Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
We’re showing a little skin today at MDA. No, it’s not another photo of Mark’s abs, although the last picture did elicit a rousing response. We’re talking glow, color, clarity, tone. Sound like a beauty ad? Well, it certainly could be except for the fact that there’s nothing to “buy” except a healthy primal lifestyle.
Mark advocates the Primal Blueprint for many dimensions of wellness: healthy aging, disease prevention and therapy, physical fitness, sexual health, and mental well-being. But what if it helped you look good too? No need to suddenly feel guilty or vain. (We don’t.) We know you’re in it for the health, and so are we. Consider it the icing on the cake. It’s doubtful any of us are out to be the next cover model on Vogue or GQ (although you never know – anyone?). Nonetheless, who doesn’t want to enjoy a little extra, natural boost?
So, what is it exactly about the Primal Blueprint that can help impart that natural, healthy glow?
Acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea. Common skin conditions such as these are often rooted in or exacerbated by inflammation. Yes, we know about the Perricone prescription diet, and the main concept behind it is pretty simple: reducing systemic inflammation curbs inflammatory conditions that afflict the skin layers. Anti-inflammatory diet? Sound familiar? We’re all for people learning about avoiding inflammation anywhere they can, but we just don’t see it as a “secret” prescription. A low-carb, high omega-3 fatty acid diet can minimize inflammation and maximize skin health. As for general aging, inflammation plays a major role in that as well. Over time, inflammation breaks down collagen which causes the skin to lose its elasticity and sag prematurely.
As always, the less “bad” stuff your body has to fight, the healthier it is. Back to the inflammation point here: inflammation is a natural immune response to what it perceives to be attack, including that of unwelcome invaders like common pollutants, pesticides, and even food additives. Oftentimes (especially in children), skin ailments like eczema are rooted in unknown allergies to synthetic food additives (e.g. artificial colorings) as well as natural but problematic food components like casein and gluten. Better skin can be as simple as a “cleaner” diet.
A powerful punch of antioxidants further fight free radicals. As for the myriad of topical creams out there, we’ll leave the scrutiny to other. For our purposes, research suggests that a nutrient-rich diet (and wise supplementation) literally feeds skin from the inside. Some of the key nutrients for that “healthy, glowing, younger-looking complexion?” Try vitamins like A, C, E, and the B-complex as well as other nutrients like zinc, alpha-lipoic acid, DMAE, CoQ10, and (once again) omega-3s. Vitamins C and E are known for offering sun protection and reducing the damage of sunburn. Vitamin C, DMAE and alpha-lipoic acid help protect skin from the aging ravages of free radicals from sun exposure, pollutants, and other stress. Others like vitamin A and zinc help regulate healthy and well-balanced oil production for skin that’s soft and supple without being too slick.
As anyone who’s suffered from a hormonal imbalance (or been a teenager) knows, the ups and downs of hormonal production can wreak havoc on your skin. And it’s not just a matter of the good old sex hormones. Endocrine system disruption from a variety of medical conditions can impact skin health. Hormonal imbalance can result in skin that’s dry, flaky and prematurely aging (as can happen with hypothyroidism) to overly lubricated by natural oils (as in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). (Too much of a good thing isn’t always so good.) The Primal Blueprint, as we’ve said somewhere before, works with the body’s natural evolutionary functioning to promote consistent hormonal balance – from insulin to T3. For those with more serious diagnoses of hormonal imbalance, knowledgeable and creative medical treatment (with an individualized program of lifestyle and alternative therapies in tandem with appropriate conventional remedies) can make a world of difference – for your skin and overall health.
Add to all of this, a good night’s rest. How can we talk about great, glowing skin without mentioning your grandmother’s classic advice? We’ll throw in some daily stress reduction ala Primal Blueprint to boot.
Feeling particularly appealing on the PB plan? Got glow and want to share? Interested in feedback on a current skin condition and its tie to lifestyle? Shoot us a line and share your thoughts.