Healthy skin is something that has to be cultivated…unless you’ve been blessed with good genetics.
It might surprise you to know that when it comes to feeding my skin, I have a very simple – but highly effective – routine.
If a routine had too many steps, I’d never stick to it.
Over the years, especially in my teens and twenties, I really struggled with pimples and breakouts…
…and it turned out I wasn’t feeding my skin properly.
Since eating a real foods diet and taking care of other issues – as well as finding the simplest skin care routine that even I can stick to – my skin’s never been better.
I want to help you heal your problem skin so today, I’ve got 3 tips for radiantly healthy skin.
1) Great skin starts in your gut.
Surprising, right? Your skin may be your largest organ…the one that covers the entire outside of your body. But did you know that problem skin can be linked to poor gut health?
Everything from eczema to acne to psoriasis has its roots in your gut. If you have gut permeability issues, it’s not uncommon to see the effects on your skin.
A leaky gut can cause immune reactions and systemic inflammation that can manifest on your skin. And, imbalances in gut bacteria can also play a role.
My grandmother suffered from psoriasis for years…and not surprisingly, she also had another autoimmune condition: rheumatoid arthritis. My husband has eczema because of his histamine intolerance. If you have a chronic skin condition and you’re treating it topically, it may be worth a look below the surface.
Healing a leaky gut takes a combination of approaches.
And depending on the severity, it can take time and patience to get it sorted.
You’ll want to think about things like upping your intake of whole, nourishing foods and avoiding processed food, alcohol, and excess sugar. Get 8+ hours of sleep, move your body, and work on managing your stress.
And you may want to experiment with probiotics…I recommend food-based probiotics like sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented veggies, kefir, etc. daily as a start.
2) Don’t over-strip your skin’s natural oils.
I swear every commercial I saw as a teenager had me convinced I needed to scrub the living daylights out of my face twice a day in the quest for healthy skin.
I’d cleanse with harsh soaps, blot my face constantly, swirl on oil-absorbing powder and do it all again the next day.
Turns out, my skin was overproducing oil because I was cleansing too hard.
And even when I stopped washing obsessively, I’d still use products that were full of synthetic chemicals.
When you cleanse harshly and strip off your skin’s protective layer of oil, it starts overproducing which can lead to blocked pores and breakouts.
In 2014, I stumbled upon a new solution quite by accident. (Literally, I got tapped on the shoulder while paying for my groceries. It turned out to be the owner of Fatco, Cassy Burnside.)
She gave me some products to try, and I have to admit, I was really skeptical because it was an oil-based cleanser and a moisturizer made from beef tallow.
It went against everything I’d ever learned from beauty companies about skincare. But I gave it a shot, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Oil cleansing works because of the chemistry concept of “like dissolves like.”
And let’s be honest, if you think of nature, most animals have some kind of natural protective fat or oil for their skin.
They don’t go to the drugstore and slather on something artificial. So why do beauty companies think they can outsmart nature?
Natural fats are usually loaded with vitamins and other healthy molecules like Vitamins A, D, and K.
My routine is so flippin’ easy:
- Oil cleanse at night while I shower
- Apply a thin coat of tallow moisturizer after that
Done. I only wash once a day.
(And sometimes, I don’t even wash at all. I just splash with warm water and sometimes run a wet cloth over my face, then apply a very thin coat of moisturizer.)
Not all oil-cleansing blends work for everyone though…so if you’ve tried your own blends in the past and they haven’t worked, don’t give up.
If I’m feelin’ fancy, I’ll dab a little bit of Fatco’s myrrh-infused face oil around my eyes. Hey, I’m quickly approaching 40, so sometimes my eye area needs a little extra love.
Oh, and I also use the Baby Butta any time I get a new tattoo. It heals SO fast.
3) Eat enough healthy fats.
I went through a huge low-fat phase when I was in my 20s, and at that point, my skin was at its worst.
Remember that healthy skin takes a dual approach: feeding your skin from the inside and outside.
Each cell in your body has an outer membrane composed mostly of fats (phospholipids). So healthy skin at the cellular level means having adequate fat intake. Fat also helps keep your skin supple.
A diet with a good amount of Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids is really important for skin health. And while fat levels in your diet will vary depending on your activity level, seasonal food availability, etc. make an effort to get fats of the healthy variety daily.
Think of a range of animal fats and plant oils from real foods…not the artificial vegetable oils so often used in processed foods.
Some examples: avocado, coconut oil and meat, olives and olive oil, fatty fish, seeds, nuts, grass-fed or pastured meats, egg yolks, etc.
I hope this post has given you some food for thought when it comes to having healthy skin!
A quick summary of my 3 tips for healthy skin:
- Improve your gut health.
- Oil is your friend…don’t over-strip by harsh cleansing.
- Include a variety of healthy fats in your diet.
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