The Skinny On How Food, Hormones and Stress Fuck Up Your Face

Hey guys! So I am starting a new monthly blog series called “The Skinny” which is going to be a more research based post about specific lifestyle issues such as beauty, weight loss, health, hormones, fitness, mental health- EVERYTHING! I want to give you the fact-based low down on health issues instead of my opinion on a specific issue. So this month, I am starting with……. SKIN!

Ugh. Acne. Right?!

I will admit that my face is certainly not perfect but I have never had REALLY bad acne. However, there are certain times (ahem, ladies will know when that is) that there are some really big flare-ups.

At the ripe age of 19 I met a friend who was a former model and cared deeply about things like skin (and had a lot of knowledge on it) and so for my entire adult life, I have been very conscious of my skin and taking care of it. However, I am not a super disciplined person so it’s not like I’ve been perfect.

Skin is such a personal thing. Its condition is sooooo revealing of how you live your life, where you live it and how well you take care of yourself. And there are so many ways to fuck it up.

FOOD

Here’s an obvious one. What you put in your body shows up on your face. If you are living on a diet rich in sugar, carbs and junk food, chances are (unless you are genetically blessed) that it will show up on your face.

“”We’re actually learning that poor nutrition is just as bad for your skin as cigarette smoking,” says Patricia Farris, MD, dermatologist and author of The Sugar Detox. A poor diet can cause inflammation, which triggers oxidative stress and in turn damages collagen and DNA, making you look older.”

And which foods are the worst for your skin? Ugh. Of course, sugar and carbs. Our favourites. Even foods that we used to hail as “diet food”, such as rice cakes, are actually super bad for you.

“Your body metabolizes the simple carbs in the cakes the same way it does sugar—by converting them to glucose. Once they’ve been converted, they stick to wrinkle-fighting proteins like collagen and damage them, says Valori Treloar, MD, dermatologist and author of The Clear Skin Diet.”

HORMONES

Ugh. The bane of my existence. Hormones are a HUGE factor in how your skin looks and they vary so much from person to person. The thing with hormones is that modern science only knows so much about each one and there are countless others we don’t know anything about. They can often be the hidden factor in your health and genetics.

Hormones can be influenced by lifestyle, diet, stress etc. and they are constantly changing. However, learning to work with your hormones can be a huge advantage in clearing up your skin.

Hormones control and regulate the body’s internal environment by regulating metabolism, controlling the reproductive cycle, inducing hunger and cravings, stimulating or inhibiting growth, and preparing the body for changes such as puberty, childbirth, or menopause.

Inflammation can he a huge source of breakouts on the skin. The stimulation of the oil glands, brought on by pro-inflammatory responses, can result in clogged pores and an increase in pro-inflammatory fatty acids. Studies have shown that there is a connection between sugar and inflammation in the body.

STRESS

This is one that is so hard for me. Stress is something we all have to deal with and it can be hard to control. However, it doesn’t just plague your mind, but your body as well. Some doctors are calling this mind-body connection “Psychodermatology”

When you are tense, your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, which may increase the skin’s oil production, making you prone to pimples.

And the problem is, this can be a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. You are stressed, you break out, which makes you self-conscious and you stress out more and so on and so on. And people with psychological issues, like anxiety or depression, can be more prone to stress related skin problems. I know, right? Like we don’t have enough to worry about….

Do you have skin problems? Can you attribute them to one of the issues above? I would love to hear more about how you deal with it? What are your best tricks? Comment below and tell us your beauty/skin secrets!

 

xoxo, laura

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