Madilyn Wolens, more commonly known as ‘The Functional Nurse’ has debunked some of the biggest misconceptions about skin health, and what everyone can do to improve the bodies biggest organ.
Here’s Madilyn’s commentary and advice on how to achieve great skin health.
LQ: What is one of the biggest misconceptions you come across when it comes to skin and skin health?
TFN: That you can create long term, healthy thriving skin from a bottle. Our skin is probably one of our most underrated organs. We lather it in hundreds of toxic chemicals daily, smother it in makeup and spend hours out in the sun. We then want to find a new cream or serum to help reverse the damage we have caused. Unfortunately, it does not work that easily. The skin is an organ and requires internal support just as much, if not more so, as external.
LQ: With the rise of social media influencers, a lot of people are pushing crazy products that don’t seem like they have proper regulations in place by the TGA. What should people look out for, and what crazy trends should they avoid?
TFN: Influencers and social media can be an extremely handy marketing tool for skin care brands, however we shouldn’t be solely relying on skin care advice from someone unqualified. The ‘blackhead removing’ black facial masks is one that often catches people as it looks very appealing, however the list of unregulated chemicals on the back of the bottle can be quite disturbing! If you can buy a skin care product for $5 from eBay, you cannot expect quality!
LQ: You talk a lot about healing from within and obviously diet plays a huge role when dealing with skin health, what foods should people look at incorporating into their diet to improve their skin?
TFN: This can be individual depending on the clients deficiencies and health conditions, however as a general rule it is great to incorporate:
-Essential fatty acids which help fight inflammation in your body,
-Brassicas vegetables such as broccoli, kale, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, as they have a hormone regulatory effect and also support the liver’s detoxification process.
– Adding Garlic to your meals and help reduce inflammation throughout the body encouraging blood flow which is vital for clear skin.
– Foods high in Zinc such as; Chickpeas, lentils, nuts etc. Zinc helps promote immune function and acts as an anti-inflammatory to help skin heal and reduce the appearance of blemishes and scarring.
The best foods to avoid include those that ignite an inflammatory response through out the body and hinder the guts microbiome. These include: Refined sugar, alcohol, transfatty acid and foods that your own body may respond to with bloating and indigestion.
LQ: What is the one thing that everyone should incorporate into their skin routine? (I have a feeling your answer will involve sunscreen!) and why?
TFN: Yes, you guessed it! Especially those of us in our harsh Queensland sun. Without sunscreen, our skins exposure to free radicals is increased. Free radicals cause oxidative stress which can damage our skin cells and cause signs of ageing such as pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
LQ: As we approach autumn, what products should people look at incorporating into their skin care regime?
TFN: When the humidity in the air drops which the change in season, we can notice the environment start to become dryer and so be it for our skin also.
We always need to focus from inside out initially. So stay hydrated! 3-4 Litres of water a day to ensure your skin is hydrated from inside out. Exfoliation can also help encourage cell turnover and remove flakey skin. Depending on your skin’s health, you should exfoliate 1-2 times per week.
Avoid harsh alcohol based toners that will strip the skins natural oils even more, and heavy occlusive moisturisers that will hold the dead skin in.
LQ: Any last advice on choosing skin care?
TFN: We are better off reaching for natural, organic or certified organic products. My theory for skin care can be compared to healthy eating – A diet predominantly of natural, organic foods is best, however a cheese board and glass of wine here and there won’t hurt.
Above: Image Courtesy of Get Together Photo – www.gettogetherphoto.com. Madilyn is a registered nurse and cosmetic injector, and you can follow her on Instagram at @the_functional_nurse for more skin tips.