Why is your blood and circulatory system so important for your skin?
What we see when we look at our skin has a lot to do with what is occurring inside of our body and how our blood is circulating definitely has an effect on how our skin looks and functions.
Our blood and circulatory system carries precious nutrients, hormones, and other chemicals through every organelle in our body - it is a very important aspect of overall health and metabolic function. It is through the circulatory system that immune cells are delivered to protect the body from pathogens. The bloodstream also carries away metabolic wastes, toxicity, and pathogens to be eliminated from the body; we need circulation for both nourishment and detoxification.
Therefore, poor blood circulation can lead to the possibility of many health problems and can especially cause a decline in skin health and appearance.
Skin problems associated with poor blood circulation:
- Problems with skin tone: Poor blood flow is often associated with poor delivery of nutrients throughout the body. A dull complexion may result from this. A glowing, radiant colour and complexion are dependent on two very important factors; an abundance of nutrients and a well-functioning circulatory system.
- Skin discoloration: In addition to nutrients, oxygen is one of the major components carried through the bloodstream to be delivered to parts of the body that need it. We take in oxygen through the lungs where it is sent through the circulatory system for delivery to our tissues. If our circulation becomes poor, there is often the additional problem of poor oxygenation. This can result in pigmentation issues of the skin which can range from dark spots to a general uneven complexion of the face.
- Acne and inflammation: Poor circulation will not directly cause acne and inflammation, however, if the organs do not receive proper blood flow to and from them, we run into two problems: poor digestion and poor detoxification. This can cause issues such as acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and general skin inflammation.
- Slow healing: When circulation is poor there is the less efficient delivery of the necessary nutrients and repair hormones to the skin cells. Poor circulation may not remove the damaged cells and debris, resulting in slow and poor wound healing.
- Wrinkles and aged skin: One of the major causes of wrinkles is inflammation in the skin. As mentioned above, we need good blood flow to properly detoxify the body. Accumulation of toxins can lead to inflammation which in turn contributes to a process known as glycation; a process that causes wrinkles.
- Dark under-eye circles: The skin surrounding our eyes is naturally thin and delicate, and if our circulation (oxygenation) is poor our eyes will not hide it, resulting in the appearance of bluish shadows and or puffiness.
So, poor circulation isn’t good news for our skin, however there is plenty we can do to boost it!
A few examples are:
- Movement: One of the simplest and most natural ways to improve blood flow is through daily movement. Through movement, blood flow is increased to the skin. As we have learned, the blood also carries oxygen, nutrients and hormones to cells throughout the body, including the skin. It also aids in the elimination of waste products such as toxins and free radicals. Movement benefits the skin directly by moving the lymph; we have to move our bodies daily!
- Hot & Cold Showers: Alternating between hot and cold water exposure can greatly improve circulation and your overall health. Research also suggests that regularly exposing yourself to cold water can also improve hormone balance, alleviate depression, and increase immune functionality.
- Herbs & Supplements: Dietary supplementation is another great way to improve overall circulation and blood flow. First, a healthy diet is imperative for good blood flow. However, there are many herbs and supplements that can give your blood a little push. One of the best foods for this is Ginger Root as it is not only an anti-inflammatory, it also stimulates the body tissue to flush out blood and take in new, fresh blood. Another great circulatory herb is Ginkgo Biloba, famous for increasing blood flow to the brain as well as to the skin.
- Clay Masks: Applying specific clay masks to your face on a regular basis is one of the most powerful ways to stimulate circulation of blood and oxygen to the surface of our skin. Certain clays, such as Koalin and Bentonite (all masks by Dermaviduals use these clays as a base) work due to their molecular make up. They contain negatively charged ions, which when applied to the skin, are attracted to any positively charged ions, such as environmental pollutants and bacteria, which then stimulate circulation for the removal of these compounds.
Dermavidual clay masks can also be tailored with specific extracts, liposomes, nanodispersions, monosubastances and oils for your specific skin concerns. Add on top of that a 30 minute facial massage once a month and voila! You have dramatically increased your blood circulation to the skin and get the Dermavidual’s facial after-glow!!
Written by, Skin Specialist & Naturopath, Emily Segal