Eat Your Way to Healthy SkinNov 27, 2018
Who wants to have bad skin? NOBODY. We all dream of having the kind of skin that is equivalent in appearance to a baby’s bottom - smooth, soft, and flawless. It's not what you put on, but what you put in. The foods you eat can significantly contribute to skin health, you can eat your way to healthy skin!
A lot of us, especially women, think that good skin involves having some sort of daytime and nighttime regime that requires putting things on and washing things off and then putting more things on. And, when that pimple shows up right smack in the middle of your forehead, what do you do? You may start by touching it (you touch it once to see how big it is, you touch it again in hopes that it isn’t as big as you think it was the first time you touched it, and you may even touch it for a third time to triple check that your fingers are lying to you). After confirming that you have Mount Everest on your forehead, you stop touching your pimple and decide to hop onto Google to see what you can do about your situation. Google tells you all the best face washes, toners, and creams that will make your pimple disappear and never come back.
The thing is, good skin is rarely achieved by what we are put on. What’s more important is what we are putting into our bodies. Now, I am not saying that a good skincare routine is a waste of time to do. But, if you have a tip top skincare routine set into place, eat pizza and drink Coke on a daily basis, your skincare routine is not going to save your skin, at least in the long run. This is why.
Our skin is under constant renewal. Skin cells are continuously being lost and replaced. The processes of repair and rebuilding require specific materials. Where do these materials come from? Your food. Some dermatologists will say that diet makes up a small percentage of having good skin and that a larger percentage involves factors like stress levels, hormone balance and sleep patterns. But, guess what? All these other factors are very much influenced by what you eat. For example, increasing the intake of foods that are high in vitamin C can help to reduce the levels of cortisol, a hormone that sustains a stress response. Lessening the amount of dairy products can help to reduce the amount of extra hormones being ingested and therefore keep your own hormones more in balance. Eating some starchy carbs a few hours before bedtime can help boost serotonin levels, which helps you calm down and puts you into a tranquil state.
So, what are the key nutrients to help build and maintain good skin? Here are some of the most important ones.
- Vitamins - Vitamins A, B, C, and E are all important for skin health. Many of these vitamins are antioxidants, which help to reduce free radical damage to the skin that is caused by sunlight, pollution and smoke. As well, most of these vitamins are involved in the synthesis of collagen, a protein that is prevently found in skin. (Good food sources: fruits and vegetables that are vibrant in color i.e. berries, dark leafy greens, bell peppers etc.)
- Minerals - The most important minerals for skin include zinc, selenium and copper. Zinc regulates the production of oil and certain hormones that is important for acne sufferers. Selenium protects against UV damage and helps to maintain the flexibility of the skin. Copper helps with the strength and elasticity of the skin by promoting collagen production. (Good food sources: root vegetables, steel cut oats, seaweed)
- Collagen - The main type of protein that gives skin its youthful and healthy appearance is collagen, specifically type III collagen (there are six types of collagens). Collagen provides the structure to the skin. (Best food sources: bone broth and collagen powders)
- Omega 3s - Omega 3s are essential fatty acids and are needed to keep skin hydrated. (Good food sources: wild Alaskan salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts)
Looking for more information on how nutrition can balance skin conditions? Book a FREE 20 minute consultation with Jennifer, our skin guru!