Ok, so maybe I’ve been blessed with good genes and you haven’t. I know I don’t look my age, but would I look older if I had a different lifestyle and eating habits? You betcha! There was a time, several years ago, when I didn’t have good skin. In fact, I looked like I was afflicted with some sort of disease thanks to the chronic scabby red rash all over my chin and under my nose. It really upset me. I tried to cover it up with make-up, but somehow I felt that this drew more attention to how bad my skin really was. My boyfriend, at the time, also kindly pointed out that the state of my skin aged me a lot. I was at my wits end to find out what it was and how to get rid of it. I wasted hundreds of pounds on seeing specialists, getting tests and buying all sorts of creams and treatments. One of the creams I was subscribed was in fact meant for skin cancer! I spent the best part of six months on antibiotics which did make the dermatitis go away – as long as I continued to take them. In the meantime my digestion deteriorated. I wasn’t a happy bunny.
So, how did I solve this puzzle? The flu. I got the flu and for about 10 days all I ate was chicken soup. I felt like crap, but miraculously my skin looked amazing! Would chicken soup be the cure? Not exactly. Real home-made chicken soup does have many health benefits, but it was cutting out all dairy products that made the difference.
Previous to my illness I had experimented with cutting out cows milk, and keeping yogurt, or just having goats milk products. This had helped but not significantly enough. When I was well again, I experimented with reintroducing dairy products but the results were always the same – when I ate milk products I got dermatitis. The reaction was actually pretty quick; within 2 hours of eating some sort of dairy I’d start feeling itchy and a little wet pimple would appear. As hard as it was giving up dairy (I used to love love love yogurt, icecream and various French and Italian cheeses), a whole new, exciting clear-skinned world opened up to me.
So, what does this mean to you? Give up dairy! Only joking. That was my solution, and it may well be yours, but it might also not be. I won’t go into the pros and cons of dairy here as there’s too much to go into, so I’ll leave it for another post. However, what I will say is that dairy consumption is very strongly linked to allergies and other skin problems.
So, what else can you do?
- The obvious – drink LOTS of water. Pee is one of the primary ways of clearing toxins from the body and if you don’t drink and therefore pee enough, your body will still try to get rid of it, albeit, less effectively, through other means… (including your skin)! The average person needs about 2 litres or 8 x 250ml glasses of water a day. If you are above average height or weight, or already dehydrated, you will need more and if you work out, you’ll need even more again.
- Sweat. Sweat. Sweat. Sweat is another of the body’s primary ways to get rid of toxins. If you can sweat it out at the gym or outside and then have a refreshing shower, that’ll be a lot better than having those toxins accumulate on your face!
- Experiment with cutting out all milk products. This includes butter, milk, yogurt, ice-cream, cheese, biscuits, cakes, pastries, pizza, dips, etc. If you’re eating out, just ask for dairy-free; most places will accommodate, if they’re any good. Always read the label on pre-made food. Do this for 7 days and observe any changes in your skin and overall sense of well-being. Add one dairy item back in, such as natural plain yogurt, and note down all changes over the next 5 days. This will help you work out how dairy affects you.
- Take probiotics – or even better, eat cultured foods. How do you do? Not polite, silly, traditionally fermented! Often skin problems are caused by an imbalance of internal flora (good vs bad bacteria in the gut), so readdressing this balance will often help. Examples are sauerkraut, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, kefir and traditionally pickled cucumbers. There’s a caveat; they have to be unpasteurised. The pasteurisation process kills the good bacteria rendering the product a bit pointless. You can buy good quality fermented products from here.
- Omega 3 is a key anti-inflammatory missing in most people’s diets. Eat fresh raw walnuts, cold milled flaxseed and take cold pressed cod liver oil. This will provide your body with a multitude of benefits, including helping your skin heal.
- Eat more greens! You need to eat organic greens EVERY DAY! These help purify the blood and detoxify the body. The fibre will also help cleanse your intestines of unwanted toxic build up. This is a must for beautiful skin!
- One last tip: MSM. All my friends will quote me on this: bad skin, hair or nails? Take MSM. This is short for methylsulfonylmethane and it’s an organic sulphur. It’s nicknamed “the beauty mineral” as it is so effective in improving your radiance. It helps your cells both to absorb more nutrients and to expel toxins. It also can help to reduce allergies. I get mine from here.
Putting all of these ideas into action you’ll notice a huge difference in the health of your skin within weeks. To get perfect skin, be patient and be persistent; especially if your starting point is quite dire.
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