As a master esthetician I've been studying skin for nearly 5 years. There's nothing that makes me more happy then seeing radiant, smooth, clear skin. Having great skin gives us that everyday confidence you need to make your difference in this world. I like to teach my clients that your skin is like a mirror which offers clues about how healthy you are and what's happening inside of your body's internal system. It's not your fault if you suffer from acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, dermatitis, etc.. we've all been there. Skin maintenance & what causes skin problems is something we all need to be educated on to prevent any kinds of terrible skin issues.
Here are the underlying causes that can lead to imperfect skin:
#1. Inflammation internally or externally- can cause skin to become more sensitive leading to eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, etc..
External factors- Exposure to TO MUCH UV radiation. (little exposure everyday is great for healthy skin and immune system). Allergy sensitivities to makeup, medications, soaps, laundry detergents or lotions can cause us to have reactions on our skin such as rashes.
Internal factors- Eating food high in bad fats, sugars, dairy, refined carbohydrates can lead to inflammation within our bodies resulting in skin issues. So stay away from all the junk if you want beautiful skin. I've had many teenage & young adult patients that just eliminate dairy out of their diets and their acne completely clears up.
#2 Microbiome disturbance- A huge reason for acne that I have seen as an esthetician is that we are doing WAY to much to our skin. Over exfoliating, over cleansing, over use of products can actually make us get more acne! eeek! Let me explain...we all have good & bad bacteria living on our skin we call this the skin microbiome aka the acid mantle. Good bacteria prevents harmful bacteria overgrowth such as "Propionibacterium acnes" (the bacteria that causes acne) which is believed to be a major trigger for acne. When we are doing to much to our skin such as over exfoliating or to much cleansing then we disrupt our skin's natural PH balance & when that happens our good bacteria cannot thrive or work properly. The good bacteria helps our skin to fight off infection. The good bacteria found in our gut helps fight off harmful bacteria, parasites or overgrowth of candida. The gut's health is directly related to our skin's health. So if our gut bacteria is off then that's when we see problems in our skin. Probiotics & whole plant based foods are great for providing you with good bacteria growth.
#3 Oxidative damage to your cells- Externally- Excessive sun exposure generates free radicals in the skin & when their levels exceed the organ's natural anti-oxidant defenses, oxidative damage occurs. Oxidative damage leads to premature aging, sunburn, skin inflammation, skin cancer, depletes antioxidants (Vit. E & C). Free radicals damage your skin's collagen, effects the firmness of your skin, leading to dryness, fine lines and less elasticity. Another external factor for oxidative damage can be caused by pollutants in the air. So try to be around clean air, it not only benefits your lungs, but also your skin.
Internal factors for oxidative damage- Toxin build up and poor dietary choices. Toxins come from alcohol, prescription drugs, drugs, smoking, & poor diets.
#4 Blood sugar issues- The body uses glucose (sugar) as a primary fuel source. If glucose is consumed in excess it can damage collagen & elastin. This process is called Glycation AKA AGES. End result is cracked, thinned, red skin with a weakened ability to repair itself. In this stage your more prone to wrinkles & accelerated aging. Sugar & high heat cooking lead to higher levels of AGES. By adding acidic ingredients such as lemons or vinegar to our foods we can help reduce AGES. When blood sugar rises so does insulin, which can increase sebum production & lead to acne breakouts & other skin concerns. So stay away from sugar especially white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, agave, refined carbs & alcohol. Natural sugars like those found in fruits, pure honey and pure maple syrup are good and actually benefit our skin in so many ways. So if you have a sweet tooth like me then stick to the more natural approach when getting that fix ;)
When our body is stressed, it creates an environment of imbalances & wreaks havoc in our system. Too many antibiotics, food that isn’t prepared properly, poor diet, stress and lack of sleep are some of the things that can cause an imbalanced body. Even the healthiest of bodies battle with pathogens from time to time. Here are proven strategies to decrease the chances of attack and allow the good bacteria to flourish. Sleep. As simple as it sounds, one of the best things you can do to keep your body in balance is grab your 6-8 hours of zzz's. Fuel. Eat foods rich in vitamins and nutrients such as legumes, nuts, fruits and veggies. Stocking up at farmer's market and eating food as close to the source as possible. Become a label reader, if there are words you cannot pronounce on packaging or there are more than a few ingredients listed, it’s likely not high on the “best foods” list. Consider upping your probiotic intake. Finally, Ask. Asking your body to heal. As hokey as this may sound, there is scientific evidence to prove what we’ve inherently known, but often forgotten when it comes to the power of intention. Try meditating on this & ask your body to heal, and take the time to say “thank you.” Thank your body for being healthy even if it’s just the small things, because everyday our bodies go through a lot of work to keep us functioning & staying beautiful :)