There is a billion-dollar market ready to help us fix what’s wrong with us. Most of the mainstream strategies promoting radiant skin treat the external surface, but to enjoy vibrant skin from the inside out, we can take advantage of foods and herbs for healthy skin.
Vibrant Skin from the Inside Out
The market is filled with creams, lotions, over-the-counter, and prescription products promising solutions to our skin problems. Tone, firm, remove blemishes, hide and conceal…whatever we need fixed, there is a product promising to solve our all our problems.
What we forget is the condition of our skin reflects our internal health. Let us begin our skin care with the basics using these 7 strategies for glowing, radiant skin.
7 Strategies for Glowing, Radiant Skin
Strategy One – Promote Good Gut Health
The link between gut health and our skin.
Few of us think of gut health beyond the typical symptoms of heartburn, gas, bloating, reflux, and constipation. Even if you never experience any of these symptoms, your gut health may be compromised.
The growing research directly linking the health of our digestive system to inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and skin conditions is strong, and our healthcare system and providers are slowly starting to catch on to the importance of addressing gut health as the root to many of our chronic health conditions.
There are a few simple strategies you can begin (or continue with consistency) to promote good gut health.
In the not-to-distant past, fermented foods were once a common part of everyone’s diet (and they still are in many parts of the world.) But with modern food systems, the desire for safe, sanitary foods and products with a long shelf life, our foods became increasingly sterilized.
The bacteria and yeasts that naturally occur within our digestive systems are vitally important to our health. The standard American diet does not support a healthy gut flora, and our health is being effected in profound ways.
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your health, and the condition of your skin, is to include a variety of fermented foods as part of your diet. Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchee, taken in small daily doses, provide our bodies with the gut flora vital to our health. If fermented foods seem too foreign or difficult to include consistently, taking a quality probiotic can be effective as well.
Strategy Two – Avoid Inflammation-Promoting Foods
We are surrounded with quick, easy, convenient food choices. Unfortunately, most of these foods are filled with added simple sugars, rancid vegetable-oil based fats, and processed flours devoid of fiber. These foods promote inflammation in the body, leading to many of our chronic health conditions. Chronic inflammation shows up in the skin as well.
Everything in moderation is key to good health. You will have to learn what “moderation” means for you.
Inflammatory foods to limit include:
- Sugars (even ‘natural’ sugars)
- White flours
- Vegetable oils (found in most packaged foods and fried foods)
- For some people – dairy and gluten
Strategy Three – Include More Anti-inflammatory Foods
Including more antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, in a rainbow of colors, helps reduce oxidation and inflammation in the body.
Good sources of antioxidant-rich foods:
- Red and yellow peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, goji berries
In addition to the rainbow of vegetables and fruits, including more sources of the omega-3 fatty acids reduces inflammation and promotes healthier skin.
Natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Ground flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Pasture-raised beef, chicken, and eggs
Strategy Four – Exercise for a Healthy Glow
One of the best ways to increase circulation throughout the body and especially for the skin is through exercise. Even better, if you sweat, you will help eliminate toxins through the skin. The healthy glow that comes from exercise (and perspiration) cannot be replicated through creams or lotions!
Strategy Five – Hydration
Drinking adequate fluids, especially water, can make a tremendous impact on the appearance of our skin. There are plenty of flavored water products available, many with added vitamins and electrolytes, however, I prefer real, natural water to a manufactured product with marketing gimmicks. Why not have water in a glass with added lemon, lime, raspberry, blackberry, cucumber, mint leaves, or other simple fruit added?
Strategy Six – Sleep
Not enough or poor quality sleep has a deep impact on our skin. Sleep is the time when the body heals and rejeuvenates – poor sleep shows up as dark circles, puffy eyes, droopy skin, and a dull complexion. Making sleep a priority in our hectic lives can be a challenge, but like nutrition, sleep has profound effects on our overall health.
Strategy Seven– Herbs and Supplements for Healthy Skin
Herbal skin products are a wonderful way to pamper our skin. But did you know you can use herbs as food to promote a healthy, glowing complexion? Herbs work from the inside out, providing a glowing, healthy complexion.
Some of the best herbs for healthy skin include:
- Red Clover
- Bitter Herbs
- Burdock Root
These can be taken as teas, tinctures, in recipes, and in capsules.
More articles on skin care:
For a simple homemade and luxurious rose and aloe lotion – Rose and Aloe Lotion.
Make your own herbal summer skin salve – DIY Summer Skin Salve