oxidative damage. Furthermore these greens contain the antioxidant beta-caratene, which can assist detoxification processes and minimise toxin build-up in the body. They are also rich in Vitamin A, important for healthy cell replication and differentiation.
Fennel is also an excellent source of vitamin C, but probably the most unique component of this root vegetable is the phytonutrient anethole. This compound has been shown to reduce inflammation and contains natural anti-microbial properties, which help balance bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and in turn promote detoxification.
Apples are packed with phytonutrients, which means that they have antioxidant properties that help to scavenge free radicals. They also contain the flavonoid quercetin, which can inhibit enzymes that convert complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, so in this sense they help to regulate blood sugar levels. This is important in skin health, as spikes in blood sugar can damage collagen.
Coriander is a remarkable heavy metal detoxifier (or chelator) helping to bind and remove heavy metals from the body and so act as a detoxing support. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which help to balance gut microflora.
Cucumber, often underrated as a superfood, is one of the most hydrating of veggies. It contains almost 95% water and important electrolytes. It also provides B vitamins and a wealth of minerals, as well as potent antioxidant properties.
Superfood BoosterAloe vera juice helps soothe and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system, while reducing general acidity in the body. It is also an adaptogen, which means that it boosts the body's natural ability to cope with external changes and outside stresses.
Lifestyle tips to improve your skin
- On rising, start your day with an early-morning mini-cleanse. This means that you should drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Drink plenty of clean filtered water – at least 6-8 glasses every day, though you will need more in hot weather and on days that you exercise. Adequate water is essential for keeping your skin hydrated and for eliminating toxins through the kidneys and colon.
- Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol which drain moisture from your body.
- Make sure your diet contains plenty of antioxidants, which help slow down cellular ageing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of natural plant antioxidants.
- Reduce foods that clog: the worst offenders are refined foods, fried foods and foods that contain hydrogenated oils or fats.
- While some fats are detrimental to your body, essential fatty acids are vital for healthy skin, you can obtain these from seeds, nuts, dark leafy greens, cold pressed oils (especially flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame) and oily fish such as sardines, mackerel and wild (not farmed) salmon.