If you are reading this, chances are you wish you could change or improve something about your skin. Whether it’s the occasional breakout, crows feet, pigmentation or sun damage – it’s unlikely that there are any women out there who feel like they have the perfect complexion. But having healthy, naturally glowing skin is not out of reach.
Find out here what is causing your most common skin concerns and how to improve them the natural way.
1. Fine Lines & Wrinkles
wrinkles | creases | sagging
Wrinkles are creases or folds in the skin that increase over time, predominately as a result of the natural ageing process but also through free radical damage from things such as smoking, pollution and sun exposure. Free radical damages decrease the skin’s elasticity resulting in sagging and wrinkles.
To decrease the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming, the most important (and obvious) step to take is to protect your skin from the sun and stay hydrated. Second to that is to eat whole, clean foods – those that are free of additives and are rich in healthy fats, fibre and beauty nutrients. And it goes without say that eating a diet rich in antioxidants will fight those free radicals that cause collagen and elastin fibres in the skin to break down.
5 Favourite antioxidant rich foods:
3. Green Tea
4. Leafy green vegetables
Dark spots | light spots | uneven skin tone | dull skin | sun spots
Thought wrinkles were your skin’s worst enemy when it comes to ageing? Studies have shown that discolouration and pigmentation of the skin can visually add up to 12 years to your perceived age! And yes you guessed it, pigmentation is predominately caused by UV exposure as this increases the melanin (what gives our skin colour) production in our body. The two most common types of pigmentation are:
Hyper-pigmentation: where the melanin production is elevated leading to brown or tan spots on the skin.
Hypo-pigmentation: where the melanin production is lowered and patches of lighter skin appear.
To help fade imperfections, improve skin tone and brighten dull skin, Vitamin C is your best weapon. Vitamin C can accelerate the skin’s cell turnover mechanism, breaking up dark spots and dull skin tone as a result. It also helps to prevent new dark spots from appearing by fighting the formation of concentrated melanin patches (dark spots).
5 Favourite Vitamin C rich foods:
1. Citrus – Lemons, limes and oranges
2. Camu Camu
white heads | blackheads | hormonal breakouts | adult acne
There are countless reasons why people, of all ages get acne. Although acne occurs predominately in adolescence, about 20% of all cases occur in adults (and mostly in women!).
Basically pimples occur when the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands) clog the pores or openings for hair follicles. If the openings are large, the clogs take the form of blackheads and if the openings stay small, the clogs take the form of whiteheads. The most common causes of acne and breakouts are:
Hormones: This is the most common cause of acne in adolescents as they experience an increase in hormone production. Both boys and girls during puberty produce high levels of androgens, hormones that include testosterone. Testosterone tells the body to make more sebum i.e. skin oil causing more pimples.
Bacteria: Bacteria exists in all skin types. It grows in the pores or ‘openings’ as a result of excess sebum (skin oil) which has clogged them and can cause the follicle wall to break under the pressure of this buildup. When this happens, sebum leaks and forms more pimples.
Gut Health and diet: If you’re not getting enough nutrients or digesting food properly due to poor gut health, your skin will start to starve which can results in breakouts, dull skin and reduced skin elasticity. A diet high in sugar, processed foods and alcohol can result in low levels of good gut bacteria that help to maintain good digestion and keep our skin clear and glowing.
Sometimes the cause of acne can just be genetic and may needed to be treated by a doctor or dermatologist. However, you can greatly improve your skin’s health through applying gentle, natural skincare and makeup that is suited to your skin’s needs as well as eating a diet high in probiotics, fibre, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
5 Favourite acne fighting foods:
1. Unrefined or fermented grains for fibre and improved digestion/detoxification
2. Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut to improve gut health
3. Bone broth for gut health
4. Sunflower seeds and other foods rich in zinc for skin health
5. Flaxseed oil and other foods/oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation