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infusionofstyles says another way to eat right!
Last week I went to the new Kiehl’s apothecary to diagnose and cure my skin issues. After pressing little pieces of paper into my forehead and cheek to measure the oil in my skin, the chemist revealed that there is next to no oil in my skin – like I suspected. I was a bit more optimistic about my skin’s water retention, coming out right in the middle of the “normal” spectrum from 30-50 percent. But my results are pretty disappointing considering the 133 ounces of water I drink each day – more than double the standard 64-ounce recommendation. Am I doomed to an inevitable fate of premature wrinkles and dryness, or could there possibly be a way for my skin to start helping me out?
I consulted a nutritionist to give me tips for hydrating my skin from the inside out, and not all hope is lost. While Kiehl’s may have your back with topical remedies, food should play a role in curing the issues you wear on your face.
Everything in your body is connected, so a problem with your skin likely mirrors an issue with your diet and lifestyle. This is both a medical truth and an ancient ayurvedic principle. Knowing your skin, body, and personality type can help you balance your entire life – skin included. Here’s what the nutritionist prescribes for each skin issue.
“Acne usually stems from hormonal or digestive issues, so making sure your body can process food efficiently and feeding your body with alkalizing foods is key. Eat low-glycemic foods including berries, greens, sweet potato, grapefruit, and most non-starchy vegetables,” says Dorit Jaffe, nutritionist and founder of Whole Healthy Glow. “Add flaxseed meal or oil to your morning routine will help calm down your skin, as it’s anti inflammatory. Take a turmeric supplement or cook with this powerful ancient Indian spice, its detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. Turmeric aids in digestion to help clear up any blockage, which will cause breakouts. It’s also known to detoxify the liver, to help rid any build up there.” Jaffe’s favorite all-around remedy is warm water with lemon in the morning to detox your body, awaken your metabolism, and prevent breakouts.
She recommends avoiding sugar, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, peanuts and peanut butter, soy, and gluten if you are struggling with breakouts. “Both processed and natural sugars elevate testosterone levels and increase hormonal imbalances, thus causing acne breakouts and puffiness. Sugars found in alcohol will also have this effect on skin, as well as being dehydrating,” Jaffe says. “Don’t eat peanut butter. It’s prone to mold even if bought organic, and wreaks havoc on your digestive system. You may notice more pimples on your forehead after eating peanut butter because of the negative effects it has on your gut.”
In Ayurvedic terms, acne is usually a result of imbalanced pitta. Pitta skin is hot, so to minimize it, avoid spicy and warming foods. If you’re not sure which Ayurvedic body type you are, take this quiz to use food as medicine for your skin and other bodily ailments.
Dry or Wrinkle Prone Skin:
For wrinkle prone skin, obvious go-to foods contain lots of antioxidants. Jaffe recommends organic blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, raw cacao, ceremonial grade matcha green tea, and dark green vegetables, which are rich in phytochemicals and help dilate blood vessels. Another method is to build a protective barrier for your skin using food. “Aloe Vera is not only great to use externally on your skin but its also extremely healing when ingested. Aloe Vera contains antioxidants, which include vitamins A, C, and E. They help protect your skin from free radicals found in the environment that your skin is exposed to. It also is dense in essential minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, and selenium, which are all beneficial for healthy skin. You can blend Aloe Vera with filtered water or in your morning smoothie,” Jaffe says.
Dry and wrinkle prone skin is associated with the Ayurvedic vata constitution. Vata people are advised to eat naturally sweet, sour, salty foods, and warming foods. They should avoid bitter, astringent, and pungent foods, as well as dry or cooling foods. Drinking lots of warm water can minimize dryness and help cleanse your body from within. “Including healthy fats like ghee or olive oil in your diet is also recommended to aid in detoxifying the liver,” Jaffe says.
“Oily skin is very similar to acne prone skin, so it’s best to eat low-glycemic foods, avoid dairy and eat Omega-3 rich foods. Foods rich in Omega-3’s are avocado, wild salmon, coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds,” Jaffe advises. “Do not eat any fried foods! These harmful oils will only have your body producing and secreting more oil.”
Thick and oily skin is associated with the Ayurvedic kapha constitution. Kapha people are advised to eat lots of vegetables and drink lots of water to cleanse skin from within. “I also recommend cooking with warming spices like ginger or black pepper to aid with digestion and inhibit and digestive issues,” says Jaffe.
If your extensive skincare regimen does little to change your skin, look to food to save your skin.
infusionofstyles does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.