Skin, the largest organ of the body, is the body’s primary interface with the environment. Constantly growing and replacing itself, it acts as a barrier that protects us against harm from water loss and external elements such as chemicals, bacteria, fungi and abrasion. However, skin is vulnerable to harm if health is imbalanced.
To achieve healthy, glowing skin, the process must begin from the inside and diet is, of course, crucial, suggests Sebastian Pole, Ayurvedic practitioner and herbal director of Pukka Herbs. “What we put into the body affects both mental and physical function and the quality of skin will reflect the level of one’s internal health.
“Excess food or alcohol consumption and even combinations of certain incompatible foods, such as fish and milk or fruit and milk, can be the trigger of chronic skin conditions.
“Eating lots of asparagus, beetroot, spinach, almonds, walnuts, ghee, turmeric, ginger, basmati rice and quinoa will help to keep the skin healthy, as these foods aid liver cleansing, which is of paramount importance to our overall health.”
Sebastian also advocates embarking on a course of purification to clear excess toxins, increase the ‘digestive fire’, and improve liver function, particularly for persistent skin complaints. For this, he recommends organic herbal supplements and remedies such as:
Clean Greens Organic Bionutrients (120g powder, Â£24.95) is a powerful blend of chlorophyll-rich green foods including organic Spirulina, Kale Sprouts and Wheat Grass Juice. It naturally supports the body’s ability to cleanse itself and to cope with our polluted environment.
Neem & Sarsaparilla (90 capsules, Â£15.45) for skin inflammations when they are red, sore, oozing and itchy such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and rosacea. This remedy clears inflammatory heat and cleanses the blood.
Triphala Plus (90 capsules, Â£15.45) treats stubborn constipation, dry stools, toxin accumulations and bad breath. It acts as a bulk laxative, colon tonic and detoxifier.
Aloe Vera Juice (1 litre, Â£19.95) is famed for its healing properties especially for cooling any inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, treating digestive problems and ulcerative colitis. Aloe Vera helps to clear heat from the body, whilst supporting gentle detoxification of the liver. It is also effective in the healing of burns, scars, stretch marks and wounds.
Hemp Seed Oil (250ml, Â£7.45), which has a tasty nutty flavour, is renowned for containing a healthy daily requirement of Omega 3, 6 and 9. Two tablespoons can be taken twice a day as nourishing tonic oil. Hemp seed oil is effective in protecting and beautifying the skin from the inside out but also as an effective massage oil for dry, itchy skin.
Organic Rosewater Spray (100ml, Â£8.75) is blissfully cooling and is traditionally used in Ayurveda for toning the skin. It has been used for centuries to help reduce fine lines and enhance beauty and can be used as a facial wash or a natural toner to help reduce blemishes and oily skin.
And lastly, Cleanse Tea (20 sachets, Â£2.09), which is a delicious blend of nettle, peppermint, fennel seed and Aloe Vera to purify the skin.