By: Gleason Center Editors, Dr. Daniel Gleason DC
Many people report having skin problems and like most other health problems they stem from 1) not having all the required nutrients or 2) eating or being exposed to toxic or irritating compounds. Skin is one of the body’s largest organs and it is composed primarily of proteins and fats. It is constantly bathed in secretions from our oil, sweat and sebaceous glands. These emollients, anti-bacterials and lubricants are made from the foods and supplements we eat. When it comes to your skin, you are what you eat.
However, unlike all your other tissues, your skin is on the outside of your body. Thus it directly absorbs many things, both good and bad, from exposure to lotions, creams, sunscreens, soaps, etc. Your choices of skin care products are extremely important to the health and age of your skin but also to the health of all your organs. Many people are becoming aware of the many toxic chemicals in skin care products including:
For a more complete list see The Truth About Xenoestrogens. We recommend skin care products that are organic and food-grade, i.e. things that can be eaten.
Over-use of soap removes many of the specialized secretions that glands in your skin have prepared to normalize skin function. Soaps, especially anti-bacterial soaps, disrupt the normal ecosystem that thrives on your skin. There are specialized bacteria and skin mites that preen our dead skin cells and produce a healthy ecosystem. This normalizes the hormonal, neurological and immunological function of your skin. When this is disrupted, troubling skin symptoms can result. These include:
There are many internal toxins that affect your skin. Particularly problematic are things that make up the Standard American Diet (SAD). These include:
We have seen many skin conditions resolve after testing for and having patients avoid food intolerances. Toxins can come from internal sources that disrupt the normal gut flora. Digestive symptoms that occur concurrently with skin problems indicate the need for comprehensive GI testing to identify and correct imbalances in normal bacteria, the presence of foreign microbes and deficiencies of digestive secretions.
A diet that consists primarily of SAD is deficient in many of the necessary nutrients to support normal skin. The skin requires all known nutrients including all vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats as well as polyphenols from healthy, unprocessed food.
If you have problems:
First, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging! What this means is: identify and stop eating foods that destroy skin health and stop using topical products that disrupt and poison your outer layers. The labels on many skin care products announce “All Natural”, “Organic” or even “Gluten Free”. These labels can be misleading. Do your homework and investigate the products and the companies that produce your skin care products. Also check the ingredients. EWG.org is an independent rating agency that rates nearly all skin care products.
Secondly, make sure that your skin is getting all the nutrients it needs. If you have had skin problems for years it may take some time to replenish your deficiencies. We recommend in-depth nutrient testing to determine what your individual needs are. If you can’t get yourself tested we recommend the Fab 5 supplements that, after testing hundreds of patients we find most people are deficient in:
Then choose the highest quality skin care products that are food-grade and organic. Consult with experts who can guide you in the selection and use of topical products that cleanse, renew, moisturize, and repair your skin. Light therapy can also be a boon. Sunlight helps many conditions as does cold laser treatment.
In conclusion, 1) avoid bad foods and skin care products, 2) supply your body with all needed nutrients being specific to your individuality as possible, 3) use top quality skin care products to provide nutrients that are directly absorbable into your skin. Take advantage of skin’s unique ability to absorb nutrients directly.
If you like this post, you might also enjoy: The Beauty of Coconut Oil
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