The Clear Skin Diet: How to Nutritionally Support Healthy Skin
It’s said that you are what you eat. Believe it or not, your diet does have an impact on your skin! In addition to maintaining a regular skincare routine at Timeless, eating the right balance of foods will give your skin the nutrients it needs to stay smooth and protected.Timeless has rounded up the best (and worst) foods to help keep your skin healthy and vibrant, one bite at a time.
Best foods for your skin
Fish such as salmon and tuna, rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, help the skin to retain moisture while keeping toxins out. These healthy fats leave skin thick, supple and hydrated. Meanwhile, the power of antioxidants, Vitamin E and Zinc, help decrease the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and reduce inflammation from acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Tip: Prepare fish baked or grilled rather than fried so that the healthy benefits aren’t counteracted.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which the body can’t make enough of naturally. They also have high levels of zinc, which aid in the skin’s barrier function. This promotes skin healing and fights against bacteria and inflammation while improving the skin’s elasticity to prevent sagging.
Tip: Walnuts are versatile – add them to cereal, oatmeal and mix into salads. But eat them in moderation since they are calorie dense.
There’s a reason avocados are used in hydrating face masks! Avocados are rich in healthy fats which act as a natural moisturizer for your skin, keeping it supple and elastic. They also contain vitamin E (which many of us are lacking) to protect the skin from free radicals in the sun and environment, which can lead to premature signs of aging.
Tip: Mix it up with avocados in your breakfast smoothie or as a healthier dip option.
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A. This protects the skin from UV rays, preventing sun damage and premature wrinkles from forming.
Tip: Don’t toss out the potato skins, this is where the highest levels of beta-carotene is!
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechins which protect the skin against the free radicals that cause damage to cells and tissue. This can also improve moisture levels and elasticity of the skin.
Tip: You can also apply green tea bags topically to shrink pores, treat acne and other skin breakouts.
Sunflower seeds are loaded with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant for the skin. They also contain linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fat that helps your skin stay thick, flexible and moisturized.
Tip: In addition to a handful of seeds as a quick snack, cook with sunflower oil when possible to reap similar benefits.
Similar to sweet potatoes, bell peppers contain carotenoids which decrease the skin’s sensitivity to the sun and thus wrinkles that form. They contain high levels of Vitamin C which stimulates collagen production, helping to repair skin and keep it strong, while also preventing future damage in the form of dryness and fine lines.
Tip: The bolder the color of the veggie, the better they are for your skin! Think broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and carrots too!
Beyond your body, waters also keeps your skin hydrated. Drinking 8 glasses each day helps give skin the moisture it needs to stay plump and glowing.
Tip: Remember you can get water from other sources such as fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
Yes, you read right! Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, an antioxidant that improves wrinkles, hydration, and circulation. A square a day can help improve skin roughness and flakiness.
Tip: Choose a chocolate of at least 70% cocoa in for maximum benefits with the minimum amount of sugar.
Worst Foods for your Skin
Simple carbohydrates such as the refined sugar found in cookies and candy cause insulin levels to spike. This can speed up the aging process by breaking down the collagen and elastin which give skin its elasticity and strength. Sugar is also shown to increase sebum production which can worsen existing conditions like acne and rosacea.
Tip: When your sweet tooth is calling, opt for dark chocolate or fresh, colorful fruits instead.
Cow milk can cause inflammation with an increase in the production of sebum in your skin, the oily substance that clogs your pores and leads to acne breakouts.
Tip: Substitute traditional milk with almond or soy milk for a similar taste without the negative side effects.
A diet high in salt can cause our bodies to retain water. This leads to bloating and swelling, especially in delicate areas such as around the eyes. Salt can also lead to high blood pressure, which affects collagen production.
Tip: Many processed foods contain hidden sodium. ‘Healthy’ frozen foods such as Lean Cuisine contain a lot of salt that should be avoided.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it dehydrates your body and zaps your skin of moisture. This can have long lasting effects of breakouts, redness, dryness and inflammation.
Tip: If you choose to indulge in adult beverages, a red wine is the best option. The antioxidant of Resveratrol can help protect against free radical damage to slow the aging process. And be sure to match your alcoholic drinks one-to-one with an 8-oz glass of water to stay hydrated.
We hope these tips help in making the best decisions for your skin, especially over the holiday season of indulgence. Moderation is the key to success!