How to help your teen’s skin without medications

Got a teen and want to know what to eat for better skin? Our friend and better skin guru, Jodi Shays of Queen Bee Salon and Spa asked Ashley Koff RD to help her help her teenage clients (and their parents) with better nutrition for skin.  Ashley’s worked with Hollywood celebs of all ages (including preteens and teens) for decades on how to develop and maintain beauty from within. Keep reading for her pro tips and for a better teen skin nutrition program special offer!

What should my teen eat for better skin?

What your teen eats, drinks, pops, and applies for better skin can help the rest of their body run better. too. That means better skin nutrition for teens is a total health win! And those don’t happen too often in the teen years, right? It can be hard to get teen’s to change what they eat but explaining it will help their skin often works! Pro Tip: You may want to just share this article instead of telling them what it says 🙂

Why does teenage skin breakout?

Yes, hormones are changing faster than Facebook status updates during the teen years, but hormones aren’t the culprit. Digestion is. When hormones shift, they throw digestion off course. That means optimizing digestion is the key to better skin. Your teen can NOT have better skin if their digestion isn’t better. To see if their digestion is contributing to skin issues you don’t need lab tests or an exam, you can start with a quick quiz.

“If your teen is struggling with skin issues, look within. Likely their digestion needs a tune up! Hormonal changes, stress, food choices and growth can all throw digestion off course – and it will show up on the skin.”

Ashley Koff RD

Hormones, stress, sleep and diet as well as personal health history (medications, treatments, etc.) all impact digestion which in turn shows up on their faces, shoulders, butts, and rest of the bodies. This means that the foods your teen eats as well as what they avoid needs to support better digestion for better skin. You can work with one of our providers to get a FREE digestive assessment for your teen to see if they are getting in the foods (and possibly nutrients from supplements) their skin needs while avoiding what can interfere with healthy digestion and better skin.

Is stress causing my teenager’s skin to breakout?

Yes. Stress turns the body’s attention away from digestion making it harder for nutrients to be broken down, absorbed and waste to be eliminated. It also affects sleep which in turn affects skin. Here’s how you turn off stress for better skin, energy and health.

Magnesium turns off stress. You need enough in all your cells for the proper recovery needed for healthy skin. Our practitioners also have a quiz to help assess your teen’s current magnesium intake to see if its enough or what could be better. They may also share a menu to help you all choose what will be delicious for your teen. Grab these magnesium-rich treats for your teen.

Should my kids take a magnesium supplement?

Perhaps. Better quality magnesium supplement can help them get in enough magnesium daily. But maybe they will enjoy eating enough magnesium daily? Also, all supplements are not created equal. A magnesium supplement only helps if it is a better form and amount for their body. First, do the magnesium evaluation to see if your teen needs more magnesium. Their answers and the recommendations you get at the end can help guide you to a better supplement, if appropriate, for your teen. Always talk to your teen’s doctor and other practitioners before adding a supplement!

Using better nutrition tools together helped a parent and her teen learn what to eat for better teen skin
Using better nutrition tools our providers can help you and your teen learn more about their nutrition and how it helps to heal their skin.

BETTER TEEN SKIN PROGRAM SPECIAL OFFER: Our providers have a set of tools to help fully assess teen nutrition and personalize recommendations. Mention this post for a GREAT discount when working with any of ours. If you choose to work with your practitioner, suggest these tools and have them contact us to get them.

Does an anti-inflammatory diet help skin?

Yes. Better skin happens when we turn off stress and inappropriate inflammation by turning on a healthy inflammatory response. Better skin foods include those rich in omegas and antioxidants from deep colors like sweet potato, berries, turmeric, and spinach. Add whole food omega 3 options to their diet like this wild salmon jerky as a quick grab n go.

Did you know that there is an essential omega 6 which Ashley calls the GLAmour fatty acid because it helps skin of all ages look and feel better? It’s deliciously easy to get in enough by adding different hemp foods so we include the better nutrition hemp menu in the package of tools practitioners use to help teen skin. Here are our favorite hemp seeds to upgrade any pit stop to a better teen skin pit stop!

Should my teen take a medication to help their skin?

In most cases, medication (including topical creams and lotions with medicinal ingredients) isn’t the better first step.

  1. Medication or not, if your teen’s digestive evaluation reveals anything that’s not better than your better first step is to tune-up their digestion.
  2. Medications have side effects. Some severe (increased risk for inflammatory bowel diseases) and others less so but critical (interfere with the absorption of key nutrients like B vitamins and kill off good bacteria (probiotics)). IF they need a medication, then their better skin nutrition plan needs to replenish those nutrients.

Is dairy ok for teens to eat for better skin?

When it comes to skin, our US dairy is often not better. Research implicates fat-free dairy in skin issues. Likewise, when animals aren’t fed and treated better their milk carry more pro-inflammatory compounds. For skin health, we recommend avoiding most dairy in favor of quality non-dairy options for skin health.

  1. Dairy is NOT a food group. Your teen can and will get healthy nutrients without the compromise of today’s dairy by choosing other foods rich in calcium, carbs, protein and healthy fats.
  2. Any dairy that you enjoy once in a while (once a month or so) isn’t an issue for skin but the frequency of poor-quality dairy intake should be limited to improve skin health.
  3. Better dairy could be consumed more often but still not as a food group. It includes choices that are all 3 of these: organic, full fat, grass-fed products. Ghee, sheep or goat’s milk cheeses may do better too.
  4. We are biased and love these Califia Farms products but there are lots of awesome dairy-free, nutrient-rich options. Plus you can grab our cashew milk, hemp milk, cashew cream and other recipes to make some easily at home.

Does sugar affect skin?

You betcha. But you don’t have to avoid all added sugar to have healthy skin. Likewise, sugar-free options with artificial sweeteners won’t be better for digestion or skin health either.

  1. Nature wants us to enjoy our sweets, that’s why so many foods are sweet naturally. That is the win with your teen. From fruit to sweeter veggies (especially when cooked) to some nuts and seeds, you can satisfy your sweetness with the No Added Sugar menu our practitioners can provide.
  2. Sugar is sometimes used to help our mood and our energy as it is a stimulant like caffeine. Our practitioners may suggest additional quizzes to see if caffeine and sugar are culprits but also use the better nutrition plan and our better skin menu to help balance nutrients.
  3. Sugar beverages and juices do one more thing that’s worse for the skin – they keep your teen from getting in enough water. Water is the primary alkaline former the body uses to deliver nutrients into cells and remove waste products. If your teen doesn’t get enough water (sans the sugar) they can’t have better skin. Here’s a sweet way to get them to get in more water without sugar or artificial sweeteners/colors.

Does my teen need collagen or should they follow a keto diet for better skin?

No and no. Here’s why the latest fad is rarely the better skin nutrition solution.

  1. We make collagen until about age 30, so unless there is digestive or skin damage or severe nutrient restriction it is unlikely your teen needs collagen. Plus, a lot of collagen products are promoted as proteins. They can run into issues with their mood (more issues I should say!) and energy if they start swopping other proteins for collagen.
  2. Keto – if done right – could give the skin lots of healthy fats and that is a win. But your teen needs carbs for their mind and body to grow and function better. Especially with hormone fluctuations, it could be a pretty cranky keto teen! Likewise, it takes real effort and typically supplements to get in enough of key minerals and vitamins on keto for an adult. It would need to be even more targeted for a teen to avoid nutrient deficiencies in key building years. If your teen needs to or is choosing to be keto, make sure you get those nutrients in!