This is a small part of my nutrition segment on Bahrain TV a few months ago.
For all my Arabic viewers, have a look!
Shine from the Inside Out
I can’t claim that I have a magic potion for beautiful skin and hair, but I have seen so many people using creams and shampoos that promise the world, forgetting that the health of your skin and hair starts from the inside.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying these creams are useless, but you should definitely consider their natural counterparts.
First things first, let’s consider some good old common sense. Slapping on creams and oils for hair and skin problems is like mopping a puddle on the floor without inspecting the running tap that’s causing it.
I have had many clients who come in expecting me to give them specific suggestions to improve their skin and hair and be surprised that I don’t have it.
“When your body is happy on the inside, it will start to show on the outside” I would tell them.
Let me give you some examples: the skin is a huge excretory organ. When your body is congested and toxic on the inside, it will use the skin to help it in excreting unwanted stuff. That’s why many people end up with acne, for example, when they have a hormone imbalance or when they are exposed to lots of toxins.
By the same token, the body often dumps a lot of toxic metals in the hair as protection. It will not allow these toxins to come into contact with vital organs, so it will use the hair as a dumping ground. The accumulation of toxins in the hair could eventually cause hair loss and bad hair health. Contrary to what we believe, hair is least priority when it comes to survival, so your body will favour more important organs when your health is suffering.
Have you ever gotten carried away with eating sugar and then woken up with a huge spot on your face? That’s your body’s way of dealing with the surge in sugar. In fact, acne is often referred to as diabetes of the skin. So if that can happen, then it makes perfect sense to say that everything else that we eat will also be affecting our skin somehow.
So if you go to the doctor with a skin problem, wouldn’t it make more sense to suggest diet changes before resorting to medication? I have seen too many people take medication for skin rashes and acne without changing the diet. In fact, I have gone through that myself many years ago, when no one told me that my acne was related to my diet and I ended up taking dangerous antibiotics instead.
If you have a skin or hair problem, you should first look at your diet.
Digestion is the key to good health. If you are constipated, you will be more prone to acne. Dehydration also aggravates any skin problem, so drink lots of water and avoid dehydrating habits such as salty foods and caffeine.
Some specific nutrients are also crucial for skin and hair. One example is iron. Iron deficiency has been connected to hair loss. But before you rush to take iron, remember that it’s best to check your iron levels first as overdosing on iron is possible. Also, if you decide to supplement, make sure you start by taking iron from natural foods such as leafy green vegetables. Also, iron supplements are best taken from a vegetable source rather than over-the-counter iron supplements which are not as well absorbed into the body.
Another example is zinc. Zinc is a mineral that is needed for skin health. This is the mineral that is usually missing when teenagers get acne. Check your finger nails for white zinc spots that can indicate a zinc deficiency. And eat more zinc-rich foods such as seafood, and raw nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds).
The balance of hormones is also crucial for the health of the skin and hair. That’s why our skin and hair shift every time we go through a hormonal stage: e.g puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc. Acne and hair loss are very often related to an underlying hormonal problem. So make sure to check that as well.
Last month I saw a client who was complaining of the blemishes on her face. And she was also unhappy with her hair quality and hair loss.
After analyzing her diet and making various changes to it, here is what I suggested to her in terms of external help:
First of all, I asked her to remove all the toxic products from her toiletries. I suggested natural shampoos, natural hair dyes, and natural moisturizing creams. Why? Because you’re feeding your skin and hair just like you feed your body, and you should aim to keep that as chemical-free as possible.
Then I suggested she uses sesame oil on her skin to moisturize it. Sesame oil can be used on the face at night or on the whole body before a bath. It works really well at keeping the skin moist and rejuvenated.
For blemishes, I suggested using a generous application of pure Aloe Vera Gel externally. This helps heal any current blemishes or scars. Putting a small amount of tea tree oil on a cotton bud can also help zap any unwanted spots. I also suggested natural vitamin E cream as a daily moisturizer.