The Best (And Worst) Foods For Your Skin
Taking care of your skin goes beyond having a routine of moisturizers, serums, and cleansers. While topical products have been helpful to combat everyday skin problems such as acne, discoloration, and wrinkles, the real help comes from what you eat. Your skin is an organ – the body’s largest, in fact – and taking care of your skin is as important as taking care of anything else in your body.
Ever had a bad breakout after indulging a little too much with chips, fried foods, or candy? For skin, you really are what you eat: the things we ingest are often reflected in how our skin reacts to it. Fueling your body with certain foods will keep your skin happy and healthy, while other foods will trigger inflammation, acne, and discoloration. As it turns out, beauty is a little bit more skin deep than originally thought!
Best Foods For Skin
Investing in your skin’s health starts from the inside. What we eat shows up on our face (for better or for worse), so it’s important to fuel our bodies with foods that promote overall health, as well as skin health.
High in healthy Omega-3 fats, salmon is a key combatant against inflammation, and it supports healthy skin development by supplying your body with complex proteins and fats. Rich in antioxidants, salmon’s fatty proteins actually help your body produce the building blocks to healthier skin and tissues.
Avocado is a wonder-food, packed with vitamins A, D, and E to support glowing, healthy skin. Whether you eat it or use it as a face mask, you’re treating your skin and body to a delicious dose of antioxidants, monounsaturated fats (the good fats), and phytonutrients that help balance your skin. Keeping your skin well protected and healthy never tasted so good!
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and Greek yogurt are packed with probiotics to help support a healthy gut biome. Our bodies naturally produce bacteria in our stomachs to help break down and digest foods, and sometimes our biome’s balance gets thrown out of whack when we eat things that are not-so-good for us. Eating fermented foods helps to reinvigorate our body’s natural defenses and aids digestion. Plus, all the healthy bacteria helps keep bad inflammation-causing bacteria at bay.
Nuts And Seeds
Walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and macadamia nuts are great for snacking and for keeping your skin wrinkle free. Walnuts and macadamia nuts are high in Omega-3 fats and give your skin boosts of collagen to help keep it elastic, radiant, and plump. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, and have been proven to eat up any detrimental free radicals in the body that might cause early aging in skin.
Sunflower seeds and oil are full of linoleic acid, which is good for reducing cellular inflammation and promotes the health of your skin’s membranes. Snacking and beauty go hand in hand with these little skin-savers!
Broccoli and Dark, Leafy Greens
You were always told to eat your vegetables- now you have even more reason to stock up! Broccoli is the most nutrient-packed vegetable out there, with Vitamins A and C promoting collagen production and delivering potent antioxidants to your skin. Broccoli also contains Vitamin K, which speeds up the healing time of bruises and also helps combat under-eye darkness and circles.
Leafy greens like kale and spinach are high in iron and vitamin A, keeping your skin full of healthy antioxidants and protected from free-radical damage.
Berries And Other Low-Glycemic Fruit
Berries are bright and beautiful skin elixirs. Known for their high amounts of antioxidants, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and cherries are sweet and powerful defenders against free radical agents in the body. Low-glycemic (low sugar) fruits like watermelon and oranges are high in hydration. Watermelon is 92 percent water, which helps keep your skin hydrated and wrinkle-free. Oranges are bursting with Vitamin C to keep your skin bright and plump.
Teas And Spices
Teas aren’t just for winding down after a long day, but are also great for helping reduce inflammation, flush out toxins from the body, and promote the healing of weakened or aged skin.
Green tea has vitamin K in it, which promotes the circulation and distribution of healthy blood to reduce and heal bruising.
Dandelion and milk thistle tea sounds far-out, but these two herbal teas are great for detoxing the liver and kidneys, keeping your skin from flaring up when toxins are found in the body.
Cinnamon is an underdog skin healer, with qualities that promote skin elasticity, vibrancy, and smoothness. Cinnamon is a great collagen booster, and has been shown to reduce redness and inflammation in the body. Turmeric is another spice that mimics the anti-inflammatory qualities like cinnamon, but also boosts health with plenty of antioxidants, helping you glow from the inside out. Ginger, garlic, cloves, and oregano are also spices to help to look radiant, wrinkle-free, and blemish-free.
Worst Foods For Skin
Poor nutrition is not just bad for your body and overall health, but it’s bad for your skin as well. Your skin is a great indicator for what’s going on internally. Here are some things you should avoid to keep your skin blemish and wrinkle free.
There’s a sweet tooth in all of us, some more than others. While it’s fine to indulge every once in a while, sugar (and more specifically, refined sugars) are a big culprit of skin issues like inflammation, dehydration, and acne. Sugar has been a proven irritant to conditions like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and even arthritis.
A spike in blood sugar from sugary, refined foods causes inflammation; over time, prolonged sugar-heavy diets see an increased risk of cancer and early aging in skin.
The old wive’s tale about touching your face with greasy fingers is a half-baked anecdote. While you shouldn’t be smearing greasy fingers all over your skin, the true culprit is the ingesting of fried foods. When fried, the fats in foods become “hydrogenated,” turning the fats into “trans fats,” which are the not-so-good-for-you fats.
Trans fats are harder for your body to break down, and often times lead to other health issues including diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. Fried fats dehydrate your skin and deplete it from healthy fats and hydration, leaving it tired-looking and dull.
Potato chips, popcorn, crackers, you name it. These delicious snacks are great for satisfying that craving, but not great for your skin. Similar to the way fried foods deplete your body of necessary hydration, salty foods will suck the water from your skin, leaving it dry and bloated. Under-eye bags and discoloration are some of the key side effects of an over-indulgence in salty snacks. A lack of hydration means puffy and dull skin.
There’s few things in life better than ending your night with a beautiful glass of wine. While you can still have your nightly routine, alcohol is one major offender when it comes to bad skin. Alcohol turns to sugar when broken down by your body, and too much sugar can cause acne, puffiness, and under-eye bags. In addition, alcohol dehydrates your skin, causing similar reactions to that of fried foods or salty snacks. Without proper hydration, your skin will lose it’s luster and plumpness.
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Are you ready for healthier skin?
Healthy, glowing skin is a process that begins within. Choosing whole, healthy foods packed with antioxidants and vitamins are not only delicious, but will also help reset your skin from the inside out. Indulging once in a while with your favorite treat won’t keep you from attaining the skin you want, but frequent trips to the candy aisle might put a damper on your skin goals. A healthy body means healthy skin is sure to follow!
If you’re wondering if a cosmetic procedure would help your skin look its healthiest, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.
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