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How the health of the liver affects the skin

Written by Samantha Dench, L.E., owner of Skin Deep and author of “Skin Deep: Demystifying Skin Care Solutions to Achieve Healthy, Glowing Skin” Share4 on November 14th, 2017.      0 comments

Skin care professionals are starting to understand that, in order to transform a client’s skin, they need to start looking inside the body. They understand that lifestyle choices greatly affect treatment of acne, rosacea, and melasma; however, they do not usually think of liver damage when treating the skin. Factors such as medication, hormonal shifts during pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills, diet, and stress affect the liver.
“The liver is one of the vital organs of the body, responsible for hundreds of chemical actions that the body needs to survive. It is also a gland because it secretes chemicals that are used by other parts of the body.”1 The liver is a crucial organ and is as important as the gut. Articles are popping up all over the internet about gut health and skin, autoimmune disease, and other health problems. Liver health is also important for proper functioning.

Taking medications or birth control pills and becoming pregnant results in inflammation of the liver and can be a cause of melasma, due to the surge in hormones. Skin care professionals work to reduce surface inflammation, which is important during facials and in homecare regimens. Professionals should also be more thorough during client consultations and ask specific questions about medications and birth control. If melasma is present, working on the outside to hide the problem is not the only solution; the source of the problem needs to be found.

Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis Skin Care says, “Hyperpigmentation comes from internal sources and can be prevented by avoiding birth control pills, liver damaging medicines, and pregnancy after 30. All of these events can lead to chronic liver damage, which shows up on the skin as inflammation covered by hyperpigmentation.”2 If there is damage caused to the liver and professionals are able to help clients feel better, the client’s skin clears and they become clients for life.

How can professionals work with clients and stay within the scope of their license? This question is tricky as most states do not allow internal wellness to be part of aesthetic practices. Professionals can make lifestyle recommendations and offer suggestions because clients are coming to them to solve their skin problems. Women should avoid birth control pills, if possible.

Professionals can refer a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor to help clients improve their diets and lifestyles and to assess any medications. Professionals can also suggest that clients visit a dietitian to address any issues with gluten, dairy, or sugar.

Skin care professionals should check their state board for the requirements under the scope of their license as far as making dietary suggestions. They can also make suggestions to eat a plant-based food at every meal, lean protein, healthy fats, and drink lemon water throughout the day. Clients can also be guided to eliminate caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Most importantly, professionals need to create a plan that works for the client. Partnering with a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor can really help clients feel better and improve their lifestyle and skin.

It is important for professionals to educate themselves and find the right sources of information. Partner up with a naturopathic or functional medicine doctor and find trusted resources to pass along to clients. Not only will the professional stand out as treating clients outside the box, but they will also gain a new set of knowledge to help them better serve their clients.




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