Looking for the best way to heal your skin naturally?
A little secret I’ve had to learn the hard way is that healing your skin actually happens from the inside out. Also, it’s about way more than just the products you use on your face.
Let me take you back to when I was a teenager, I went to the dermatologist for help with my acne. I can remember specifically asking her, “does what you eat affect your skin?”
Her response: “Absolutely not.”
She went on to explain how that was a crazy myth not based in scientific evidence. Yet, she also went on to prescribe me antibiotics because they would “help”.
Now, can you re read that and tell me how that makes any sense at all?
If what we put inside our bodies doesn’t affect our skin, then why is one of the number one treatments for acne from a dermatologist antibiotics or other medications?
That is the moment when I knew if I wanted to heal my skin in a way that didn’t completely wreck the rest of my body, I was going to have to research and learn all about natural skincare.
I don’t have a lot of pictures from when my skin was at it’s worst, but here is what I was dealing with:
I also want to clarify that I’m sure antibiotics, medications, and heavily acidic topical ointments and creams have worked for some people in helping their skin, but for me personally, it went against every fiber of my being to go that route. The only way I was going to improve my skin was by doing it in a natural, holistic way.
Heal Your Skin Naturally
When we have skin issues, it’s actually really cool because it’s our body’s way of telling us that something is going on inside that we need to pay attention to. There is an obvious imbalance in the skin microbiome, or the millions of tiny microorganisms that live on our skin – the largest organ of our body.
Usually, this imbalance, as it relates to skin, can be due to three main things:
– Nutrition / digestion,
– Hormones, or
– Toxic overload from modern skincare products.
When the microbiome is out of whack, then skin issues like acne, uneven skin tone, oversized pores, oily skin, dry skin, etc. are inevitable. Therefore, in order to heal our skin naturally, we have to take care of our body as a whole.
1. Nutrition & Digestion
Excellent nutrition provides the building blocks that our skin requires for ultimate health and balance. That is the core of skin care.
A few ways that I have improved my nutrition and digestion for better skin include:
– Cutting out inflammatory foods like gluten, eggs, sugar and dairy.
On days where I do consume something that my body won’t respond well to, (because I’ll be honest, my diet is far from being perfect!) I have found that using peppermint essential oil in water and applying Digize to my abdomen help soothe and bring things back into balance more quickly than not.
Antioxidants help to combat free radicals that we come in to contact with through the environment. Free radicals damage skin and make your skin age faster (hello, wrinkles). It has been proven that antioxidants effectively help to slow down this process, which is why they are vital to giving you skin a natural, radiant glow. Start by consuming more antioxidant rich foods like berries, spinach, and my favorite: dark chocolate. Another way to heal you skin through antioxidants is to supplement with Vitamin C, and I also love a superfood drink called Ningxia Red.
Probiotics and fermented foods help introduce more good bacteria into your gut for optimal digestion. They also help to strengthen the immune system and fight inflammation. The easiest way to get more probiotics is to take a supplement, I love Life9 or Garden of Life. Another approach is to use the probiotic capsules directly on blemishes for concentrated support. You can also eat more foods like kimchi and drink kombucha, a fermented tea.
Zinc is one of the best ways to supplement for healing acne as it helps lower inflammation and balance out oil production. This article is amazing at explaining the benefits and how to use zinc.
– Healing Herbal Teas
Healing herbal teas like hibiscus and chamomile not only are a great way to hydrate and heal the skin, but also introduce highly concentrated, antioxidant-rich botanicals that can speed up the healing process.
When I started healing my skin, I knew nothing about hormones. All I knew was that I would notice more pimples show up around my cycle, and that after my second pregnancy, I had huge cystic pimples that would show up one after the other.
What I’ve learned is that our skin has little receptors that respond to the hormonal “messengers” in our blood. Things that can affect our hormones include stress, sleep, exercise, alcohol, diet, or underlying issues like PCOS.
Some doctors even prescribe birth control pills to help with acne, although birth control pills wreak havoc on the body as a whole, I don’t recommend it, it would make sense as to why hormonal balance plays a huge role in healing our skin.
Of course, there is a lot to learn about the science behind hormones, but you don’t have to learn it all. When it comes to balancing out your hormones, trust that your body knows what to do and do your best to support that.
Track Your Cycle
To start, I highly encourage you begin paying close attention to your cycle, I use an app called FLO that tracks my period and tells me exactly which phase of my cycle I’m in.
If you’re interested in learning more about hormone balance naturally, check out the book Woman Code by Alisa Vitti.
3. Toxic Overload from Modern Skincare Products
Cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben: the ingredients found in one of the best selling facial cleansers on the market, Cetaphil.
Other toxic ingredients that infiltrate today’s modern beauty care include: synthetic fragrances, parabens, and synthetic dyes. All of which weaken our immune system, negatively impact our hormonal balance, and some have even been proven to be carcinogenic.
All modern skin care regimes, including harsh cleansers and most toners, break the skin’s natural water proof seal, leaving the skin red (irritated), and vulnerable to acne-causing bacteria. The skin reacts by producing more oil to regulate its own moisture.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how closely you follow the 3/4/5 step method type regimens, your skin never completely looks or feels that great?
Instead, you can repair your skin by washing with pure plant oils. Personally, I have been oil cleansing for years and just recently started incorporating essential oils into my daily routine. It may seem strange, washing with oils, yet it is one of the top things that will turn your skin around.
Despite what most people think, washing with oils does not leave the skin feeling oily and less than clean, just be sure to use the highest quality organic, authentic, and fresh-pressed botanical oils like jojoba or Seabuckthorn.
Other ways to lighten the toxic load on your skin include:
– stop using synthetic cosmetics,
– and stop applying questionable “natural” products.
Just because there is an image of lavender fields on the label does not mean the bottle is full of intelligent ingredients. Rancidity, refinement, and hidden ingredients mean that not all “naturals” nourish the skin.
Know your source and do your research.
After applying all of these principles into my daily routine, I have found that my skin has never looked or felt better! My skin is still healing from years of abuse and mistreatment, but I am amazed at how quickly the body can recover with just a little care and attention.
If you’re wanting to finally get the skin you’ve always dreamed about, then throw away your mindset of needing the most expensive, harsh products and simplify your skincare.
By taking better care of your digestion, balancing out hormones, and using less toxic products, your skin will have its best chance at restoring to its natural, balanced, and radiant state.