Weekends are getting a little more interesting at the blog starting today. Saturdays will include a post of two or three email questions and my answers to them. Sundays will include something food related – either recipes or school lunch ideas.
Today I talk about the cause of oily skin and hair and then delve into the reason why we crave caffeine and what we can do to restore balance and ditch the need for it altogether.
What Causes Oily Skin and Hair?
I was wondering, with your diet of only meat and eggs, have you ever had a problem with oily hair and/or skin? I’m starting to narrow my diet down to mostly meat and eggs, and which meats work for me, as well as veggies and berries…but I’ve recently had much oilier hair than usual. It very well could be the weather, which can’t be determined in a food elimination system, lol. Anyway, just curious if you’d had this issue, and if so, did it lessen over time? Thanks so much!
I have had issues with oily skin and hair in the past but not while eating a diet of meat and eggs. These days I typically wash my face with an oily face wash and I only need to wash my hair once every few days.
It was when I started eating this way that my pores finally started to shrink and my skin stopped producing so much oil. Here’s why:
The oil on our hair and skin is called sebum. Sebum is produced by our sebaceous glands at the base of the hair shaft. Androgens (male hormones) are responsible for the production of sebum. When androgens are high, they produce more oil.
So, when you cut carbs you stop the insulin response which causes the over-production of androgens in the first place.
Now, you might be seeing oily skin for a few reasons even though you have gone low carb: one reason could definitely be the hot weather, which can cause anyone to produce a little more oil.
Another reason might be cortisol. Early on, when you first go low carb and your body is adjusting to the metabolic switch, you may produce more of the stress response hormone cortisol, particularly if you have included intermittent fasting into the regimen. Increased levels of cortisol disrupt the balance of sex hormones and can lead to excess androgens. Once your body gets used to being low carb, your hormones should balance out.
Dairy, sugar, and allergens can also cause oily skin so watch out for those too.
What Is a Good Replacement for Caffeine?
What is your opinion on caffeine? Have you found any teas that work for an afternoon pick-up without the jittery feeling?
Also, I’m enjoying your blog: I have a daughter who is slowly being
converted to primal.
Thanks Alex! It’s great to hear your family is going Primal.
I don’t like the way I feel when I drink coffee. It is too stimulating for me. I like to drink a cup of black tea in the morning because I like its astringent flavor but I cannot have more than that in a day or I feel jittery and my brain moves way too fast. The reason is because I produce plenty of catecholamines on my own.
A lot of people are unwilling to give up caffeine when they start the Paleo diet (thinking that it can’t be that bad). Well the need for it is a sign that things have gotten that bad – they have depleted their stores of catecholamines, i.e. they don’t produce enough dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. These are the chemicals that make us feel energized.
People who are easily distracted, are introverted, or who need a lunch time pick-me-up (and anyone attracted to stimulants like alcohol, cocaine, coffee, and chocolate) are not producing enough of those stimulating brain chemicals.
As a beneficial alternative try replacing your morning and afternoon cup of coffee with supplements of tyrosine and phenylalanine. These will quickly restore adrenaline and norepinephrine levels naturally which is the reason you’re craving a jolt of caffeine in the first place. Add to that a cup of decaf organic coffee or decaf tea and you might just trick yourself into believing that nothing has changed. In reality you’ll be giving your adrenals a break and you’ll stop slamming your body with too much catecholamines. Additionally, eat plenty of protein, especially in the morning. Skipping a protein rich breakfast may not be a good idea for you!
For more info read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross.