"We have two different options. One option is that we can suppress and cover up our skin's problems with creams, makeup, or topical steroids. However, this is not really addressing the root problem of what is going on with our body. The other option is to really look at what the body is trying to tell us. The body is so wise and it's so important to pay attention to the signals that our skin gives us instead of ignoring them." - Dr. Trevor Cates
The skin is an incredible organ that protects our underlying tissues, organs, and bones. Each day, it keeps us insulated, controls our body temperature, and helps us take in essential Vitamin D from the sun.
The skin is also a key indicator that lets us know when our physical and emotional health is unbalanced. If our skin is dry, oil, itchy, or breaks out in acne, it's telling us that there is something else going on with our bodies that needs to be addressed.
If our skin is so amazing, shouldn't we do more for it by eating the right foods and give it the care that it needs to stay strong and healthy?
This week, licensed Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Trevor Cates aka The Spa Doctor shares her personal experience of dealing with skin problems and how we can heal our skin from within. You will learn how to use natural foods and real life methods so that you can have that healthy glowing skin no matter your age or race.
"We're all different because of our genes, but that doesn't mean that we're stuck with our genes. We can change our genetic expression based upon how we live. We can change the foods that we eat, the products that we use, or the toxins in our environment such as mold." - Dr. Trevor Cates
We have the power to take control and improve our own health and wellness.
At a young age, Dr. Trevor Cates suffered from allergies and infections that led to bumps and itchy hives on her skin. Once her parents got in touch with a holistic practitioner, she learned exactly what her skin and body needed to be healthy again. Soon enough, her skin cleared up and her self-confidence at school blossomed.
The root of Dr. Cates skin problems were not only because of her genetics, but also because of the organic milk that she was drinking and the toxic mold in her home.
Our skin acts as a magic mirror and can give us so many clues about our health. Take a moment a think to yourself, do you have the following indicators of poor skin health:
Is you skin __________?
Do you have__________?
Whether we're experiencing mild or extreme cases, if these skin problems show up, it's a good indicator that something is out of balance in our bodies.
There are many foods that can help improve the health of our skin, but there are also many trigger foods that can worsen it. Here, Dr. Trevor Cates has put together a list of The 5 Best and Worst Foods for Skin Inflammation:
5 Best Foods for Skin Inflammation:
5 Worst Foods for Skin Inflammation:
Dr. Cates also shared that corn, soy, and nightshade foods (i.e. potatoes, paprika, tomato, and eggplant) also have a negative affect on our bodies.
In her upcoming book, Clean Skin From Within, she shares more information on what foods to eat and what to avoid.
To learn about your own body and what foods are good for your skin and what will make you break out, Dr. Cates suggests doing a 2 week to 1 month challenge to discover what specific trigger foods affect your health.
During the challenge, eliminate any of the top trigger/ worst foods for your skin from your diet. At the end of the challenge, slowly reintroduce each food once at a time and see if you react to the food in a negative manner.
Dr. Cates also has a 21 Healthy Habits Challenge.
"If you can't put it in your month, then you probably shouldn't put it on your skin." - Dr. Trevor Cates
On average, we use 9 personal care products each day such as: shampoo, fragrance, shaving cream, lotion, face wash, deodorant, hair gel, makeup etc. More often than not, these products contain ingredients that are harmful toxins or hormone disrupting chemicals.
Dr. Trevor Cates shared several specific ingredients that we should stay away from. You may click here to read her entire blog post, Are Your Skincare Products Causing a Hormone Imbalance?
Even if products claim to be "natural," it's just a word that is used to hide the fact that the ingredients include synthetic fragrance and other hormone disrupting chemicals such as diethyl phthalate and DMDM hydantoin aka formaldehyde releasers.
Diethyl phthalate is a plasticizing agent that is used to help hold the scent in fragrance. Even though we all want to smell good, a long-lasting scent is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.
A better alternative is to use essential oils if you want to smell good all day. Do your research and find a company that you know you can trust and one that uses clean extraction processes for their essential oil products.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, and some shampoos. It is banned in the European Union, but unfortunately the FDA still allows it to be used as an ingredient in our products.
One common ingredient that also disrupts our hormones is oxybenzone. Stay away from products with this ingredient and replace it with something that includes minerals such as zinc oxide and anti-titanium dioxide. One of Dr. Cates' favorite sunscreens is from DeVita.
The Impact of Our Emotions on Our Skin
Genetics, food, and environmental toxins are not the only factors that affect our skin's health. Our emotional wellness plays a big part as well.
If we're emotionally unbalanced because of stress and other factors, this can affect our thyroid health and cortisol levels. Excess cortisol levels can help trigger skin inflammation which can create or worsen skin conditions.
To learn about your skin's health, Dr. Trevor Cates has a Skin Quiz that you can take. Here are Josh's results:
"It's important that instead of using food to help us feel better, we should deal with what's really underlying there. Find out what are the emotional issues that are going on and address those issues. The sooner you can do that with kids, the better you can help them address their health on their own. It's so much better than to say, "Here's a piece of candy. Everything's gong to be okay." - Dr. Trevor Cates on comfort food and children
To help your family live life with healthy skin and bodies, lead by example. Whether they're 7 or 17, kids will pay attention to what their parents are doing and look up to them.
Eat healthy meals and encourage them to do the same.
Instead of serving the same traditional kid meals i.e. Mac n' Cheese or hot dogs, introduce new foods at an early stage. Take them to different restaurants such as Thai or Indian to help them learn to appreciate and try different foods. The earlier, the better.
Pay attention to your children's dietary needs as well. If you know that some foods affect their skin, teach them what foods are not good for them and what substitutes are better for their health. If you know that your child shouldn't eat gluten or dairy, take a moment to teach them the importance of following their diet.
Walk them through a self analysis by asking questions:
Dr. Trevor Cates received her medical degree from the National College of Natural Medicine and was the first woman licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California.
She was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to California's Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council and served on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians’ board. In addition to her medical degree, Dr. Cates has a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.
Dr. Cates consults patients over the phone and in her office in Park City Utah and is also a feature contributor on FOX13 News.
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