Regardless of age, healthy skin is something that we all strive for. Everyone has their favourite face cream or treatment, but beautiful skin truly starts with nourishment from within. As scientists learn more about diet and the body, it has become increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health, ageing and overall radiance of your skin.
Today, we look at everything you need to know about foods that are good for your skin and how you can play an active part in nourishing the body’s largest organ from within. Read on to find out more!
Best Foods For Your Skin
In addition to a strict skin care routine and your monthly facial, eating the correct balance of foods will feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and acne-free. Here are our top 7 foods that are guaranteed to transform your skin and make you glow from the inside out.
1. Salmon & Other Fatty Fish
Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, sardines and trout are all jam packed with Omega 3’s and have anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce acne. Fish skin is a great source of nutrients that support optimal human health that help to keep your skin supple and healthy. Since our bodies don’t have the ability to produce some essential fatty acids, including fatty fish into your diet is a great way to help reinforce your skin’s barrier and keeps moisture in and irritants out.
Tomatoes are loaded with essential nutrients including Vitamin C and lycopene. Lycopene in particular is a potent antioxidant that can aid in protecting skin from UV damage. Eating a diet that includes tomatoes on a regular basis may help reduce the amount of cell-damaging free-radicals in the body for youthful, glowing skin. Tomatoes fight cellular damage which can also aid in preventing fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Sweet Potato
Ever wondered what foods are good for your skin to prevent acne? Well, the humble sweet potato ranks pretty high in this category. Bright orange sweet potatoes are chock full of beta-carotene,which gets converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A has properties that act as a skin barrier against discoloration, inflammation, and clogged pores that are often brought on by free radicals. If you’re looking to clear up your acne or simply in search of a preventative measure, be sure to include sweet potatoes into your diet on a regular basis!
4. Sunflower Seeds
If you’re following a vegetarian diet, we highly recommend incorporating sunflower seeds into your diet. Generally speaking, all nuts and seeds are fantastic for your skin and the humble sunflower seed is a perfect example. These seeds are brimming with essential fatty acids such linoleic, oleic, and palmitic acid – all of which aid in collagen and elastin formation. Additionally, they are also loaded with Vitamin E. Toss them on salads, add them to baked goods or simply snack on a packet when the mid-afternoon cravings hit.
5. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea has anti-bacterial properties and contains incredibly high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is helpful in reducing inflammation and to even skin tone. Additionally, the powerful compounds (catechins) found in green tea work to improve the health of your skin in several ways, including protection from skin damage and reduced formation of free radicals in the body. For ultimate effectiveness, avoid adding milk or dairy to your green tea.
We all love a bit of Avocado on freshly toasted bread, so what better food than avocado to make it to this list! Our much beloved jade-hued fruit has an abundance of antioxidants, plant sterols, omega-9, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamins C and E. They are also loaded with healthy fats that are essential in keeping skin flexible and moisturised.
Tip: Sprinkle some sunflower seeds on your Avocado Toast for the ultimate in skin-friendly meals!
7. Kale & Other Dark Leafy Greens
Kale and other dark leafy greens such as spinach, silverbeet and collard greens are rich in vitamin A – a powerful antioxidant that promotes healthy skin cell turnover. As we touched on when we were singing praise about sweet potatoes, vitamin A is also a big ingredient found in Retin-A, a medication used to treat acne. Dark leafy greens are also one of the top sources of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps repair and renew your skin to give it a youthful glow.
Worst Foods For Your Skin
Unfortunately, not all foods are made equal and some may do more harm than good to your skin. If you’ve ever broken out after eating an entire bar of chocolate in bed (don’t worry, we’ve all been there) then you’ll know exactly what we are talking about. Here are 5 of the worst foods for your skin.
1. Soft Drinks
Did you know that fizzy soft drinks create an inflammatory response in the body due to high glycemic index level? Unfortunately, that inflammation does a lot more than just create acne. It can also result in wrinkles and dull looking skin. If you’re having trouble cutting soft drinks from your diet, we highly recommend trying flavoured sparkling water as a substitute.
2. Dairy Products
Ice cream lovers, look away. Studies have shown that cow’s milk (which often contains growth hormones) elevates insulin levels which in turn increases circulating cortisol levels that bind to our sebaceous glands. The result? Increased sebum production that can trigger inflammation and infection resulting in more severe acne. Thankfully, there are a myriad of dairy substitutes available in 2022, so be sure to keep your eye out for Oat Milk or Almond Milk that make for fantastic coffees, desserts and everything in between.
Ever scoffed an entire bar of milk chocolate in your bed whilst watching soppy rom-coms? We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, chocolate is high on the list of culprits when it comes to bad skin. In addition to the fat and sugar component of chocolate, some research suggests that chocolate may have pro-inflammatory influences in the skin, which could contribute to inflammatory acne. If you have a sweet tooth, opt for dark chocolate with a minimum of 70-80% cocoa solids.
4. Fast Food
Fast food isn’t good for your skin, body or anything else, really. What a shocker. Acne is strongly associated with eating a diet rich in calories, fat and refined carbohydrates. Fast food items, such as hot dogs, burgers, french fries and milkshakes are mainstays of a typical Western diet and may increase the risk of acne. Furthermore, they often contain high levels of saturated fats and trans fats that lead to clogging of blood vessels and can cause heart disease.
Alcohol is well known for its dehydrating properties, depriving it of the moisture and nutrients it needs to keep our complexion looking radiant, supple and youthful. Additionally, alcohol dilates pores, leading to blackheads and whiteheads that can go on to cause inflamed skin papules (lesion-like bumps) and cystic acne.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about exactly what foods you should be eating (and avoiding) for vibrant, glowing skin. Want to know more about how your diet affects skin health? Be sure to get in touch with one of our expert team members who will be able to further assist you today.