Expert advice from Joy McCarthy
Your skin is one of your body's largest and most important organs. It forms a protective barrier, regulates your body temperature and provides a route for elimination of toxins via sweat and oil.
Here are 6 ways you can take better care of your skin from within:
Limit What Sabotages Your Skin
Sugar ages the skin, while also promoting acne and inflammation. Avoid refined sugars, junk food, refined grains (white bread/pasta), processed dairy, refined veggie oils, and foods with a long shelf life. Try to also avoid hormone disrupting chemicals, often found in personal care products, household cleaners and foods (pesticides).
Take Care of Your Gut Health
Your skin is an outward reflection of your gut health, and good gut bacteria are your skin's besties! Eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kimchi, apple cider vinegar and tempeh. Try to also eat more fibre-rich foods like apples, pears, berries, sweet potatoes, winter squash, prunes, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, lentils and chickpeas.
Eat Healthy Skin Foods
There are plenty of fantastic and healthy foods that will benefit your skin from within, including:
- Fatty Fish: rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin D
- Protein: helps our body build new skin cells and repair old tissues and cells
- Spices/Herbs: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, garlic and cilantro are all spices and herbs that are rich in antioxidants that prevent free radicals
- Leafy Greens: rich in vitamins A, C and K, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium
- Cruciferous Veggies: rich in hormonally balancing and detoxifying phytonutrients called glucosinolates
- Green or White Tea: fights acne, improves blood sugar and helps guard against skin cancer
- Supplements: GLA, collagen and vitamin D are all fantastic for skin health
Make Sleep a Priority
Good sleep keeps cortisol levels in check. Cortisol is linked to inflammation which is a trigger for acne, eczema and psoriasis. Studies show that people who sleep 7-9 hours each night have skin that is more moisturized; this is likely because healing, repair and skin cell regeneration happens more at night than any other time of day. Want to make sure you sleep well? Avoid caffeine after mid-morning, have an evening wind-down routine, avoid blue light before bed, and drink and herbal tea to help you unwind.
Make Stress Management a Priority
Stress plays a major role in aging skin and inflammation of the skin (acne, eczema, rosacea). It's important to find ways to manage your stress and keep it at bay. Try some of these options if you're looking for ideas on where to start:
- Practice the 4-7-8 breathing exercise
- Get outside daily in nature for a minimum of 20 minutes
- Move your body daily. Strength training is great for hormonal balance, managing blood sugar and stress levels
Clean Up Your Skincare Products
The Environmental Working Group found that the average person is exposed to 126 hormone-disrupting ingredients each day from personal care products alone. Avoid hormone disrupting ingredients like:
- petrochemical based ingredients (ie. proylene glycol)
- heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury, lead and pesticides
Try to choose items that have a minimal number of ingredients. The Joyous Skincare Trio nourishes and hydrates your skin with beneficial, pure and natural ingredients.
Joy McCarthy is the Founder of Joyous Health, an award-winning Certified Holistic Nutritionist and best-selling author of The Joyous Cookbook, Joyous Detox and Joyous Health. A trusted nutrition expert, Joy has been featured in hundreds of publications both online and in print; and is a regular health expert on TV. Through her innate drive to inspire others, Joy has created numerous online programs and eBooks under JOYOUS U. She also co-hosts the