As an Esthetician, I am extremely interested in what my clients put on their skin. I know and understand that there are fabulous topical ingredients that create nice improvements in the appearance and health of the skin.
I also know that what you feed the skin internally plays just as big of a role in determining the health and radiance of the skin. Our skin is the largest organ of elimination and foods that are beneficial will improve skin health and those foods that are detrimental will wreck havoc on our skin, showing up as dullness, flakes, dry, dehydrated, acne, large pores, poor color and tone as well as rough texture. What you put in your mouth is just as important as what you put on your skin.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in our skin’s health and appearance. Let’s examine 5 of the best foods for skin health and 5 of the foods that are best eliminated from our diets.
5 of the Best Skin Health Foods
- Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants that combat oxidative damage from free radicals caused on a daily basis. Free radicals attack skin cells and cause DNA damage, promoting signs of aging and poor skin health. While we can’t protect ourselves from all free-radical exposure, we can increase our consumption of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries to promote radiant skin.
- Dark leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens are a particular nutritional standout. Eating a spinach salad and other dark leafy greens deliver plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Calorie for calorie, dark, leafy greens are one the most concentrated sources of nutrition. Dark leafy greens are the richest sources of lutein, known for maintaining eye health and improving skin hydration and elasticity.
- Nuts: Nuts are high in good fats, fiber and protein which supplies necessary nutrients to the skin to keep it smooth and supple. They also benefit the skin with high levels of essential fatty acids which improve skin elasticity and reduce redness as well as Vitamin E that keeps cell membranes hydrated for that desired supple skin. Nuts make a great on the go snack for skin health.
- Tomatoes: Very high in the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are great for helping protect against sunburn and reduce sun damage. Lycopene fights free radicals and protects the skin from within. The redder the tomato, the higher the levels of this super antioxidant.
- Eggs: Eggs help your skin with tissue repair. The compounds found in eggs also help keep your skin clear of infections and acne. Eggs are high in selenium, vitamin A and copper. Selenium wards off skin infections, vitamin A is important for skin renewal and copper promotes skin elasticity.
5 Foods to Avoid for Skin Health
- Processed Foods: Processed foods have no value whatsoever. For beautiful and healthy skin, walk away.
- Sugar: The best way to improve the skin’s health is by keeping blood sugar levels steady; when blood glucose soars, insulin is triggered. This may play a key role in acne formation and damaged collagen and elastin, which keeps the skin firm and elastic.
- Alcohol: Extremely dehydrating, alcohol also causes vasodilation. Vasodilation is a widening of the blood vessels which aggravates Rosacea and causes facial flushing and redness, which can become permanent over time.
- Caffeine: While coffee itself isn’t bad, excessive caffeine consumption dehydrates your skin which increases oil production. Make sure to drink extra water if you’re consuming caffeine containing drinks daily.
- Store Bought Smoothies: Smoothies sound like a healthy option and they can be. Be aware that most commercial smoothies are loaded with sugars in the form of juices, frozen yogurt, or honey. These refined sugars cause insulin levels to spike, resulting in inflamed skin. Inflammation in the skin can result in all types of problems, such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, and premature aging. Not an option for beautiful skin.
RECIPE: Beauty Booster Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 large ripe frozen banana, cut into large pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries (may substitute strawberries, raspberries or a combination)
1 Tbl. Almond Butter (no sugar added)
1 Tbl. Chia seeds or Hemp seeds
Ground Cinnamon to taste
Ice Cubes if needed (2 – 3)
*For additional protein, may add a serving of whey or vegan protein powder
Add all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
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