When consulting with clients on their visits to my spa, lifestyle takes up a big part of our initial conversation, particularly what they are eating on a daily basis. It is no secret at this point, that consuming a blend of fresh fruits, vegetables and clean protein, plus drinking the right amount of water does translate into a clear and vibrant skin most of the time.
However, two additional recommendations I have been making to my clients more recently to keep their skins youthful and healthy are to try and keep their overall food intake as alkaline as possible and to take regular courses of probiotics.
In the skin care business, it is not unusual to talk about the pH of a product. The letters pH stand for potential hydrogen, as hydrogen is the element that controls the levels of either alkalinity or acidity in a formulation. Acidic products range from 0 – 6.9 and are often used to exfoliate or peel the skin; alkaline products range from 7.1 – 14 and can be used in cleansers or to neutralize acidity and very often moisturizers are formulated to be neutral (a pH of 7) to bring the skin back into balance. Too much acid or alkalinity is irritating for the skin so the pH is always carefully calibrated.
More recently, the principle of pH balancing has been applied to our bodies. This holistic approach believes that the foundation of a strong digestion is built on a simple eating system that maintains an ideal acid/alkaline (pH) balance in the body.
How do we do that?
The suggested pH ratio would be a diet of two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid-forming foods. This takes some adjustment. So, to take a step in the right direction, let’s outline a few alkaline foods that we can incorporate in greater quantities and some acidic foods we can eliminate.
Raw, green leafy vegetables like chard, kale and spinach are all excellent at maintaining a more alkaline system. So are avocados, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, coconut, cherries, grapefruit, lemons and watermelon. Obviously, exercise and relaxation are essential and as already mentioned, drinking the right amount of water.
Men need more water than women on a daily basis, but if you eat plenty of the above listed vegetables and two or three fresh fruits a day, you can fill half your required fluid quota. A healthy way to start and end each day for example, would be with a cup of warm water flavored with half a fresh lemon.
Things to avoid would be white flour, red meat, processed food, coffee, too much alcohol and artificial sugar. These create a lot of acidity in the body. Too much acidity triggers eczema, acne, cysts, rosacea and wrinkles – so all of these conditions could be greatly improved by a diet that contains alkaline-rich foods.