Nutrition & Your Skin

After yesterday’s post on oils and how they can be used internally or externally for your health, I got some good questions:

What oils should I be using if I have oily, not dry, skin?


I always get zits 10 days before my period – would changing my diet help?

Nutrition and your skin are very closely tied. To simplify it, anything that goes into your body must also come out in some way, shape or form. That could be through urine or bowels, through your mouth, or through your skin. Acne is often indicative of a body that is rejecting a certain type of food, whether it be something you’re allergic to or something that is foreign to the body such as hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup. Acne in teenagers is usually due to a combination of things: hormone stimulation, bacteria production, stress and poor diet. In adults, it is more likely to be a result of mainly stress and poor diet.

For someone with oily skin, taking a fish oil supplement can still help. Skin problems often are a result of inflammation, and the omega-3s in fish oil help to fight this inflammation. There are many studies showing that fish oil has significantly improved acne symptoms in people, including symptoms like oily and splotchy skin. The omega-3 fats have a balancing effect that can help those with oily or dry skin. And as a bonus, it reduces wrinkle formation and helps create shiny hair and healthy nails! Flaxseed oil has also been shown to help reduce oily skin.

Some other skin-supporting nutrients to try, whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or are getting blemishes before your period, include B-vitamins, beta-carotene, essential fatty acids, fiber, selenium, vitamins A, C and E, zinc and water. Eliminating common allergens such as gluten and dairy for the week you are experiencing inflammation on your face can greatly reduce acne occurrence as well. Even if you are not allergic to gluten or dairy, you could still have a mild intolerance. Other things to eliminate if you want to clear up your skin include alcohol, excessive caffeine, and any processed foods – especially those that contain sugars, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils and trans fats. Any fried foods will definitely increase the likelihood of blemishes or skin issues as well. I recommend doing an experiment. Try eliminating all of these foods for one week or 10 days, and see what happens. Then, as your reintroduce them, observe the changes in your skin and the rest of your body. This is the best way to find out which foods are affecting you, and how.

Water is particularly important, because it helps rid our body of unwanted toxins through our urine, bowels, or sweat. Without enough water, these toxins will stay inside of our bodies and find another way to come out – often times through our skin in the form of acne. So, stay hydrated!


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