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Gut Check

by Meredith Nathan, LMT & Master Skin Coach

Who doesn't feel better when they feel they look their best? Great genes and fantastic skincare will get you part of the way to having radiant, gorgeous skin, but skin with clarity, youthfulness, and health requires attention from the inside-out just as much as from the outside-in.  After all, we are what we eat, and truly beautiful skin is more than skin deep…

A few tips to spruce up that inner glow:

* Drink up!  Dehydration is bad for the body no matter which way you cut it.  When the skin becomes dehydrated we see a host of issues: dryness, irritation, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, circulation challenges (we see this especially under the eyes), lack of luminosity, skin sagging, and even skin toxicity...YIKES!   In addition to using a high quality, deeply penetrating moisturizer, try drinking 6-8 cups of water or herbal tea each day.  And if you want to take it up a notch, try the 3-liter-a-day challenge, and watch your skin transform!  (Be sure to drink water that’s filtered, but also be aware that most filtered waters are mineral-depleted and acidic.  Adding a lemon slice to your glass is a quick and easy way to add electrolytes and alkalinize your H2O!) 

* Health starts in the gut! Healthy bacteria, called probiotics, are an essential part of creating a balanced micro biome.  Healthy micro biome = healthy you.  But what does a micro biome have to do with your skin?  Probiotics have a strong anti-inflammatory effect as they bolster the immune system, which can help with facial acne, eczema, rosacea, dryness, irritation, and body acne (have back acne, or 'bacne'?  We've watch probiotics do the trick time and time again).  Probiotics are naturally occurring in fermented foods such as kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, as well as kefir, yogurt, and some cheeses.  Or, to cover your bases, try a simple probiotic supplement.

* Eat the rainbow!  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will up your antioxidant levels, which protect your skin against harmful free radicals (the rogue molecules trying to steal your electrons!).  To get the broadest range of antioxidant protection, think color.  Every different color of fruit and veggie specializes in protecting you against a different type of free radical, so don’t eat the same thing over and over again.  Many fruits and veggies (and especially dark, leafy greens) will provide you with flavonoids (phytochemicals) and other vital skin nutrients:

Vitamin A - required for your skin to maintain and repair itself

Vitamin B - (and especially Biotin) - supports skin’s metabolic functions

Vitamin C - builds collagen in the skin

Vitamin E - an anti-inflammatory and protectant to the skin

* Essential fatty acids are…essential!  Omega 3’s help support your skin’s cell membranes, and healthy cell membranes allow nutrients to enter and toxins to exit.  Furthermore, the membrane is what allows the cell to hold water.  More water in the skin cells = more hydrated, supple, soft, and youthful-looking skin.  These friendly fats also combat inflammation with their friend the probiotic.  You can find omega 3’s in​ walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil, though the best place to get them is from​ cold water fish like salmon​, ​tuna​, and mackerel​. ​Eat 2-3 servings of such fish every week, or supplement for your best results.

Get ready to glow!

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