There are many factors that contribute to the health of your skin— from lifestyle, genetics, product choices and skin care routines. However, one element that people often neglect is what goes into the body. Your diet can have just as much of an impact on your skin as your product choices.
Many times we think that if we buy the most expensive products, then we’ll have clear, healthy skin. While skin care certainly has it’s place in achieving healthy skin, you can dramatically improve the look of your skin simply by changing what you eat.
Some of the best foods you can consume for your skin will be rich in antioxidants. Eating plenty of antioxidants will help protect your skin from premature aging as a result of UV rays, pollution, free radicals and other forms of environmental damage. Vitamins A, C, and E are powerful antioxidants that work to protect the skin as well as maintain health and hydration. Foods rich in Vitamin A will help promote cell regeneration and turnover, repairing damage caused by the environment. Bright and dark colored fruits and vegetables are typically the most rich in nutrients. For example berries, tomatoes, squash, kale, arugula and other leafy green vegetables are rich in nutrients and antioxidants.
Foods such as salmon, tuna, sardines, chia seeds, flaxseed and plant oils (sunflower oil, flaxseed oil and canola oil...etc.) are rich in omega fatty acids which work to strengthen the skin from the inside out. Not only do omega fatty acids work to build up collagen in the skin, but they also help to reduce inflammation which is often the culprit for acne and breakouts.
Taking simple steps like switching out white bread for whole grain or adding whole grain oatmeal to your breakfast can help to reduce excess sugar intake thus minimizing sudden boosts in insulin and hormone levels which can trigger acne.
Proper water intake is essential for optimal skin health. Skin cells are mostly composed of water which means that if you’re dehydrated, your skin is too. Staying hydrated will help to prevent excess dryness and dull looking skin. Drinking water also helps to flush out your system and rid the body of toxins.
Things to Avoid
Sugars. Yes, your sweet tooth may be the cause of your frequent breakouts. Diets high in sugar cause insulin and hormone levels to spike which can result in acne prone skin. It's best to reduce your sugar intake as much as possible and instead rely on foods that are rich in nutrients such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dairy. While there is not necessarily a cause and effect relationship between dairy and acne, some studies have shown that the hormone levels in dairy can contribute to rising sebum levels in the skin resulting in acne. If you're looking for some easy substitutes, try almond milk or cashew milk!
In all, what you put in your body is just as important as what you apply to your skin. If your body is not getting the proper nutrients from your food or if it’s dehydrated, I can all but guarantee it will show in your skin. Therefore make your diet a priority and your skin care will follow.