Have you heard the term - you are what you eat, or what goes in reflects on your skin? Well studies show that 70% of us notice that our diet can affect our skin. I thought I'd break it down a bit and discuss how the nutrients in our diets affect our skin.
Some of you who may follow me on social media know that I'm all about ingredients, not because my diet is perfect, but because I like to help share my knowledge with my followers to help them know more about how to maintain glowing skin. Do you suffer with breakouts, dull or lacklustre skin or skin sensitivity or inflammation? There are so many factors that affect the skin, but today let's focus on diet.
If you regularly alter your nutrition with fad diets or perhaps don't follow a Mediterranean or rainbow coloured diet the following skin concerns can be side affects to what you're putting into your body.
Dull or lacklustre skin can be a result of vitamin B deficiency in your diet or can mean that your skin renewal rate needs a boost. You can manually change up your skincare regime by adding in some exfoliation or by using a retinol product at night, but also by tweaking your diet this can help bring back that healthy glow.
Congestion or breakouts... well so many of us suffer with these at the moment thanks to the beloved masques that have to be worn everywhere, but there are also some other contributing factors. High sugar diets or dairy allergies can result in breakouts between the eyebrows or along the forehead, along with a few around the mouth and chin area.
Dry or dehydrated skin can produce superficial lines on the face and also flakiness. If the skin is lacking essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 it can result in dryness that can lead to sensitivity.
As you can see most skin types have been mentioned above and are affected by our lifestyle and diet choices. So, let us take a closer look at what we are putting into our bodies to help rectify some of these concerns naturally by tweaking what we eat.
Vitamin A - helps to normalise skin functions, drives skin restructuring and cell renewal - a youth booster. Give your diet a boost with orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, cod liver oil supplements and eggs.
Vitamin B - boosts metabolism, supports wound healing and helps regulate skin pigment. Foods rich in B vitamins are green leafy vegetables, dairy such as cheese and milk, oily and shell fish and a variety of meats. Vegans can often be low in vitamin B12 and have been recommended to have B12 shots every 6 weeks or take supplements to help prevent fatigue.
Vitamin C - supports collagen production for skin resilience, brightens and defends. Vitamin C is found in a variety of bright and dark fruit and vegetables like citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, peppers and blackcurrants - fresh orange juice, yes please!
"As vitamins are essential to your health and body functions, vitamin deficiencies can cause adverse effects on the skin. Since vitamins C and E play such important roles in protecting your skin from the sun, deficiencies in either vitamin can increase the risk of skin damage, including skin cancer." - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
Vitamin D - helps to regulate inflammation and boost immunity. Those of you who have read about diet and covid, have probably heard that taking an extra vitamin D supplement can boost immunity whilst also following other preventative measures. Other ways to give your body a vitamin D boost is by eating oily fish, red meat, liver and egg yolks. Fancy salmon and broccoli for dinner tonight?
Vitamin E - is amazing at reinforcing barrier function and is high in antioxidants. Breaking open a fresh vitamin E capsule is great for helping to heal scarring naturally. But so many oils naturally contain vitamin E such as wheat germ oil, sunflower and safflower if you fancy an alternative oil to cook with. Eating almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and peanut butter is a great way to add extra vitamin E to your daily diet. Perhaps try making your own protein balls to enjoy first thing in the morning with your coffee. Click the link for my no bake energy bites recipe.
Vitamin K - is an often over looked vitamin in discussions about skincare, but it is an important contributor to skin health. It helps prevent dark under eye circles, age spots, and helps the skin to heal post surgery. It can also help prevent stretch marks and spider veins. Give your skin vitamin K boost with cabbage, green beans, spinach and kale.
Essential fatty acids - fat is necessary for healthy skin because it helps absorb and transport vitamins and essential fatty acids that support the skin's barrier function. Low fat diets can cause skin to be dry, rough, scaly and inflamed. By eating foods high in omegas like nuts, seeds, plant oils and oily fish this can help replace lost barrier lipids in the skin and reduce sensitivity and dehydration.
Calcium - is a micronutrient found in dairy products that is good for our skin, not just our bones. It helps keep the skin hydrated which helps maintain a strong barrier function. Dark leafy vegetables like curly kale, okra and spinach are also good sources of calcium.
Copper - is part of the skin's structure, it helps support the collagen and elastin production which improves the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Some of the treats we enjoy such as dark chocolate, oysters, and lobster are rich in copper. So are smoothie boosters like spirulina, shiitake mushrooms, nuts and seeds.
Iron - is essential to oxygenation which is part of the healing process in the skin. Iron deficiencies can cause fatigue in the body but can also lead to lack of elasticity, hydration and circulation in the skin. Dried apricots, chickpeas, edamame beans, kidney beans and red meat are good sources of iron. Chilli anyone?
Magnesium - low carb diets can cause a deficiency in magnesium in the body. Magnesium is an important ingredient for elasticity, skin tone and hydration. Reach for a healthy snack of pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews or peanuts to improve your skin's circulation and improve elasticity.
Zinc - helps to ward off acne flare ups and helps to heal and repair breakouts and regulates sebum production. Oysters aren't just an aphrodisiac, they're also a powerhouse for zinc, but this element is also found in crab, lobster, fortified cereals, almonds, cashews, whole grains, red meats and poultry.
So, now we now more about ingredients that go into our bodies... how can we help improve our diets and get that healthy glow back?
Making changes to your intake by eating a balanced diet and introducing a supplement that you might be lacking or just to boost your digestive system like ginger which is a good all rounder and is full of zinc, copper, vitamins C and E. Other factors to help with a holistic approach to healthy skin is maintaining blood sugar level with a Mediterranean style diet and eating small meals regularly.
To get you started, why not try keeping a food journal... I did this post pregnancy with my eldest and it was an eye opener! It explained why I was struggling to get the extra 15 pounds of baby weight off - full fat lattes and eating his leftovers were not conducive to fitting into my old jeans!
A few of my skincare favourites are:
- Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque - use 2-3 times a week (it's my ambulance in a tube!)
- Multivitamin Power Serum - this is great to layer under your moisturiser morning and night
- Biolumin C Serum - this is one of my absolute favourites and there is an eye serum that helps brighten and reduce fine lines too!
- Overnight Retinol Repair - great to use when you're short on time because it exfoliates and boosts cell renewal while you sleep, just remember to wash it off in the morning!
- Age Bright Clearing Serum - helps to clear breakouts, one in my tool kit after wearing a masque in the salon all day!
Mineral rich Seaweeds and Plants:
- Calm Water Gel - can be used as a serum or moisturiser depending on how dry or oily your skin is. It boosts hydration and calms the skin.
- Skin Hydrating Booster - can be added into any moisturiser or masque to quench the skin's thirst.
Botanical Lipids and Omegas:
- Phyto Replenish Oil - great for use when you enjoy the outdoors, can be used morning and night to help hydrate and repair the barrier function.
- Super Rich Repair - a rich evening moisturiser that helps replenish the skins natural moisture levels and defend against environmental assaults.
Remember your skin is your largest organ, so taking care of it should be an accumulation of diet, lifestyle and skincare. Making sure you eat a healthy diet can help you maintain that youthful healthy glow.
Thank you for reading, keep smiling and put your best face forward!