Food As Skin Medicine

Updated: May 23, 2019

While DIY masks made out of food i.e. lemon juice, oatmeal, egg, etc. are not effective skincare for a number of reasons, ingesting (or avoiding) certain foods will absolutely improve many skin concerns.  Your skin is a reflection of internal health and optimizing your nutrition is the ultimate way to get the “glow” from the inside out. A “green smoothie” every morning is a great way to sneak skin healthy ingredients into your diet and jump start your day.

Acne Safe Skin Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Green Protein Smoothie

2 Cups Kale

1 Frozen Banana (Can also include raspberries, blueberries, or any fruit that adds a little flavor)

2 Scoops Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate (Bovine Collagen from Trader Joes)

2 Scoops Turmeric with Black Pepper powder (Gaia Herbs Golden Milk)

1 Scoop Vega Protein Powder (Vegan Protein Powder)

1 cup water or almond milk

Blend and enjoy!

Kale and other cruciferous vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower contain Diindolymethane aka DIM.  DIM helps eliminate estrogenic toxins i.e “bad estrogens” which accumulate in both men and women from exposure to environmental toxins such as chlorine, plastics, and pesticides among other things. These “bad estrogens” disrupt hormones resulting in hormonal acne, mood instability, hair loss, and oily skin. Some research even suggests that DIM may have anti-cancer and DNA repairing effects.  While you will get more DIM in supplement form, including kale or any cruciferous vegetables in your diet on a regular basis is a great way to nourish and detox your body of estrogenic toxins. Excessive amounts of kale and other cruciferous vegetables have been shown to negatively affect the thyroid and even cause goiters, so mix up your greens if you’re doing a daily green smoothie.

Bovine Collagen supplements have become increasingly popular and claim to improve everything from skin to joint health.  Personally, I was sceptical of how beneficial ingesting collagen could be, but after a few weeks of consistently incorporating it into my diet, I will say I am a believer.  I have seen improvements in the laxity and overall health of my skin. If you’re acne prone, choose a bovine collagen supplement over marine collagen. Marine contain iodides which can be an acne aggravator.

Turmeric which contains curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powerhouse. Turmeric is thought to have many health benefits including decreasing symptoms of depression, reducing systemic inflammation, improving brain function, and reducing the risk of heart disease, alzheimer’s, and cancer.  Many skin conditions, including acne, are driven by the inflammatory process and benefit from turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. Because curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, it helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by up to 2,000%.  Many turmeric formulations known as “Golden Milk” include black pepper.

Vegan Protein powder honestly doesn’t taste as good as whey protein BUT it doesn’t aggravate acne like soy and whey protein powder.  Whey increases the production of androgen which is a male hormone that increases oil production in the skin. Whey and soy both contain iodides which are excreted through your pores and irritate the follicle causing inflammation.

Green smoothies are a great starting point if you are looking to improve your nutrition.  Your body will thank you with glowing, healthy skin!

Christina, LE & Acne Specialist








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