The Deep Truth of the Skin - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic

The Deep Truth of the Skin

The skin is the truth teller to our internal health. When our skin is glowing, vibrant, clear and moist we can bet that internally the body is in balance. But when the skin appears dry, clogged, red, inflamed or fiery we can predict that internally there may be some imbalances, inflammation, and poorly working systems. That’s why healing your skin goes way deeper than surface level.

Conditions like acne have a root cause, or a fundamental reason for their occurrence. Treating that root cause is important for long-term success. Root causes may include hormonal imbalances, poor blood sugar regulation, an impaired gut, nutrient deficiencies, stress, and decreased function of the organs involved in detoxification and excretion.

Balancing hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and androgens are directly related to the wellness of your skin. High amounts of androgens and poorly balanced estrogen and progesterone are correlated to increased sebum production and also may enlarge sebaceous glands. This causes clogging of pores, inflammation of the skin, and possibly cysts. What you eat, what you put on your skin, and the daily pollution you are exposed to impacts the health of these hormones and in turn your skin.

Another hormone that’s very important to keep balanced is insulin. Insulin is released from the pancreas in response to glucose in the blood stream after we eat. When we eat a healthy balanced diet with fiber, fat, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and protein we keep insulin balanced. On the other hand, when we eat processed foods, sugary foods, white flour, and processed oils, insulin release increases and over time can cause a chronic sensitivity. Insulin has been shown to also increase sebum production, clog pores, and increase acne.

The Organs of Detoxification:
Liver function is especially important when it comes to healthy hormone balance. The liver works to metabolize and excretes hormones. When the liver is not working well, estrogen, progesterone, and androgens can get backed up into the system and as we learned from before can cause clogged pores and inflammation. Eating a healthy diet with a good amount of fiber and water is key as well as decreasing consumption or alcohol, fried fatty food, and sugar. Other organs that are in charge of excretion and detoxification are the kidneys, colon, skin and the lymphatic system. These organs work together to rid the body of the toxic waste that builds up on an everyday basis. When one of these systems is not working up to par, we can see symptoms arise in the skin in the form of inflammation and acne.

A pillar in holistic healing is prevention, but with prevention we need to have more awareness of subtle messages from the body that things may be out of balance. A simple headache or a minor breakout along the jaw line can be messages that something is out of balance in the liver or the kidneys. When healing the body from a holistic approach, listening to these messages and giving gentle care can be all the help you need to prevent a full acne breakout or migraines that last for days.

When the organs of detoxification are compromised we don’t have to wait for them to be failing in order to intervene. Simple practices like sipping tea can be supportive and nourishing to the body while helping in detoxification and aid in healthy elimination. If the liver is compromised you can sip on Dandelion root and CCF tea (Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel). Gentle sweating and drinking enough water through out the day should help support the kidneys and colon. Dry brushing is another great practice to adopt to help improve circulation and keep the lymphatic system running optimally. Dry Brushing is simple 2-minute practice to perform before showering. You gently make strokes along the skin to help improve circulation and movement of fluid in the body. This is a short video that explains some more benefits and how to effectively dry brush.

The Gut and Absorption:
Nutrient absorption is also important for the maintence of healthy skin and the prevention of acne. The gut is its own ecosystem with billions of bacteria that are involved in so many aspects of our health. We are slowly learning its importance when it comes to our immune health, mood and mental health, digestion, hormone health, and yes our skin health. Healthy clear skin requires a certain amount of zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, B Vitamins and Omega 3 Fatty acids. If we have a compromised gut then we may not be absorbing these nutrients that are necessary for our skin to stay glowing and fresh. Some of the ways the gut can be negatively affected include over-use of antibiotics, poor diet, too much sugar, poor sleep, poor stress management, exposure to pesticides, excessive drinking, and/or poor drinking water quality.

Where to start:
When the skin presents with inflammation and possibly acne we have to start digging deeper to figure out the root cause. Could a breakout be related to hormones, poor food choice, lack of sleep or too much stress? Or could it possibly be a combination of it all? As a Holistic Nutritionist I usually recommend to start by checking in with your diet. Adopting a diet that is mostly clean and made up of dark leafy greens, starchy vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, quality proteins, and good fat is necessary. But do note that even some good healthy foods can actually trigger acne and inflammation of the skin.

Taking care of your body is an inside job, and listening to the messages your body gives you is a great start to taking care of yourself. When symptoms like acne occur, take it as a time to go inward and connect to your self on a deeper level. Consulting with a doctor, nutritionist, esthetician who specializes in acne, or other health care practitioners can be of great help to get you on the right path to healing.


Megan Kelly is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and holds a Masters in Holistic Nutrition. She currently treats out of the ESO Studio in Newport Beach where she treats patients and clients with manual physical therapy, Pilates, Yoga, holistic nutrition, and lifestyle changes to sustain a happy and healthy life.

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