By Nutrition Consultant Jessica Robinson
If you are looking at improving the health of your skin, looking at the gut is a good starting place, but did you know the liver also plays an essential role in our complexion. Not only is a healthy liver essential for our energy levels, weight control, digestive health, mood, hormone levels, blood pressure levels and cholesterol levels, but it is also important for the maintenance of our skin.
One of the liver’s vital roles is breaking down and eliminating toxins in the body such as alcohol, debris, and precancerous cells. If your liver is not functioning optimally, toxins are insufficiently broken down and are forced to be eliminated via our skin. These irritating toxins can inflame the skin resulting in dermatitis, eczema, brown liver spots, rashes, hives, psoriasis, acne rosacea, dryness, and dull and sagging skin. In many circumstances, poor skin quality is an indicator of poor liver function or future liver problems.
The liver is our main pathway for the elimination of toxins which includes any toxins that are present in the air we breathe, the food we eat or the drinks we consume. When our liver becomes congested and becomes less effective at eliminating toxins, our body attempts to purge these toxins through other ways, such as our pores. Hence, our skin can be a direct indicator of what is going on inside our body.
The liver is also responsible for breaking down fat, so when our liver is not functioning optimally fat begins to circulate in the bloodstream and can end up being used by the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are small oil-producing glands that are distributed over our entire body, and are most abundant on the scalp and face. Sebaceous glands release a fatty substance, sebum, to form the slightly greasy surface of the skin, thus helping to keep the skin flexible and prevent dryness. If the substance that your body is using to produce sebum (from the bloodstream) contains fat-soluble material that is inflammatory or loaded with toxins, a lot can end up in the sebum. And if you are consuming unhealthy fats, it can cause congestion and cause sebum to be thicker than usual which increases the chances of pores becoming clogged.