Nikkel Holistic Skincare founder Dana McCants shares tips on how to improve skin through better digestion.

“While topical beauty products can be helpful, beautiful and blemish-free, skin is a reflection of a good digestive system,” says Dana McCants, a holistic living expert and founder of all natural skin care company, Nikkel Holistic Skincare. She adds, “Skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, even very dry or oily skin with enlarged pores can be brought on by sluggish digestion, too few ‘friendly’ bacteria and/or poor eating habits. Even allergies, fatigue, yeast infections, mood swings, bloating and bad breath are other symptoms that can be caused by digestion issues.”

She advocates improving digestion and skin health with these tried and true tips:

1. Help “friendly” bacteria flourish. If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, you have not only killed the infection for which the antibiotics were prescribed, but also have annihilated the beneficial micro-flora that help keep your immune system strong. To replenish these little powerhouses (also called micro-flora), eating yogurt isn’t enough. Try fermented foods such as kim chee, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, miso, and kefir. If they’re not to your liking, head straight to the health food store and ask for a probiotic supplement that has a wide variety of bacterial strains and take it on a full stomach. Having an army of micro-flora working for you is one of the single most important things you can do to ensure overall health.

2. Strive for balance in your eating habits. Avoid excess in processed foods (eg. breads, pastas, boxed foods), sugar and alcohol. They bog down your digestion and can compromise your immune system in a big way. Completely avoid products that contain aspartame, MSG or foods with “hydrogenated” anywhere in the ingredients list. These can lead to premature aging and cause major skin reactions.

Try to add into your diet at least one new, organic, whole food per month. For example, bake a sweet potato or munch on a red pepper (or other raw veggie) alongside whatever else you normally eat. Chop a cucumber and avocado in little square chunks and splash on a bit of rice vinegar and sea salt—easy, nutritious and delicious! “Eating raw food adds enzymes, which are also great for skin health,” adds McCants.

3. Incorporate fiber to help skin stay clear. When the colon’s health is compromised it can pollute the body. As the largest organ of detoxification, the skin is especially susceptible to “picking up the slack” when the colon is sluggish and congested. Improve your digestion process and the skin suffers that much less. A few ideas for a fiber boost:

• Sprinkle ground-up flaxseeds onto salads, oatmeal or any meal.
• Add avocados! A medium-sized avocado has a whopping 15 grams of fiber, who knew? Hello guacamole!
• Substitute whole grains (e.g. brown rice for white, and whole oats for instant).
• Eat high-fiber snacks: an apple a day (skin on), raw nuts, seeds or dried fruit (like figs and prunes).

To learn more about what you can do to improve your skin health and receive regular skin care tips, visit

Dana McCants is a holistic living advocate and founder of an all-natural skin care microdermabrasion treatment that has helped thousands with skin issues such as acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone and fine lines.

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Dana McCants
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