BLOG 187: 5 NUTRITION AND WELLNESS TIPS FOR CLEAR, GLOWING SKINNov 03, 2022
In this blog post, I’m sharing some wonderful nutrition and health tips from functional medicine practitioner, Dr Jessie Hehmeyer.
After an early career focused on fitness, Jessie transitioned into functional medicine out of a desire to make even more of a difference to people’s lives. Now, she specialises in helping people with sustained and empowered weight loss, hormone balance, and gut health.
Jessie joined me recently on the Face Yoga Expert Podcast to talk about her approach to healthy weight loss, the importance of mindset, and what we can include (or exclude) from our diets to keep our skin clear, healthy, and glowing.
If you missed the full conversation, you can catch up here. But in this post, I want to focus on the five tips Jessie gave for supporting our skin from both the inside and the outside. This is practical advice that we can all make use of, but it will be especially useful for anyone experiencing skin issues like acne and breakouts. Jessie also had some great suggestions for those in perimenopause or menopause, who might now be finding their skin is drier and more prone to wrinkles than before.
1. TROUBLESHOOT UNDERLYING ISSUES
If you’ve been struggling with chronic skin issues, Jessie recommends diving into discovering the underlying cause, which can often be something to do with what’s going on inside us.
One common cause of skin issues is hidden food sensitivities. The trouble here is that our skin’s response to food sensitivities can take a while to show up – as long as 72 hours. This can make it hard for us to identify which foods are causing the issue.
The antibodies against those foods also stay active for a long time. So, if you’ve stopped eating a food for a week or two and not seen an improvement, it may be that you haven’t left it long enough. Jessie advises that it can take 45 to 60 days before your skin recovers from food sensitivities.
The other very common issue that can cause problems with our skin is a build-up of toxins. The skin is a major detoxification organ, so if we have too many toxins in our bodies and aren’t excreting them effectively, that’s going to show up on our skin.
Related to this are our gut health and our hormone balance. A healthy gut plays a vital role in ridding our bodies of toxins. And our bodies also need to be able to excrete hormones efficiently, or they can build up in our systems too.
2. AVOID THESE THREE COMMON CULPRITS
How our skin responds to our diet is very individual. Some people can eat anything without seeing issues, while others need to be much more careful. And what triggers skin issues in one person might be fine for someone else.
With that said, there are three common culprits when it comes to dietary causes of chronic skin issues. These are:
Along with that last one, we need to think about sugary foods. Yeast releases toxins into our bodies, so when we have too much yeast, we can experience skin issues. Sugary foods feed yeast and can cause an overgrowth.
If you are looking for just one thing to start with, Jessie recommends focusing on dairy first. It causes issues for many people, so try avoiding it for four weeks.
Even though the antibodies will take longer than that to leave your system, you should see a difference within that time if dairy is causing issues for you.
3. INCLUDE THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR HEALTHY SKIN IN YOUR DIET
For our skin to repair and rejuvenate the way it should, we need to make sure we’re getting all the building blocks for healthy skin in our diets.
Foods that are rich in vitamin C are great here. Vitamin C is vital to collagen production, so this is especially important as we head towards menopause and beyond.
Fortunately, many fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, not just oranges. Peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and potatoes are all good options.
Speaking of broccoli, green leafy (cruciferous) vegetables are key for supporting our detoxification pathways and helping our hormones stay balanced. We also need to make sure we’re getting enough protein – our bodies need amino acids to detoxify properly and to build healthy skin.
Zinc is another important nutrient, especially for anyone in perimenopause and menopause. It can help to protect the skin against damage from the sun and is also good for hormone balance.
Many nuts and seeds are rich in zinc, as is poultry. Pumpkin seeds are particularly high in zinc and can easily be scattered over a salad or your morning porridge.
4. TRY A COLLAGEN SUPPLEMENT
Jessie does warn that more research is needed into the effectiveness of collagen supplements but anecdotally many people have found that a quality collagen supplement makes a difference to their skin’s health.
Personally, I find that taking collagen daily does help my skin look and feel plumper and firmer. I’ve been taking collagen shots for some time now but ended up stopping for a little while a few months back.
Once I stopped, I noticed that my skin lost some of its plumpness – it’s funny how you often don’t realise how much of a difference something is making until you stop taking it. When I started taking the collagen again, my skin returned to how it was before, so I definitely think it has an effect for me.
I use marine collagen from Rejuvenated – they have a vegan alternative too. If you decide to give it a go, use code DC at checkout and you’ll get 10% off.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT SKINCARE FOR YOUR SKIN
We’ve mostly focused on nourishing skin from the inside but obviously your skincare regime can make a real difference too.
I look for natural, organic ingredients in my skincare whenever possible. I know many of you are the same. However, we still need to find products that work for our skin. Using the wrong products can cause more issues.
Jessie warns that natural doesn’t always mean right for you. A product might have some wonderful ingredients in it and your skin could still react poorly. If you are experiencing skin issues that don’t seem to link to food sensitivities or your detoxification pathways, it might be worth swapping your skincare.
Of course, I couldn’t talk about skincare without reminding you of the importance of wearing a good SPF every day. Even in winter, even if you will be indoors all day. Those harmful rays can still reach your skin and cause damage.
MORE PRACTICAL TIPS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
I hope this has given you some ideas for how you can use your diet to support your skin’s health. For more advice and tips on how to nourish your skin, reduce stress, and look and feel the best you can for the age you are, check out my two books, Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga and the Face Yoga Journal.
Both are packed with facial exercises, massage techniques, and wellness hacks. You can find out more in my shop.