Our skin is one of our hardest working organs. It protects us from the environment, maintains temperature and fluid balance, and also is an important part of our immune system and vitamin D production in the body. When we look at our skin, we are getting a view into the overall health of our body. Yes, all the sayings about beauty coming from within are true!
Your skin reflects your health, and it can be a source of stress for us when it is not looking its best. Therefore, it pays off to develop healthy habits for taking care of your skin before symptoms develop. Often, when unwanted skin conditions arise, we immediately think that we need to do something on the outside. However, using products with harsh ingredients or too frequent washing can often make matters worse.
Our bodies are built for healing themselves when given the right tools to work with. To achieve your best skin possible, we need to get the bad stuff out of our diet, and more of the good stuff in. Here are my top diet tips for tuning up your skincare routine to achieve your best glow.
Eliminate The Bad
Reduce Refined Sugars and Flours. These are the bad guys. When you go for packaged baked goods, candies, pasta, white bread and even homemade cookies and squares, you are consuming a large amount of sugar and refined starches. These foods create inflammation in the body and impact the skin by increasing the speed of aging and exacerbating conditions such as acne.
Need help getting started? Check out this sugar-free guide and meal plan that includes 5 days of recipes that are so delicious, you might not miss the sugar.
Reduce Trans and Oxidized Fats. Likewise, trans fatty acids and oxidized fats increase inflammation in the body and consumption of these foods is associated with increased incidences of wrinkles and acne. Examples of these foods include margarine, fried foods, products that contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, and some milk products.
Increase The Good
Drink More Water. The positive effects of staying well hydrated are often seen in the skin. When the body is well hydrated, the skin appears plumper and wrinkles are minimized. The general guideline is to consume about 8 glasses of clean water per day, but if you workout frequently you may need to drink more to replace lost fluids.
Eat Healthy Fat. Consumption of foods that provide the body with healthy fats is an important component of maintaining healthy skin since they reduce inflammation and provide the building blocks for many components of the skin. This Japanese study showed that higher intakes of healthy fats were associated with increased skin elasticity and decreased wrinkles. Some healthy fats to include in your diet are salmon, eggs, avocado and nuts and seeds.
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods. Antioxidants help to prevent or stop cell damage from free radicals in the body including the skin. But how does this actually work? Our bodies can maintain an appropriate balance of free radicals as long as adequate antioxidants are available. But when that balance between free radical exposure and access to antioxidants is interrupted (either by illness, increased environmental pollution, or lack of antioxidants) our skin suffers. Make sure your daily diet includes foods rich in antioxidants to maintain your skin’s health. These include vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and dark chocolate (70%+).