Meet Tess Jurewicz, a Naturopath and a therapeutic tea lover
I was initially drawn to Tess as she takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, while focusing on supporting the body's innate self-healing abilities through nature, nutrition, herbs and lifestyle. Well actually that's wrong…. I was initially drawn to her because she has the most incredible skin and is the depiction of health! And I wanted to get on board ASAP.
Read on to find out her little secrets on how to look and feel like a 10/10 naturopath.
What's the link between our gut health and our skin health?
The gut-skin-axis is a communication mechanism between our internal and external organs. For example, an alteration to the gut microbiota, such as stress, has the ability to increase intestinal permeability (aka ‘leaky gut’), allowing metabolites and bacterial toxins to enter and circulate. Fewer nutrients are absorbed if the gut is impaired, hormone signalling may be altered and the liver can become overburdened with the increase of circulating endotoxins, forcing the skin to help eliminate the wastes and toxins that need to be expelled. This can lead to systemic and local skin inflammation.
Many conditions such as psoriasis, acne and dermatitis have been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, gut pathogen overgrowth and dysbiosis. It’s important to tune in and notice any signals your body is trying to tell you.
What should we stay away from to protect our gut? And ultimately our skin?
Oils such as sunflower, canola, corn and soybean are highly oxidised and can stimulate inflammation throughout the body. They also contain a lot of omega-6, often throwing our omega-3s out of balance, leading to further inflammation. Opt for extra virgin olive oil, or if you are cooking at high temperatures, ghee or coconut oil.
Sugar has the ability to cause intestinal permeability, reduce bacterial diversity in the gut and damage cell structures that lead to inflammation and tissue dysfunction. Fruit with nuts, 80%+ dark chocolate or dates with nut butter are healthier ways to satisfy sugar cravings.
In excess, alcohol can disrupt our gut barrier by opening the lining of the intestines, allowing pathogenic bacteria into the bloodstream and contributing to low-grade inflammation. This can impair detoxification processes and lead to hormonal imbalances and acne in women.
These guys are stripped of all their nutrients, bran and fibre. As they have a high glycemic index they also digest quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar levels and often increasing hunger. Refined grains in combination with sugar (think pastries, biscuits, donuts, bread, pizza, certain cereals) can increase sebum production, contributing to acne and creating molecules that accelerate premature ageing. Healthier options include brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat.
Your 5 favourite foods to support a healthy gut?
(These are more like food categories - I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself)
They contain plenty of omega-3, 6 and 9s that reduce systemic inflammation and help regulate bacterial overgrowths in the gut and on the skin. Small oily fish are the best sources of these omegas, with plant based options including olives, chia, avocados and walnuts.
Antioxidants help combat free radicals created by stress, a poor diet and pollution. They also feed beneficial bacteria in the gut and promote detoxification. Some powerful antioxidants include green tea, turmeric, açai, rose-hip and peppermint.
It works internally by supporting the mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract and has been shown to reduce inflammation. The best way to increase collagen in the diet is organic bone broth or in a supplement form. FYI it’s great for your skin too!
An essential food source for probiotics, prebiotics encourage selective growth of beneficial bacterial strains in the gut. They also reduce intestinal inflammation and improve gut microbial balance. My favourite prebiotic foods include garlic, onion, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, chicory, dandelion greens and asparagus.
A beautiful herb! Turmeric has the ability to inhibit inflammatory responses and promote healing in the gut. In addition, it’s an incredible antioxidant with other antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Make sure you add some black pepper to your turmeric to increase absorption in the gut!
Why do we need collagen in our skin and what happens to it as we age?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the skin and is one of the primary structural proteins that binds, hydrates and holds various tissues in the body together. Our skin contains some of the richest collagenous fibres and their role is to strengthen, hydrate and provide elasticity. Without collagen our skin is prone to the formation of wrinkles, decreased elasticity and dryness.
As we age, our skin becomes less resilient, thinner and loses elasticity and pigmentation. External free radicals from the environment (poor diet, stress, sun, chemicals) significantly contribute to oxidative stress in the body and in turn, premature ageing of the skin. High levels of oxidative stress damages our cells over time and slows down regeneration. This accumulation becomes a burden on the body and speeds up the ageing processes.
How can we protect the levels of collagen in our skin?
- Nutritious diet (high in antioxidants, omegas, lots of fibre)
- Hydration (plenty of H2O)
- Sunlight + SPF!
- Sleep (restorative, quality sleep, 7-9 hours)
- Active relaxation techniques (deep breathing, yoga, meditation, nature walks)
- Reduce toxin exposure (avoid plastics, fragrance, pesticides etc)
- Skin specific nutrients (boswellia, green tea, curcumin, calendula, vitamin A, D, C, E & K)
- Supporting organs of elimination (bowel movements every day, sauna, baths)
Why is it important to take a holistic approach to the skin?
The skin is one of the largest organs of the body and often reflects the inner health of our body. It’s important to take a holistic approach as skin conditions are often complex with no one single origin. While topical treatments may provide some short-term relief, unless the root of the problem is addressed, a true resolution may not occur. Nourishing your body from the inside out will optimize your skin health.
How do you personally look after your skin?
I am pretty low-key with my skin care routine in the morning, I use the Dermaviduals bespoke gentle cleanser followed by the DMS base cream and MotherSPF. At night I might add in a personalised serum (full of soothing, anti-inflammatory nutrients), the lotion (super hydrating) and eye cream when I’m feeling fancy. I also make sure I drink plenty of water, try to break a sweat each day and provide my skin with some fatty acids. Voila!
Do you have a favourite DIY skin care remedy, if so - please share!
My favourite DIY skin care remedy is whatever I can find in the pantry, usually consisting of a mix of honey (manuka if possible), spirulina and matcha. A hydrating, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial powerhouse!