The bad word... Inflammation!

Lately, the word inflammation has become quite the buzzword. It turns out that inflammation does not only effect you internally, but your beauty is effected as well. It is the root of so many issues both internally and on the skin.

Inflammation is not all bad! It is actually the body’s defense system, providing protection from bacteria, viruses and injuries. When your body is under attack, it will respond by an inflammation process that sends chemicals from the body’s white blood cells to the area at risk. When the infection is gone or the injury has healed, the inflammation is supposed to go away. When our system is not functioning properly, then low levels of inflammation can linger in the body.

Inflammation can come from anywhere! An unhealthy diet, stress, poor sleep, pollution, second hand smoke and sun exposure can all lead to skin inflammation. I know when I do not watch my diet then I experience obvious signs of inflammation, like breakouts, brain fog and over all swelling.

Examples of external skin inflammation are acne breakouts, rosacea and visible signs of aging (like wrinkles and sagging skin). The higher our cortisol (our body’s main stress hormone) levels are, the more wound healing slows down and the more breakdown of collagen there is. Collagen helps keep the skin looking plump and smooth.

Acne is a sure sign of inflammation! Those angry, red bumps love to pop up because of stress, Why is that you always wake up with a blemish on your wedding day, your presentation day or a travel day?

Rosacea is another sign of inflammation in the skin, caused from stress, sun exposure, food, hormones and more.

First step to lowering the inflammation in your body is to eliminate any stress. I practice breathing techniques, workout and try to plan my day as much as I can. Second, is to get quality sleep every night. Easier said than done, but it is a must! Third, you can eat an anti-inflammatory diet. I have done this one many, many, many times and it is a great reset and reminder of how I should be eating daily. An anti-inflammatory diet includes organic grass fed protein, vegetables and some fruit (I avoid fruit other than lemons and berries because of the high sugar content), healthy oils, plenty of water, quinoa and brown rice. It is best to avoid sugar, dairy, gluten, processed foods, refined starches, caffeine and conventional meat.

A couple supplements to add to your regime to help reduce inflammation are curcumin and astaxanthin. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and astaxanthin is one of the most effective antioxidant supplements on the market right now.

The key is to treat inflammation from the inside. Good luck on your anti inflammatory journey!

Danica