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Extra Help with Skin Health
- Drink plenty of water and herb teas – this dilutes any toxins and supports liver function – the first course of action in skin health.
- Eat one tablespoon of fresh seeds a day – use a mixture of ground pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and hemp or linseed. These contain zinc and selenium and the omega 6 essential fatty acid that may help to reduce inflammation and allergic reaction.
- Eat oily fish three times a week – these contain the omega 3 essential fatty acids that are frequently missing in modern diets. Sardines, mackerel, tuna, salmon and herring are the best sources, but may contain some toxic heavy metals so should be only eaten three times a week.
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, dairy products, chocolate, cocoa, fat, fried and hot and spicy foods, hydrogenated oils (look on labels), wheat and soft drinks.
- Avoid all forms of sugar; affects all healing mechanisms. In particular, acne has been likened by one researcher to “skin diabetes”, as it speeds the conversion of testosterone into a substance called DHT. This has been shown to cause acne locally in the skin and more DHT is produced with stress.
- Limit red meat to a maximum of three times a week, due to its acidity and saturated fat content. Vegetable protein like soya, beans and lentils are more alkalising and cleansing.
- Reduce or avoid dairy products – these can be inflammatory even if they do not provoke a reaction due to intolerance.
- Food intolerances are very common causes of skin inflammation – the main culprits being milk, eggs, citrus and wheat or gluten (found in wheat, rye, oats and barley). It is quite usual to crave the very thing that causes you most irritation and we may only see reactions up to days after eating the food. Try to avoid these foods as much as possible, but systematically eliminating one at a time is the only way to find out your particular trigger(s). If you eliminate them all and symptoms improve, then reintroduce each one separately to find the culprit.
- Try to keep affected areas as clean as possible. Avoid over-scrubbing however as this may overstimulate the sebaceous glands.
- Only use natural, water-based make-up and keep cosmetic brushes clean.
- Don’t pick your skin; the friction encourages sebum production and bacteria can cause further or recurrent infection. Also keep clothes and hair away from your face.
- Avoid stress; it can promote hormonal changes and therefore skin problems such as acne.
- Pure AloeVera gel helps to cool skin and promote healing, also antibacterial.
- Avoid topical irritants such as biological washing powders, bath products and talc.
- Avoid heat, hard water, rough clothes (cotton is often the only fabric tolerated).
- Avoid harmful chemical exposure – toiletries, food additives, preservatives, pesticides and colourings (eat organic where possible), cleaning products.