Here's Why You're Still Breaking Out Even After Washing Your Face

@AgelessDerma/Twitter

This story originally appears on YourTango, by Elizabeth Ayers-Callahan

Your complexion problems are more than skin deep.

There’s an old saying — true beauty comes from within.

While that sounds like something your grandma might say to you on a particularly bad hair day, it turns out that old cliché is more accurate than we’d ever imagined.

And now there’s actual science to back it up.

It turns out that if you have bad skin — if you struggle with pimples, blackheads, dry skin, any kind of skin ailment — you’ve been treating those blemishes ALL WRONG.

Because trying to improve your skin by putting creams, medication, or any kind of ointment ON TOP your skin is a losing battle. It won’t work.

If you want to truly rejuvenate your skin, it’s all about what you put INSIDE your body.

MORE: Science Says People Who Had Acne Will Live Longer and Look Younger

The connection between our diets and healthier skin wasn’t clear to me until I watched this amazing video by surgeon and healthguru Dr. Steven Gundry, but now I’m a true believer.

(I’ll trust the word of an award-winning physician over the local Mary Kay lady any day of the week.)

If you want to correct the look and feel of your skin FOR GOOD, this is how you have to do it — from the inside out.

The results of Dr. Gundry’s research make entirely too much sense, particularly when you start thinking about your skin as a two-sided organ — your skin has an outer layer and an inner layer. In terms of surface area, that inner layer of your skin is significantly larger than the outer layer.

But the important thing to realize is that almost every skin problem you have on your outside skin begins INSIDE — where the majority of your skin actually is.

So, those pimples that won’t go away? They’re caused by irritations INSIDE of your body on the other side of your skin.

And trying to cure the problem with external medication or astringents is just treating the symptoms, not the root cause.

If that’s true (and the science backs it up), you may be asking yourself “How do I actually CURE my bad skin?”

Surprisingly enough, it has a lot to do with what you eat. Because, you may not know it, but your gut is the best friend your skin ever had.

Here’s how Dr. Gundry describes how a healthier gut will clear up your skin:

We have about 25 trillion microbes in our body. Most are considered to be “friendly” bacteria — they help us digest food, fight infections, purify our air, the list goes on and on.

But we also have a certain amount of “bad” bacteria in our bodies. These bad bugs include fungi, yeast, and all sorts of nasty stuff.

While some bad bacteria is normal, the problem is when we let the growth of our bad bugs get out of control.

How does that happen? Bad bugs thrive when we feed them bad food. They love starches, lectins, sugars, fats — all the stuff that tastes great but is actually terrible for us.

When we feed the bad bacteria, they hijack our whole bodies. They slow our metabolism, they mess with our hormones, they cause cravings for those horrible foods that the bad bugs love.

And, when the bad bacteria growth gets out of control, that bacteria can leave its normal home in our digestive system and move to other parts of our body… like the inner layers of your skin.

That bacteria irritates our inner skin and our bodies sent white blood cells to battle the bacteria on the outside of our skin. Ever wonder where pimples come from? THAT’S WHERE. (I had no idea.)

So how do you stop the bad bacteria from ruining your skin?

By feeding the good bacteria.

If we feed our good, healthy microbes, they regulate the growth of bad bacteria and they take care of our bodies. When our good microbes thrive, we get more energy, we lose weight, and, YES, our skin clears up.

As Dr. Gundry makes clear in his video, the best way to encourage good microbe growth is to feed them foods rich in POLYPHENOLS.

Our healthy microbes LOVE polyphenols, which can be found in a variety of different berries, roots, vegetables, and extracts.

Leafy vegetables (like kale or spinach) are high in polyphenols and so are things like exotic berries, plant extracts, mulberries, bitter melon, fennel seeds — there are a lot of options out there.

While a simple diet change might sound like a far-fetched way to clear up your skin or make the acne that’s plagued you from childhood disappear, it really, really works.

Even if you’re skeptical of the science, Dr. Gundry has a resume that’s hard to ignore. He has over 30 years’ experience as a heart surgeon, he was head of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Loma Linda University, he founded The Center For Restorative Medicine, and he wrote the best-selling book Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution.

This is an actual doctor, not some beauty blogger trying to sell some skin cream. And his arguments are hard to dismiss.

Do you want healthier skin? Take care of your inside skin and your outside skin will become RADIANT.

Limit your intake of foods that feed your bad gut microbes and seek out foods that are rich in polyphenols.

PLUS: 16 Things You Do Every. Single. Day. That TORTURE Your Skin

If you can’t figure out what extracts or vegetables have the highest concentrations of polyphenols, try ordering a superfood blend that’s rich in these primal plants.

These kinds of supplements can give you a day’s worth of polyphenols in an easy mixture you can stir into a simple glass of water.

Whatever you do, the main thing is to STOP fighting your pimples and blackheads one blemish at a time.

You’re just not addressing the root cause. Take Dr. Gundry’s advice, concentrate on making your insides healthier, and, believe me, you’ll find yourself with the best skin of your entire life.