August is Acne Awareness month, so let’s talk about the connection between skin and gut health. Because there is one, and its major!
The skin is the body’s largest organ and everything we come in contact with externally and internally passes through the skin one way or another. Breakouts on the skin, both face and body, can be a sign of toxin buildup, nutrient deficiencies, allergies and more.
When we see acne and breakouts on the T zone, the nose and forehead area, this can indicate a sluggish liver. The liver is the body’s detoxifier and it’s important that it functions optimally, otherwise we see a buildup of toxins and inflammatory reactions on the skin.
Support your liver by drinking lots of filtered water, adding fresh squeezed lemon juice for an extra boost. Try lowering your intake of common inflammatories like highly processed foods, alcohol and sugar. Milk thistle supplements may also be taken to strengthen the liver but it’s best speak with a qualified professional to see if it is safe for you.
Acne that’s showing up on the cheeks can indicate food allergies or intolerances. Try eliminating common allergens such as gluten, dairy and soy and monitor for changes. If acne flare ups go away after eliminating these foods from your diet for a few weeks, odds are they were the cause. Increase your intake of fibre rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes.
Acne on the chin and areas of the body like the chest and back, can be signs of toxin build up in the colon. Increasing dietary fibre, both soluble and insoluble, aid the large intestine by retaining water and bulking up stool to move foods smoothly through the colon. Fermented foods/drinks and a quality probiotic supplement can also help strengthen the gut microbiome and properly break down foods before reaching the colon.
Beneficial nutrients for skin health:
- Antioxidants – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, found in so many fruits and vegetables like berries, citrus, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, broccoli; nuts, seeds, lentils, and seafood.
- Vitamin D found in foods like mushrooms, cheese, egg yolks, obtained through safe sun exposure or a quality supplement.
- Omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, nuts, seeds, avocados and extra virgin olive oil.
- Collagen found in foods like bone broths, meat, fish, eggs or a quality powdered supplement.
Want to get your diet on track to have your skin looking and feeling its best? Feel free to reach out with any questions or schedule a discovery session to learn more!
Kat Krivanek, R.H.N.