Holistic Skin Health

Holistic Skin Health: The Body-Mind-Skin Connection

Skin care is not only about using the right creams or avoiding the sun. The skin is the largest organ in our body and as such its health is dependent on a healthy body and a healthy mind.

  1. Diet:

The diet has an enormous impact on the health and appearance of our skin.

Therefore, the importance of following a well-balanced skin-beneficial diet is crucial. There is ample evidence to suggest that certain food groups and dietary ingredients can contribute to worsening of skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema and others. Furthermore, there is mounting data showing that anything that contributes to a pro-inflammatory state in our body can result in chronic disease (think heart disease, cancer, diabetes).

A few notable and non-disputed examples are:

  • Dairy: cow-derived protein and hormones found in milk are directly linked to acne. Dr. Boker can help you identify dietary elements you should avoid to help prevent worsening in breakouts and achieve clear skin.
  • Whey: this is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained and is byproduct of the manufacture of cheese or casein. It is responsible for raises in insulin levels which by itself acts as a growth factor and can cause acne. This is the very first thing we recommend patients with breakout stop (switch to a plant-based protein supplement)
  • Sugar: to metabolize sugar our bodies release insulin which, as stated above is a growth factor that contributes to acne.
  • Animal protein: we now know that diets centered on animal protein (red meat, chicken, fish) result in a chronic low-level inflammation in our guts. This inflammation translates into our entire body by means of inflammatory signals, resulting in worsting of skin conditions such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), psoriasis and others.
  • Gluten: certain people including those with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, which is a protein found in wheat. Inflammation produced in the gut will manifest with increased inflammation in the skin as well. Some people even develop antibodies against proteins in gluten which then cross react with similar appearing targets in the skin leading to intensely itchy blistering rashes.
  1. Exercise:
  • The health benefits of routine exercise on our bodies are undisputed. Similarly, the health of the skin is improved by exercising our bodies in several ways:
  • sweating will help our pores open up and release accumulated dirt and toxins
  • increased blood flow to our skin will help deliver nutrients and clear unwanted metabolic debris
  • a reduction in body fat will make us look (and feel) better!


  1. Mindfulness and mediation:
  • it is a known fact that practicing mindfulness through yoga and meditation reduces our stress levels. This is evidenced by a measurable drop in our blood pressure and cortisol levels, among other stress markers.
  • It is natural to infer that keeping our minds in peace will also help our skin= we will sleep better (less oxidative stress on the skin), we will eat better (see above) and we will have better awareness to help us avoid touching, picking or itching our skin

 As a health-conscious environmentalist, self-taught vegetarian and yogi, Dr. Boker will be happy to share a wealth of knowledge gained over years of research and reading that has helped him better counsel his patients about the best and most comprehensive ways to improve their skin.