Courtesy of Mindbody green, Dr Anna Mitsois
- Stock up on fibre.
Fibre is one of the critical components of clearing hormonally imbalanced skin. When your digestive system is lacking, your body can’t absorb all the wonderful nutrients you’re feeding it, and they never make it to your skin or help fight acne-causing bacteria. Since fibre promotes a healthy digestive system, and digestion and a healthy gut are at the root of healthy skin, it’s a crucial component to acne-free skin.
My favourite skin-friendly fibre is flaxseed. Other wonderful fibre-rich foods include apples, beets, carrots, asparagus and sweet potatoes. These are prebiotic-rich foods that work to sweep away toxins and excess hormones that can wreak havoc on the skin.
- Avoid the usual offenders.
Skin is very sensitive to changes in insulin levels. You’re not imagining it when your skin breaks out after a sugar- or alcohol-filled weekend. High levels of insulin will stimulate sebum production, which leads to breakouts. Insulin surges are triggered by sugar, dairy and alcohol, so if you reduce your intake of these foods, your skin will start to thank you.
- Opt for functional foods.
Upping your intake of certain nutrients through food is a wonderful way to reduce acne. Here are three of my favourites:
- Zinc: Not only is zinc responsible for balancing the skin’s sebum production, it’s also effective in regulating insulin production, reducing the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria and blocking the production of unwanted hormones. Zinc-rich foods include spirulina, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and nuts.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin is crucial when it comes to healthy skin as it’s responsible for the natural shedding of the skin cells. Acne can often be caused by an excess production of skin cells, so vitamin A works to reduce the clogging of pores that can result in acne. Up your dose of orange and yellow fruits (pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, apricots, squash), as well as dark leafy greens.
- Fermented foods: Rich in probiotics which have been shown to improve skin conditions by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso and kefir are musts. You can also take a commercial probiotic to strengthen your microbiome.
- Lather up, inside and out.
There’s a misconception that eating oil, cleansing the face with oil or using oil-based products on the skin will wreak havoc. But the fact of the matter is that the opposite is true. Oil actually works to balance the skin’s sebum production so it’s not overproducing oil, meaning fewer breakouts!
Have your oil outside and in through omega 3s: wild-caught salmon, flaxseed, avocados, eggs, sardines, flaxseed oil, etc.
- Get your tea time on.
Drinking tea is a very easy way to therapeutically balance hormones, flush toxins and hydrate the skin. Teas such as calendula, dandelion root, St. Mary’s thistle, liquorice, chamomile and cleavers are wonderful in balancing hormones, promoting liver health and healing and regenerating the skin. Squeeze some lemon juice inside them to give the liver a little more love.