Skin is a constant battle. Clear one minute, congested the next…or congested all the time for absolutely no good reason. Getting to know what works and doesn’t work for your skin often has less to do with what you’re doing on the outside and more to do with what is happening on the inside. We spoke to Heather Nicole, owner of her eponymous Beverly Hills clinic, Heather Nicole Advanced Integrative Skincare, about the most common breakout triggers, how to treat them and about how the location of your breakouts could mean so much more than you’d think.
What are the most commons breakout triggers?
“Foods that cause inflammation [often have a high content] of gluten, dairy, sugar or alcohol. Having imbalances in the gut like yeast overgrowth or parasites throw off your hormones,” Nicole explains. “Not drinking enough water is also a big one. Water helps eliminate waste from the body, so when you’re not drinking a sufficient amount of water everything becomes sludgy and toxic. The oils become thicker and clog the skin,” she says. A lack of sleep can also contribute to breakouts. “We need to rest, so our bodies can heal of daily stresses and if we aren’t getting enough sleep, our bodies look for alternate sources of energy – this is when we are most likely to eat poorly and drink too much coffee,” which in turn affects the health of our skin and it’s ability to heal.
What should we be eating more of for less congested skin?
“It’s very simple. Leafy green vegetables, soups, smoothies, whole foods…” avoid anything overly processed.”
Where you are breaking out is often indicative of specific health issues – what are some typical examples of this?
“If people have excessive yeast in their system, often they break out on their forehead. If they’re consuming too much dairy, chest and neck is most likely. Breakouts on the cheeks often indicate a bad gut response to gluten or an unhappy large intestine,” Nicole says. Professionals that specialise in holistic skin health, however will be able to give you a more specific and in depth understanding of breakout triggers and how to treat them, especially when it comes to cystic acne.
Okay so, how do I go about getting my skin back on track?
“Usually two weeks of supplements that detoxify the body from yeast, parasites and help alkalise the gut, as well as strictly eating clean and making an effort to drink more water,” is a good place to start in getting your gut and as a result your skin, back on track. Some beauty editor favourites include The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder, KORA Organics Noni Glow Skinfood Supplement and BEAR Essentials Daily Superpowders – Repair, which are all packed with probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to encourage a healthy gut, and in turn a clearer and more glowy complexion.
And while a heavily restricted diet is never fun, especially come silly season, a period of trial and error can often be a good way to find out what particular ingredients could be triggering breakouts for your skin. Also, seeing an expert, such as a dermatologist can help with a longer term management plan if you can’t manage to kick those breakouts on your own.