Have you ever been so frustrated with your skin care routine that you are ready to throw your expensive bottle of serum at the wall? If you are spending good time and money buying and applying skin care products but not seeing the results you desire, it’s no wonder you are at your wit’s end.
Take a deep breath, put down the bottle, and consider a change in your diet—not your products. Everything you put in your body affects your skin and can hurt or help with acne, dry skin, wrinkles, firmness, and discoloration. So head to the grocery store and stock up on these skin saving foods!
Source: Camille Styles
You already know that if you want to avoid sun damage you should be wearing sunscreen everyday, rain or shine. But if you hate wearing sunscreen or tend to forget to apply, give eating more antioxidants a try. Antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and spices help decrease the risk of sun and environmental damage by eliminating free-radicals. Over time free radicals damage cells and break down collagen, which causes fine lines.
Foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E are a major way to get more antioxidants in your diet. Vitamin A can be found in foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mangoes, spinach, cantaloupe, and kale. Surprisingly, to add vitamin C in your diet reach for strawberries, not citrus. Strawberries have more vitamin C per serving than oranges or grapefruit. Vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, and asparagus are all great sources of vitamin E. Supplements are also available if you find yourself struggling to add these foods to your diet.
Source: Minimalist Baker
Grain has been getting a bad rap lately, but ignore the gluten haters and indulge in some whole grains. White bread and pasta are a definite skin no no as they cause a spike in insulin which causes acne (more on that later). But true whole grains are full of fiber, which aids digestion. Breakouts, eczema, dry skin, and rosacea can all be linked to a poor digestive system.
Essential Fatty Acids
Source: Cooking Classy
It may be ingrained in us as a society to avoid foods containing fat as much as possible, but not all fat is bad for you. In fact, essential fatty acids are so aptly named. EFAs (like omega-3s and omega-6s) help produce a natural oil barrier for the skin and help keep skin hydrated, which in turn keeps skin looking plumper and younger.
Without EFAs your skin is more likely to be dry, inflamed, and prone to breakouts and blackheads. Fish, seeds, and nuts, are all good sources of EFAs, so try eating more salmon, mackerel, sardines, flax, safflower oil, and walnuts.
Source: The Kitchn
Spices may seem like just a way to flavor your food, but in some cases they can benefit your skin more than food can. Spices like cinnamon, curry, and paprika are full of antioxidants. Or try an anti-inflammatory spice such as turmeric or chili.
You know what you should wash all of these foods down with? A nice glass of cold water! Boring we know, but drinking lots of water is one of the best things you can do for your skin and health. It is a common myth that drinking water helps keep skin moisturized, which it can to a small degree, but where it really helps skin is by increasing absorption of nutrients and flushing out toxins. If you are going to eat all that healthy food, water will get you more bang for your buck!
Source: Skinny Mom
To send you off on a high note, eat some chocolate! But eat dark of course, and try to find bars with as little sugar as possible. Cocoa hydrates skin and makes it firmer and more supple. Dark chocolate also contains high levels of flavonols, which are an antioxidant.
Go ahead and eat a couple squares of dark chocolate per day, and make sure they are at least 70% dark. Try melting and drizzling it over berries for a double antioxidant boost!
And now, what not to eat.
Even if you eat all of those healthy foods on the daily, you still have to make sure you are also not eating foods that will damage your skin. Primarily sugar. Essentially your body breaks down sugar (a carbohydrate) into glucose, which raises insulin levels. Simple carbohydrates found in refined sugar, white bread, and alcohol cause insulin levels to spike and increases inflammation.
Inflammation is a huge cause of breakouts, as acne is caused by chronic inflammation of the hair follicles and oil glands. At the very least, try to reduce sugar intake by avoiding processed foods, eating whole grains, and eating only natural sources of sugar such as fruit. Also, watch what you drink and try and lessen your intake of sugary beverages such as juice, soda, alcohol, energy drinks, and heavily sweetened coffee and tea.