***I am not a medical professional. Please consult with your doctor before beginning use of any of the recommended supplements below.***
Every now and again as I peruse the internet, I come across random memes or posts that share the common misconception that skincare is simply about what we put on our bodies. While it is crucial that we have a solid topical skincare regimen, I would like to add my voice to those with some knowledge of skincare that vehemently advocate for internal work as well.
A little side story: When I moved from New York City to Raleigh, North Carolina, my skin had a horrible reaction. Bear in mind, I had moderate to severe acne from age 15 to 18 that cleared up pretty much on it's own - so there was a history there; but as a grown adult, my acne flared up beyond belief. After meeting and speaking with some other transplants to the area, it seemed that a lot of people were having similar issues - whether it was a dermatological disaster, increased inflammation in their overall bodies, or worsening/development of allergies. Once I found out there was a nuclear power plant in such close proximity to the area I lived, as well as a myriad of pharmaceutical companies, I knew that my skin issues were biologically based.
After much research, I found out that there are nutrient deficiences that can cause acne. A total skin transformation does not only begin with vitamins though. Here are my 5 tips from my acne transformation:
1) Colon Cleanse
You can't simply start eating healthy after years of an unhealthy diet and expect magic, nor can you start a vitamin regiment and expect overnight results. In order to reset your body, I recommend doing a colon cleanse. Our intestines can store miles of excrement. Get rid of as much as you can before you start a healthy journey. This will help your body absorb the healthier foods, you should regularly consume, a lot easier.
Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus rhamnosus are must haves in my probiotic. Your stomach is your second brain and as such, you need to make sure that your gut is operating at optimal levels. The yeast Candida is a byproduct of an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut. Candida impairs nutrient absorption thus causing fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and weakened immunity. In order to absorb nutrients and control your bodies reliance on hormones like insulin, the "good bacteria" found in probiotics can counteract an overgrowth of this yeast.. Candida-induced inflammation weakens your body's ability to fight bacteriaon the skin, by consolidating your immune cells' energy towards your gut. This creates the perfect environment for increased acne or other skin issues.
Water doesn't even need to reach your stomach before the body absorbs it. Water is so integral to how our body functions as a complete system that increasing water consumption should go without saying if you want clearer skin.
Even though many of us eat foods rich in Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin D like dairy and meat products, our bodies may not be absorbing the nutrients properly or may not be getting enough. Adding the aforementioned vitamins to my regimen has been so important to my fight against acne that going an extended period of time without taking them means that I would have at least two cyctic postules (in other words, really big painful pimples) by the end of the week. In a Medial News Today article posted in 2019 notes that all three vitamins play a part in supporting the immune system. A vitamins B complex is also important to healthy skin. Many B vitamins like panthothenic acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6) are anti-inflammatory, support collagen production, support our immune system, and are great for our hair, skin, and nails.
I have heard the term "beauty rest" from since I was a child. Never really payed it much attention until I became an adult. My skin looks much more supple and clear when I have restful sleep than when I get my usual 5 hours. Most doctors recommend 8 hours, but beyond an arbitrary time frame, listen to your body. When you wake up, your mind should be clear, your body should feel refreshed. Most days I wake up feeling like I have a hang over when there was nary a wine glass in sight. Don't be like me, get your 8 hours if thats what your body needs.
Whether for a wedding day or any special occassion, we all want to look our best. These steps will also assist our topical treatments by providing a strong biological foundation for our skin's internal health. These investments in our self-care will help our skin glow and our bodies thrive inside and out.