Whilst there's an increasing need for clean/conscious beauty, achieving and maintaining radiant skin extends far beyond topical applications & facials. Your skin is a direct reflection of your internal health and gives an indication as to what’s going on inside your body. Think of your skin as a sponge; anything you apply to it; it soaks it up and circulates into your bloodstream! This is why I recommend natural/organic topical productions to avoid disrupting your skin’s natural pH levels and avoid causing havoc to your hormones. Prae is my one-stop shop for all your clean/conscious beauty needs with brands like Mukti Organics, Biologi, Maaemo, Ere Perez and the list goes on…
As our skin is constantly exposed to the external world, it’s easy for it to become irritated. Despite the influence the external world has on our skin, it’s also important to support the internal organs that contribute to our skin health - gut, liver, hormones and lymphatic system amongst many.
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The Gut-Skin Connection
The gut-skin connection refers to the bidirectional communication between the bacteria that resides in your gut microbiome, and the skin microbiome. As our skin is the largest organ of elimination, any imbalance or inflammation stemming from the gut will show in your skin as those toxins are trying to find a way out!
- Consume a nutrient-rich wholefood diet which includes a diverse range of fresh seasonal fruit & vegetables, healthy sources of fats, nuts/seeds, and good quality protein sources.
- Vitamin-C rich foods to support the production of collagen synthesis. Food sources: capsicum, orange, grapefruit, guava, kiwifruit, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, leafy greens (kale, spinach), broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower.
- Focus on boosting prebiotic & probiotic rich foods. This includes artichokes, dandelion roots, garlic, onions, leek, beetroot, pepitas, yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar and kombucha.
- Eliminate refined, processed and sugary foods. Minimising consumption of common pro-inflammatory food groups such as dairy & gluten can help to reduce inflammation which may be contributing to aggravated/inflamed skin presentations.
- Stress. We all know that stress influences our digestive function so incorporating stress management strategies such as meditation, journaling, deep belly breathing, and/or yin yoga helps to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest state).
Our Greatest Detox Organ, The Liver.
The liver is responsible for receiving and handling everything that enters our bodies. Primarily, the liver acts to metabolise and excrete toxins/waste products (including hormones, medications, and chemicals!). Not only is the liver susceptible to the foods we consume and the presence of pesticides, it’s also affected by environmental chemicals/toxins found in plastics, synthetic chemicals/fragrances, beauty products etc. Overconsumption and/or over-exposure to these types of chemicals contributes to an increased burden on the liver and results in an
accumulation of toxic build-up in our bodies. Many skin conditions (i.e. acne, psoriasis, rosacea) are directly associated with poor liver function, so supporting the liver is essential to radiant, glowing skin.
- Consume liver loving foods such as cruciferous/brassica vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale), and Vitamin E rich foods to support antioxidant status (sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, atlantic salmon, avocado, brazil nuts, kiwifruit).
- The simplest and most effective way to support skin health is optimal hydration as it supports the elimination of wastes/toxins. Aim for at least 2L of filtered water per day, and 500ml-1L for every hour of exercise.
- Eliminate consumption of conventionally grown foods/GMO foods, large fish (eg. tuna), non-stick coatings on pots and pans, fragrances/perfumes as these are considered endocrine disrupting chemicals which interfere with hormonal regulation and increases burden on the liver. Instead, opt for natural and organic skincare, makeup, fragrances, and household products; organic food where possible, smaller fish sources (i.e. salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), glass tupperware containers & reusable ceramic/glass keep cups.
Lymphatic System & its effects on skin.
Our lymphatic system is made up of a network of delicate tubes throughout the body which drains wastes, toxins, and bacteria via lymph nodes. It’s important that our lymphatic system doesn’t become stagnated, congested or sluggish so that it can deliver healthy oxygenated blood and nutrients to tissues/cells in the body. If this process is hindered, it can contribute to stagnation in the body and result in a build-up of toxins, which negatively impacts the quality/appearance of our skin and contributes to breakouts, acne, and premature aging signs.
- Daily movement. Getting your blood flowing through physical activity is key. Enjoy a variety of exercises such as walking, running, swimming, pilates, yoga, tai chi, dancing (tip: make sure it’s an activity you enjoy!)
- Sweat out those toxins with a sweaty workout or book yourself in for an Infrared sauna session.
- Hydration! As mentioned before, aim for 2-3L of filtered water per day.
- Dry body brushing and gua sha facial practice works wonders for stimulating lymph flow and encouraging skin cell turnover/renewal! Both tools are available at Prae Store.
Tayla is an accredited clinical Naturopath based in Northern NSW, and the face behind Cura Wellness. Tayla's approach to health is holistic by uniting traditional naturopathic principles & practices with modern evidence-based research to restore health. She has a special interest in gut/digestive health, mental/emotional wellbeing, skin health, women's health/hormones and general wellness optimisation.
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