Stunning Skin Isn't Accidental Or Genetic: Here's How To Get It

by - August 02, 2019


We live in a culture which says that any variation from one person to another is due to genetics. What’s interesting is that this was the mainstream view in biology until recently. Biologists were operating under a kind of genetic determinism. What your genetics coded for was the person you are. 

But that thinking no longer applies. Instead of a series of instructions, researchers now believe that it’s better to think of the genetic code as a kind of template which adapts to different circumstances. The environment in which you live can change how your genes express themselves, literally altering your biology. 

The whole field of epigenetics has only recently taken off, but it’s already providing insights for how regular people can get beautiful skin. 

What’s so fascinating about the science is that it shows that we’re not necessarily destined to have oily, spotty or scaly skin. A lot of what we think is genetically determined actually comes from the environment. 

Sort Out Your Diet

The biggest issue is our diet. What we put in our bodies has a measurable effect on the appearance of our skin, both in the short and longer-term. 

Our skin reflects the inflammation that’s going in the rest of our cells. If inflammatory factors are cruising around our insides like there’s no tomorrow, then that will show up as blotchy, red skin. Inflammation under the surface creates knock-on effects.

Over the long-term, our diets can cause our skin to become more leathery and lose its elasticity. Poor diets destroy the mechanisms in our skin cells that create collagen and elastin, causing the skin to lose its supple quality. Damaged blood vessels from artery-clogging dietary fat stop nutrients from reaching the skin’s surface, causing yet more deterioration. Bad diets are a skin disaster. 

Contrast that to what happens when you put somebody on a wholefood, plant-based diet long term. These people are freaks - even if their skin was poor before. Almost always, their skin is clear, has a lovely color and is pearly in its appearance: not too oily, and not too dry. 

The causes of this aren’t entirely clear. It could be one of several things. People eating wholefood, plant-based diets tend to eat more phytonutrients and antioxidants, potent anti-inflammatory compounds. They also consume less artery-damaging foods, like eggs and meat. And they get more carotenoids which protect against UV. All these factors combined add up to a big difference in skin quality over the long term. 

Next time you see somebody in their thirties or forties with perfect skin, ask them what they had for breakfast. There’s a good chance it involved lots of fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. 

A Special Note For People With Acne


Acne is one of the worst skin conditions you can have, mainly because it strikes at such a critical time in your life: your teenage years and early twenties. You want to get on and find a partner, but you feel as if your acne is holding you back and preventing people from finding you attractive. 

Acne is mainly caused by diet. It’s controversial, but there’s now a lot of evidence which points the finger squarely at dairy. The more dairy you eat, the worse your acne will become. The science is pretty conclusive too, despite the protestations of the dairy council, so it’s probably worth avoiding if you can. Replace the milk in your diet with a plant-derived alternative and see whether that improves your skin. If you’re worried about calcium, then eat a couple of extra servings of greens each day. Kale, bok choi, spinach, and collards are all high in the mineral. 

Get Rid Of Your Infections

Of course, not all skin problems are diet-related. Some are just plain old-fashioned bad luck. 

If you suffer from cold sores around the mouth, then there’s a good chance that you’ve got the herpes simplex virus. You get this virus from kissing and oral sex. The good news is that you can usually get rid of the problem with tea tree oil for cold sores or antiviral drugs. Either way, skin issues like these are accidental. 

Rashes are another common effect of infection. Again, this is likely to be a temporary thing and not something that is going to affect your skin long term. 

Control Inflammatory Conditions


The most common inflammatory skin condition is eczema. Interestingly, eczema incidence is on the rise in the West, suggesting that there is something in our environment, which is precipitating the current epidemic. 

People with eczema have patches of dry skin, often on their elbows, knuckles, and knees. Researchers think that eczema results from inflammatory processes in the body. It’s yet another case of the body’s immune system going into overdrive and attacking tissues it shouldn’t. 

Whenever you read about something caused by inflammation, you should immediately think about diet. As discussed, plant-based foods are highly anti-inflammatory. The more fruits and veggies you eat, the less inflammation you’ll have in your body and, hopefully, the fewer skin conditions. 

Eczema, in particular, seems to be highly amenable to diet. Some people who cut out the junk in their meals and focus on whole foods report feeling better and having better skin. You might not be able to stop using creams altogether, but you could cut down on the severity of your lesions. 

Use Sunscreen Religiously 

Sunscreen contains a bunch of chemicals that the vast majority of people can’t pronounce. That is reason enough to be skeptical. However, the sun is a primary source of skin damage. UV rays penetrate skin cells and have sufficient energy to break strands of DNA. 

The knock-on effects of this over the course of a lifetime can be extreme. Prolonged exposure to the sun can make skin look saggy and wrinkled. 

The UV light is the culprit, so lathering up with sunscreen whenever you go outside is a good idea. Remember, even if it’s cloudy, UV light can still damage your skin. Don’t take the risk.



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Check out my book Milo’s Meals: A Healthy Recipe Guide for The Picky Toddler available on Amazon in convenient eBook and paperback!



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