How does inflammation show up on your skin?
What is inflammation and where is it coming from?
In most cases, inflammation is a healthy response to have. It is your body’s built-in defense mechanism which fights off the bad guys: injury, viruses, bacteria, and infection. When your body has been assaulted by excessive sun exposure from your Cabo getaway, cutting your finger with a knife while cooking, or breaking your wrist when thrown from your horse, your body puts into motion a wound-healing cascade that rushes white blood cells to the scene of the crime to fight bacteria, viruses and infectious disease.
So what’s the problem with inflammation if it is helping heal our bodies? The problem arises when the inflammatory response refuses to turn off. Aging, genetic predisposition, diabetes, and smoking can stoke the flames when it comes to this fire. This common condition can last for weeks, months, and years. When the body is under consistent stress and always in “attack mode” your immune system begins to loose the battle and can no longer hold off the colossal invaders: Cancer, Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Alzheimer’s and many more.
Aside from our beautiful appearance, inflammation in the skin is also a concern for our body as it is our largest organ and plays many roles including mirroring what’s going on in the inside. There are many places that inflammation can be trigger from. Internal stressors like an unhealthy diet high in refined sugars and saturated fats, alcohol, smoking, and food allergies/intolerance’s. Or External stressors such as environmental factors: Emotional or Physical stress, pollution, sun exposure, second hand smoke, sleeping in makeup/ dirty hair (products & oil), and dehydration.
How does inflammation show up on the skin
Our skin is our largest organ and it has many functions such as: Protecting our system from foreign pathogens, absorption and excessive water loss, insulation & body temperature regulator, and nerve sensations. Diet plays a very critical role in the maintenance of our skins health. Foods that are the worse offenders are Refined Sugars, Alcohol, Saturated Fats- Deep fried foods, and refined processed carbohydrates. Included in the list of offenders are wheat, dairy, caffeine, carbonated drinks, low water levels (dehydrated) and food intolerance/allergies- if you are not intuitive with your body’s natural defense system- gas, bloating, acid reflux, and IBS I highly suggest that you get your foods tested at your local naturopath.
Inflammation inside the body usually shows up on the surface of your skin. Internal inflammation can show its face in many different forms including Acne lesions ( breakouts), Rosacea ( red flushing in the face), Hyper-pigmentation ( brown discolorations), Wrinkles & Sagging skin, Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Eczema.
Rosacea will get much worse when trigger by stress – inflammation- sun exposure- food intolerance’s- hormones.
Acne is also an inflammatory condition triggered by stress and diet, hence why you wake up the day of your wedding, promotional pitch, graduation, or big event and have an angry, swollen, puss filled pimple right smack in the middle of your face.
Wrinkles & Sagging skin are caused from a breakdown of Collagen which is a result of high stress levels in the skin which trigger our cortisol levels to go through the roof!
Anything you do to lower your stress levels will help.
Tip #1: Get More SLEEP, it is recommended that you get at least 8 solid hours a night. During this time- your Cortisol levels are at their lowest and endorphins are released which allows your body to heal and repair in peace. This is why our mothers always say ” Get your BEAUTY REST.”
Tip #2: Get MOVING, increasing your daily exercise routine will release your feel-good hormones….. which will assist you in choosing better snacks/meals…… which will help you sleep better…… which will help you look & feel better! Sounds like the perfect equation.
Tip #3: Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods will help boost and aid your recovery. Omega-3 and Omeg-6 fats are both anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids. Great food sources include Wild Salmon, Anchovies, Walnuts, and Flaxseed & Flaxseed Oil – which is easy to throw in to your morning smoothie. For more nutrition that will bring out your healthy glow incorporate more anti-oxidant rich foods like berries, citrus fruits, and dark leafy greens.
How does inflammation show up on the outside of the skin
The most damaging external cause of aging and inflamed skin is the sun. Unfortunately, UV rays create free-radicals which are scavenging molecules which attack and destroy our healthy skin cells. The redness, pain, and blistering caused by a sunburn is the direct product of inflammation in the skin. Next time you are sitting in the sun and you feel that lovely warm sensation on your skin remember this; that is the sun destroying the DNA in your cells. The sun’s damaging rays are also putting you at a higher risk for skin cancer. Every time you weaken the immune response system you are decreasing your body’s ability to fight mutations within the DNA and you accelerate the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and fibroblast tissue which gives your face structure, plumpness, firmness, and elasticity- essentially making you look older every day. Please Wear Your Sun Block Everyday- Sun, Rain, Snow, Clouds.
If you are looking for physical products that you can apply topically to combat these types of damage, here is a list of Ingredients that you need to own.
Anti-oxidants: Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Retinol, and Reservatrol
Vitamin C is a potent water soluble vitamin that acts as a superhero when it comes to fighting Age/Brown spots, Wrinkles, and dull skin. Vitamin C should be packaged in a dark blue, black, brown, or solid coloured glass bottle which will prevent sunlight and UV exposure from breaking down and oxidizing the product. Keep your Vitamin C away from heat (hot steamy bathrooms) and direct light ( windows or skylights), as these sneaky culprits will turn your super hero into a villain by oxidizing your Vitamin C and turning your antioxidant into a scavenging free radical- which will have a reverse effect and begin to damage your skin!
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that helps protect your cell membranes from oxidative damage and stress ( sun exposure). Vitamin E works best when used in combination with Vitamin C
Retinol is a Vitamin A molecule that carries the GOLD STANDARD for anti-aging! It helps to regulate and rebuild the skins barrier by producing more collagen and glycosaminoglycans- giving you younger radiant looking skin. Improved texture, brown spot corrector, acne fighter, and wrinkle destroyer are all pleasant side effects from using Retinol A.
Reservatrol is a mighty antioxidant found in blueberries, cranberries, nuts, red grapes and red Wine….. I know what your thinking. This potent age defying ingredient helps to prevent and restore cell damage and has a anti inflammatory effect in the skin. Reservatrol is a nice addition when fighting acne and rosacea.