Skin struggles are something we can all relate to. From inflammatory conditions like acne and breakouts to signs of premature aging like fine lines and wrinkles, we have products and routines to keep all these pesky skin problems at bay. However, despite everything, we may still experience poor skin health. Many studies have correlated gut health and liver health to skin conditions but there is also a lesser known correlation to skin health.
Curious what that is? It is none other than your lungs – the organ that shares the functions of respiration and detoxification with the skin. The most chronic skin conditions as well as signs of premature aging are very closely linked to unhealthy lungs. While this lung-skin connection is well established in Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is less discussed in conventional medicine. However, numerous studies have shown a very credible link between air pollution and premature signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, hyperpigmentation etc.
These go to illustrate that when your lungs are taxed due to the amount of toxins in the air we breathe, it impacts lung function which ultimately shows up on our skin. While we can’t always control the presence of toxins in the air we breathe, these toxins have to be expelled from the lungs otherwise they can build up inside the lungs and cause stagnation, inflammation, and mucus build up. With air pollution at an all-time high in major cities and a lot of indoor air also loaded with toxins due to harmful cleaning chemicals, off-gassing of chemicals from furniture and carpets, as well as the toxins we track in from the outside, it is imperative to find ways to detox our lungs to ensure optimal lung function. To that end, one of the most important ways to help our lungs is our breathing. Deep breathing as well as diaphragmatic breathing are both tools to ensure plenty of oxygen enters our lungs. It is also extremely important to stay hydrated, exercise, and to ensure good posture so that your lungs have room to function optimally. To better control your environment, try keeping your windows open so the air is always in circulation, vacuum your carpets often, and keep air purifying plants in your house.
In the same vein, avoid areas that are heavy in traffic when exercising and spend time in heavily wooded areas as well. You can also utilize essential oils like eucalyptus to purify your area and support your lung function. As your incorporate these changes in your lifestyle, you will begin noticing improvements in your skin health as well. A win-win if there ever was one!