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How to get clear skin naturally: A timeline for results

Are you fed-up with breakouts or dry, dull looking skin? Are you confused about which skincare, foods or supplements are best for your skin? Do you want to know how to have clear skin without pimples or acne? How to have clear healthy skin?

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Posted

October 29, 2020

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Ageing, Diet & Lifestyle, Nutrition Articles

Are you fed-up with breakouts or dry, dull looking skin? Are you confused about which skincare, foods or supplements are best for your skin? Do you want to know how to have clear skin without pimples or acne? How to have clear healthy skin?

The skin is our largest organ and protects our inner organs and tissues from pathogens, toxins, and other assaults from our environment, as well as regulates body temperature. Maintaining its integrity ensures adequate protection so the rest of the body can continue to function. Our skin also acts as a great visual marker for inner health and aging. As such, there is a multi billion dollar industry with products trying to help you and your skin retain a youthful and radiant appearance.

Many factors can affect the health of our skin:

  • Our diet, of course. It should be high in fibre, low in sugar and processed foods and provide a wide variety of colours from plant food.
  • Hydration
  • Intake of essential fatty acids
  • Hormonal changes and imbalances
  • Skin and gut microbiome
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Adequate levels of Vitamin C, D, A, E, bioflavonoids and collagen rich foods
  • Environmental assaults such as household products, skin care and the weather
  • Alcohol intake

In this article we’ll explore each lifestyle and environmental factors and provide you with a timeline of how quickly changes and improvements can be achieved to have clear healthy skin. 

 

How to have clear skin quickly – Collagen

 

For a quick and effective result, collagen is a good place to start both externally and internally. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It’s often referred to as the ‘glue that holds us together’ as it anchors cells to each other to form sturdy, fibrous strands. These strands of collagen twist together, giving structure to skin, bone mass, muscle and forming the flexible fibres used in ligaments. Its levels change throughout our lifespan and may start to reduce as early as in our 20s.  Supporting collagen formation through nutrition could slow down this process and may provide you with a glowing, luminescent, clear skin just that little bit longer.

Habits for clear skin

Sunshine: While moderate sun exposure is encouraged to allow your skin to synthesise Vitamin D, excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation has been shown to reduce collagen production in the skin (1). Perhaps limit your sun exposure when the sun is the strongest (11am-3pm).

Foods for clear skin

Bone broth has become a popular addition to many people’s routine as it’s packed with collagen building amino acids as well as vitamin A &K, selenium and zinc.

Vitamin C is vital for the synthesis of collagen and elastin and it’s also an antioxidant powerhouse both in the dermis and epidermis (2). It’s found in many foods such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, red peppers, apples, kiwi fruits and broccoli just to mention a few.

Beta carotene can increase the skin’s defence against UV radiation and helps to maintain skin health and appearance (3). Good food sources include carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, orange peppers, broccoli, paprika, chillies.

Bioflavonoids particularly, rutin and hesperidin may be beneficial for collagen production. Apples, buckwheat, most citrus, figs, and both black and green tea are all good sources.

Clear Skin routine

Neals yard remedies’ Frankincense Intense Lift is clinically proven to re-contour and lift the skin with fast acting, anti-ageing ingredients such as frankincense, hyaluronic acid, collagen protective phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory and super-antioxidant turmeric. 

Products for clear skin

There are around 16 different types of collagen in the body and 80-90% of it is type I, II and III (4). Most collagen supplements contain type I, the most abundant in skin. Bare Biology’s ‘Skinful’ collagen powder is sourced from wild-caught cod, making it rich in type 1 marine collagen. Marine collagen displays high resemblance with human collagen and due to bio-availability, it is easily absorbed through the gut wall (5), in fact these types of collagen peptides show up in your bloodstream just two hours after you take them.

 

How to have clear skin overnight

 

In theory, there is no such thing as clear skin overnight. It takes time to get your health and vitality to its optimum. However, there are quite a few things you can do that may help you get a glowing, healthy and clear skin fairly quickly.

Habits for clear skin

Sleep is so important for the body to carry out some of its maintenance work. Healing, repairing and recovering are essential processes for all of our pathophysiology within our body. Lack of sleep and stress may increase inflammation and enhance chronic skin condition progression, such as acne (6). Regular sleeping patterns and reduction of blue light before bed are hugely important.

Sex for an overnight glow – yes you read that right! Studies have found the happy hormone called oxytocin, released after an orgasm, has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety which may contribute to skin breakouts and chronic skin conditions. It also increases blood flow and oxygen to your skin which stimulates collagen production, giving you an instant glow, clear skin and rosy cheeks.

Foods for clear skin

A fresh, light, nutritious meal that is low in sugar and high in flavonoids – think about eating a rainbow- might help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Ideally no gluten and dairy. Perhaps a quick stir fry packed with ginger, turmeric and veg or a lovely chicken broth with plenty of green herbs.

Clear skin routine

While it sounds harsh, chemical exfoliation is actually the gentlest exfoliation method and it could give you clear, glowing skin pretty much overnight.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are plant-based ingredients that help to dissolve dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Common AHAs include: glycolic acid, citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid. Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask is an exfoliating, brightening, smoothing gel face mask that can give you that instant glow within a few hours as its ingredients help to dissolve dead skin cells.

Products for clear skin

For a super-fast result, intravenous nutrient therapy might be your best option. We recommend our Skin and Beauty Iv therapy before big events such weddings and holidays as it can give you that instant boost. Typically, the effects of IV therapy become fully noticeable after 12 – 24 hours and they last for anything between 8 days to 3 weeks.

You may also want to start with a high dose, well absorbed Liposomal Vitamin C product from Altrient. 

Clear skin serum

How to have clear skin in one week – Detox

Detox is a popular word in health circles but remains a controversial one. It’s debatable whether we really need to undergo special detox diets or programs when our bodies are fully equipped to get rid of toxins and waste products (both extrinsically and intrinsically). Although there may be fully functioning pathways in place, we do need to support them, especially in an increasingly toxic world. Investigating liver, kidney and gut function is important when addressing skin issues to ensure these processes are functioning properly.

Habits for clear skin

Rebounding on a trampoline for drainage of the lymphatic system is a fun yet effective exercise to get those lymph nodes stimulated. Rebounding seems to increase pathways of removing waste products from the cells and from the body.

Ionic foot bath is a safe, gentle and non-invasive detoxifying modality. The Ionic foot bath’s patented technology results in only bio-compatible electrical frequencies entering the water. This elicits a relaxation response. Concurrently, these frequencies create an ionic field that cleanses and purifies the body through the power of ions. The process ionises the water as H2O and splits into OH- (negatively charged oxygen ions) and H+ (positively charged hydrogen ions). These ions attract and neutralise oppositely charged toxins.

Emotional detox: Let go of limiting thoughtsidentify and release outdated emotions to relieve excess stress. Try journaling, using deep breathing to encourage the release of toxic thoughts and emotions and begin replacing old thoughts with new, expansive, positive, and empowering affirmations (7).

Foods for clear skin

Eat plants containing polyphenolic compounds (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, grape, etc.) for their ability to protect genetic material from ionizing radiation (8)

Add powdered mustard seeds to cooked broccoli to increase formation of one of the major detox compounds from cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane (9).

Greens contain chlorophyll which has the ability to bind to toxins (10)

Use spices, especially turmeric and rosemary, when cooking to offset the formation of unhealthy compounds (e.g. heterocyclic amines) that form with heat (11)

Choose organic honey as it has been shown to help reduce DNA damage from pesticides (12).

Increase your fibre intake to support your gut microbiome and the final phase of detox, the elimination.

The liver is known for its prominent role in detoxification. Liver health can be supported by consuming high-quality hypoallergenic proteins, green tea,and cruciferous vegetables.

Increasing your mineral (calcium, zinc, iron, selenium) stores is crucial to reduce heavy metal absorption.

Clear skin routine

If you’re looking for a quick and effective skincare solution for clear acne-free skin, charcoal and clay mask may be your answer. Charcoal is believed to draw bacteria and impurities from the skin giving you a ‘detoxed’, healthier and clearer complexion. 

Products for clear skin

A comprehensive multivitamin that provides all the essential nutrients crucial for methylation and detoxification processes is a good place to start. The form of nutrients is important, look out for Vitamin D3, K2, Methylfolate, Methylcobalamin and if it contains plant-based antioxidants like turmeric or broccoli, it gets our thumbs up. Botanicals such as chlorella, milk thistle, dandelion and artichoke may also help support the organs involved in detoxification processes. 

 

How to have clear skin in one month – Skin microbiome

 

Just like the gut, the skin has its own microbiome, a community of bacteria, fungi and viruses that protect against pathogens, helping to modulate the skin’s immune response (13). Many common skin conditions are associated with an imbalance in the skin’s microbiome (14). For example, in acne, this is driven by an increase in a bacteria species called P. acnes in the skin (15), a bacteria that some of us seem to be genetically more prone to (16).  Research has found that people with acne seem to have higher levels of pathogenic gut bacteria such as E coli and Salmonella and lower levels of the beneficial Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains (17) so maintaining good gut flora should be high up on the list of the ‘clear skin’ protocol.

Habits for clear skin

Environmental toxins: Your skin’s delicate microbiome is easily disrupted by environmental toxins so try and opt for more natural household products to minimise exposure to toxic load.

Foods for clear skin

Probiotic foods: Include probiotic rich foods such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented tofu and kefir to support the skin’s (and the gut’s!) microbiome (18).  

Fibre: Including adequate amount soluble and insoluble fibre from a variety of plant-source will improve the microbial diversity of our gut. Think about eating for a rainbow!

It is important to identify trigger foods and intolerances. Eliminating dairy, may be a good idea as it seems to aggravate acne and eczema.

Clear skin routine

A gentle daily skin routine is essential to maintain the skin’s microbial balance. As well as nourishing and hydrating the skin you might find that some antimicrobial oils such as tea tree or grapefruit seed oil can be useful as short-term topical treatments. Witch hazel, a natural astringent, may be also effective in reducing pimples. Useful to know when you’re looking to find out how to have clear skin for teenagers.

Products for clear skin

Although research into the skin’s microbiome is still at its infancy, we know that supplementing with pre and probiotics can support microbial diversity and minimise intestinal permeability. As over 70% of our immune cells are located in the gut, it makes sense to support the gut microbiota with a prebiotic product. The Bio.Me™ Prebio GOS is a supplement that provides a standardised prebiotic called galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). GOS has been shown to improve short chain fatty acid production (SCFA), which is protective of the epithelial cells of the gut lining and it also promotes beneficial gut bacteria (19). It might also promote hydration of the upper layer of the epidermis and improve inflammation and redness of the skin.

 

How to have clear skin within six months – Hydration and barrier function

 

Water is the main component of cells and tissues, a major element of body fluid compartments, and represents 60-75% of the body’s composition. It is an essential nutrient with unique properties as a solvent for ionic compounds and solutes and acts as a carrier with a central role in cell homeostasis (20). Ensuring that you drink plenty of water and include all the essential electrolytes for proper hydration is crucial for:

  • Concentration and mental clarity (21).
  • Optimum sport performance (22).
  • Healthy bowel and kidney function (23).
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (24).
  • Prevention of headaches, not to mention hangovers!
  • Removal of waste products and proper detoxification (25).
  • Skin hydration and barrier function.

 

Several studies have found that upping your intake of water may help keep your skin soft and smooth. A recent study observed that drinking 2 litres of water daily significantly improved skin hydration (26). Another review of six studies concluded that increasing fluid intake enhanced the hydration of the outer layer of the skin while reducing skin dryness and roughness (27)

Hydration is important for the skin’s suppleness but most crucially for its health, immunity and integrity. Providing nutrients to help our skin’s barrier function is just as crucial as it helps to retain moisture and hydration in return. Read more about dry skin here.

Habits for clear skin

How to get clear skin naturally at home? You can make an oatmeal bath at home. According to a recent study, oat exhibits anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may be useful in relieving symptoms of eczema, psoriasis and acne (28)

Upping your water intake can be a healthy and easy way to improve skin hydration. Try to aim for 2 litres of water every day.

Foods for clear skin

Support barrier function with vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, D, E and zinc. Find out more about these nutrients in our Ultimate skin guide.

Include Omega 3 rich foods as they improve skin hydration and help reduce inflammation (29). Mackerel, sardines, anchovies are good sources but always make sure they are from sustainable and traceable sources. Flax, chia, seaweed, spirulina and some nuts and seeds are good veggie alternatives.

Add water-rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber. These can help give your skin and body the hydration it needs to look and feel its best.

Clear skin routine

Using skin products that contain Vitamin A, C, plant-derived antioxidants and some hyaluronic acid (30), (31) is your best option in promoting collagen production, improving hydration and supporting skin barrier function.

Coconut oil has emollient and anti-bacterial properties so is a great and easy addition to your daily routine.  Studies have shown that coconut oil can improve the moisture content of dry skin and help rebalance skin dysbiosis, thus improving the symptoms of acne and eczema (32), (33).

Products for clear skin

When you’re choosing an Omega 3 supplement there are a few things to look out for:

  • The type of fish used for deriving the fatty acids.
  • Purity and the level of pcbs, dioxins, heavy metals.
  • Stability and the amount and variety of antioxidants used in the product.
  • Sustainability and traceability.
  • Method of extraction.
  • The level and ratio of EPA and DHA.

 

Barebiology ‘Life and Soul’ Pure Omega 3 seems to tick all these boxes and they have been awarded a ‘Friend of the Sea’ certificate for their sustainability and traceability efforts. 

The suggestions above may be useful for people who have dry skin but if you are experiencing chronic and persistent dry skin, it may be time to investigate further. Please feel free to get in touch for a Free 15 minutes discovery call to discuss your health concerns and to match you with the most suitable practitioner.

How to have clear skin within one year – Nervous system

 

As our most important adaptive interface, the nervous system is central to health and wellbeing. Stress is a key modulator in many inflammatory and autoimmune conditions and is often responsible for triggering inappropriate immune response in the body. So it is paramount that supporting your nervous system is carefully tailored into your skin protocol and we target stress in our functional medicine approach. Get in touch for a complimentary discovery call to find out how we can support you.

Habits for clear skin

Smiling: a recent study confirmed that smiling and being happy gives you a glow and it makes you look younger.  

Laugh therapy – yes it’s a thing – is an incredibly fun and effective remedy against stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness, meditation and yoga stimulate the vagus nerve activity through breathing exercises and also help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Improving sleep hygiene by setting regular routine and reducing blue light in the evenings could be helpful. Sleep is our golden opportunity for rest and repair, principally via the action of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Forest bathing: did you know that forest trees omit certain organic compounds called terpenoids and terpenes that have anti-inflammatory properties? Spending time in nature is not only great for reducing stress levels, it also has the potential to reduce inflammation related to chronic skin conditions such as eczema and acne (34)

Foods for clear skin

If stress is a major trigger, try and aim for a diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and high in fat, a bit like a ‘Palaeolithic’ diet that helps to maintain blood sugar and supports thyroid and adrenal function.

Modifying timing and frequency of eating can be helpful to reduce glucose peaks and dips (e.g. time-restricted feeding or ‘intermittent fasting’). Even just eating 2 or 3 balanced main meals rather than grazing, helps to ensure appropriate secretion of insulin and glucagon. Starting the day with a protein-based breakfast could really help (35).

Magnesium gets depleted very quickly when we’re stressed. It’s found in foods such as; green leafy vegetables (spinach, rocket, chard), legumes, and fruit (avocado, bananas). It’s quite hard to attain adequate amounts of magnesium from the diet alone so it’s recommended to supplement to get a more therapeutic dose. Alternatively, you could add Epsom salts, or magnesium flakes to the bath for extra subcutaneous absorption.

Vitamin C should be incorporated into your diet as it’s essential for collagen production, for the production of cortisol (our stress hormone) and responsible for our immune system. Vitamin C–rich foods include red bell peppers, chili peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, cranberries, watermelon, goji berries, raspberries, and cherries.

B vitamins support your nervous system and energy levels, especially B2, B3 and B5. To help to balance your blood glucose, you can also use chromium, magnesium, cinnamon and vitamin B3. Include foods such as turkey, salmon, peanuts, lamb, chicken, brown rice, buckwheat, spelt, millet, and sunflower seeds, eggs, shiitake mushrooms, lentils, mung beans, split peas, avocados.

Clear skin routine

Opt for calming aromatherapy in your skin care, while gently moisturising and nourishing the skin with something like Rosehip oil you will benefit from the addition of the therapeutic effects of essential oil such as lavender, rose, patchouli, bergamot or neroli.

Products for clear skin

Invivo’s CatecholaCalm is an interesting formula that is designed to support catecholamine levels with apoptogenic herbs and nutrients that help mood and promote calmness and relaxation. 

You may also find our energy Iv therapy useful. It was designed to support energy levels, to maintain blood sugar and provide nutrients such magnesium and a B complex for nervous system support.

 

Due to the complex pathophysiology of skin conditions, it’s important to approach it with a holistic, in-depth and comprehensive support. Read more about our Practitioners who will provide personalised support and advice. Get in touch to find out more.

  

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