Skin Health Magazine Issue #6 / Winter 2018 - Page 21

Diet & Fitness Is an Alkaline Diet Better for Your Skin? I t’s not uncommon to spend the first few months of a new year making changes. We sign up to gym memberships, rid out our wardrobes and convince ourselves that a new hairstyle will make us feel like a whole new person, but if you spent the last twelve months feeling sluggish and fighting with unpredictable skin, the only cure is to adopt a more alkaline lifestyle. Experts believe that eating too many acidic foods – things like cheese, cow’s milk and red meat – makes the body acidic and, therefore, more prone to health problems and imperfect skin. As we age, the body becomes naturally more acidic, so it needs to be counteracted with more alkaline foods in order to keep it balanced. “With an alkaline diet, you will feel more energised, experience better sleep, improve your weight, and prevent many dis- eases that are due to over-acidification,” ex- plains Dr Isabel Sharkar, a Naturopathic Doctor who specialises in digestive disorders, clinical nutrition, and body optimisation. And your skin will benefit too. Alkaline-rich foods like coconut water, leafy vegetables and quinoa contain natural antioxidants and fatty acids which can restore stability to skin prone to breakouts and inflammation. “If you’ve ever struggled with sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, eczema or psoriasis, or even just the effects of ageing, it is likely because your body is acidic,” says Dr Sharkar. “When skincare products are applied to and absorbed by the skin, they push it to be either more acidic or alkaline. By using skin care products that allow for the most optimal pH, the skin is able to properly defend against bacteria, regulate natural oil production and increase cell regeneration.” Most topical skin care that is available today is acidic in pH (around 5.5, which is the same as a cup of coffee) and it has been this way since the 1950s. The best alkaline skin care will tend to have a pH of around 7.2 or 7.3, which is slightly more alkaline than water. Once the body and the skin have been alkalised, the cells can regenerate more efficiently and can func- tion more effectively. “Our skin cells carry out multiple functions including regenerating themselves every 27 days, absorbing nutrients, metabolising waste and producing melanin to protect from UV rays,” explains Dr Sharkar. “Cells can perform all of these functions more effectively in an alkaline environment, leading to brighter, healthier skin. Also, because our cells are neg- atively charged with a higher pH, this stops them from ‘stacking,’ which improves blood flow and cell metabolism. Your skin will also be more hydrated, because there is more oxygen available with a higher pH and this increased oxygen allows your cells to absorb more water.” Dr Sharkar recommends switching to products like Sönd Skincare’s Midnight Feast Night Cream and Strength Training Serum which contain silica, to support skin on a deeper level, making it appear healthier and become more resistant to external irritation. After a few months of switching to alkaline skin care ourselves, we can confirm that our skin feels soft, firm, and is much less angry looking, plus we’ve noticed a reduction in the number of breakouts we’ve experienced since the start of the year. Using alkaline products might be one change we’re willing to stick with for the rest of 2018. ISSUE #06 | 2018 | 21