Can You Really Eat Your Way to Better Skin?
We invest a lot of time and money into what we put on our skin. But does any of it really matter if we're not taking care of ourselves from the inside?
In the past, dermatologists insisted that the food-skin connection isn't that solid. They maintained that unless you touch your face with greasy fingers, food doesn't cause breakouts.
Now, we're re-questioning the connection between food and our complexions. Could it really be possible to achieve clear skin from the inside out?
HOW FOOD AFFECTS SKIN
According to dermatologists and health experts in 2021, a healthy diet can contribute to healthier skin.
"Food plays a huge role in your skin’s health," says Keri Glassman, nutritionist and founder of Nutritious Life. "Skin is the largest organ in the body and can reflect the health of what’s going on inside your body. Skin functions in part to protect the organs on the inside, so, maintaining external skin health is just as important as staying healthy internally."
When you aren't consuming enough vitamins and nutrients, your organs don't function optimally, and your skin expresses that -- through dryness, acne, and dullness. Nutritionists say the worst offenders are wine, gluten, sugar, and dairy, each with their own individual signs.
Dairy, for instance, is well-known for causing blemishes, while sagging and creases are typically associated with wine. Breakouts, puffiness, and redness might be caused by gluten while a sugar-loaded diet can make skin look sallow.
In the last decade, we've definitely learned a lot more about how diet affects skin. And it's obvious from what we've heard so far from the experts that certain foods can trigger a range of skin problems.
You'll be happy to hear that you can reverse, or at least prevent, the physical effects of a bad diet.
TOP 10 FOODS FOR HEALTHY SKIN
Here are the top 10 skin-superfoods for achieving youthful, glowing skin.
Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all high in antioxidants, including vitamin A and vitamin C. Antioxidants are anti-inflammatories that support the body's ability to heal and recover while also shielding against free radical damage. In addition to their protective abilities, berries also offer brightening effects.
#2: Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that builds the structural protein collagen to keep skin smooth, firm, and plump. Our favorite citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and kiwis.
#3: Healthy Oils
Healthy oils like olive oil and avocado oil are brimming with elasticity-boosting nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamin E.
To enhance your healthy oil intake, focus on foods which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, like mackerel, sardines, salmon, flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts. Saturated fats such as organic butter and coconut oil also provide good sources of fat that can be beneficial for the skin.
#4: Fermented Foods
The way to better skin might just be through your gut. When you have a thriving gut microbiome, you're able to absorb nutrients, produce anti-inflammatory substances, and maintain a strong immune system which can prevent skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Feed your gut fermented foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir which can help support collagen production and reduce premature aging. Up your intake of fruits, veggies, and wholegrains too so that you have a diverse repertoire of fiber in your diet, which is essential for a healthy gut.
#5: Leafy Greens
"Leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts pack a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins that provide a multitude of skin benefits," says Dr. Rachel Maiman, a board-certified cosmetic and general dermatologist.
They provide the body with vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which work together to undo sun damage, fight inflammation, and diminish dry skin.
#6: Sweet Potato
This vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, and vitamins A and E, which help fight discoloration, early signs of skin aging, and dullness.
#7: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are packed with plant-based omega 3s, which provide an anti-inflammatory effect and can protect the skin from hyperpigmentation, eczema, and acne. They're also very hydrating, diminishing dryness and keeping skin smooth and plump.
#8: Green Tea
While it's not a food, green tea deserves a place on this list for its abilities to slow DNA damage, stop inflammation, and protect against sun damage. Drink up!
#9: Low-Glycemic Foods
According to dietitians, high-glycemic goods like refined carbohydrates, white bread, and cookies can trigger inflammation and acne. Instead of fueling your days with carbs, switch to low glycemic index foods, including eggs, vegetables, quinoa, steel-cut oatmeal, and brown rice. It might just clear up your acne!
#10: Dark Chocolate
Studies show that cocoa's flavonals (a type of antioxidant) may improve skin elasticity, prevent wrinkles, and protect skin from UV damage. It needs to be the high-quality, 70 percent or more cocoa variety, though. Sadly, Hershey's milk chocolate doesn't count!
SKINCARE STILL PLAYS A STARRING ROLE
In addition to eating your way to better skin, make sure you maintain an effective daily skincare routine that includes a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Scroll through our top skincare bundles, each offering different effects.
What it is: face mask + serum. Perfect for: dry skin, aging skin. Formulated with: hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5. Effects include: hydration, plumping, even skin tone.
- Glow Bundle
What it is: face mask + serum. Perfect for: dull skin, rough skin, acne-prone skin. Formulated with: glycolic acid, bakuchiol. Effects include: brightening, clearing, even skin tone.
- Smooth Bundle
What it is: face mask + serum. Perfect for: aging skin, dull skin. Formulated with: vitamin C, vegan collagen. Effects include: smoothing, brightening, plumping.
- Tighten Bundle
What it is: face mask + serum. Perfect for: aging skin, acne-prone skin. Formulated with: red microalgae, AHA blend. Effects include: firming, brightening, clearing, even skin tone.
Now that you know you really can eat your way to better skin, start upping your vitamin-intake. These are the best foods for your skin, guaranteed to show you visible improvements provided that you eat them as regularly as you apply your lotions.