The 3 Pillars of Skin Health
Every skin condition, and every individual patient, is a little bit different. At the same time, there are a few lifestyle factors that are fundamental to skin health. I call these The 3 Pillars of Skin Health. Paying attention to these three pillars will make a huge difference in the overall health of your skin.
The connection between the mind and the skin is very strong. Factors like stress play a huge role in the health of the skin. Having a skin condition can be stressful, and can even lead to a greater risk of conditions like depression and anxiety – and then these conditions can impact the skin and make the condition worse. Addressing stress and other mindset issues is often the key to unlocking better skin health. In fact, there’s a whole field known as psychodermatology, which explores the link between a person’s mental condition and the health of their skin.
Despite how powerful it can be, I’ve found that mindset is one of the most overlooked factors in dermatology. Although a growing number of researchers are exploring the many ways that the mind and the skin are connected, most mainstream doctors still don’t give the mindset the attention that it deserves or in some cases any attention at all. Learning how to process your emotions, reduce stress, and achieve greater confidence can all make a big difference in the health of your skin.
Your gut contains trillions of bacteria, which are collectively referred to as your microbiome. These tiny organisms actually have a huge impact on your health. More and more research is showing that the microbiome influences the nervous system, so it can impact your mood and stress levels (which in turn impact your skin…everything is connected!). The microbiome also influences the immune system, which means that it’s really important for people with autoimmune conditions (like many skin disorders) to pay attention to their microbiome. Fortunately, you are able to change your microbiome. In fact, it can change in a matter of hours.
One of your main tools for influencing your microbiome is through food – when you’re feeding yourself, you’re also feeding all those tiny organisms. There’s a ton of research now showing that what you eat can change the balance of bacteria in your gut, and it can do so very quickly. A healthier microbiome is the key to healthier skin, so learning how to eat for microbiome health can have a huge impact on your life.
Beyond mindset and your microbiome, how you live your life will impact your skin health. It’s important to meet your body’s needs. Otherwise, it won’t be able to maintain and repair your tissues, and your skin condition (as well as your overall health) will tend to get worse. Making sure that you get the right nutrients is critical. These are the building blocks that allow your body to maintain your skin. Sleep, physical activity, and time for self-care are all important building blocks as well. Another factor that’s commonly overlooked is relationships. Many people don’t think about relationship maintenance as a health practice, but the truth is that being social is wired into our DNA as humans, and we really can’t achieve true wellness unless we have supportive and healthy relationships.
If you want to learn more about these pillars, you may want to consider enrolling in my Healing The Emotional Gut course, which is a FREE 2 hour mini-course that explores the three pillars of skin health.