The secret to glowing, healthy skin
Naturopath and medical herbalist Serina Gardner believes the secret to healthy, glowing skin starts with nourishing from within.
Skin is the largest organ of the body — it is the body’s coat. It protects you, it helps regulate your temperature and is what often defines us as glowing with health or off-colour and unwell.
Your skin has three main layers:
- The epidermis which is the layer we see.
- The dermis, the second thicker layer which houses nerves, sweat glands, sebaceous glands (or oil glands) and hair follicles. It has the job of bringing blood flow to the skin. This layer is where the strength and elasticity comes from due to collagen and fibrin.
- The subcutaneous fat layer is the deepest third layer which connects the dermis to the muscles and bones, supports blood and nerves, regulates body temperature and stores fat to insulate and cushion the body.
It takes roughly five weeks for skin to renew. Starting at the subcutaneous layer, as new skin grows, it travels through to the next layer, the dermis, and then gets pushed by new growth below to the epidermis where eventually it is shed as dead skin cells. Therefore working on skin conditions is never an instant fix. It can take weeks, sometimes months, to create the changes we want and gain glowing healthy skin.
Environmental toxins play a big part in skin health. Moisture retention, for example, affects the integrity, elasticity and plumpness of your skin, so if you are dehydrated, this will affect the look of your skin. Toxins, such as cigarette smoke, petrol and diesel fumes, products you put on your skin, foods you eat and alcohol, all affect your skin.
The detoxification pathways of your body are directly related to skin health. If your digestive tract isn’t as healthy as it should be, with inflammation and an incorrect microflora balance, your body will use other elimination pathways to remove toxins, such as through your skin. This is why, when addressing skin health, your digestive health also needs to be considered.
Key points to address for good skin health include:
- Hydration levels. Are you drinking enough good quality, alkaline, mineral rich water?
- Nutrient levels. Are you eating enough vegetables, fruits, good fats and antioxidants to support detoxification, reduce inflammation and provide vitamins and minerals to your skin?
- Chemical load. What load are you placing on your body? Start reading ingredient lists of foods and skin and body care.
- Microflora and inflammation levels. Is your digestive health working as well as it should be?
- Food sensitivities. Are they creating more inflammation?
- Stressed, tired and not exercising? Your skin needs to rest to renew and to sweat to support detoxification.
- Are you breathing correctly? Oxygen transport throughout the body is essential to your overall health, stress response and blood transport.
If you are interested in taking a deeper look at your skin, book a holistic natural health assessment to encourage healthy, happy skin. Look up the naturopath or medical herbalist in your area and reap the rewards of better overall health.
Naturopath & Medical Herbalist BNatMed, MNZAMH, MNZSN
Promoting health, laughter and love in a nurturing environment.
Natural Family Health Clinic
9 Churchill Road, Tauranga
0274 716 571