Skin is the most versatile and largest organ in the body. The skin serves as a barrier against the environment, including irritants and allergens. It works with other body systems and gives an instant indication of overall health.
The liver is one of the critical organs in keeping your skin healthy. The skin is often the mirror of how efficiently your liver works. An overworked or poorly functioning liver significantly affects the skin. It is worth checking the liver’s health if you want clear skin. How is the liver linked to skin health?
The Liver-Skin Connection
The liver is primarily responsible for two dominant functions that directly impact skin health – digestion and detoxification. As one of the body’s main excretory organs, the liver works hard to filter out the toxins you eat, inhale, drink and absorb through the skin. It helps to segregate the nutrients from the waste as it moves through the digestive system. It also processes down several toxins in the bloodstream via drugs, caffeine, alcohol, or over-the-counter drugs and acts as a filter to clean the blood. Poor diet and lifestyle habits contribute to sluggish liver function.
What makes the liver sluggish?
Food rich in carbohydrates, unhealthy types of fat, and many chemicals to process can burden the liver. The surface of the skin may show signs of an impaired liver. Whenever the liver is unable to eliminate toxins, the body purges them through the skin.
Toxins build up in the liver as dryness, inflammation, irritation, breakouts, and sagging skin. An overworked liver leads to skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and a dull complexion. Studies have found that having certain forms of liver disease, such as NAFLD (Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), increases the risk of psoriasis.
The liver also breaks down fat, so when a weak liver does not break down fat, it circulates in the bloodstream. The quality of fats in the bloodstream affects the quality of sebum on the skin. A thicker sebum can clog the pores causing acne breakouts. It is also noted that inflammation in the liver can cause a buildup of toxins in the deeper layers of the skin, which can cause skin inflammation, including rashes, eczema, psoriasis, itching, bruising, blisters, or hair loss.
Overexposure to chemicals damages the liver’s capability to efficiently process the toxins making the person more susceptible to chemical sensitivity. Although the liver is responsible for filtering out the toxins introduced to the body, an overload of toxic components entering the body can result in the liver straining from toxin overload.
How to keep your liver healthy?
Simple things can keep your liver healthy and help it work optimally. You can reduce the risk of developing liver disease and have radiant skin while keeping the liver healthy.
- Always seek a healthy and nutritious diet with foods from all the groups – whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, legumes, dairy, and oil. Focus on low-fat and high-fiber foods for a well-balanced diet. Keep yourself hydrated with sufficient water intake.
- Avoid foods high in sugar, fat, salt, and alcohol.
- Eliminate toxins and chemicals from cleaning products, skincare products, over-the-counter medications, perfumes, and pesticides. Discuss with your doctor before you take any herbal supplements to see if they are linked to liver damage.
- Take medications as directed and never exceed recommended amount.
- Regular exercise reduces the stress on the liver, increases energy levels, and prevents obesity. Studies suggest combining aerobic exercise with resistance training several times a week works best for the liver’s health.
- Infections such as hepatitis can damage the liver. Practice good hygiene before and after using the bathroom or preparing food to prevent hepatitis infection.
- Avoiding contact with contaminated objects or bodily fluids can significantly reduce the risk of hepatitis viruses.
- Vaccination for hepatitis A and hepatitis B is one of the most effective preventive measures against hepatitis infections.