Being concerned about your skin’s health is completely valid and normal, as it’s constantly staring at you in the mirror which is incredibly hard to avoid (unless you remove every mirror in your house).
Sometimes bad skin is unavoidable and you’re absolutely not to blame, other times there might be something else at the root of the problem. So, if you feel like your face never really grew out of its awkward adolescent phase, you’ve tried everything and you’re at your wit’s end, it might be time to make a few tiny lifestyle changes and think about the food you eat, as both can be linked to the health and quality of your skin.
Failing that, you can embrace your imperfect skin or make an appointment with your GP if it’s really bugging you. There are always options, which we love.
Here are some initial steps you can take to potentially improve your skin health.
Hydration can lead you on the path to good skin health
Our bodies are made up of approximately 50-80% water, so drinking plenty of H2O is absolutely crucial to ensure overall healthy bodily function. Dehydration impacts us in plenty of ways, like causing dry-mouth, headaches, dizziness, and irritability and it can be caused by many daily activities. Things like working out, doing a physically demanding job in the heat, and drinking alcohol (a known diuretic) can deplete your body of water.
Cutting back on drinking alcohol, for example, is a tangible step you can take to help avoid dehydration in the first place. As someone who has woken up parched at 3am after a night out with a mouth drier than cardboard, I can attest to this – when drinking grog, more often than not you’re substituting it for water and neglecting to hydrate.
It’s worth noting that dehydration also causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum (your skin’s natural oil) which can cause breakouts. So hitting the water is a great option to keep your skin healthy.
Avoiding sugar might just avoid another breakout
Sugar’s high glycaemic index raises our blood sugar level rapidly, which in turn causes your body to release more insulin and hormones.
It’s the release of hormones and insulin that can play havoc with the skin’s oil production, so a breakout after excessive consumption of sugar shouldn’t come as a surprise.
So, if you’re prone to guzzling sugary bevs while you log hours on COD, consider opting for mineral water if you still want to get that bubbly hit.
Maintaining a healthy diet can improve gut and skin health
The solution to good skin health is slightly more complicated than cutting entire food groups out of your diet – the inclusion of more vegetables, for example, provides you with the necessary vitamins and minerals that maintain a balanced microbiome.
For people with certain skin conditions, reducing or removing gluten from your diet might also be a sensible decision. For example, those who suffer from coeliac disease might have experienced a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis, with symptoms including severe itchiness and mild rashes.
Like all medical conditions, see your doctor before self-diagnosing or making huge changes to your diet, like cutting out gluten, as it may not be right for everyone.
If all else fails, speak to a GP
If your skin is still less than ideal after you’ve adjusted your diet and lifestyle, there’s absolutely no harm in speaking to your GP to get further advice.
They could identify an issue that you’ve previously left unchecked, or offer some topical creams or other remedies to straighten out that skin.
If this has inspired you to end your unhealthy relationships with some junk in your life – be it alcohol, sugar or junk food, Queensland Health have some great tips to get you started.