02 Mar 2018

6 Tips for Clear Skin

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Struggling with acne? One of True Potential Health’s naturopathic doctors, Naomi Whelan, shares 6 tips for clearer skin:

1. Clean up your diet

Inflammatory reactions to food can cause skin irritaiton and flare-ups in acne. Many patients have fewer breakouts when avoiding refined sugar, dairy, and grains. Blood tests are available to help identify these reactive foods. Some patients with acne benefit from the intake of certain nutrients but these should be discussed with your Naturopathic Doctor.

2. Optimize your digestion

Many skin issues are related to digestive health. The gut is a major organ of detoxification and regular bowel movements are required to clear waste products from the body. A high fiber diet rich in vegetables and fruit can maintain regularity and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your complexion glowing.

3. Keep your skin clean and hydrated

Dry, irritated skin can lead to increased inflammation and blocked pores. The trick is to find a gentle but effective cleanser and a moisturizer that will penetrate the skins deeper layers without clogging pores. Exfoliators can be helpful for removing dead skin cells but should be avoided if your skin is inflamed. Make-up and hair products can also block pores and lead to break-outs so make sure to wash your make-up off at the end of the day or avoid foundation if possible. I’ve also found it useful to soap up after rinsing out your hair conditioner, especially if you are prone to breakouts on your chest and back.

4. Balance those pesky hormones

Hormone imbalance plays a major role for acne sufferers whether your skin issues started in puberty or later in life. Hormone balancing herbs and liver support can keep your skin in check while benefitting your mood, menstrual cycle, and fertility. Naturopathic medicines and hormone testing can provide excellent support for a number of hormonal issues including PCOS and hormonal acne.

5. Manage stress

Stress can manifest in your complexion, impact your digestion and lead to hormonal imbalance. Incorporating exercise and getting a restful sleep can go a long way to calming your skin problems; and your Naturopathic Doctor can help you find additional ways to keep stress at bay.

6. Check Your Personal Care Products

You know those little jar drawings on your personal care products that say 3M or 12M? That indicates the number of months the product should be used after opening; which may be prior to the expiration date on the package. Consider marking the opening date on your personal care products to ensure you discard them before the product spoils and bacterial overgrowth starts to affect your skin.

Remember that your skin is a large organ capable of absorption. Some common ingredients in skin care and cosmetics can be toxic and even carcinogenic. A couple of great resources for checking your skin care products are:

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – Chemicals of Concern