Friday, April 13, 2018

The Beauty of Dirty Skin Book Review

This post contains affiliate links, and will benefit from actions taken on the links. I received a review copy of the book for free. As always, all opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted and asked if I was interested in reviewing The Beauty of Dirty Skin by Whitney Bowe, M.D. I've always been interested in taking care of my skin, and even more so in recent years, so it was easy to say yes.

Right from the start the book spoke to me because the author makes the case that our skin, our gut, our nervous system - everything in our body - is connected and affected by each other. She provides the reader with detailed, but easy to follow, explanations of these connections and gives many suggestions on how to improve your skin and your overall health. She makes a strong case for eliminating processed foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and processed fats.

Dr. Bowe thoroughly discusses how stress affects our skin and our whole body. We can probably all relate to the pimple that shows up right before a high-stakes situation. But continued stress can truly affect our skin (and overall health) and do so very quickly. She gives examples from her practice where patients develop skin conditions or appear ten years older in a matter of a few months when they encounter high amounts of stress. The culprits are cortisol, the breakdown of collagen, and inflammation. Research has shown that the skin is able to produce its own stress response to UV light, heat, cold, pollution, allergens, etc. Throughout the book she points out how important it is to incorporate stress reduction techniques into our lives.

Dr. Bowe makes some surprising skin care suggestions such as using a facial scrub no more than twice a week. I used to use a facial scrub much more frequently but have been scaling back since reading the book.

Probiotics are also discussed, and Dr. Bowe explains that they are beneficial for the skin when applied topically as well as when ingested.  I love kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, and I was already familiar with the benefits of eating probiotics, but I'm also going to look into topical probiotics and will make sure to eat prebiotics (chicory, garlic, asparagus, onions, jicama, etc.) more regularly.

Dr. Bowe also suggests supplements that are beneficial for the skin and explains what each does. One supplement especially piqued my interest as I hadn't heard of it before. It's called Heliocare, and it is supposed to help protect the skin against the negative effects of the sun from the inside (you still apply topical sunscreen of course). In addition, Dr. Bowe points out that it also protects the skin against infrared rays, blue light, and even pollution. Dr. Bowe suggests taking one capsule every day, and up to three on days when your skin is exposed to a lot to sun. Since I have very fair skin and skin cancer runs in my family, I'm going to give it a try.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It reiterates many principles I am already familiar with because of the food-based cleanses I have done over the years. Most importantly, I think that by following the suggestions in the book, including the detailed 21-day plan she outlines at the end of the book that includes a food plan and many recipes, one not only can improve one's skin but one's overall health. I therefore highly recommend The Beauty of Dirty Skin.

Questions: Are you aware of the connection between your gut and your skin? Are you including plenty of probiotics in your diet? Have your ever used probiotics in topical form? 

Be well,