Prone to blemishes and breakouts? Achieving a clearer complexion comes from the inside out, writes Kate Ferguson.
Pimples, spots and breakouts were once thought to be a feature of our teenage years that we could put behind us once we reached adulthood. But many of us still get breakouts – and usually at the most inopportune moments when we want to look our best!
So what triggers a sudden bout of spots? For women, hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can be a key culprit.
Stress can also contribute to a breakout. When we’re stressed, our bodies respond by producing stress hormones. These can cause an overproduction of sebum (oil) which is also a risk factor for breakouts of pimples and acne.
Our diets can also be to blame for a bout of spots. Many of us think chocolate is the offending party, but it’s actually the consumption of a range of foods with a high glycemic index (GI) that may prompt a breakout. Eating a low GI diet can be beneficial to a clearer complexion.
Skin nutrients for clearer skin from within
Zinc is an essential nutrient that may help to play a role in achieving a clearer complexion. An adequate intake of zinc is needed to assist skin healing and lower levels of zinc on the body have been found in people with acne. Zinc also plays a role in healthy hormone balance.
Vitamin B6 may help if you’re getting breakouts in the lead up to your period as it helps to support healthy hormone balance. Having an adequate intake of vitamin B6 is also important for the maintenance of overall skin health.
Antioxidants help to support skin health and are beneficial to a clearer complexion. A contributing factor to a less than healthy complexion is oxidative stress – more commonly referred to as free-radical damage.
Antioxidants to consider include:
- Vitamin C: helps with skin healing and supporting skin health
- Vitamin E: supports overall skin health
- Copper: helps to support healthy skin
- Selenium: helps to support skin health as a component of antioxidant enzymes produced in the body
Purifying skin herbs
Arctium lappa– burdock, is a herb traditionally used for its alterative action. Alterative herbs may help to support detoxification of the skin. Burdock is traditionally used to help promote clearer skin and may be of use to help support skin affected by acne.
Silybum marianum– milk thistle, is commonly used in traditional herbal medicine as it helps to support liver health and detoxification. Our liver is one of the main organs involved in detoxification.
Did you know?
Up to 30% of women aged between 20-40 experience breakouts?