You Can't Heal A Constipated Skin
When I heard the phrase “you can’t heal a constipated skin”, the penny really dropped for me.
As both a holistic facialist and a nutritionist, I’ve been working to combine my two crafts together for a very long time. And I have. I know what foods you need to eat more of to get your skin glowing. I know that true skin health (and full body health) starts in the gut. I know how to treat a leaky gut.
But a constipated skin? That made so much sense to me when I heard it.
Let’s discuss this.
Do you suffer from acne? ‘Hormonal’ breakouts? The hormonal breakouts is an interesting one too. I think so often we are quick to label breakouts as ‘hormonal’, especially if they appear around the chin, but without any sign of hope of treating them. Once a breakout is classified as ‘hormonal’, skin therapists everywhere throw their hands in the air and say “untreatable”. But this is not the case, and it ties in nicely to treating a constipated skin.
(Hormonal breakouts require an entire blog post on their own, but in short, this refers to the load put on your liver, and it’s ability to detoxify your body. When you’re suffering from constipation, toxins that are meant to be pushed out of the body via regular poops, will be reabsorbed back into your system. This can include hormones, hence the term ‘hormonal’ breakouts).
Ok, so what do I mean by constipated skin? I literally mean, how many times a day are you pooping? More often than not, the answer to this (unless you’re suffering from IBS), is “once a day, or every 2-3 days”. Let me tell you something - THIS IS NOT ENOUGH.
A healthy digestive system would actually clear itself after every meal. The action of peristalsis (“the involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestine or another canal, creating wave-like movements which push the contents of the canal forward”) should be activated by food entering the digestive system, pushing anything that’s remaining in there - out.
But a diet low in fibre, water, high in animal protein, processed foods and refined carbs, makes this process more difficult. And even if you think you’re eating enough vegetables - eat more. I invite you to take a good look at your nutritional intake, and see where changes can be made. Just as every skin is different, every body is different too, so unfortunately there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to treating constipation. For some people it could be that your digestive fire (the ‘agni’, as it’s referred to in ayurveda) is not strong enough. People with more of a kapha/vata predominance will have weaker digestive fires and thus weaker digestive systems. If this is you, reducing your intake of cold drinks and foods (ie smoothies and green juices), and rather stoking that fire with warming spices, could help get things moving.
Even though there are no hard and fast rules, here are my top 5 recommendations that should be looked at for everybody. If you’re already doing all of these things but still battling acne and constipation, I invite you to book in for a consultation with us at The Beauty Elixir, so we can delve deeper into your personal health history and current state of health.
Eat 8 servings of vegetables every day
Yes, 8. And no, you can’t get the necessary fibre from a teaspoon of a greens superfood powder. A couple of these serves can be fruit, for example berries and banana or pear, apple or mango with your breakfast. Snack on raw vegetables (carrots, cucumber, celery, capsicum) with hummus, and load your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner. Mix up the cooked and raw vegetables, ideally eat both in the same meal. Plus if you can add a tablespoon of kimchi or sauerkraut to lunch and dinner (and breakfast if you’re having savoury) for an added bonus!
Drink 3 litres of water daily
If you’re not drinking this much water, you’re not drinking enough! 3 litres is an approximation, ideally you want to drink 1 litre per 20kg of bodyweight, with more if you’re exercising. Not only is your body made up of at least 70% water, but without water, nothing can F-L-U-S-H out. Comprende?
Start your day with lemon water
This is so basic, it seems silly - but the reason it’s always recommended, is because it’s that good! Not only will the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm (hear that, warm) water give you almost all your daily vitamin C requirements, this will kick-start your digestion and help your liver and gallbladder function properly. And I want to repeat the WARM water part. Warm water is recommended because you want to slowly start to stoke your agni (digestive fire). By dumping cold water straight into your belly, you’re literally dumping cold water on to a small fire. What do you think this will do? Completely put it out, correct. Warm water helps to get the fire going for the day.
Drink apple cider vinegar (ACV) before every meal
This helps get your digestive enzymes going! If you can’t stomach ACV, I suggest having an entree of salad greens (the more bitter the better) with a dressing of Bestow Beauty Plus oil, ACV, garlic and honey.
Add in the Janesce Aperitif
Supplementing long term is never our goal, but a short burst of digestion and liver help, especially when working with an acneic skin, is always a good booster. The Janesce Aperitif is a herbal tonic designed to support the digestive system and liver, purify the blood and lymph, and take excess heat out of the body. You can pick one up next time you’re in the clinic. Book your consultation or facial now.