If you are over 35, you’re probably aware of just how important your skin is to your appearance.

What you might not know is that your skin (the largest organ in the body) is also a reflection of your overall health.

When your skin is dull, dry and discolored, or you have problems like eczema, acne, rosacea or premature aging, it’s a sign that something is out of balance within your body.

And just as important, you might not know that common skin care regimens can actually be damaging your skin and be causing internal health problems as well.

Here are the 5 most common skincare mistakes:

1. Upsetting your PH balance

The pH of normal skin ranges from 4 to 6.5. This mild acidity of the skin helps prevent overgrowth of harmful bacteria and helps support the skin’s strength and cohesiveness.

Maintaining a healthy skin pH can prevent acne flare-ups and helps our skin to continue looking tone and vibrant. Many commonly used skincare products are too alkaline, so they do not support the mildly acidic environment our skin needs to flourish.

2. Disrupting your skin’s microbiome

You may have heard of the gut microbiome or the importance of probiotics in yogurt, and other fermented foods for your digestive health. Similarly, our skin has its own microbiome, with a delicate balance of microorganisms that help protect our skin and keep it healthy.

With the widespread use of antibiotic medication and antimicrobial soaps, hand sanitizers and other internal and external agents, we can easily damage our skin’s microbiome.

When we do not have optimal skin microbiome, we’re more likely to develop both acute and chronic skin problems like acne, eczema and dermatitis.

3. Causing endocrine disrupting hormone imbalances

Did you know that the majority of skincare products used today contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)? These endocrine disrupting chemicals interfere with our hormone function.

As we age, our hormones are already thrown off balance, which is further complicated by exposure to EDCs. E

ven though you may think that something you apply to your skin stays only on your skin, it’s true that we can actually absorb these chemicals into our bloodstream.

Then these chemicals can wreak havoc on our endocrine system, leading to problems with thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone function.

EDCs have been linked to a number of health concerns including hypothyroidism, infertility, early menopause and certain cancers. There are alternatives, but the first step is to start looking more carefully at what you put on your skin.

4. Creating “skinflammation” with the foods you’re eating

What are the most common foods in our diet? Wheat, dairy, and sugar are some of the top foods eaten around the world every day. These everyday foods are inflammation triggers that lead to skin problems, including acne, rosacea, eczema and dry skin.

Do you have to give up all these foods forever? No, but it is important to find balance.

Some people may need to avoid these foods for a period of time to decrease inflammation. For most of us, it means finding balance and focus on eating nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory foods.

In addition to watching the common trigger foods, it’s important to look at the quality of your food. Avoiding animal protein containing antibiotics and hormones is also important to maintaining your hormone and microbiome balance.

5. Suppressing skin problems by not addressing the root problem

This is the number one thing that most dermatologists do wrong. While some skin products and procedures can do wonders, if we don’t start with a good foundation—and I’m not talking makeup— then no matter how hard we try, our skin will never be truly healthy.

What do I mean by a good foundation?

I’m referring to addressing the root cause of skin issues so you can have vibrant, radiant skin regardless of your age. Most doctors suppress skin problem signs with antibiotic and steroid treatments, but when our skin is unhealthy, it is giving us a sign. If we ignore it, the problem can become much worse.

I’ve seen many patients with eczema, for example, suppress the symptom only to later develop other inflammatory diseases such as asthma and arthritis. If, instead, we address the inflammation from the inside – out, then we remove the obstacles that allow the body to heal.

Here are 7 simple steps to take today to improve your external and internal health.

1. Look at your skincare ingredients

Observe the ingredient carefully and find alternatives that promote skin health. Environmental Working Group has a skincare database you can peruse to learn more about your current products and healthier alternatives.

 2. Look-out for toxic chemicals

Avoid ingredients that have endocrine disrupting effects such as oxybenzone (found in most sunscreens), parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. For sun protection, use zinc oxide instead of oxybenzone.

 3.  Cut down on certain foods

In your diet, limit or avoid processed foods and sugar.

4. Fill up on the right nutrients


Eat eight or more servings of vegetables daily, good fats like coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for salad dressings, a wealth of colorful antioxidant-rich fruit, veggies, and legumes and other healthy protein sources like wild Alaskan salmon, grass-fed beef and free-range chicken.

5. Support Your Hormones

Maintain hormone homeostasis by managing stress, eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, and exercising routinely.

6. Supplement as Necessary

Consider taking a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to fill in any possible nutritional gaps in your diet.

7. Attend the online Glowing Skin Summit…

If you want better skin and want to protect you and your family from common skin health traps, I strongly recommend you register today for the Glowing Skin Summit.

The event will begin on April 27th and end on May 4th. It is completely virtual, so you can learn from the comfort of your own home.

You learn secrets, wisdom and cutting-edge information from 35 of the world’s top wellness, nutrition, hormone and skin experts. They’ll teach you the best natural (and least invasive) treatments for glowing skin and vibrant health!

Register Here At No Cost 

Your skin is what reflects your internal state of health. You don’t need to spend money on pricey skin products, or extraordinary amounts of time on a skin care regime. These quick, easy, and natural tips will give you the skin you want at any age! ~

How can adopting these skincare practices enhance other areas of your health? Share your thoughts in the comments below :)

Dr. Trevor Cates

Dr. Trevor Cates

Dr. Trevor Cates was the first woman licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California and was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to California's Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council. Also known as “The Spa Dr.,” Dr. Cates sees patients at world-renowned spas and in her Park City, Utah private practice with a focus on anti-aging, hormone balance and glowing skin. She has a regular iTunes podcast called THE SPA DR: Secrets to Smart, Sexy and Strong and an upcoming Glowing Skin Summit (April 27 – May 4, 2015).

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