Let’s Talk About - A Healthy Lifestyle for Healthy Skin (pH Balance)
Ever wonder why people eating salads always look so happy? Maybe because they know it’s giving them clear skin! Let me tell you my thoughts; it could save your complexion.
If you have acne or hyperpigmentation, you’ll KNOW how difficult it is to get rid of and prevent. That’s simply because the cause is deeper than the surface of your skin. Hormones, and the acidic/alkaline value in your skin (or pH balance) play a major part in the health of your skin, as well as the rest of your body. Even though your body’s chemistry seems like something that you can’t touch, the truth is you can alter your hormones, in a good way, to keep yourself and your skin happy.
One key ingredient in your overall health and the clarity of your skin is your DIET. I remember when I was a young teenager and I bought ProActiv, thinking that it would finally clear up my skin - ProActiv came with a packet of information about acne, and it actually said that food DIDN’T affect breakouts… even then, I knew that was wrong. I’ve long been a junk-food-o-holic, and I’ve always seen the link between what I put in my mouth and what happened to my skin.
So let’s get into it… how does the food you eat alter your hormones/pH balance?
If you remember from Chemistry class (joke - I don’t remember anything from Chemistry class), pH scales the level of alkaline and acid. Here, have a diagram:
Too much acid in the body causes inflammation, and can leave your body vulnerable to bacterial invasions (AKA poor health). Most notably, when your body is mostly acidic, you will see very poor skin reactions… acne, oiliness, hyper pigmentation, and the like. That being said, having too much alkaline could cause similar issues… dry, irritated skin, and breakouts once again. The key is to have a more balanced pH.
*Let it be noted that when discussing this, we are not taking into account the actual pH of the food itself, but how the food affects the pH of your body & skin.
To keep a more balanced pH, and thus clearer skin, you must remove some of the acidic foods from your diet and incorporate in more alkaline foods. Here is a helpful (but not whole) list:
- Almond Milk
- Black Beans
- Corn Syrup
- Hard Liquor
- Soft Drinks
- Drugs, Medicinal
- Drugs, Psychedelic
- Sea Veggies
- Spinach, green
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wheat Grass
- Wild Greens
- Dates, dried
- Figs, dried
- Fresh Fruit Juices
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Note that all animal proteins, caffeine, and processed foods are acidic, and almost all vegetables are alkaline. But eating all veggies isn’t going to give your skin a healthy balance… you need a bit of acidic foods, and a bit of alkaline foods. Think of the food pyramid! You need a dose of each food group every day to maintain a balance in your body.
(This is the food pyramid I knew when I was growing up… they’ve changed it to something weird looking, but I think this makes more sense.)
Another important thing to think about are the hormones that are actually in your food. This might sound like vegan hype, but it is true that in most dairy and meat products, there are extra hormones that can affect our bodies. Of course animals produce their own hormones, but many are fed extra hormones to make them produce or grow more. This can sometimes be said of vegetables as well! To avoid this, choose organic products, or food that advertises that it is hormone-free. (You’ll also be helping your local community business, as most organic produce, etc. is sold locally). Also remember to ALWAYS rinse off your produce before you consume it… see how herbacides, etc. is listed under acid-forming?
Still can’t figure out what’s up with your skin? Try keeping a food diary… it sounds silly, but it will help 100%. Monitor your daily intake of food and beverages, and also keep track of your skin’s daily condition. Soon you will begin to see a pattern between the foods that you eat, and how often you eat them, and the clarity of your skin. Knowing which foods trigger your breakouts can help you learn what to avoid. Physically writing this down everyday is easiest for me, but you can also get Food Journal apps on your smartphone!
There are more factors, apart from your diet, that could affect your skin’s pH balance & body’s hormones… stress, lack of sleep, and sun damage to your skin. Choosing some healthy lifestyle changes could correct this… and make you happier overall!
- Try meditating, or just sitting in silence and breathing deeply for a few minutes every day. Clearing your mind can not only relax your body, but can also help you think more positively throughout the day.
- Simple exercise, like yoga, pilates, or a daily workout DVD, can boost your heart rate as well as your mood, and encourage healthy blood flow (which is key for a glowing complexion!
- Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day to prevent overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays… when your skin is damaged, you cause it’s pH to become imbalanced.
Of course I am no scientist, but it is upsetting to see people with skin conditions that make them self-conscious that they simply can’t get rid of. There are only so many topical methods that you can try, and it gets frustrating when nothing seems to help. I hope this methodology helps some of you to understand your skin a bit better - and in this case, we learn that beauty truly is more than skin-deep.