– FROM INSIDE OUT –
Everyone always talks about skin care and all the new beauty products on the market, including me. I love testing new things on my skin and experimenting but what you put into your body is just as important as what you are putting on it. A poor diet results in dry skin with wrinkles and no glow, nobody wants that. So I did a bit of research of what nutrients are especially effective at making your skin look good and which are helping to make your skin glow from inside out. I am not saying that your charcoal mask or night cream is useless, they are probably doing a great job and good for your skin but think a bit further, your skin is your biggest organ so you have to look after it just as much as your heart. You can literally make your skin glow and look fresher by just making sure to get enough of the right vitamins and minerals in your diet. The sooner you start, the longer the results will last. And I am not saying that these little tweaks are hard or impossible. To be honest it is so easy and some will probably even make you happy.
~ I am not saying that these are the only nutrients that your body needs to function properly. I just mention a few that you need to have enough of in your diet for good looking healthy skin. ~
– VITAMIN C –
Vitamin C is definitely a key nutrient for healthy looking skin. It helps to synthesize collagen which is the main protein in our bodies and helps the skin to keep its strength and elasticity. As you get older, your body requires more collagen which is why it is important to get enough vitamin C through your diet to help produce the collagen. The slowing-down process results in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, basically a loss of strength and firmness in the skin structure. You can see collagen as the wrinkle-preventing protein in our bodies. Vitamin C also boosts the absorption of other key nutrients making it easier for your body to get enough vitamins and minerals. This vitamin, which has antioxidant properties, protects your skin from free radicals – pollution, UV rays, air, smoke,… – which damage the collagen, DNA and skin cells causing wrinkles and brown spots, speeding up the ageing process.
FOOD: Bell peppers, Citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, Kiwi, Broccoli, Kale
– Vitamin E –
Another nutrient that has a huge impact on how our skin looks is vitamin E. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also an antioxidant. It slows down the premature ageing process by neutralising free radicals. Vitamin E levels in your body drop really quickly so it is important to get enough in your diet to make up for the loss. Combined with vitamin C, it can increase the time before your SPF-free skin gets burnt from the sun, it is protective but by no means a new way to protect yourself from the sun. It protects your cell membranes, keeping your skin hydrated and calm by acting like a barrier.
FOOD: Wheat-germ oil, Sunflower seeds, Oatmeal, Eggs, Almonds, Walnuts
– Vitamin a & Beta-carotene –
There are basically two types of vitamin A, the active form – Retinol – and the proactive from – Beta-Carotene – which is then converted into retinol in the body. The proactive from comes from plant foods and when you eat too much of them your skin can turn orange. It works as a natural sunblock and can prevent UV light damage, causing melanoma, dry and wrinkled skin. But make sure to apply your sunscreen as it is no replacement, it just contributes to better sun damage protection. They also block the formation of oxidative stress – coming from free radicals – which reduces the signs of ageing. Vitamin A has skin enhancing properties, making your skin glow and even out the skin tone. If you have dry and flaky skin, it can be a sign of deficiency of this vital vitamin. Also, applying retinol on your skin helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles so why shouldn’t it helps from inside out.
FOOD: Carrots, Sweet potato, Butternut squash, Tomatoes, Spinach, Red peppers, Kale
– Omega 3 –
Yes, you have probably heard it a million times before ‘eat your omega 3’s for heart health’, well if they are good for the heart they must be good for the skin right? Omega 3’s are very important for healthy looking skin. They help to keep it thick, supple and moisturised. Your cell membranes are made of fat so getting enough of your essential fatty acids is important to lock-in the moisture resulting in a more glowy and plump skin. They basically work as a seal keeping the good in and the bad out. Consuming omega 3’s helps to increase the elasticity of your skin and make it softer. The lipid film coating your skin’s surface also helps to keep it hydrated working as a barrier. These essential fatty acids are also anti-inflammatories which may help with skin conditions such as eczema. Make sure to get enough of these essential fats as your body doesn’t produce them on its own.
FOOD: Oily fish (salmon, mackerel,…), Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds, Walnuts, Leafy vegetables
– Selenium –
Selenium is a trace mineral, meaning that you don’t need a lot of it but it is important for a functioning and healthy body. It has antioxidant properties helping to protect your cells against free radical damage. In combination with vitamin E, this protection becomes even stronger. Selenium is mainly found in the soil so the content of selenium in your food depends on the content found in the soil where it has grown. This mineral fights the ageing process and protects the lipids in the cell membrane. Having enough selenium in your diet results in glowing and younger looking skin.
Eating one to three brazil nuts a day can cover your daily requirement of selenium. Just make sure to not eat the whole bag as too much selenium is dangerous for our bodies.
FOOD: Brazil nuts, Mushrooms, Tuna, Cod, Eggs, Sunflower seeds
– Zinc –
Last but not least, Zinc. This mineral also has antioxidant properties making it a good fighter against those free radicals, protecting your collagen in the body. It plays a huge role in the healing process of a wound and scarring as it helps in the production of new skin cells. There is also some research claiming that a zinc deficiency may cause acne as this mineral helps to regulate the oil production in the skin, preventing the pores from clogging. So it is also very important to incorporate enough zinc into your diet for glowing and healthy looking skin as it renews your cells.
FOOD: Walnuts, Salmon, Broccoli, Pumpkin seeds, Whole grains, Eggs, Dark chocolate.