9 Gentle & Natural Remedies For Skin Problems

natural remedies for skin

The condition of our skin is an indicator of what’s going on inside our body and how good our overall health is.  If you have skin conditions like acne, eczema or psoriasis for example, there’s little point treating them with topical medication or steroid creams.  These sorts of treatments don’t tackle the root cause of your skin condition, they’re just like a sticking plaster for a deeper problem.

This is because your skin isn’t separate from your body, it’s intrinsically connected to everything else – your gut, your central nervous system, your bloodstream, your immune system.  Imbalances in any of these places, such as toxicity, poor gut health and autoimmune issues, can manifest in the skin and in fact it’s often one of the earliest indicators of a problem.

If you start to introduce a healthier lifestyle, eat cleaner greener foods, cleanse and detox your system and nourish your gut, you’ll find your skin problems naturally begin to resolve without the need for any prescription drugs or chemicals.

So let’s take a look at some of the best natural remedies for skin problems, so you can start to nourish yourself from the inside out…

9 Natural Remedies For Skin Problems

When you’re healing your skin and your body from the inside, you need to get right back to basics!  Go organic as much as you can afford to.  Or if not, be sure to thoroughly wash all fruit and veggies.  Avoid foods that are packeted and labels with long lists of ingredients (especially if they’re artificial and unpronounceable).

Eat the rainbow (no white foods).  Get plenty of mixed nuts, seeds, whole grains, high quality protein, healthy fats and virgin oils.  Limit sugar, alcohol and refined carbohydrates as much as possible.  And then incorporate a balanced mix of the following…

1  Vitamin D

Oh the power or vitamin D3!  A nutrient which is so integral to healing within the body!
Vitamin D3 is a major immune-modulator and anti-inflammatory, and its deficiency plays a part in the development of a whole range of health problems [1a].
And it’s an especially important nutrient when looking at natural remedies for skin conditions such as psoriasis [1].

Take a read of my other article The Importance Of Vitamin D, to find out more.
And here is my current Vitamin D3 & K2 supplement by Phoenix Nutrition (as of December 2017).

2  Vitamin C

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a well-known and very important antioxidant, meaning it fights oxidative damage, which is caused by excess free radicals in the body.  It’s also a key nutrient for immunity and maintaining great skin health [2b].

There are many, many scientific studies looking at vitamin C and its therapeutic effects on the body.  Several of these have demonstrated its free-radical scavenging and protective properties within the skin itself [2][2a].  It can be taken orally or applied topically to the skin for direct effect.

3  Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the most well-known skin antioxidant, found in so many topical skin creams and lotions.  And it’s inherent to this list of natural remedies for skin conditions!

The name vitamin E is actually an umbrella term for 8 different molecules consisting of 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols.  But together they have all sorts of critical roles, such as protecting cell membranes, inhibiting platelet aggregation and preventing oxidative stress [3].

Some of vitamin E’s best natural food sources are wheatgerm, avocado, egg yolk, almonds, sunflower seeds, sweet potato and butternut squash.
Interestingly studies have shown that vitamin E’s different tocopherols work best when mixed together, so remember to eat a good variety of vitamin E-rich foods.

4  Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral in the body with many protective roles to play, particularly in the immune system and in skin repair.  Some correlation has been identified between low levels of zinc and the development of acne [4].  And zinc deficiency also appears to play a part in the likelihood of having psoriasis [4a][4b].

Great food sources of zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, beans, organic red meat and poultry.

5  Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial fats which have to be obtained from foods, because they cannot be manufactured by the body!  Omega-3’s come in several different types including EPA and DHA (from fish) and ALA (found in various nuts and seeds), and each play important roles in inflammation [5].

Omega-3 treatment has been found effective in skin conditions such as psoriasis, where it appears to reduce the activity of inflammatory molecules [5a].  And also acne, where its supplementation significantly decreased visible acne lesions in participants [5b].

Good omega-3 rich foods to incorporate into your diet include walnuts, flax, hemp and chia seeds, and wild-caught oily fish like salmon, mackerel and trout.

You can also nourish your skin with topical fatty acids in a whole bunch of ways, especially with coconut oil treatments as well as using shea and jojoba.

6  Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)

Evening primrose oil contains another important essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is critical for proper skin health and function.  Supplementation with EPO has been shown to improve skin moisture, firmness, elasticity and smoothness, compared to placebo treatment [6].

It’s also useful in dry, scaly skin conditions such as atopic dermatatis, where it appears to help modulate the immune response [6a].  Similarly, it’s been shown to significantly reduce inflammation, dryness and itching in cases of atopic eczema [6c].

7  Colloidal Oats

Oatmeal or colloidal oats are a centuries-old treatment for an array of skin conditions, including burns, swelling, redness, dryness, itching, rashes and eczema.  Compounds within the oatmeal, such as beta-glucans, flavonoids and saponins, appear to have direct anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin [7].

You can make your own oatmeal baths and masks using Oatmeal Colloidal Powder or try the ready-made skin treatment – AproDerm Colloidal Oat Cream on Amazon.
Or use ‘The Clay Cure’s’ Luxurious Bath Blend for a skin-soothing soak.

8  Gut-Nourishing Foods

Foods that nourish your gut are some of the most important natural remedies for skin conditions!  This is because your gut bacteria (your microbiome) make up 70%-80% of your entire immune system.  Therefore a balanced healthy gut can heal a multitude of problems [8][8a].  Use these friendly bacteria-rich foods to get started:

  • Fermented foods – Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and coconut yoghurt.  All fantastic sources of friendly bacteria and many other nutrients too, which boost and rebalance your microbiome.
    Make your own sauerkraut – Simple And Delicious Pink Sauerkraut Recipe.
    Or make your own kefir culture with these Organic Milk Kefir Grains from Amazon.
  • Probiotics – Give your microbiome daily boosts of good bacteria by taking a high quality probiotic supplement.  Skin health has been shown to be positively effected by both oral and topical probiotics [8b].
    Look for at least 50 billion strength probiotic products, with at least 10 bacterial strains because diversity is better!  Do your research, read reviews and try different products to find what suits YOUR OWN GUT.
    For more advice on choosing a probiotic, read – The Best UK Probiotics Supplement.
  • Bone broth – Bone broth is teeming with easy-to-absorb vitamins, minerals and amino acids (like glutamine and glycine) all extra good at repairing your gut lining and gut health.
    Learn more in the post – The Healing Benefits Of Bone Broth.
    And discover how to make your own bone broth – Healing Bone Broth Recipe.
  • Fresh vegetable juice – Get juicing to give your body big hits of fresh super-concentrated nutrients!  Juices are also super for the gut because they require minimal breakdown and are effortless to absorb.
    Juice beetroot, celery, kale, lemon/lime, cucumber, apple and ginger for a healing combo.

9  Liver-Detoxing Foods

Detox is a CRITICAL part of healing, because healing occurs more quickly once toxins are removed from the body.  As the liver is the major detox organ, support it as much as possible by eating a blend of liver-supporting foods.
Kale, brussels, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, turmeric and more.
Take a look at – 9 Great Foods For Liver Health.
And make a refreshing liver juice with this Cleansing Liver Detox-Juice Recipe.

Mind/Body Solutions

Apart from nourishing yourself from top-to-toe, you need to incorporate a mind-body element into your natural remedies for skin regime.

  • GOOD SLEEP IS KEY – There is no area of your health that good quality sleep won’t benefit, because it’s essential for healing and rejuvenation.  Go to bed a little earlier in the evening.  Avoid TV and sources of blue light which disrupt brain waves and sleep patterns.
    Read or meditate before bed to quieten your chattering mind.  Wear an eye mask or use blackout curtains to keep light levels to a minimum.  Diffuse sleep-inducing essential oils in your bedroom.
  • DETOXIFY YOUR SURROUNDINGS – Your body inevitably absorbs any chemicals and toxins it is exposed to, so the less toxic your living environment the less toxic your body will be.  Toxins are in cleaning products, non-natural skin care products and make-up, soaps,  shampoos, perfumes and many more!
    Get interested in the chemicals that are all around you and in the products you use and switch over to cleaner, organic, natural alternatives.  There are more are more healthy options available these days, as demand for them grows.  Natural products are way better for you, your family and the Earth too!
  • DE-STRESS – Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, EFT, walking in nature, reading, journaling, music, laughter, gratitude, gardening, creativity. Introduce these habits into your daily life, make them part of your routine.
    Watch your anxiety and stress levels fall, and your overall health and well-being improve.

Further answers…

If you’re keen to use natural remedies for skin conditions that you have, you may decide you need to pinpoint the underlying cause in order to make targeted lifestyle changes.

One way to do this is to use functional health tests which can uncover nutritional deficiencies, allergies, food sensitivities, the balance of your microbiome and hormone levels.  There are many good labs and companies available for these sorts of tests.

  • Gut health and mapping of your gut bacteriaMapMyGut (UK) and Viome (US).
  • Nutritional deficiencies – talk to your healthcare advisor, GP or nutritionist about testing for deficiencies. Some important levels to consider include vitamin D3, homocysteine (B6, B12, folate), magnesium, C-reactive protein (marker of inflammation). Blue Horizon (UK), Spectracell (US).
  • Hormone tests, toxicity, allergies, nutritional statusGenova (UK/Europe), Genova US.

Remember though – read reviews, consult your healthcare advisor and do your own research to make the best choices for you and your health!

If you have your own tried-and-tested natural remedies for skin health, please share in the comments below.

And if you’re looking specifically for treatments that tackle acne, take a look at my post 6 Natural Home Remedies For Acne Flare-Ups for further help with that.

Also check out my Body Treatments section for more natural skin masks, face cleansers and body washes.

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