The phrases “you are what you eat” and “skin is a reflection of wellness” are all too common, but do they have any truth in them and if so, what can we do to improve our health, wellness and skin health? (without having a total diet over hall which I know, most of us are not feeling emotionally ready for right now!!) 

I think it’s fair to say that we all know that bad diet and stressful experiences tend to show up on our skin, in the form of;  

  • Spots/acne 
  • Uneven skin tone 
  • Dark under eye circles/puffiness 
  • Dehydration  
  • Sallow or dull looking skin 
  • Redness/dry patches and irritation (impaired barrier function) 

But in extraordinary times like this COVID 19 crisis we find ourselves in, isn’t it easier just to not look in the mirror and go grab another bar of chocolate and immerse ourselves in the news? (guilty!) 

Download-Tip December: Dermocosmetics- solutions for stressed skin ...

We have choices about how we respond to the situation infront of us and with knowledge and willpower, we can dramatically improve our lives and our skin!  

Let’s look at some of the facts surrounding the links between the two ‘S’s’ and skin health… 

 

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar 

The first dreaded ‘S’ word is the culprit of many skin problems – I myself struggle with my sweet tooth and it is showing up on my skin in the form of cystic acne spots, slow healing scarring and pigmentation, dullness and lack of tone. BUT how do I know that sugar is the culprit? (aside from realising that I’ve ate tons of chocolate and biscuits this week) 

So, Sugar causes Glycation in the skin – this is very bad news! Glycation is a process whereby the excess sugars we have ingested, attach themselves to proteins and fats within the skin, causing these molecules to become stiff, meaning they cannot work properly.  

An example of this in action is when the protein we all know as ‘collagen’, becomes swamped in sugar and stops working as well, causing a lack of elasticity and key lipids in the skin, which makes our skin look tired, dull and causes wounds and spots to heal much slower than they could- in turn causing more acne scarring or pigmentation in the skin.  

Glycation also refers to the formation of more ‘free radicals’ in the skin- these are horrible little parasites that cause premature ageing and reduce the skins ability to defend itself.  

OMG so how can we reduce this from happening? Well obviously,, we need to reduce our sugar intake – not just the obvious forms of chocolate and cakes, but in our sauces, drinks (wine/juice/fizzy) and our cereals!  

Sugar and your skin – Aesthetically Bella

Aside from cutting down on the white stuff, we can help to reverse the damage it’s already created in our skin by doing the following: 

  • Drink at least 2 litres of water per day to help flush out toxic sugar residue 
  • Use products containing a ‘HIGH amount of LOW molecular hyaluronic acid’ (HA), as HA is proven to increase collagen production, speed up the skins healing function and reduces the effects of free radicals.  
  • Enjoy fresh air and exercise and continue to protect your skin from further free radicals (from the sun) by wearing an SPF 50. 
  • Starting to eat and apply anti-oxidants to your skin, can actually destroy the free radicals within your body- leading to healthy cells not only in your skin but in your other bodily cells too. Examples of anti-oxidant rich foods are: pumpkin, apricots, mangoes, carrots, spinach, sea food, milk, nuts, grapes and berries. Look out for anti-oxidants in your skincare called; vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol, Vitamin E, Niacinamide and Polyphenols. 
  • Try to relax and don’t give yourself a hard time if you have overindulged- these are uncertain times and we can’t be perfect! But we can make small changes as seen here, to reduce the damaging effects on our skin and our overall health and wellbeing.  

With hyaluronic acid in skin Royalty Free Vector Image

 

Stress, Stress, Stress! 

Oh yes, aren’t we all feeling the bite of Stress right now? 

Let’s take a quick look into the effects of stress on the skin and then how we can help to combat stress from home… 

Stress causes a chemical response in your body, which makes skin more sensitive and more reactive. Stress stops the skin from being able to heal itself as efficiently, causing scarring and pigmentation.  

Stress tells your body to make hormones called cortisol. Cortisol tells the glands in your skin to produce more oil, which can then become trapped and cause acne breakouts and a build-up of P acne bacteria under the skin- not good! 

If you already have skin issues such as; Rosacea, acne, eczema or allergies, Stress can speed up and aggravate these issues (then we get more stressed!). So, it’s more important than ever to try and reduce the effects of stress- and we can do this quite effectively by… 

  • Taking care of our skin twice daily in the form of a simple yet effective skin routine – cleanse, tone, moisturise. Using product high in anti-oxidants will kill off free radicals. 
  • Exercise outdoors to create happy hormones which counteract he cortisol hormones.  
  • Take time for self-care- but what is self-care? We cannot go and have facials or massages during isolation time, but we can do something we enjoy something that calms us and makes us feel lighter. This could be reading a fiction book, watching a rom-com, having a bubbly bath, curling your hair…whatever you want- as long as you feel good it will work! 
  • Practice meditation, Yoga or Pilates at home- YouTube has a wealth of free videos to do this from. 
  • Breathing exercises – Dr. Chatterjee has some great advice on this and how to breathe in and out, counting down to reduce the stress in your body.  
  • Talk to someone – we can still pick up the phone or skype our loved ones – a heart-warming chat can dramatically improve our mood and switch our bodies response from stress to calm.  
  • Be kind to yourself! 

What are the proven benefits of yoga and meditation?

When this is all over, we can indulge ourselves, indulge our skin, indulge our mind and body and really continue on a path to a healthier and happier life, we can start this path now whilst we have the time and knowledge to do it! 

If you would like a ‘skin chat’ just drop me a message, I would be more than happy to help you out and advise you the best I can. 

 

Take Care 

Tara xx