By Rebecca Casper
As a medical skin specialist and health fanatic, I am often asked about the correlation between food and skin.
Can you really blame that piece of pizza you ate last night for your new blemish? Do skin/hair supplements really work? Traditionally, most would say no. I say yes!
There is a growing amount of research suggesting a link between bad eating habits and acne breakouts. While the idea is still not a standard view between dermatologists and skin care specialist, it does make sense when you think about the function of the skin. When you eat, your body takes what it needs and “disposes” of the rest. 1/4 of that elimination is done through your skin.
Dr. George Varigos, a Dermatologist from Melbourne, Australia, has been conducting research evidencing that a diet high in refined, processed foods creates perfect conditions for pimples. “[These foods] can indirectly cause pimples because the metabolism changes in response to them and boosts insulin,” he says. Our “standard American diet,” high in refined, processed foods is causing spikes in insulin levels (hello, rising diabetes rates). “Over time high insulin levels can make skin drier, thicker, and flakes of dry skin block pores. It can also increase levels of free androgens (male hormones) in males and females, making the skin’s sebaceous glands produce more oil and triggering acne.”
Food is not the only thing to blame when we break out, but it is to be taken into consideration- and thankfully we can control what we chose to eat.
When it comes to taking supplements to improve your skin, I like to draw a picture. Imagine your body as a pyramid- your skin is that tiny thing at the top. Even though it is your largest organ and has a hefty list of responsibilities, your skin is last in line for handouts. When you eat food, your body absorbs nutrients and sends the benefits out to the organs that need it most. Starting with your brain and heart, your body will cycle through all 10 systems of organs before the skin finally gets some love.
Evaluate your eating habits for a minute- does your diet consist of the most nutrient dense foods? Are you eating lots of kale, spirulina, hemp seeds, broccoli, spinach and berries on a daily basis? (Now is a good time to start)! Even if you are mostly junk food free, your skin is more than likely not getting much, if any nutritional support from your basic diet (remember the pyramid). Taking a supplement with ingredients that your skin needs to function at its best and eating the worlds most nutrient dense foods (as listed above) will certainly help your efforts to slow down the imprint of the years.
Rebecca Casper is the founder of a beautiful life wellness and heads the Medical Aesthetics Program at Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Group. http://www.bhpsg.com