This chart which was developed for my ebook “Diagnose Your Acne” was reproduced in a great article by Tracy McCullough from “The Love Vitamin“, a blog that promotes holistic living for clear skin and happiness.
Acne has may causes and one of the most important thing to note is that what causes your acne may be completely different to someone else and so what works for one may not work for another. For this reason it is common for those with acne try and have fail many treatments and this is because the underlying cause of the acne has not been established in the first place. Until this is established and then treated appropriately, acne is unlikely to clear completely. While it seems a bit like a puzzle to work out what is going on, once all the factors are established an effective treatment plan should make lasting change.
One way of determining what is happening is to look at the colour of the skin and the location of the pustules or congestion. Both factors serve as a guide to internal health and can give an indication of certain underlying conditions in the body. Using facial diagnosis can give useful clues as to what is happening below the surface:
Read Tracy’s full blog post at “The Love Vitamin“Twitter It!
I love summer, but not because of the heat and humidity rather because I get to go to the beach and swim. With skin like mine, I have to be careful and so a protective swimming shirt, hat and 30+ micronized zinc sunscreen are absolute essentials for me. Even then I don’t go to the beach between 10am and 2pm. Despite the preparation, I still manage to develop a new crop of freckles each year. Now freckles I don’t mind but sun damage and more permanent skin pigmentation I do so there are strategies I incorporate in my daily skin care regimen and ingredients I look for in my skin care and sunscreen that help to manage and prevent the likelihood of both.
Firstly and most importantly, the regular use of SPF products is critical. Research completed in September 2011 (Diffey BL, J Cosmet Dermatol) evaluated the effect of daily application of topical photo-protective products and its effect on facial photo-aging (skin aging due to sun damage). The results show that regular use of topical photo-protective agents (SPF sunscreens) significantly reduces the lifetime exposure to UV. While this may seem logical interestingly, the SPF rating was of lesser importance that beginning regular use early in life. IN addition many only use an SPF product in the summer months and this study identified that year-round use was preferable. To sum up this research, start early and use an SPF product daily.
Some plant ingredients have shown a good protective effect against UV damage and erythema, which is skin reddening, coupled with inflammation. Human studies suggest that green tea polyphenols in particular are photo-protective in nature, and can be used as topical agents for the prevention of solar UVB light-induced skin disorders including photo-aging and potentially non-melanoma skin cancers. Use as a preventative for non-melanoma skin cancers requires more clinical trials in humans to confirm ongoing efficacy.
In addition to its skin protective effects, green tea also has good antioxidant activity as well as and ability to slow skin matrix degradation which leads to wrinkles and loss of firmness. White tea shows similar protective and skin rejuvenation effects. The fern polypdium leucotomos has also shown a photo-aging protective effect however this is less widely used in skincare than green tea.
When it comes to skin lightening and reduction of pigmentation, there are good ingredients and some that are not so good. The use of hydroquinone, which was the standard prescription for skin lightening, has become controversial due to its potential long-term consequences including a potential cancer causing effect when consumed orally. This has lead researchers to look at new skin lightening ingredients particularly for those with mild to moderate skin pigmentation. One study completed in 2010 (Draelos ZD, Yatskayer M, Bhushan P, et al, Cutis) compared a 4% hydroquinone cream with a topical formulation containing the herbal ingredients kojic acid, emblica extract and glycolic acid from sugar cane. Eight participants used either the herbal formulation or the hydroquinone cream twice daily for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, results showed that the herbal preparation was just as effective as the hydroquinone cream. Other studies have showed similar results with either one or a number of herbal skin lightening ingredients.
It is important to note that the clinical trials are conducted over a 12-week period as skin cell turnover takes approximately 90-120 days, which means the new non-pigmented skin cells take this long to emerge. If you choose to try a skin lightening cream or serum to manage pigmentation, be aware that it will take time so don’t expect overnight results.
So apart from the “slip, slop, slap” routine (for non-Australians this is translated as “slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat”), these measures mean that despite living in Queensland I can be sure I am doing the best to prevent progressive sun damage and minimize sun cancer risk.
My product recommendations:
Daily Sun Protection
A bad nights skin can leave us looking tired but usually after a few good nights sleep things improve and our appearance returns to normal. As a one off, poor sleep can be managed but long-term sleeplessness can have a profoundly negative effect on skin health. Skin issues relating to sleeplessness range from premature ageing to chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
The primary reason for this is stress as both the initial cause of the insomnia and the eventual damage to skin tissues. Insufficient or poor quality sleep has been associated with a rise in cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and a decline in melatonin (the sleep hormone) and seratonin (the feel-good hormone).
Insomnia also disrupts the optimal processing of collagen formation, which is essential for skin structure and integrity. The follow on effects from poor collagen formation include the disruption of the acid mantle leading to excessive moisture loss and increased sensitivity and permeability to topical products.
To maintain healthy skin, it is recommended you get at least 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night.
So what does this mean for those with chronic skin conditions (including premature ageing and chronic skin dehydration)? Assess your sleep patterns. Ask yourself these questions:
If can answer yes to any of these questions on a regular basis, it may be worth addressing your sleep patterns.
A few simple tips to optimize sleep hygiene:
There are many other tips to help you get a good nights sleep but remember if it is a chronic problem, seek help as there are solutions that don’t involve sleeping tablets. And ideally, deal with the stress that is causing the insomnia in the first place.
If you have any sleep tips, let us know. I am sure all readers will benefit.Twitter It!
I tried to take a tablespoon of Coconut oil once and hated it because it tasted like toasted coconut. So when I was convinced (it was hard work) to try Magic Coconut oil I was sceptical. I was completely surprised – it was delicious and didn’t taste like rich toasted coconut rather like the fresh nut.
Despite the claims that coconut oil can cure most health concerns under the sun (slight exaggeration I think!) there is some good research and a long history of use with Ayurvedic medicine.
The key component of coconut oil is Lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin and it is this active that helps the body deal with foreign microbes, yeasts and bacteria. Although coconut oil is comprised of more than 90% saturated fat with traces of unsaturated fatty acids, most of the saturated fats are medium chain triglycerides (MCFA), which the body assimilates well rather than storing as fat or roaming around the body having a damaging effect on the cardiovascular system.
Unlike other saturated fats, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil are not bad for the heart. The Lauric acid prevents the increase in LDL (bad cholesterol) and in fact helps to increase HDL (protective cholesterol). In population studies, people who have traditionally consumed large quantites of coconut oil as part of their diet have a lower than normal incidence of heart disease and good cardiovascular health. Keep in mind that traditional diets also include large quantities of whole foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains, which have a high antioxidant content.
As a regular part of your diet coconut oil may assist with the management of
Traditionally coconut oil has been applied topically for:
To take coconut oil internally you can use it in cooking as it is a very stable oil. It doesn’t oxidize easily at high temperatures. Alternatively you can mix it into a hot drink (if it is a mild tasting pure oil, you won’t notice the flavour) or even use it as a replacement for flax oil in the Lemon Detox Drink.
Read more about Magic Coconut oilTwitter It!
I was given a great resource the other day from the Choose Cruelty Free (CCF) organisation: a copy of their latest booklet “being cruel is uncool”. I opened the book an almost vomited on the spot – true! The picture that made me feel so queasy was of an animal that had had been used to test eye cosmetics. I won’t describe the picture more than to say it was gruesome. Images of cruelty aside this booklet contains a product list of preferred vegan and cruelty free products in Australia.
It also outlines the common animal tests including the following:
I strongly feel that cosmetic testing on animals is completely unnecessary when there are so many alternatives available. One of the things that appeals to me about using natural ingredients is that most of them have been used safely by humans for a very long time. This creates a history of safe use and so animal tests don’t even factor into the equation. Thank goodness.
The most interesting thing I noticed was that there are obviously many ingredients that are animal derivatives that are being used in some cosmetics that do have natural plant alternatives. A couple of examples I found:
From my perspective, not all the brands included are natural or even organic but it does list many natural ranges and some that we sell. I must say at this point that brands that test cosmetics on animals are automatically excluded from the ranges that we retail. We don’t even consider them – ever. Nor do we have products that include animal parts that are extracted from animals such as placenta. We do however have products that contain beeswax, goat’s milk, propolis and carmine and I will note that those products wouldn’t be endorsed by CCF.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.Twitter It!
It pains me to admit it but I have a skin issue – over the last 6 months I have developed two small red patches, each one about the size of a match head exactly where I hold my mobile phone. One is on my jawline and the other just in front of my ear. At first I wasn’t concerned and actually just thought one was a scratch, but then it didn’t heal and kept peeling and bleeding and this is when I became concerned. Given my pale skin and blue eyes (high risk factors for basal cell carcinomas) I took myself off to the sun cancer clinic for a 6 monthly check and the Doctor took a biopsy. I find out in a couple of weeks if one of the patches is a BCC. But if it isn’t, what is it AND why did both patches appear EXACTLY where I use my phone. Of course I have a few of theories:
Firstly, it may actually be a basal cell carcinoma – this still raises the question as to why the location in particular. I have come up with a possible reason BUT please note, this are just my own thoughts and certainly not proof.
Hot spots on the skin generated by mobile phone use are well documented and in fact (call me paranoid, my partner does!) I avoid using my iphone for long periods as it makes my ear and the left side of my head hot where I hold it. I usually use it on speaker or pick up a land line for long calls. Research conducted in Russia has shown that mobile use can increase the skin temperature at the site by up to 4.7 degrees Celsius. Professor Olle Johansson a Swedish scientist is concerned that microwave radiation (the frequency used by mobiles) may be altering skin cells. He says, “If microwave radiation is causing the skin to heat up it could also be having other effects – potentially causing abnormalities in cells.”
So, just imagine that this is the case, the hot spots from the phone perhaps combined with years of QLD sun exposure may actually be promoting the development of a BCC in my skin. I also have to note that the red patches have been worse since I took the protective plastic coat and case off my iphone and this may actually lead to it being another issue entirely…
A nickel allergy! Again it has been well documented that mobile phones (this research hasn’t been updated since the introduction of the iphone) containing nickel in the exterior coating can cause a type of contact dermatitis. I call it mob-i-derm (mobile phone induced dermatitis)! If this is the case I have to note, I have never experienced a nickel allergy beforehand despite wearing lots of cheap silver jewelry in the early 90s. However, the fact that it was worse once I removed the case means more direct skin contact and greater potential for an allergy. I did a quick search on Apple products and there are a lot of anecdotal reports of contact dermatitis from ipads and Mac Book Pro computers so at a guess, the iphone may also contain nickel.
Thirdly, and this goes back to hot spots but there are numerous cases of what is called “toasted skin syndrome” which is actually commonly associated with laptop use on bare legs. Ok so this hasn’t been linked with mobile phone use as yet but the similarity of the “hot spots” make it a potential but as yet identified cause. In addition, bringing us back to issues with carcinomas, those with toasted skin syndrome may have an increased risk of developing squamous cell cancer due to prolonged inflammation of the skin. However, at the point of writing this, there have been no identified cases so again, this is just a hypothesis.
Finally, and this is where it gets a bit out there, apparently a percentage of the population are becoming hypersensitive to electronics. The Swedish Association for the Electro HyperSensitive (yes there is such an association!) lists some of the warning signs as:
The only symptom that I can relate to is the first one and so I don’t think that I am personally hypersensitive to electronics but with the rise in use of personal electronic gadgets in our lives, it may be more common that we think.
So, I guess after slightly over-thinking this issue the best thing I can do is wait to see the results of my skin biopsy…and use a headset for my phone in the meantime. I am prepared, although somewhat indignantly given the care I have taken of my skin for so long, that the patches may just be the result of sun damage (it is human nature to look for something else to blame…isn’t it???). I would love to know if anyone else has any thoughts about this issue, ideas about how to manage it or have experienced anything similar.Twitter It!
Given the frequency of allergic skin reactions when I found this article by Mukti of Mukti Botanicals I thought it was excellent. It is an extensive look at how to manage skin allergies and so I have included it in full. If you have experienced allergic skin reactions at any stage I would love to hear what you did to overcome the problem or indeed if you are still trying to work out what the culprits are:
Allergies are a leading cause of chronic disease in western civilizations. With an annual cost estimated well into the tens of billions, allergies are believed to complicate and handicap the lives of millions of adults and children alike.
At some point most of us have experienced an allergic reaction or sensitivity to something in our immediate surrounds. It is unknown as to why certain individuals develop allergic sensitivities. In some cases it may take repeat exposures over a long period of time before an allergy actually develops or it could be due to a combination of certain chemicals or environmental exposure. Once you have become sensitized (allergic) your immune system “remembers” and you will continue to be sensitive to that particular ingredient. If you suffer from eczema a particular chemical may be the cause but other factors play a role as well. Whatever the case, reactions are very idiosyncratic and paradoxical in nature due to our unique biochemical makeup. Therefore it is difficult to determine and pin point the exact cause.
What we do know about allergies is that our immune system over reacts with its defence mechanisms to a familiar or unfamiliar substance with a unique response to each subsequent exposure. When our skin or system encounters an individual or combination of particular ingredients our immune system responds by accepting, rejecting or adapting to the substance. If a reaction occurs our body naturally produces histamines as a defence mechanism and to rid the body of the unwanted toxin.
A reaction to a substance can trigger a number of associated problems. Topically you may experience swelling, redness, itching, burning, rash like pimples and general irritation. Other symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, difficult or obstructed breathing and may be linked to a number of common yet serious respiratory illnesses such as asthma and sinusitis. Of greater concern is that in some cases reactions can be severe and sometimes even fatal.
Similar to our genetic predisposition such as height, eye colour and baldness, the capacity to become allergic is an inherent characteristic. Although you may be born with a genetic makeup capable of developing allergies, you may not be allergic to specific allergens. Several factors contribute and must be present for an allergic sensitivity to develop:
Two ingredients that are present in all mass-produced cosmetics and personal care products are fragrances and preservatives and are often thought to be the major contributors to skin problems. Fragrances whether they are synthetic or natural in origin can have a cumulative effect. Artificial fragrances can in fact be composed of more than 200 chemical constituents including known carcinogens such as methyl chloride. There is no current regulation for fragrance manufactures to disclose the ingredients or test for toxic synergies.
Preservatives are a necessary addition in skin care products. Without them moulds, bacteria and fungus would contaminate the product posing further health risks. There are now a number of efficient natural preservatives including: Citrus Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Co2 rosemary extract, Gum Benzoin, Grape seed Extract, Tea Tree Extract, Silver Chloride and other patented synergies that are derived from oils and extracts that have potent anti-microbial, anti-bacterial properties. Manufacturers should be looking towards replacing commonly used broad-spectrum anti-microbial and agents and known sensitisers such as parabens (endocrine disruptors) and imidazolidinyl and diazolidinyl urea (formaldehyde releasers).
Dermal reactions are different from food intolerances; however diet does play a major role in the integrity of our skin. Ingested allergens should be independently assessed. Just because you are unable to consume nuts for example does not necessarily mean that you will have a negative reaction to a topical application of a known culprit.
What can you do?
Not only do cosmetics and personal care products alter the energy and well being of our skin, equally important is what we put into our bodies. How we think and feel also plays a determining role in the health of external appearance.
With correct management and education allergic responses can be controlled and eliminated enabling individuals with allergies to lead normal and productive lives. Fortunately more responsible companies are manufacturing veritably natural products that are free from harmful and synthetic toxic chemicals.Twitter It!
A tan is something I have never been able to achieve. By contrast, my Mum tans so easily and for many years I desperately wished I had skin like hers…ahhh, in my dreams! The reality for me is that I will never tan and in some ways I have a lot to be thankful for. My sun consciousness has ensured that now in my late 30′s I have relatively little permanent sun damage despite living under a massive hole in the ozone layer! I am still amazed when I go to the beach and see people baking themselves and think that in some ways we have a long way to go before we get the balance between enough sun for vitamin D and too much right. This article by Tisha Dotson outlines some of the dangers of sun baking and tanning beds.
It’s interesting how fashions cycle over time. For the past several years, sporting a shade of perfectly tanned skin is the aesthetic ideal to which all who want to have the “look” aspire. This Mediterranean, olive-toned shade is natural for some, but for those of fairer mien, the look is acquired by tanning–either staying out in the sun for the express purpose of achieving darker skin or going to the even more harmful tanning bed salons.
As most of us know, excess tanning has a detrimental effect on the skin. But just how bad is it? Here are some facts to remind us all of what we risk by attempting to achieve a tanned look for the sake of fitting into a beauty standard.
1. Healthy Tanning?
Even though we would like to think that tans are not as bad for our skin as sun burn, the facts still stands that when you tan, the sun’s rays are still attacking the skin’s DNA, which drastically increases the risk for developing skin cancer. Ed note: A glowing tan is something that many Australians aspire to but in reality you are best to learn to love the colour of skin you were born with. There is no such thing as healthy tanning, however, if you plan to be out in the sun this summer, slowly introducing your skin to the sun is a good idea. Sun exposure in the early mornings and late afternoons allows your skin to gradually build up some colour and get sufficient vitamin D without burning. Twenty minutes is enough time. Remember by the time your skin starts to feel hot, it is already burnt.
2. Tanning booths are even worse than sun tanning.
Recently, the United States government went so far as to impose a tax on tanning salons. Why such drastic measures in a country that is usually lax on imposing government measures on business? This is simply because tanning salons, although they advertise as safe, controlled exposure to UV rays, are in fact far more damaging to your skin than tanning out in the sun. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the chances of occasional tanning booth users getting melanoma rose by 300%, while those who frequented tanning beds more then ten times a year heightened their risk by a whopping 800%.
3. The ageing effect
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the number of wrinkles you have later in life are directly determined by how much sun you’ve been exposed to. Aside from genetics and smoking, UV rays are the main culprit in premature aging of the skin.Twitter It!
Well I don’t know about you but as the weather warms up in Brisbane I have started to feel the burn from the sun again. As one with very pale and easily burnt skin, this is not a pleasant sensation and so I have been reaching for the sunscreen bottle with greater frequency. Unfortunately there is so much misconception and misinformation surrounding sunscreens, nanoparticles, SPF and UV absorbers and blockers so by way of explaination, the next few blogs will address these issues. This by article Tess Dingle ND goes a long way towards this purpose:
There is much misinformation and hype surrounding the topic of suntanning, burning, cancer and sunscreens. In this issue we will attempt to decode the catchphrases and steer you in the right direction.
The most obvious and important issue is that in Australia we enjoy a climate which sends us outdoors for much of the year and we are living under one of the thinnest sections of the earth’s protective ozone layer. It is well established that the UV radiation that beats down on us is harsher and more direct than in many other parts of the world. So what is this UV radiation and what are its effects?
UV or ultraviolet radiation is classified into three different wavelengths of light. Two of these wavelengths, referred to as UVA and UVB radiation, affect our skin. UVC radiation is largely absorbed by gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and does not reach our skin. While both UVA and UVB can cause DNA changes within the layers of our skin, it is predominantly UVA which causes the most common forms of skin cancer (melanomas) and accelerates the visible signs of aging. UVB predominantly causes burning. The purpose of a sunscreen is (or should be!) to
reduce the severity of UVA and UVB affecting our skin negatively (sunlight is also constructive for several biochemical processes, including our production of vitamin D and the regulation of our sleep – or circadian rhythm – obviously, it was once natural to spend time in the sun).
However, not all sunscreens achieve this. When you buy sunscreen you most likely look for the SPF number (Sun Protection Factor), but what does this number refer to? It indicates the length of time you can stay in the sun without burning relative to your normal burn time if you apply the sunscreen first. For example, if you would normally burn after one hour of exposure to sunlight and the SPF of the sunscreen you are using is 15, then technically you can stay in the sun for 15 hours before burning. This can be incredibly misleading. It means that the sunscreen guarantees to block out UVB radiation 15 times no protection but in fact there are no guarantees regarding UVA radiation, ie. radiation that causes melanoma.
Ed note: There is some confusion about the difference between say a 15 or 30 SPF rating and in the US even a 50 SPF rating. A higher SPF doesn’t necessarily mean better protection. To explain:
SPF 8-15: Is sufficient to give your skin ideal protection against the harmful effects of light for normal exposure to the sun like at home, at the office, in the city, day to day errands, but the more sun you are exposed to (an entire day at the beach, for instance) the higher the SPF should be to give your skin optimal protection. Higher than SPF 30 only jumps up 1-2% and no sunscreen give you complete protection.
If you feel safe staying in the sun for longer and there is no protection against UVA radiation in the sunscreen, skin cancer risk could be 15 times higher than normal. Queensland has the highest incidence of skin cancers in the world. Have we all been misled by the sunscreen marketing?
According to the American Food and Drug Administration website, no system yet exists to rate UVA protection. You must also reapply sunscreens after sweating or swimming unless the product states “water resistant”, meaning the SPF stands even after exposure to water.
So let’s look at the sunscreen ingredients themselves. Generally, sunscreen ingredients are divided into their modes of activity. They are either UV absorbers or UV reflectors or have a combined action. UV absorbers physically contain the UV radiation to stop it from reaching our skin. In this process, the active particles become energised to a higher energetic level (or frequency) to contain the UV radiation. This is the key to the problems with this type of sunscreen ingredient.
When UV exposure reduces (when you come out of the sun), the energetic level of the sunscreen particles drops to their former frequency, releasing energy again. The energy is released into the epidermis of your skin where it can then cause changes to the DNA, predisposing the skin to cancer.
UV reflectors work by scattering UV light so it cannot penetrate the skin. Generally, this process depends on the physical size of the sunscreen particles. Hence, application of these ingredients is usually thicker and opaque. It is the UV reflectors which are most effective at blocking UVA radiation. The possible downside of UV reflectors, apart from (or because of) the thick application necessary is that they tend to plug the pores of the skin which can produce miliaria, a consequence of blocked sweat glands. Due to both modes of action, all sunscreens need to be washed from the skin thoroughly once you have come out of the sun.
The next blog will identify which sunscreen agents are commonly in use and how to assess them. Below is a videoblog that covers off some of the issues above as well at looking at some other common issues with sunscreens:
For a long time experts stated that there was no correlation between diet and acne however more and more research is popping up discounting this assumption. In this blog I look at the association between dairy, in particular milk and the incidence of acne.
The studies showing a correlation between milk consumption and acne cross a wide age group, from teenage boys and girls to adult women and while the dairy industry claim skewed data there is enough evidence to show a definite link.
Firstly though I want to be clear about what the research does and doesn’t show; milk consumption alone doesn’t cause acne but it seems that those that drink milk develop more severe acne than non-milk drinkers. Furthermore, the more milk consumed, the worse the acne tended to be.
While the link between the severity of acne and milk is strongest, other dairy products have shown similar effects including cottage cheese, chocolate milk and skim milk. From personal experience one of the worst offenders apart from milk is yoghurt. I had to cut out dairy completely for 3 months and until my breakouts cleared up completely, then I was able to reintroduce some dairy but only butter, occasionally hard cheese such as parmesan and very occasionally some icecream (just because I find it hard to resist). If I start back on dairy regularly, my system doesn’t like it and I start to break out.
One of the interesting things that emerged from the research is that skim milk induced more breakouts than whole fat milk indicating that fat is not the issue. Other research has shown that while high saturated and animal fat foods aren’t ideal from a health perspective, they do not necessary cause or worsen acne. High sugar foods on the other hand are another story completely and do show a strong correlation with breakouts.
So if not the fat, what is the culprit? While not conclusively proved, the hormones in milk may well be the driver. Milk contains androgen hormones, the most notably testosterone. The body converts some testosterone to di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) which has a simulating effect on the skin’s sebaceous glands promoting the production of sebum. The result is oilier skin, more pore congestion and therefore more pimples. The more milk consumed, the more hormones, which may explain the proportional effect of higher milk consumption and more severe acne. Genetics also play a role according to researchers with people who are genetically predisposed to acne breakouts having a stronger reaction to the hormones in milk.
It is common practice with the commercial production of milk for dairy farmers to give cows additional hormones as this stimulates a higher milk yield. One of the side effects of this is milk with a high IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor-1) concentration and again the more consumed, the higher the blood concentration of IGF-1 found. Like DHT, IGF-1 drives sebum production which can trigger acne breakouts.
The other issue that may be linked to dairy, keep in mind there is no specific research about this, is the protein in dairy. Skim milk is believed to be worse than full cream milk due to the whey protein which is added to give a creamier taste. There are many different proteins in milk and IGF-1 is only one that may cause issues. If your digestive system is not performing as optimally as it could, the proteins in milk may eventually lead to internal inflammation of the gut and poor detoxification of waste. There is a strong link between poor digestive detoxification and acne. I will address this topic in more depth in another blog very soon.
So while milk and dairy are not a direct cause of acne, cutting it out of your diet can help to reduce acne severity. Reducing dairy may help but giving your body a rest from it all together is going to get a better initial result. One way to test your response to dairy is to start with 3 weeks complete removal and monitor your skin’s response. Look for a decrease in overall breakouts and well as less redness (inflammation). If you find that it doesn’t seem to make a difference at all reintroduce dairy slowly, again still monitoring the response to see if there are any worsening effects. If it does make a difference, it is best to stay off or only have limited quantities (and can I just say, a latte a day is a lot, not a little bit of milk).
A note of caution, often when people give up cow’s milk, they move over to soy milk. While this may seem like a sensible substitute, soy contains phytoestrogens, which may also be problematic for acne sufferers. It is best just to see how you go without cow’s milk first before using a dairy substitute.
This is the first in a series of blogs I am going to do about acne, its underlying causes and triggers. Please let me know if there are any topics in particular you would like me to cover.Twitter It!
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