Good Food. Good Skin.
We all know that what we eat impacts our overall health & physique. But did you know that what you consume can affect your skin? What you eat can affect your hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation, which is associated with aging of the skin. In fact, what we eat can be just as impactful as the serums we use on our skin! In this blog, I will share foods that you should avoid & enjoy to achieve healthy, beautiful skin.
Foods to Avoid
We’ve all heard that greasy fried foods are bad for your skin…but not from eating them. Surprised? Even though these foods are terrible for our health, cholesterol, etc., we will not experience breakouts from consumption. However, cooking or working in an environment that uses oil to prepare the foods can cause breakouts. Oil particles in the air can settle on your skin and clog the pores. Make sure that you cleanse your skin immediately after cooking or frying with oil.
If you indulge in sweets & carbs, you probably have frequent breakouts or acne. This includes processed foods (crackers, cookies, chips), starches (white bread, pasta, potatoes), & sugary snacks & drinks (candy, soda). All of these foods and foods similar will spike your blood sugar. Your body responds by producing more insulin. This causes an increase in the production of sebum (oil) & will clog the pores.
Sugar alternatives, like Agave, can be misleading and bad for your complexion. Agave has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup! Fructose is metabolized by your liver where it turns into fat and breaks down collagen. Yep, breaks down collagen!
There has been a link between breakouts and dairy consumption. This includes milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. Certain hormones in dairy may stimulate the overproduction of oil in skin cells, which can lead to pimple-causing clogged pores. These reactions to dairy will not happen to everyone., If you suspect dairy to be the culprit, try going dairy-free for a month to see if your complexion improves. Your body will still need calcium when going dairy-free, so make sure you include at least 1,300 milligrams of calcium every day. You can take supplements or calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice, cereal, bread, soy milk, and tofu.
Margarine is high in trans-fat. Trans-fat depletes hydration. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that higher intake of margarine was associated with increased skin wrinkling.
Foods to Enjoy
Most healthy foods are a good choice for skin health. Specifically, there are several mentionable foods to consider when eating for your body & skin.
Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene improves the skin’s natural SPF. (yes, you still have to wear sunscreen..we live in Louisiana. Haha!) It also enables your skin to take in oxygen, delaying aging & wrinkling.
Squash contains Carotenoids; powerful antioxidants that may work to improve skin tone by reducing skin-cell damage. Other carotenoid sources are kale, sweet potato, cantaloupe, watermelon & carrots.
Fatty fish is rich in the type of omega-3 called DHA. DHA is an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is a common cause of acne. Try salmon or sardines to help clear up your pesky pimple problem.
Cocoa will hydrate the skin & improve luminosity. Try a dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao. Dark chocolate contains potent antioxidants called flavonoids.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that can improve the skin’s elasticity. They also contain copper, which increases collagen production.
Sunflower seeds are loaded with Vitamin E. They will help keep the skin supple & protect the top layers of the skin from the sun.
Soy contains proteins & minerals that reduce hyperpigmentation. Snacking on edamame & drinking soy milk may help you achieve an even skin tone.
Oysters have the best source of zinc. There has been a correlation with acne & low zinc levels. Consuming zinc may help kill acne-causing bacteria. Another food high in zinc is kidney beans.
Coffee has several skin related benefits. Caffeine works as a constrictor to reduce swelling & inflammation. Coffee is loaded with antioxidants, which can prevent premature skin aging. And some research even suggests an association between intake of caffeine and decreased risk of skin cancer. Don’t like coffee (if such a person exists) try Green Tea! Green tea also reduces inflammation and helps calm redness in the skin.
Don’t let the size of a kiwi fool you! It packs a big punch of Vitamin C. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis, which keeps skin taught and reduces fine lines. Other vitamin c sources are strawberries, peaches, grapefruit, papaya & broccoli.
Making healthy choices for your body are just as important for your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Love it & treat it well. I am your esthetician; it is my goal to make sure you are loving your skin. If you are having skin care concerns or would like more information on intake and its effects on the skin, come see me at Timeless Rx!
“Invest in your skin. It will represent you for a long time”