Inner Beauty- A guide to treating acne and other skin concerns from within.

Brooke Venables is a specialist naturopath who holds a wealth of expertise on using natural medicines to skin disorders, acne and premature ageing. She has an outstanding success rate with clients who have already tried everything conventional medicine had to offer. I asked Brooke for her expert tips on using vitamin supplements and natural medicine to treat common skin concerns. You can use the most expensive creams and lotions but most of what your skin looks like is a result of what going on inside. So with the right help you can maintain an internal balance to get your skin in peak condition.

Here is what Brooke had to say-

* Your skin is a barometer for your internal health- acne and premature aging are signs there are internal imbalances that must be addressed in order to achieve healthy skin long-term.

* Skin Naturopathy involves investigating and treating the causative factors of skin conditions rather that treating symptoms only. Blood testing, live blood screening, zinc tally testing and salivary hormone tests are all evaluated to give precise direction for a treatment protocol for each individual.

* Anti-biotics and acne medications such as Roaccutane can be effective in the short term but as they are treating symptoms only and not addressing the causative factors the acne will most often return. I see many clients who have been on many courses of these medications and are still suffering breakouts in their 30’s, 40’s and up to 60’s.

*It is important to realise that anything you do topically to your skin will not work effectively or have lasting results if you aren’t treating internally also.

* Acne is predominantly hormonally driven. Not only sex hormones but imbalance in other hormones such as insulin which regulates blood sugar can have a dramatic impact on skin health. Testosterone production can be increased by eating too many carbohydrates such as grains and sugars. Testosterone increases activity of sebaceous glands causing more oil production- leading to breakouts. Skin can improve dramatically by making a few adjustments to diet such as increasing protein levels and decreasing carbohydrates.

* Natural medicines are usually required to restore balance and re-establish regulation in hormonal pathways as well as remedy any nutritional deficiencies which may be contributing to onset of breakouts or poor skin healing.

*Zinc is essential for healing and regeneration of healthy skin as well as keeping bacterial overgrowth in the skin at bay. I always test zinc levels by a taste tally test in the clinic to assess levels.

* Iron transports oxygen to the skin cells and can speed up healing in the skin. Dark circles under the eyes and poor energy are also signs of iron being low. A blood test of iron studies is important to assess levels before supplementing.

* Omega 7 is a little known skin specific essential fatty acid derived from sea buckthorn oil. Omega 3, 6 and 9 tend to be taken up by other organs before the skin will get any left over. Omega 7 is directly taken up by the skin, rapidly hydrating and improving texture and overall complexion.

* Resveratrol is a potent antioxidant known for its anti-aging properties. Research shows that resveratrol can switch on sirtuin 1- the anti aging and longevity gene improving collagen and elastin production in the skin.

* Hemaview live blood screening is a test I use with clients in the clinic and is a great way to assess oxidation in the body which may be leading to premature aging and dull, dehydrated skin. Poor integrity of red blood cell membranes indicates a greater need for essential fatty acids and anti-oxidants.

Brooke Venables is a specialist naturopath who practises at Mi:Skn a holistic medicine centre in Perth.

MiSkn Clinic