Let yourself glow!- Why shine-free skin isn’t healthy or natural…

Cosmetics companies everywhere seem to be obsessed with giving you a matt, shine-free finish to your skin, making those of us with skin that tends to be a little on the shiny side – i.e. those of use with natural human skin – scrambling for products that will help us reach these near-impossible standards, especially if you have naturally oily skin. If your skin has a shine to it, either all the time or towards the end of the day, you are not alone, and should not be pressured into feeling bad about your skin.

In fact, letting your skin have a natural shine is perfectly healthy, as everybody’s skin needs a level of surface oil, or sebum, in order to function properly. This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re going to be talking about why exactly your skin needs sebum, what a healthy complexion should look like, and how to manage oily skin in a way that is healthy and safe.

Aknicare® Gentle Cleansing Gel – Reduces excess skin oil by over 50%, delivering clear, glowing skin.

What is sebum?

Sebum is the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands and then flows onto the surface of the skin. These glands are attached to every hair follicle all over the skin and scalp because, whether cosmetics companies want you to know it or not, your skin really needs the oil that it produces.

While being completely shiny all over your body and scalp probably won’t ever be a desirable look, sebum performs many functions that your skin cannot live properly without. One of these functions is to lubricate your skin and keep it soft and supple – skin without any oil would be completely dry and brittle, and wouldn’t be able to stretch and flex as your body moves. Ouch!

Oil

The original ‘Essential Oil’

One of the most important functions of sebum, however, is that it creates a protective barrier known as the acid mantle, which is an invisible layer on your skin comprised of a mixture of oil and sweat (we know that doesn’t sound too pleasant, but trust us, you don’t want to get rid of it!). The acid mantle has a slightly acidic pH and protects your skin against a portion of the microorganisms that could cause infection, as well as chemical irritants, pollution particles and other ecotoxicants. It acts as your skin’s primary barrier function; its first line of defence to protect and maintain the skin’s integrity – the second part of your skin’s barrier function is lipid bilayers of the epidermis, which hold your skin cells together and prevent moisture from evaporating too quickly.

Hydratime® & Nutritime®: Ceramide boosting face creams, supplement the skin’s lipids and provide anti-oxidant action for ultimate hydration.

Stripping away the acid mantle, either by excessive cleansing for example or by using an astringent toner containing a lot of alcohol, is stripping away this natural protective layer, leaving your raw skin exposed to the elements.

Acne

Remember, your skin is your largest organ and needs to be protected

This exacerbates existing conditions, such as acne, rosacea or dry skin:

– Acne is made worse as your skin is now more prone to inflammation, or you may even make any underlying inflammation worse, making acne break-outs more likely.

– Rosacea sufferers, or those with particularly sensitive skin, will now be more susceptible to reacting to irritants and external triggers

– Dry skin will become even more dehydrated as, without the acid mantle, moisture in the skin will find it more easy to escape.

Rosacea TripleLock®: Targeting all causes and symptoms of rosacea, providing long-term relief for 75% of sufferers.

How much is too much?

We would ask ‘how much is normal?’, but in our experience, there is no such thing as ‘normal’skin; every individual’s skin is as unique as their fingerprint, and there is no such thing as ‘one-size-fits-all’.

Having said that, those prone to having particularly oily skin will notice a shine first thing in the morning, which will typically cover the majority of the face, if not all of it. Combination oily skin will show this shone mostly in the T-Zone, which is where the concentration and level of activity of the sebaceous glands are higher.

T-Zone

In case you didn’t know, the T-Zone is comprised of the nose and forehead, where you’re most likely to suffer from pimples and blackheads due to excess oil

‘Normal’ skin – if we must call it that – will probably not notice any shine in the morning, but will develop a shiny T-Zone by the end of the day; it may not be very obvious, but can show up more clearly when photographed, or under strong lighting.

Dry skin won’t show any kind of shine, as it produces very little oil, and is usually most common in those over the age of 60, as the skin’s natural oil production gradually declines with age. If you are under 60 and find yourself in this group, it’s more likely the result of dehydration, and not to do with having skin that is genetically drier.

SkinVital®: Our anti-ageing super serum contains 33% more antioxidant Vitamin C than the leading competitor, targeting all 7 keys signs of ageing

What can you do about excess oil?

Oil production is regulated by testosterone, a hormone present in both men and women, which activates the oil-producing sebaceous glands. Testosterone is controlled by the highly complex endocrine system, and the amount of oil you produce is determined by your genetics, so it’s very difficult to control how dry or oily your skin ends up being.

You do, however, have some level of control.

You need to remember that your body is all about balance; if you try stripping away any excess sebum, your body will automatically work to produce more, and usually will try to over-compensate and produce more oil than you had in the first place.

Balance

Everything is about balance, and just like training your body, you have to learn to retrain your skin.

If you suffer from acne as a result of having excessively oily skin, invest in a decent acne treatment that will target both the causes and the symptoms of acne – FYI, we’ve written an article about how to best choose the right products for your skin, but long story short, make sure you pick a brand that specifically states that they treat acne. If it doesn’t actually say the word ‘acne’, chances are it won’t work all that successfully.

With the right treatment, you can tackle your acne troubles without the backlash from your skin, keeping your skin healthy for long-term relief.

Acne TripleLock® – Targeting not only the symptoms, but the underlying causes, of acne to deliver successful results in as little as 8 weeks.

Don’t dull your shine!

Forget what beauty and cosmetics companies are telling you; shine is nothing to be ashamed of. Without a counter-top full of mattifying make-up and a professional photoshop artist, there is no one who has natural, healthy, shine-free skin. It just doesn’t exist.

Now, as we well know, excess oil and shine can be problematic, but that doesn’t mean you should try to eradicate it altogether. Remember, oil is healthy, protective, and keeps your skin pliable and wrinkle-free. You may not want oily skin now but trust us, you’ll be glad of it in future when your skin doesn’t dry out!

So keep that natural, healthy glow, and embrace the shine!

Smile

Let yourself glow!

SkinMed® provide clinically proven skin solutions, which, unlike cosmetic brands, are medically licensed in the treatment of many skin conditions and suitable for almost all skin types, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK), endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

If you would like to find out where your local SkinMed® accredited clinic near you, all you need to do is get in touch. We have hundreds of clinics country-wide and our dedicated team will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

We are also offering free skin consultations at many of our clinics for all our loyal customers. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please let us know and we can find the nearest clinic to you offering a consultation free of charge.

Contact Us:

Phone: 0333 247 2474 – Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Live Chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

5 Things that Cause Your Skin to Age

Featured

Growing older is a fact of life; with every passing day, each of us grows a little bit older, and sometimes wiser too, something that is completely out of our control. But is that such a bad thing? With age comes knowledge, experience and perspective that we don’t have in our younger years, and so in my opinion, getting older is not quite the end-of-the-world crisis situation that some people make it out to be.

Having said that, how you age, and how you take care of your skin as you age, is something that you do have control over, and maintaining healthy skin should be a priority for everyone.

Here’s our list of things that can damage your skin and cause premature ageing – some of them you can avoid, some of them you can’t, and some of them, you might not want to…

1. Photoageing:

Now this is the one you’ve probably heard a hundred times before, but it is still as true now as it ever was; spending time in the sun!

Exposure to UV is one of the biggest culprits for causing your skin to age (around 90% of the signs of ageing are caused by spending too much time out in the sun without sunscreen). The reason for this is that UV damages the elastin in the skin, causing it to sag, stretch and lose its ability to snap back after stretching, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. UVA rays reach deep into the dermis, damaging collagen fibres by forming abnormal amounts of elastin and increasing metalloproteinase production. Collagen begins to malfunction and decompose; incorrectly rebuilding the skin and forming wrinkles along the way, a process which is repeated every time the skin is exposed to UVA rays.

UV Light

UVb rays are what cause sunburn, and it’s been fairly easy to protect yourself from them with most sunscreens, but it’s UVa rays that cause premature ageing and can cause skin cancer, so making sure you’re protected from both is vital for both your skin and your health.

Exposure to sunlight can also result in excess pigmentation and ‘sun-spots’ when your skin overproduces melanin, the pigment colour in your skin that you naturally produce to protect you from the sun. There are two types of pigmentation: hypopigmentation, where patches of skin become lighter in colour compared to surrounding skin due to a depletion of melanin or melanocyte levels, and hyperpigmentation, where patches of the skin become darker, which occurs when an excess of melanin forms deposits in the skin.

Both hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation are quite common and usually harmless, but studies have shown that having excess pigmentation, or uneven skin tone, can make you look up to 12 years older.

The answer is easy – and we’re not going to tell you to just stay indoors, or only go out at night! Wearing a sunscreen with a high UVa rating and SPF every day, as well as reapplying where necessary, is all you need to keep your skin protected. It’s a simple habit to get into, and once it’s a part of your daily routine, you probably won’t even think about it any more – and believe us, your skin will thank you for it.

Sunwards: Providing SPF 30 and outstanding UVa protection without irritation, Sunwards is the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin.

2. Free Radicals:

This is another cause of ageing that has been in the public spotlight a lot lately, but what exactly are free radicals, and why do they damage our skin?

Free radicals were once-healthy oxygen molecules that have now become overactive and unstable. There is a theory called the Free-Radical Theory of Ageing (FRTA) that states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time – ever cut an apple in half and see how it turns brown? That’s the equivalent of what is happening to your skin. They are produced in various ways; from bodily functions and sun exposure as well as from high levels of toxic fumes and pollution in big cities, meaning we are all exposed to them every day. Smoking also causes free radicals meaning smokers will, therefore, develop more wrinkles than non-smokers – one puff of cigarette smoke emits 40,000 free radicals!

So what can you do about it? For a start, stopping smoking can be one of the best things you can do for your skin. If you don’t smoke though, the key to combatting free radicals is with antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E, which you can either incorporate into your diet or use vitamin-rich products to treat your skin and keep it looking its best.

SkinVital®: our anti-ageing super serum contains 20% Vitamin C – 33% more than the leading competitor – to combat free radical ageing and damage

Orange

Keeping up a balanced, vitamin-rich diet can also be really beneficial – keep reading to find out more.

3. Collagen Production:

Collagen makes up around 75-80% of the skin’s dermis and is what makes your complexion firm, plump, and youthful, limiting the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and saggy, slack, and crepe-like skin. If everything works as it should, our cellular collagen-making machines called fibroblasts continue to create new collagen, while your body also produces enzymes that break down the old or damaged collagen and carry it away, keeping your skin looking young and beautiful.

Unfortunately, production of this youth-preserving protein decreases as we age – roughly you start to produce 1% less collagen every year from when you’re in your 20’s, which is precisely why we say that there’s nothing wrong with starting to use anti-ageing products early on! Signs of ageing occur when the fibroblast cells that step in to repair damaged collagen fibres cannot complete their work, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.

Elephant

Elephants are very beautiful and wise creatures, but that doesn’t mean you want to have skin like one.

This is another case where you cannot turn back time; your body will continue to do its best to keep producing collagen but after a while, it can only do so much. That’s why we recommend investing in a product that will not only give your skin a collagen boost but also give your skin the tools it needs to create more collagen for itself, keeping you looking youthful.

Terproline® Contour – Offering your skin the building blocks to produce new collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, to improve skin structure, appearance and tone.

4. Facial Muscle Contractions:

Some specific fine line and wrinkles, such as crows’ feet, frown lines, and furrows in your brow are caused by small, repeated muscle contractions from your facial expressions.

You may have seen in our previous article (LINK) that some so-called ‘experts’ have recommended certain facial exercises, that are meant to keep the muscles in your face strong and firm. This sounds great in theory, but the problem is that when it comes to ageing, it’s your skin that’s the giveaway, rather than what’s underneath it, and repeatedly forcing your face into weird contortions is more likely to cause excess fine lines and wrinkles, from your skin losing it ability to snap back into place after stretching.

Facial Exercises

Believe us, doing these kinds of exercises is only going to make things worse – plus, you’ll probably look really stupid when you’re doing them!

But, aside from biding these bizarre exercises goodbye, what can you do about this kind of wrinkle formation? It’s not as though you can just stop smiling, frowning, moving your eyebrows or showing any kind of emotion at all for the rest of your life – and even if you could, would you want to? A high-quality anti-wrinkle cream should be all you need to keep these fine lines and wrinkles to a minimum, but the ones to look out for are creams whose active ingredients work within the skin, rather than just on the skin’s surface, to ensure long-lasting, effective results.

Fillast® Duo Pack: specifically designed to fill wrinkles from within, increasing the skin’s hyaluronic acid levels, and increasing the skin’s capacity to bind water.

5. Diet and Nutrition:

A lot of people forget that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and therefore can be hugely affected by your diet and nutrition. You may have read our previous article about how your diet can affect things like acne and rosacea but the same can also be said for ageing your skin as well. As we’ve said earlier, Vitamins C and E are both antioxidants and can help combat sun damage and free radicals, but Vitamin A helps to maintain and repair skin tissue, and Vitamin B helps to form the basis for new skin, so keeping up a vitamin-rich diet – as well keeping up a skin routine with products specifically designed to combat the signs of ageing – can work wonders for your skin.

Synchrovit A: containing encapsulated forms of Vitamins A and E to stimulate cell renewal and promote tone and turgidity, leaving the skin looking younger and brighter

Yo-yo dieting can also have an effect on your skin; losing and gaining back large amounts of weight forces your skin to stretch and then retract, and, as skin elasticity starts to decrease with time, your skin will start to look slack and saggy. There are many other reasons why fad-dieting is not good for you, never mind for your ageing skin, but maintaining a balanced diet for your skin, as well as a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine, should also keep you at a healthy weight.

Hydration is also a vital part of keeping your skin healthy and youthful because, as we get older, our skin becomes thinner and drier. Drinking plenty of water, and investing in a rich, hydrating cream will encourage your skin to maintain high moisture levels, keeping it plump and youthful.

Balanced diet

Remember, beauty starts from within – maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle are key to keeping skin healthy and youthful

In conclusion…

When it comes to your skin ageing, there are some things you can control and some things you can’t. In our experience, the best defence is a good offence, and it’s far easier to prevent the signs of ageing from occurring in the first place, rather than trying to turn back time.

SkinMed® provide medically licensed products that are clinically proven to deliver outstanding results – to find out more about how you can keep your skin healthy and beautiful, why not give us a call on 0333 247 2474, to speak to one of our dedicated team?

The Secret to Glowing Holiday Skin!

Once upon a time, you’d have to go away on a long exotic holiday to get that gorgeous, healthy-looking glow that everyone is after today. But now, with the like of Instagram and SnapChat, everyone needs that glow before they go away, so they can be photo ready for snaps by the pool, on the beach, by the bar…you know, anything to make the folks back home green with envy!

This week on #SkinTheKnow, we’re giving you the inside scoop on how to get perfect summer skin before your next big trip, so that you can be ready for anything.

Introducing the EnerPeel® MA

Mandelic Acid is a slow-absorbing, gently exfoliating alpha hydroxy acid. It is originally isolated from almonds, but perfected in a lab, meaning that people with nut allergies can still benefit from treating themselves to an MA. In almonds, mandelic acid protects the nut from viruses, bacteria and fungi, a feature that can also be a great help to our skin too, keeping you free from pre-holiday ‘break-outs’. Its ability to control the hyperdilation of surface blood vessels also makes it ideal for those suffering from rosacea, and as we all know, UV can be a serious trigger for rosacea flare-ups, making EnerPeel® the perfect choice for rosacea sufferers or those prone to reddening.

Almonds

Remember, it’s the fact that it’s perfected in a lab that gives it amazing results – just rubbing almonds on your face will not do your skin any good!

Acne TripleLock® – All-encompassing acne solution, offering 85% success rates even amongst difficult to treat patients

Rosacea TripleLock® – Targeting all causes and symptoms of rosacea in just 8 weeks.

A lot of people are wary, or warn against, getting a chemical peel in summer due to fear of the effect of the sun on the freshly peeled skin, but EnerPeel® is not your average peel! Its rejuvenating effects are almost instant, delivering fresher, smoother skin with almost no downtime, meaning that with a high SPF sunscreen – which by the way, you should already be wearing every day, see our previous article for more details – you’ll be good to go and enjoy the summer sun. It’s even been called the Lunchtime Peel; that’s how little time it takes!

The beauty of EnerPeel® is that is also increases your skin’s absorbability, meaning that the SPF sunscreen you use will soak deeper into the skin for more even tanning, and the smoother texture of your skin means that your makeup will adhere so much better – and you won’t even need to wear as much because your skin will already look fab! That’s one less thing to worry about while you’re away!

Sunwards® SPF 30 Face Cream – Ultimate sun protection from but UVa and UVb rays, without irritation from chemical sun filters.

Rosacure Intensive SPF 30 – Rosacea targeting ingredients, combined with Factor 30 sun protection

Now we all know that holidays tend to be times when we let ourselves go a little and leave the diet at the airport to pick up again when you get home. And why shouldn’t you? Holidays are a time to treat yourself, live a little, and maybe have one too many cocktails at the hotel bar. The drawback is the hit that this can take on your immune system, which can often show on your face, potentially ruining your otherwise gorgeous holiday snaps. EnerPeel® MA will prevent these little holiday ‘break-outs’, keeping your skin clear and smooth, while you still get to push the boat out.

Cocktails

Disclaimer: Other side-effects caused by drinking too many cocktails cannot be prevented by having an EnerPeel before you go!

So, to sum up…

It gives you fresh, younger-looking skin, that will better absorb your sunscreen and tan more evenly.

It’s perfect for helping to control rosacea in time for your next summer holiday, and, with the right aftercare, can provide outstanding results to manage your rosacea symptoms long-term.

It prevents holiday break-outs from eating – and drinking! – too much and can be combined with an acne protocol to control acne by fighting all causes and symptoms.

The treatment lasts around ten minutes or less – a perfect little luxury to indulge in on your lunch break before your next sunny getaway.

Your skin will be cleansed, refreshed, brighter, incredibly smooth and soft to the touch, making it the ideal treatment prior to a garden party, holiday or a summers evening ‘get together’.

EnerPeel MA

Your ticket to gorgeous, glowing, summer skin

In short, it’s the perfect all-around chemical peel for summer, to give your skin that extra holiday glow, and that’s only after one treatment! A course of up to four treatments will also offer you the outstanding anti-ageing benefits of using MA, increasing collagen and elastin deposition, smoothing fine lines and tightening skin.

The EnerPeel® range is available from SkinMed® accredited clinics all across the country; to find your nearest clinic or for any further information, simply give us a call on 0333 247 2474, and a member of our dedicated clinical team will be able to point you in the right direction.

Will The Pill Affect Your Acne?

Often described as one of the greatest advances in both modern medicine and women’s liberation, the contraceptive Pill is one of the most widely used forms of birth control in the world. In 1961, women in the UK were given the ability to choose what they wanted for their bodies and their families. Since then the Pill has been prescribed to millions due to its multiple benefits such as it’s contraceptive properties, its ability to treat heavy periods, and its seemingly miraculous effect on acne. In fact, around a third of the women living in the UK aged between 16 and 49 are currently using the combined or the progesterone-only Pill.

But what about when you come off the Pill? What happens to your skin then?

This #SkinTheKnow we’re looking into how this little miracle drug – while preventing you from having little miracles of your own – may not be the best thing for you if you’re looking at ways to treat your skin.

Health

The Pill was undoubtedly one of the greatest advancements in women’s health in the last century

The Science – How does the Pill work?

Essentially the Pill works by switching off your natural ability to release hormones that cause your menstrual cycle. It does this by releasing synthetic female hormones into your bloodstream, tricking your body into believing that you’re pregnant, meaning that your ovaries don’t produce an egg that month because they think there’s a fertilised one there already.

As you’ll no doubt be aware, acne is a medical condition that causes the skin to have an inflammatory reaction to the naturally occurring hormones within the body and often worsens during times of hormonal change, such as puberty, and during your menstrual cycle. These reactions result in an excess production of sebum – oil produced by your skin – and dead skin cells caused by increased skin cell turnover. It is Androgens, a group of male hormones including testosterone, present in both men and women, that stimulate the production of sebum. A woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands produce low levels of these androgens, but higher levels can result in excess sebum, which clogs pores, forming acne spots.

Aknicare – Ideal for those who want quick relief and long-lasting results

Acne TripleLock – Our all-encompassing acne solution targeting all causes and symptoms of acne

The combined contraceptive Pill, containing oestrogen and progesterone, lowers the amounts of androgens in your body to reduce the sebum production and the development of spots, hence why the pill is prescribed to so many to help control their acne symptoms.

Sounds perfect right?

HIde

The Pill essentially just hides your acne, but won’t actually cure it…

Not quite…

Well, for starters, if you want to use the Pill to treat your acne symptoms, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re put on a combined Pill, as progesterone-only Pills will often make your acne worse. However, if your GP is prescribing the pill for you purely to clear up your spots, the combined Pill is the method they’re likely to prescribe anyway.

The problem is that the Pill doesn’t cure acne; it may take away the hormones that trigger the reaction in your skin, but that reaction would still take place if those hormones are reintroduced, i.e. when you eventually come off the Pill. It offers brilliant results but you’ll only see relief from your symptoms for as long as you’re on the Pill.

For most women, taking the Pill is not a solution that they would choose to stick with long-term, either because they wish to get pregnant, constantly taking medication every day is no longer practical, changes in relationships, possible side-effects, or any other number of reasons that come down to personal choice.

The point is, when you do eventually decide to come off the Pill, all the hormones that you haven’t been producing get switched back on, and your body ends up playing catch up trying to figure out how to function again now that the autopilot has been taken off. Often women find that as soon as they come off the Pill, the oil glands in their skin will start to over-produce sebum, seemingly to try to compensate, meaning that the acne symptoms you suffered before going on the Pill often pale in comparison to the acne you’ll get afterwards!

What’s the solution?

Don’t get us wrong, the Pill is one of the most commonly used forms of contraception for a reason, and if it’s the form you chose to take because that’s what works for you, we’re not going to tell you anything different.

But if you’re on the pill purely to control your acne, you’re only prolonging the inevitable – and possibly even making life harder for yourself in the long run.

It might sound cliché, but as far as we’re concerned, the best defence is a good offence, and a good offence means a medically licensed acne solution that is proven to treat acne in 85% of cases, not just temporarily reduce symptoms.

Acne TripleLock

The solution you’ve all been waiting for

Acne TripleLock® is a clinically proven skin solution, and unlike cosmetic brands, is medically licensed in the treatment of acne, with thousands of successful users across the UK and Europe.

The products were created through decades of experience, in collaboration with top dermatologists from all around Europe. Professor Tony Chu, President of the Acne and Rosacea Association UK (ARA UK) endorses and prescribes the products for his patients – you can be certain you’re in the right hands.

To learn more about the Acne TripleLock® range, click here

SkinMed® has a variety of product ranges to treat many skin conditions, suitable for almost all skin types.

Need help deciding what to buy? Take advantage of our trained skin specialists, they know skin inside and out as well as our extensive product ranges – that makes them the best people to ask when it comes to seeking advice.

There’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve heard it all! Contact us using the details below:

Contact us!

Call: 0333 247 2474 Email: info@skinmed.co.uk – Online chat: www.theskinmedshop.com

How Gluten can Affect your Acne – and (more importantly) Why?

This week we’re taking on another requested myth sent on by one of our lovely readers, namely ‘does wheat cause, or effect, your acne?’

During my research into this particular skin myth, it became quite clear that I was by no means the only person looking into this subject, and came across hundreds of articles giving their own opinions about whether or not wheat and gluten can affect your skin. Unsurprisingly, I came across a somewhat mixed set of conclusions. That’s why I thought it more important than ever to get to the bottom of this mystery and find out the truth – after all, I’ve already advised you to stay away from dairy, milk chocolate, and excessive sugar! Add bread and gluten to that list unnecessarily, and I’d never be able to forgive myself.

Bread

Give us this day our daily bread… or don’t

Why all the confusion?

From what I’ve been able to unearth, the link between gluten and acne isn’t quite as straightforward as it has been with other foodie-myths we’ve looked at previously (like our Dairy Article for example), instead the reaction to gluten that appears on your skin is more likely to be a reflection of a reaction happening in your gut.

Gluten intolerance, or Coeliac Disease, is a common affliction, affecting around 1 out of 100 people, with many more people being diagnosed with what’s known as gluten sensitivity; similar to Coeliac Disease, but with symptoms that are less immediate that can develop over time. In either case, gluten causes inflammatory responses within the gut – that’s probably the politest way to put it – as well as other symptoms as well, such as headaches, joint and muscle pain and, in some rare cases, neurological issues. As you’ll no doubt be aware, it is these internal inflammatory reactions that make themselves known on your skin, exacerbating acne symptoms and causing so-called ‘break-outs’.  It’s well known that inflammatory reactions that take place in the gut are often reflected by inflammation in the skin, meaning that if you have a sensitivity to a particular food, cutting it out of your diet will not only improve your stomach but most likely your skin as well.

When you consider that 1 in 5 adults suffer from acne, and 90% of people will have experienced acne at some point in their lives, you’ll realise that it’s no wonder that so many people are experiencing a correlation between consuming wheat and gluten products and seeing a negative impact on their skin.

(FYI, these inflammatory responses can also exacerbate the symptoms of other skin conditions, such as rosacea, which also tends to flare up when the sufferers are exposed to triggers that cause these types of inflammatory responses within the body. These include certain foods, alcohol, UV light and many more. With gluten sensitivity being so common, rosacea sufferers may also benefit from being aware of how much gluten they are consuming, as well as monitoring their skin to see if there is an apparent cause and effect reaction.)

Pasta

Thankfully most supermarkets now stock gluten-free alternatives to things like pasta

How can I tell if gluten will affect me?

First of all, I want to emphasise that the link between gluten and acne should only affect you A. if you already have acne, and B. if you are already sensitive to gluten. Gluten sensitivity can occur at any time in your life, as can acne, but consuming wheat and gluten will not cause you to contract acne. Acne is a medical condition which occurs as a result of your skin reacting to hormonal activity within your body and is not caused by any of the food you eat.

If you have Coeliac Disease or think that you might have it – i.e. you suffer from immediate and severe reactions whenever you ingest foods that include gluten – you most likely won’t be consuming anything with gluten in it anyway. However, because gluten sensitivity can manifest itself in so many ways, and often not immediately or severely enough to cause people to seek medical advice, there are those who will fall into both camps, of having acne while already being sensitive to gluten, with this sensitivity only becoming apparent through their skin.

The problem lies in the fact that gluten-rich foods are so often staples in our diets – it is often literally our daily bread – coming in the form of the more obvious foods like bread, pasta, baked goods like cake or pastry, cereals and beer, but also in places you wouldn’t expect, like your toothpaste, shampoo and makeup. It’s therefore often difficult to figure out if gluten is having an effect on your skin, or if your exacerbated symptoms are the result of another trigger entirely because there isn’t time to gauge the reaction between the consumption of gluten and the break-out of acne because gluten is such a constant in your diet and lifestyle.

Toothpaste

Did you know it’s also a commonly believed myth that toothpaste gets rid of spots? Consider that another myth busted!

Should you give up Gluten completely?

As I said before, I would hate to be the reason for anyone to give up on good, tasty food for no reason. Cutting out wheat and gluten could work wonders for your skin, or it could cause a lot of unnecessary hassle for you trying to change your whole diet, without it making any real difference.

One way to find out if you are gluten sensitive would be to go and speak to your doctor to be tested for gluten antibodies. That would give you a good idea of whether gluten could be a cause for your exacerbated acne troubles, however, as I’ve discovered, gluten sensitivity can present its symptoms in various ways, and skin trouble may not be one of them.

Which brings us to method number two; temporarily cutting out gluten from your diet to see what effect it has on your skin. It’s essentially the same method we recommended with dairy, usually known as the elimination technique, where you cut out your chosen food type from your diet and observe any effect over 3 to 4 weeks. If after that time you notice a positive difference to your skin, you can then start to think about removing gluten from your diet on a more permanent basis – thankfully nowadays most supermarkets offer gluten-free alternatives to things like bread, pasta and cereals, making this kind of transition much easier than it would have been in the past, meaning you don’t have to give up on the foods you love, and still get to keep your skin clear. After your time spent gluten-free, to make doubly sure of your results, you could experiment by indulging in a gluten-rich meal and seeing the effect it has on your skin – you often only need one relapse to give you the resolve to stick to your new diet. 

If, however, after your gluten-free month you don’t notice any discernible difference, you can be fairly certain that gluten is not the culprit for your skin troubles, and go back to your usual diet. The elimination technique doesn’t only have to apply to gluten though, and if your skin is still suffering, you can always try experimenting by eliminating different food groups and keeping track of the effect on your skin.

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After one month of no gluten, you either have clearer skin, or you can go back to enjoying bread – It’s win-win!

One thing you can’t go wrong with though is the right skin solution.

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There’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve heard it all! Contact us using the details below:

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