When you have skin issues, whether minor or serious,—or you’re just not looking as fresh and glowy as you want to—it can really zap your confidence. Before turning to harsh approaches, we sought out tried-and-true natural ways to look amazing. Warning: Side effects may include more energy and boosted immunity.
Balance your skin bacteria.
Your skin has its own microbiome with good and bad bacteria, and striking the right balance is key to having clear skin. We love Mother Dirt’s AO+Mist probiotic body spray, which has a strain of live bacteria that eat the ammonia in your sweat and convert it into healthy components. Those components can clear up rough, bumpy skin; balance both oily and dry skin; improve clarity and tone; and fight odor. (Bonus: Clean Plates readers can get it and all of Mother Dirt’s clean, plant-based, fragrance-free skin products for 20% off right now, plus free shipping—use the code CLEANPLATES at checkout.)
Cut the sugar.
“Cutting excess sugar is a very important approach,” says Dr. Alan Dattner, holistic dermatologist and author of Radiant Skin from the Inside Out. “Sugar chomps up collagen and elastic tissue, so you lose the elasticity of the skin. That makes it more saggy and wrinkly. I don’t know anyone who wants to look more saggy and wrinkly, do you?”
Eat more green vegetables.
“For one thing, it’s displacing other things”, Dr. Datter says. “And they have a lot of fiber, which supports a healthy [gut] microbiome, which gives much better function in general, less inflammation, less leaky gut. Plus you get a lot of minerals and vitamins and enzymes,” all of which contribute to healthier skin.
Look into food allergies.
“If you suspect you have a food allergy or intolerance, it’s worth investigating for your skin as well as your digestion,” Dr. Dattner says. Food allergies may be at the root of rashes, eczema, acne and other ailments, as the immune system fights off the offender. If you have a mild food allergy or an intolerance and you haven’t been vigilant about avoiding it, or you suspect you might have an allergy but haven’t looked into it, use that chronic rash or acne as motivation. Getting rid of it may be as easy as removing the offending food.
“Emotional stress will affect many aspects of health,” Dr. Dattner says. “It inhibits digestion, it affects how your immune system works, it can lead to inflammation. Stress also often will cause inappropriate eating, and it can lead to picking and scratching that will aggravate skin conditions. These are all ways that stress makes a difference.”
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