Healthy Body, Healthy Skin

By Hanifa Yip, RHN

Acne is the bane of so many, and not only for young people. It can aggravate someone even beyond their adolescent years.  You can spend most of your money on topical solutions, but if you don’t address what’s going on inside your body, you will have new infections popping up all over your skin. 

Your skin, your body’s largest organ, is a reflection of inner bodily processes.  From a Chinese medicine perspective, acne is a symptom of too much internal heat.  This translates to acne being a sign of toxicity and inflammation within your body.

Natural approaches

Eliminate sugar: One of the first steps for clearing your skin is the elimination of sugar.  Sugar, which is highly inflammatory, contributes to candida overgrowth, which your body will try to rid itself of via the skin.  Inflammation from sugar will worsen skin flare-ups too.

Eliminate dairy: This skin condition may develop as an allergic reaction to dairy products.  Dairy products contain hormones and steroids that upset the balance of hormones within the body. 

Cleanse the gut:  Acne is often a sign of a toxic gut.  Look at how many processed foods you’re eating along with high-sugar, high-dairy foods.  Conventional red meats are also inflammatory and may contribute to skin issues. 

Eat more zinc: This includes shellfish, soybeans, whole grains and sunflower seeds.  Zinc is anti-bacterial and a necessary element in the oil-producing glands of the skin.

Consider probiotics: Probiotics will help crowd out pathogenic strains of yeast such as candida and help promote a healthier gut.  The skin will reflect a healthier gut, but it will also reveal a toxic one through flare-ups.

Avoid wearing too much makeup: Makeup can clog your pores.  If you must use makeup, look for products that are water-based, not oil-based, since oil-based cosmetics are more likely to cause build-up.

Visit an aesthetician regularly: A good esthetician should use products that are anti-bacterial and promote the healing of your skin.  Such a professional is able to use special tools and techniques to unplug already clogged pores.

As with any plan, there is no one-size-fits all formula.  The best thing is to stick to a regime for several months to see if your skin clears up.  If not, consider meeting with a natural practitioner to see how you can improve your skin issue from the inside-out.  Remember, a clean, healthy internal environment will reveal a clean, healthy external environment.

Hanifa Yip is a certified exercise professional with over 20 years of fitness teaching experience.  She is also a registered holistic nutritionist and is the author of Healthy with Hanifa: A Woman’s Guide to Holistic Health and Fitness, which is now available on Amazon and Indigo.  www.healthywithhanifa.ca

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