It might be a little bit embarrassing, but getting familiar with your digestive system might reveal another piece of the puzzle in tackling your skin woes. Recently, we discussed how stress and acne combine to make adult acne problematic for many. This week we are going to look at how what you eat and how you digest it can impact on your skin health.
Adult acne and skin irritations may be made worse by our stomachs. Eating diets high in sugar, fats and low in probiotics, vegetables and fibre can have an impact on the skin.
Increased amounts of sugar and other processed foods can contribute to inflammation of acne lesions and skin sensitivity. Excessive consumption of alcohol, illness or use of antibiotics can disturb helpful gut bacteria, which aid in breaking down food for absorption. Sources of these helpful bacteria include yoghurt, probiotic drinks and capsules (non-dairy types are available).
Dehydrated skin differs from dry skin because it is caused by a lack of water. Dehydration can cause poor skin turgor: dryness, poor elasticity and fine lines. One of the biggest causes of dehydrated skin is not drinking enough water, and this could be causing more than dryness. A lack of water in the digestive system can cause constipation.
Other sources of dehydration include drugs and illness. If you take a diuretic medication (which makes you pass urine more frequently), you may experience symptoms of dehydrated skin and should speak with your doctor if this concerns you. Diarrhoea can severely dehydrate your body of water and remove electrolytes from your system. Both are required for normal cell function, including keeping your skin healthy, so it is important to restore your body’s water if you have experience diarrhoea.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), problems with digestion will show up on the skin with acne. TCM systems state that faulty intestines means that toxins are not moving, appearing as lesions on the skin instead. This is described as stagnant flow of energy (Qi), and is seen as a heat imbalance. A sign of a digestive imbalance may show up as congestion, breakouts, and inflammation across the forehead, nose, chin, and/or above the sides of the lips.
For a free Dermalogica Face-mapping Skin Analysis and to discuss holistic skin care, make an appointment with our skincare nurse Alex. Contact us today.
Further reading: chinese medicine