Day 51/365 - On beauty from the inside out (part 2)

Day 51
2/20/17
[Continued from yesterday’s post]

In another sense, our physical skin will show us the state that our insides are in. When the organism is healthy, adequately deals with stress, and has good genetics, the skin is a mirror image of that. However, if one of these factors is out of balance, the skin will most often suffer and express the state of inner turmoil. When our hormones change during puberty, or when some women develop PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), there is an excess of androgens (testosterone, male hormones) which wreak havoc on skin. Stress can also affect our hormones and the skin. Toxins in the environment and diet can overwhelm the liver (whose job is to detox) and be excreted by the skin, the largest organ of elimination. 

The biggest connection between skin and health is the state of your digestive system. As always, all roads lead to problems in the gut! If you have a weak ‘digestive fire’ (low stomach acidity), or ‘leaky gut’ (larger molecules permeate the intestinal barrier and permeate into the blood), or some other disturbance, the improperly digested foods will linger in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract causing inflammation. The inflammatory processes and mediators would likely affect the liver, blood, and eventually show up on the skin.

The amount of regular exercise, another all-time healthy habit, is another component to skin health. Physical activity helps to circulate blood, and inhibits peripheral and venous pooling/blood stasis. It also helps move the lymph, which is in charge of filtering blood from toxins. Without movement, these processes of maintaining proper blood composition gets disrupted, and can negatively reflect on the skin.

Genetics and epigenetics also play a role, because the diets and behaviors of parents and ancestors can be passed down across generations. While the genes of healthy parents can protect the offspring and give some leeway to digestive and behavioral transgressions, some people are not so lucky. Every little stressor can show up as a physical manifestation in people without the protective healthy genes.

Acne is a multifaceted complex issue that involves factors ranging from genetics, to epigenetics, to diet, to lifestyle, and with a large social component. As with most things, beauty can only come from the inside out. When our internal environment is healthy, our outside appearance will follow suit.