Holis­tic skin­care treat­ments do a whole lot more than shrink your pores

Sharp - - CONTENTS WINTER 2018 - By Bradley White­house

Want bet­ter skin this win­ter? Ditch the creams (well, some of them) for a holis­tic ap­proach.

IF YOU ONLY MAKE ONE New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, make it good skin. It might sound vain, but look­ing good and feel­ing good are two sides of the same coin. And when it comes to your mug, a clear com­plex­ion is a solid sign that ev­ery­thing is smooth on the in­side too.

Fol­low­ing this logic, holis­tic skin­care clin­ics, which look at fac­tors such as diet, sleep, stress lev­els and more to de­velop an all-in-one treat­ment plan, are crop­ping up as an al­ter­na­tive to tra­di­tional der­ma­tol­ogy clin­ics and spas. Jen Newell, a natur­o­pathic doc­tor at the In­te­gra­tive Health In­sti­tute in Toronto, has carved out a niche as a holis­tic skin­care prac­ti­tioner and says she’s seen a big jump in the num­ber of male pa­tients over the past five years; they now make up nearly half of her busi­ness.

Newell’s prac­tice and oth­ers like it go be­yond the sur­face, look­ing at any skin or hair is­sues as side ef­fects of larger prob­lems go­ing on deeper in­side the body. For in­stance, a nag­ging blem­ish could be a re­sult of how your body is break­ing down cer­tain foods, which makes tra­di­tional symp­tom-fo­cused treat­ments a game of whack-a-mole un­til the root cause is dealt with.

“It’s more than just a cream you’re putting on or a sup­ple­ment you’re tak­ing. You have to man­age all the other parts of that sys­tem,” Newell says. “We need to weed through whether the un­der­ly­ing cause is hor­monal, in­flam­ma­tory, di­ges­tive, or stress, or a con­glom­er­a­tion of all those things, to vary­ing de­grees, and how your body is re­spond­ing to it.”

Treat­ment varies de­pend­ing on the pa­tient, but it al­ways in­volves some home­work, in­clud­ing a diet plan. Other treat­ments in­clude acupunc­ture and top­i­cally ap­plied en­zymes. Ex­pect to see re­sults from a top­i­cal treat­ment af­ter about 28 days, the amount of time it takes skin cells to turn over, while diet and life­style changes might take about three months to make a no­tice­able dif­fer­ence.

The best part is in ad­di­tion to fix­ing some red, flaky, or spot­ted skin by tack­ling is­sues with di­ges­tion, stress, and sleep, pa­tients will likely find that they have more en­ergy. “We want you to ac­tu­ally both look and feel bet­ter at the end of the day,” Newell says.

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