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Clear Skin Diet: Does food really affect the skin?

a ph-balanced yogurt cleanser with chlorophyll

As much as we here at Dr. Brandt love a good skincare routine and appreciate the effectiveness of our product line, we also live by this statement for an overall healthy lifestyle:

No skincare routine will cover up a bad diet.

Sure, you can minimize the appearance of your pores and de-puff those under-eye circles temporarily. But those bad boys are here to stay if you don't address what food you are putting in your mouth. Healthy aging starts from within. I like to call the skin our body's "magic mirror." When you see those annoying breakouts, puffiness, redness, and irritation, they are all our bodies' way of telling us that something is off on the inside. This is usually inflammation of the GI tract or an out of balance microbiome.

You can achieve gut and skin health by avoiding large amounts of:

  1. Dairy
  2. Sugar
  3. Processed foods

Nourish your skin and gut with:

  1. Probiotics
  2. Healthy fats
  3. Vitamin C

So, what are skin’s biggest offenders?

macaroons

DAIRY
There is significant evidence that dairy can irritate or cause acne. Cows are treated with artificial hormones to increase their milk supply. Research suggests that ingesting those hormones by consuming milk can throw your hormones off balance and possibly trigger acne. Other research indicates that the growth hormones naturally in milk can also aggravate acne. Skim milk is actually the most likely to trigger acne. It is stripped of any healthy fats and left with just the milk sugar and lactose.

SUGAR
Refined sugar offends every system in the body. Every woman can benefit from cutting out as much of this as possible to have a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps most noticeably and almost immediately, the skin. Sugar causes inflammation in the body and produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin leading to premature aging, wrinkles, and getting older quicker. Further, a diet high in refined sugar causes your body's blood sugar to spike and drop quickly. As a result, so many of us suffer from unwanted dark circles and chronic fatigue.

So what foods are our skin’s friends?

Pre and probiotic-rich foods are our gut's best friends. You will find prebiotics in the fibers of fruits and veggies, especially artichoke, asparagus, garlic, onion, chicory root, and leeks. Also, fermented foods like kimchee, kombucha, cottage cheese, and yogurt are where you will find live prebiotics. Pre and probiotics allow the good bacteria in our gut to grow. The more goods bacteria, the less room there is for bad bacteria that cause those unwanted skin conditions along with a long list of health problems.

a recovery sleeping mask

Healthy fats like salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, coconut, and olive oil lubricate from the inside out, giving your skin that healthy "glow" that everyone is chasing. Omega-3's help slows down the aging processand helps restore moisture to dry skin. They also have anti-inflammatory properties reducing the appearance of redness and skin irritation.

Vitamin C rich foods like oranges, lemon, broccoli, red bell pepper, and papaya are known to increase collagen synthesis in the skin. Collagen is what keeps the skin looking plump and youthful. These foods also happen to be high in antioxidants, responsible for quenching toxins that cause premature skin cell degeneration and the aging of the skin. Papaya has an enzyme called papain, known for brightening the appearance of the skin and pineapple contains bromelain, known to work as a natural exfoliate, removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface.

Healthy aging is more than skin deep. So next time you break out, take a minute to reflect on what you've been eating.

Papaya and pineapple

Finally, put on your hydrobiotic recovery sleeping mask to help calm your skinsanity and make my sexy skin salad:

  • 3 cups spinach (or leafy greens of choice)
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  • 1 Blood orange, segmented
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Lemon vinaigrette (2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon mustard, sea salt, and pepper)

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