Do you want to get rid of acne, avoid wrinkles, and slow the aging process?
While popular magazines might advertise an endless assortment of skincare products, they miss the simple fact that what you put in your body is far more important that what you put on it.
Acne: The Science and the Solution
In industrialized countries, acne is an epidemic. It affects over 85% of teenagers. (1) But nearly half of men and women still have acne past puberty—and well into their thirties. (2)
So, what is going on? Clearly, a shift in hormones isn’t the only cause of acne. A number of studies have drawn a relationship between a “Western diet” and acne. (3)
Countless skin issues may be directly related to what you eat each day. Acne, eczema, and even wrinkles have been linked to the Western diet.
A Western diet is:
- High in refined sugar
- High in meat
- High in dairy
At Body Ecology, we always emphasize the importance of a healthy inner ecosystem. This is because we know that the bacteria and yeast living the gut affect the health of the skin. Research shows that microbial ecosystems of both the gut and the skin are directly related to skin health. (4)(5)
But there are other ways that a Western diet can contribute to acne.
A study published in 2012 shows that a Western diet can influence the quality of oils that the skin makes and distort the production of hormones in the body. (6) When consumed in excess, sugar and the proteins found in both meat and diary all contribute to acne.
As if that wasn’t enough to deter you from the convenience of industrialized food, a Western diet can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), cancer, and degenerative brain disease. (7)(8)(9)
If you are struggling to get rid of acne, we suggest closely following The Body Ecology Diet to get lasting results.
Eczema: The Science and the Solution
You know eczema by the dry, red patches of skin that become tough and calloused. Sometimes, patches of eczema crack and bleed. In adults, the most common places to spot eczema are around the joints of the hands, feet, elbows, and knees.
Studies show that eczema is more common than ever, identified in over 20% of children. Indeed, by some reports, the number of Americans affected by eczema has nearly tripled in the past 30 years! (10)
Further research reveals that eczema is not simply an issue of dryness. In fact, the skin ecosystem—or the bacteria and yeast living on the surface of the skin—plays an important role in the development of eczema. And your immune system makes or breaks the skin ecosystem. (11)
This is why immunosuppressant drugs, like corticosteroids, are used to control eczema. But these drugs are not without side effects.
To balance the ecosystem of the skin, it is crucial to restore the inner ecosystem of the digestive tract, which also balances the immune system. The best way to rebuild gut health is through probiotic-rich foods like cultured vegetables and coconut water kefir.
We also suggest removing potential trigger foods, such as gluten, dairy, nightshades, and nuts, which can contain anti-nutrients and irritants that trigger an immune response.
Wrinkles: The Science and the Solution
Wrinkles are folds in the skin that begin to appear as you (and your skin) age. Besides the obvious—like the passage of time, smoking, and sun damage—diet is a major factor that contributes to the development of wrinkles.
You see, one mechanism that fuels the formation of a wrinkle is glycation. (12) Glycation happens when a protein molecule teams up with a sugar molecule. In a series of chemical reactions, this relationship forms something fittingly referred to as an AGE, or advanced glycation endproduct. AGEs damage the texture of the skin by causing collagen to weaken and harden. (13)
You can limit the number and the speed at which you acquire wrinkles by controlling how much sugar you consume.
Besides following The Body Ecology Diet, we also suggest that you give your body the building blocks that it needs to generate new skin. This includes bone broth (make sure to skim off the saturated fats)—made from bones rich in collagen, like oxtail and chicken feet—and foods that are rich in vitamin C. The body needs vitamin C to synthesize collagen. You can find vitamin C in raw camu camu and rosehips, with small amounts in cultured cruciferous vegetables.
While diet won’t wipe away your crow’s feet, it can help stave off the formation of future wrinkles.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Flawless skin has much more to do with diet than the latest skincare product advertised in a magazine.
Your skin issues may be linked to pitfalls in your diet:
- Acne. A number of studies have tied chronic acne to the Western diet—high in sugar, meat, and dairy. Following The Body Ecology Diet and avoiding processed foods can pave the way to acne relief; eliminating the Western diet can also reduce the risk of developing PCOS, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
- Eczema. Cases of eczema are on the rise, currently affecting more than 20% of children. Eczema may be a sign that the skin's ecosystem is out of balance. For this reason, it's critical to restore the inner ecosystem of the gut with cultured vegetables and coconut water kefir to rehabilitate eczema. It's also important to remove trigger foods that can cause flare-ups—like dairy, gluten, nightshades, and nuts.
- Wrinkles. Diet is a major contributor to the development of wrinkles; you can stop new wrinkles from forming by controlling sugar in your diet. It's also essential to support anti-aging skin regeneration with collagen-rich bone broth and vitamin C to stimulate collagen synthesis—found in raw camu camu and rosehips.
- James, W. D. (2005). Acne. New England Journal of Medicine, 352(14), 1463-1472.
- Collier, C. N., Harper, J. C., Cantrell, W. C., Wang, W., Foster, K. W., & Elewski, B. E. (2008). The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 58(1), 56-59.
- Cordain, L., Lindeberg, S., Hurtado, M., Hill, K., Eaton, S. B., & Brand-Miller, J. (2002). Acne vulgaris: a disease of Western civilization. Archives of Dermatology, 138(12), 1584.
- Stokes, J. H., & Pillsbury, D. M. (1930). The Effect on the Skin of Emotional and Nervous States: III. Theoretical and Practical Consideration of a Gastro-Intestinal Mechanism. Archives of Dermatology, 22(6), 962.
- Fitz-Gibbon, S., Tomida, S., Chiu, B. H., Nguyen, L., Du, C., Liu, M., ... & Li, H. (2013). Propionibacterium acnes strain populations in the human skin microbiome associated with acne. Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
- Melnik, B. (2012). Dietary intervention in acne: Attenuation of increased mTORC1 signaling promoted by Western diet. Dermato-endocrinology, 4(1), 20-32.
- Dann, S. G., Selvaraj, A., & Thomas, G. (2007). mTOR Complex1–S6K1 signaling: at the crossroads of obesity, diabetes and cancer. Trends in molecular medicine, 13(6), 252-259.
- Proud, C. G. (2011). mTOR Signalling in Health and. Biochemical Society Transactions, 39(part 2).
- Melnik, B. C., John, S. M., & Schmitz, G. (2011). Over-stimulation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling by western diet may promote diseases of civilization: lessons learnt from laron syndrome. Nutr Metab (Lond), 8(41), 562-564.
- Saito, H. (2005). Much atopy about the skin: genome-wide molecular analysis of atopic eczema. International archives of allergy and immunology, 137(4), 319-325.
- Oh, J., Freeman, A. F., Park, M., Sokolic, R., Candotti, F., Holland, S. M., ... & Kong, H. H. (2013). The altered landscape of the human skin microbiome in patients with primary immunodeficiencies. Genome research.
- Danby, F. W. (2010). Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clinics in dermatology, 28(4), 409-411.
- Cooper, M. E. (2006). Advanced glycation end products and vascular structure and function. Current hypertension reports, 8(6), 472-478.