A Holistic Approach to Skincare: The Role of Nutrition & Hormones
Do you ever wonder what your skin is trying to tell you? Does it feel like you’ve tried every treatment, remedy, or skincare product without any lasting effects? Your skin is often one of the first places to show signs of an underlying imbalance and if it’s screaming for help, an inside-out approach can help to decode those skin symptoms to get you the lasting results you want.
The gut-skin connection
From food choices to heightened stress, many factors can negatively impact digestive function. This can cause changes in your microbiome that lead to the development of skin health concerns. Rosacea is a great example of the gut-skin connection. The condition causes inflammation, redness, and papules on the cheeks/centre of the face, and for many, the root cause can be found in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Occurring when intestinal bacteria starts to grow outside of its normal boundaries in the digestive tract and into the small intestine, studies have shown that SIBO treatment often results in an improvement of rosacea symptoms.
Digestive system on the fritz? Keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Constipation or diarrhea
For more on our gut-skin connection visit ecoparent.ca/gut-skin-connection
Hormones affect skin health
Reproductive, stress, and thyroid hormones all play key roles in regulating the health of our skin. If you’ve ever wondered why you always seem to breakout right before your period, hormones are most likely to blame. In fact, over 80 percent of menstruating women who suffer from acne experience flare ups before their period. Elevated androgens (testosterone) may be to blame, as it increases oil production in the skin, making it more prone to breakouts. When accompanied by other symptoms, that acne could also be pointing to hormonal health issues like polycystic ovary syndrome.
Hormones to blame? The following symptoms might be pointing to an underlying issue:
- Irregular or heavy periods
- Period pain
- Hair loss
For more on PCOS visit ecoparent.ca/PCOS
Emotional health and inflammation
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to trauma or infection. When it appears on the skin, it’s typically referred to as dermatitis, and can be the result of hyper-reactivity to chemical irritants like fragrance, fabrics, or metals. Prolonged or chronic inflammation may be the result of autoimmunity, and there is a strong connection between inflammation and emotional health, as individuals with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis often report that their skin flares up in times of heightened stress or anxiety.
Inflammation at work? Other symptoms pointing to inflammation include:
- Brain fog
- Joint pain
Reduce inflammation with food! Learn more at ecoparent.ca/reduce-inflammation
A great way to determine exactly what is going on in your body is to schedule a visit with a naturopathic doctor. They have the tools to perform a complete skin assessment, and will also have access to functional testing that can help you to develop a customized treatment plan based on the four R’s (remove, regulate, replace, and repair) to heal your skin from the inside out!
The first step is to identify and remove any obstacles that are preventing your skin from thriving. These include food sensitivities, pathogens (bacterial overgrowth), chemical irritants, or stressful lifestyle factors.
A custom treatment plan can be developed to target hormone balance, optimize digestion, and decrease inflammation so that your skin can thrive. Diet recommendations, lifestyle changes, supplements, vitamins, and minerals are all part of a holistic treatment plan.
While working to restore internal balance, topical treatments may also be introduced to help to promote skin healing. Topical ingredients with skin-healing superpowers include zinc, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and calendula. Swapping skincare and personal care products for clean, non-toxic alternatives can also further reduce chemical exposure that may be contributing to inflammation.
Clean up for clean skin
When shopping for skincare products, avoid these common culprits:
- Fire retardants
- Organophosphate pesticides
(You can also check out ewg.org/skindeep which is a great resource that connects you with clean and safe skincare brands!)
Finally, we can’t forget about repairing our precious skin barrier! Once rosacea, acne, or eczema flares have calmed down, it’s time to add in some skin-loving vitamins and minerals to help rebuild and repair the integrity of your skin barrier. Some great options include zinc, vitamin D, vitamin C, collagen, and essential fatty acids.
Healthy skin starts from within. While it can take time, treating your skin symptoms from the inside out helps your body to find balance and allows your skin to heal. A whole-body approach to your skin concerns can help you to put your best face forward!
For resources visit ecoparent.ca/TWF/LATESPRING21