Inflammation is a normal reaction of the body to injury, infection, environmental factors, or stress. It is an important part of the body’s healing process, but when it is uncontrolled, it can cause chronic and inflammatory skin conditions.
In this blog post, we will discuss how inflammation impacts the skin and offer holistic solutions to managing inflammation and improving skin health. When inflammation occurs, the body produces chemicals that cause redness, heat, swelling, and pain. This is the body’s way of fighting off foreign bodies and repairing itself. However, when inflammation is prolonged, it can cause disruption to the skin’s natural balance and lead to skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. In some cases, inflammation can also lead to premature aging, as it breaks down collagen and elastin, the proteins that give the skin its firmness and elasticity! The good news is that there are a number of holistic remedies that can help to manage inflammation and promote healthy skin.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and offers protection against free radical damage. Vitamin C is found in citrus, but also in strawberries, bell peppers, and dark leafy greens.
- Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation and boosts the immune system. It can be found in foods such as almonds, spinach, avocados, and sunflower seeds.
- Magnesium is a mineral that helps reduce inflammation and is essential for proper nerve and muscle function. It can be found in foods like dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Much of our produce is deficient in magnesium, so supplementing can be helpful.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are also known to reduce inflammation and can be found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.
- Zinc is another mineral that helps reduce inflammation and plays a role in immune system function. It can be found in foods such as oysters, beef, crab, and pumpkin.
- Stress can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that has been linked to inflammation. Cortisol is normally released when the body is under physical or mental stress, and it helps the body prepare for fight or flight. However, when cortisol levels are too high, it can cause the body to overreact and trigger an inflammatory response.
- Exercise increases circulation, which promotes better blood flow and reduces inflammation by transporting oxygen and other nutrients to the cells that need them. Exercise can also help reduce inflammation by increasing the production of endorphins, which block the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
- Dehydration plays a role in the body holding inflammation. We always tell our clients to “drink water like it’s your job” – and we mean it!
- Sleep studies have found that inadequate sleep can cause inflammation and increase the risk of chronic diseases. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to reduce inflammation.
- Alcohol & Smoking are both major factors in inflammation in the body. And yes – vaping counts.
- Pollution, environmental toxins & UV damage all expose you to free radical damage and should be avoided as much as possible. Using a strong, mineral SPF, and reducing pollution & toxin exposure in the home and outside is key!