If you suffer from skin problems, you may know exactly what it’s like to try everything topically to help soothe your skin or reduce your breakouts. Without spending thousands of dollars on weekly facials, it can be hard to find the right mixture of ointments and therapies that work for your specific skin condition.
But, did you ever consider that your skin issues are like a mirror into what’s going on internally (especially in your gut)? Sometimes a skin condition is your body’s way of telling you something. Our bodies are pretty incredible, and if you listen closely, you may be able to uncover some insight into healing from the inside out.
Here are just some examples of internal issues that can contribute to poor skin health:
- High levels of inflammation (auto-immune diseases, allergies, circulation issues, and compromised detoxification can trigger inflammation)
- Out of whack hormones
- Imbalance of gut bacteria or too much yeast in your system
- Deficiency of certain nutrients
- Poor absorption of nutrients
- G.I. issues or leaky gut
Doing some dietary work may be beneficial in managing some of these internal issues, but sometimes it takes a little more than just dietary work to get your skin to where you’d like it to be. That’s why if you visit a nutritionist or a naturopath they’re likely to recommend a gut healing protocol alongside some therapeutic supplements. With a complete protocol, your skin gets the full benefits it needs to minimize the impurities and heal the inflammation.
Here are some of the top supplement suggestions we suggest to clients based on specific skin conditions.
If your ‘teenage years’ acne hasn’t passed by the time you’ve passed your teen years, you could be dealing with hormonal breakouts. You may notice that your skin flares up during hormonal fluctuations (such as your period or when you’re ovulating), or if you have any underlying health issues that haven’t been addressed.
Hormonal adult acne (1) tends to appear on the lower part of the face and can increase overall skin inflammation, oil production and cause the skin cells to become clogged. Here are our favorite supplements to remedy hormonal acne:
Maca helps to balance out your hormones and regulate your monthly cycle. Maca doesn’t actually contain any hormones, but rather is an adaptogenic root vegetable, which helps to support overall healthy hormone balance and your stress response.
Also, cells that produce sebum (the oil that secretes out of the glands in your skin) have stress hormone receptors and can end up producing extra oil in the cell of the hair during times of high stress, causing the oil production to become unregulated (2).
Reducing your stress response, and controlling your other hormone balance, such as insulin, and estrogen, may be beneficial in fighting hormonal acne, and supplementing with, or adding maca to your diet is a great place to start.
Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium, phosphorus and for bone formation, but not only that; Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to poorly functioning immune system, cardiovascular disease, mental illnesses, and to unregulated stress response (3).
All of these issues can cause systemic hormonal imbalances, and contribute to inflammation internally and topically. It’s best to get your Vitamin D levels tested before you start to supplement, and if you live in colder climates you can supplement with Vitamin D in the winter months, as obtaining Vitamin D from food sources is quite hard.
ECZEMA & PSORIASIS
Unfortunately, even in this day and age, there still isn’t a simple solution for healing eczema and psoriasis. It’s still not fully understood how these conditions develop or how to heal them fully, but we do live in times that have developed some natural remedies to reduce your symptoms. Learn more about this topic by checking out our article on Natural Remedies for Psoriasis and Other Skin Conditions (4). Both conditions are chronic and inflammatory, and finding supplements that help mellow out the inflammatory response, alongside an anti-inflammatory diet plan, may help reduce your symptoms.
Oregon Grape is an herb native to North America that has been used as an herbal remedy to treat stomach issues, GERD, digestive complaints, infections, and to cleanse the bowels. It has also been used topically for inflammatory skin conditions and has been shown to improve mild to moderate psoriasis with little side effects.
It inhibits the inflammatory response by slowing down skin cell production (5).
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acid is a natural anti-inflammatory fat, and in some studies, people who presented with eczema saw a natural reduction in symptoms after taking it for 12 weeks (6).
Omega 3s are not manufactured by the body, and instead must be consumed via the diet. You can get Omega 3 sources from fatty fish, eggs, chia and flax seeds, and if your diet is not rich in foods that are high in Omega 3, you can supplement with high quality, well-inspected fish oil.
DRY & RED PATCHES
There are plenty of reasons why you may be experiencing dry or red patches on your skin. Your skin could be dehydrated, you may need more fat in your diet, or just common aging issues can present with these symptoms. But there are some supplements that you can take to help remedy the situation.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 may help create more moisture within the skin. Red skin patches or dry patches may be a result in dry skin or inflammation, and due to Omega 3’s anti-inflammatory nature, and the promotion of healthy fats, they may be beneficial in the overall improvement of dry skin.
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Collagen is the main structural protein that makes up skin tissue. If you are aging and experiencing a loss in skin elasticity, dry skin or wrinkles it could be that your natural production of collagen has decreased. Many studies have shown that collagen is beneficial to increase elasticity, reduce wrinkles and promote an overall healthy skin complexion.
Learn more about the benefits of collagen by visiting this article: Collagen Supplements For Skin, Hair & Nails? Here’s The Scoop.
There’s a chance your skin is dehydrated, even if your body isn’t. This can be caused by external environmental conditions, diet, nutrient absorption or caffeine/ alcohol consumption.
Increase your water intake, but also consider a fermented superfood blend that contains plenty of highly absorbable whole food nutrients, as well as electrolytes.
Broken capillaries on the face come from many reasons, the main one being sun damage and circulation issues. Sometimes called spider veins, these little red marks on the skin can become an annoyance, especially since it seems like there’s nothing you can do about them (without expensive laser treatment).
If you experience rosacea, or if you drink alcohol on a regular basis, your skin may experience a lot of broken capillaries. These are the most popular supplements for decreasing the redness caused by spider veins and preventing them from happening.
Vitamin C not only helps to manufacture collagen (essential for skin, blood vessels, scar tissue, and elastin), but it helps to keep the vein walls flexible and strong. We would recommend consuming your Vitamin C first and foremost, and only take it if you notice a flare up and want to minimize it, or if you are feeling run down.
The best type of Vitamin C supplement to take is one that contains whole foods, as the Vitamin C becomes more bioavailable.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, and one of the most effective ways it has been used is in chronic inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea. You can take this internally, but you can also apply this externally or topically, in the form of a mask as well.
We would recommend taking turmeric with black pepper, as the bioavailability drastically increases when consumed this way. Also, we would recommend taking turmeric in both whole food and supplement form.
B Vitamins are thought to help prevent spider veins from occurring. B3 can be effective at improving circulation, and B vitamins have been used in those with circulatory problems. It’s essential to take a B complex, as B vitamins work synergistically with one another.
Paleness or pallor doesn’t seem like it would be a skin condition, but when you are used to having a bit of glow to your skin, and suddenly you’re feeling pallor or pale, to a point where you notice it, it could be an indication that there is an underlying condition present that needs to be addressed.
The most common link is anemia (or iron deficiency), but other issues that could result in pallor are cardiovascular issues (lack of oxygen flowing to the skin), and low blood pressure. Before supplementing for pallor, you should have your blood panels looked at by a medical professional.
Genuine Health Gut Superfood Blend
This is a great way to get an adequate intake of highly absorbable whole food nutrients. You can add this superfood blend to a morning smoothie, or to juice. It’s a great way to get an extra bit of nutrients that your body will thank you for.
Liquid Iron is the best way to increase your intake of iron if you are deficient in it. Remember that iron can cause issues if you take too much and you should only supplement if you are deficient. You should get your iron levels tested before supplementation.
B Vitamins are one of those supplements that you can take for numerous symptoms. Low energy, metabolism, and even to reduce your risk of death from a stroke or heart attack, Japanese research suggests (7).
If you notice that you have pale skin, have got your blood panels done and the doctors have noticed something with circulation, talk to them about supplementation with B Vitamins.
Aging skin is inevitable, and something we all experience. It’s also something most of us try to avoid with fancy retinol creams or anti-aging facemasks. But, there are a lot of biological processes that contribute to the acceleration of aging skin, and some supplements may have the ability to increase your skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles. Here are our favorite ones:
We love collagen for a lot of skin conditions. It hydrates the skin, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, helps increase elasticity and brings life and bounce back to your skin. It’s one of our favorite top researched anti-aging supplement for healthy aging skin.
Omega 3 is an overall anti-inflammatory supplement, but it also has many skin-protective benefits for aging skin. The EPA found in Omega 3s from fish oil helps to regulate oil production and increase your skin’s hydration (8).
EPA can also help minimize the reduction of collagen by blocking the enzymes that eat away at collagen, causing wrinkles and sagging.
Choosing the right supplements can be tricky, so if you need more guidance and advice on the highest quality and best-sourced supplements in North America, you can download your free copy of the Complete Supplement Guide here.
These supplements are a great place to start for healing common skin conditions, but if your diet is poor and you’re trying to solve your problems with only supplements, you may find that the results aren’t as successful as you initially thought.
The best course of treatment is a healthy diet that emphasizes whole food, colorful foods, alongside exercise and supplementation. These 3 lifestyle changes are a recipe for a much higher success rate.
But, adding healthy nutrition habits to your lifestyle doesn’t have to be as hard as you think, and it can be a very simple equation of what to eat ‘less’ of, and what to eat ‘more’ of. You don’t have to give up everything, and it’s more about being mindful of what you’re putting into your body.
Because we like to keep it simple, we broke it down into two lists:
- Animal products (including dairy), try to eat meat once a day at most, and only a couple ounces of dairy.
- Highly packaged and processed foods that contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, and of course, sugar.
- Rancid or trans fats (fried foods or baked goods) containing highly processed vegetable oils: canola, soy, peanut, grapeseed.
- Generally, just eat less – be mindful of your portion sizes and consider whether or not you are eating out of emotion rather than hunger.
- Colorful vegetables that contain plenty of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Fiber: veggies, whole grains, chia/ flax seeds, oats.
- Fruit in place of sugary treats, train your body to like the sweetness that mother nature provides.
- Macronutrients and whole foods: complex carbs as opposed to simple sugars, healthy, plant-based proteins, and healthy fats.
- Fermented foods or probiotic-rich foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, Keifer (Bio-K), miso, tempeh.
The key here is balance and nourishment, and you usually find these in the form of whole foods, and foods picked from the earth, rather than ones found in a bag or package.
And if you would like to incorporate some form of supplementation for support, don’t forget to download your Complete Supplement Guide here to get a list of the highest quality and best-sourced supplements based on your symptoms.
This amazing guest post was written by Jenni + Mimi, Registered Holistic Nutritionists and founders of Naughty Nutrition. They’re research-lovin’ nutrition mavens that have made it their mission to connect you with the most accurate, up-to-date, science-based health resources alongside simple and delicious recipes. You can download a list of their Top Free Resources here to kick-start your health and make this newfound lifestyle stick, for life.
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