Along with the liver, your kidneys are one of the main organs of detoxification.
The kidneys work like a filter to remove waste, toxins and excess fluid from your body through urine. They also regulate your electrolyte levels, which is super important for proper cell function.
When it comes to acne, the health of your kidneys directly impacts the health of your skin. Here’s a breakdown of the kidney-acne connection and what you can do to keep your kidneys working in tip-top shape.
The adrenal glands are two small glands located on top of the kidneys. They produce adrenaline, aldosterone and cortisol, among other hormones.
Aldosterone signals the kidneys to absorb sodium into the bloodstream and release potassium into the urine. The kidneys also regulate the balance between the electrolytes sodium and magnesium. Essentially, aldosterone maintains electrolyte levels in the blood in order to control blood pH.
However, if you are chronically stressed, the adrenal glands may overproduce aldosterone leading to electrolyte imbalances. If those vital minerals are not in balance, it can negatively affect kidney health. When we have sluggish kidneys (which means poor detoxification pathways) acne can pop up.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys also connect to emotions such as fear and acne, dark circles, bags or puffiness under the eyes.
Over in my program, The Clear Skin Solution, we often see electrolyte imbalances and acne as a result of poor adrenal and kidney functioning. To address the kidney-acne connection, my team of acne experts provides dietary, supplement and lifestyle recommendations to support optimal adrenal and kidney health and thus, clear skin. Here are some tips to get you started:
Your kidneys work hard every day to move waste and toxins from the body. To promote clear skin, you need to eat in a way that supports the kidneys to reduce the toxic burden on your body. Here are some of my favourite kidney-detoxifying foods:
Dandelion is not just an annoying weed growing in the yard. The flowers, leaf and roots of dandelions can also be used to make dandelion tea. This has an abundance of potassium, which helps the kidneys filter toxins and improves blood flow.
Drinking enough filtered water every day is crucial for healthy kidneys and clear skin. When it comes to the kidneys, water is needed to get rid of wastes in the blood through the urine. Water is also required to keep blood vessels open for blood and nutrients to travel into the kidneys. But dehydration can impair this delivery system. For my clients in The Clear Skin Solution, I tell my them to aim for 2-3 litres of water per day. This includes coconut water, cold-pressed juice, broths and non-caffeinated herbal tea like my raspberry hibiscus iced tea.
Significantly reducing or even eliminating refined sugar, refined salt, caffeine and alcohol are super important for healthy adrenals, kidneys and skin. Those foods and drinks can all promote body-wide inflammation, damage the intestinal lining, overburden organs of elimination (like the kidneys and liver), elevate stress hormones and trigger breakouts. I recommend my clients follow an anti-inflammatory diet for clear skin and properly functioning adrenals and kidneys.
Relaxing in an Epsom salt bath is an excellent way to reduce stress while supporting your adrenals and kidneys. Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is an important electrolyte for optimal kidney health. If you want to take it one step further, try meditating or deep breathing during your Epsom salt bath to lower stress hormones and love up your adrenals.