The old adage 'you are what you eat' sort of holds true: our skin tends to react to what we’re eating, and sometimes eating enough of the good stuff can be a struggle! Smoothies are a great way to get a dose of fruits and veg, as well as any other beneficial ingredients. Whilst it can be tempting to reach for a store-bought option, making your own allows you to know exactly what’s in it, and you can tailor it to your skin needs. Read on to discover the best foods for your skin, and how to incorporate them into a smoothie, with our very own recipe for all-round skin health at the end! It’s time for that January detox - why not start now?
For a dreamy, creamy base, look no further than your favourite neighbourhood superfood. The good fats in avocado that help to keep your heart healthy are also fantastic for your skin: they help to keep the skin supple and bouncy thanks to the collagen production they promote, which combats telltale signs of ageing or a bad night’s sleep! On top of that, there’s some evidence that avocados protect skin from sun damage, meaning wrinkles, lines, and the more dangerous lesions are less likely to occur. Avocado makes a fantastic smoothie base, as it has a very mild flavour and adds in some of the creaminess that can be lacking if you’re avoiding dairy, which can inflame the skin and cause breakouts.
Talking of unconventional bases, how do you feel about sweet potato smoothies? They’re packed full of beta-carotene, which can be converted by your body into vitamin A. The antioxidant functions of this act as a kind of natural sunscreen, which again helps to protect your skin from unnecessary damage. There’s also some evidence that consuming lots of beta-carotene bestows your skin with a warm glow, so it could be a good one to stock up on during the cold winter months! And, whilst sweet potato does have a distinct flavour, and we often associate it with warming savoury foods, it’s sweet enough to pair perfectly with a strong flavour like cacao, so you can enjoy a guilt-free sweet treat!
Here’s another unlikely ingredient to include in your healthy smoothie: some studies have shown that the flavanols present in cacao lead to more hydrated skin, with better blood flow - meaning more nutrients from all those delicious smoothies find their way to your skin. This chocolatey treat also attacks the free radicals generated by UV damage, so wave goodbye to wrinkles and sun spots, and say hello to hydrated, glowing skin! And hey - if you don’t fancy chucking some chocolate in your smoothie, how about trying out our Radiant Glow Mask, which incorporates raw cacao to revitalise the skin, and smells absolutely incredible?
If chocolate isn’t your thing, how about flavouring your smoothie with matcha? Catechins are found in all green tea, but matcha has around 137 times more EGCG - epigallocatechin gallate - than regular green tea. The catechins in the delicious green powder are a type of antioxidant, and help to protect your skin from damage by scavenging free-radicals. It also boosts blood flow around your body, lending you a healthy flush! You’ll also find yourself relaxed yet focused thanks to the L-theanine content, which is up to five times higher than in regular tea. Stress leads our bodies to produce cortisol, which wreaks havoc on your skin, and so the relaxation benefits your skin, too!
If your skin has been suffering through winter and needs a dose of hydration, or if you just fancy a smoothie that’s more sippable than spoonable, try adding in some uncolourised aloe vera juice or coconut water. Both contain electrolytes that help to keep you hydrated, and both are great for your gut health, meaning less bloating and more smiling! For a truly refreshing smoothie, try freezing them in advance and blending them in when needed.
Another fantastic source of beta-carotene is spinach, which contains vitamins C, E, and A, and a whole load of antioxidants. It also contains chlorophyll, which helps to cleanse toxins from the body which can otherwise build up and cause acne, so if you’re struggling with breakouts, this is a great ingredient to reach for! The mild flavour also means you’ll barely notice you’re drinking it, so if eating your greens isn’t your favourite task, sipping them in a smoothie might be the answer!
Antioxidants feature highly in this article, and for good reason - their free-radical fighting properties mean your skin stays looking younger and healthier. Blueberries are packed full of anthocyanins, which give them their gorgeous colour, and help to shield the skin from damage. They’re also high in vitamin C, which boosts collagen production, and phytonutrients, which can help protect against skin cancer, and they lend a sweet taste to the smoothie.
Often overlooked, seeds are a great addition to a smoothie, and flaxseeds are amongst the best for your skin. They’re high in lignans, Omega-3 fatty acids which are important for the growth and development of skin cells, and which reduce the levels of DHT in the body. DHT can cause hormonal breakouts, so if you’re struggling with acne a sprinkling of these seeds could be just what you need! Even if you’re not, they possess fantastic skin benefits: those same fatty acids reduce inflammation and redness, and increases the skin’s natural oil production for a hydrated, healthy glow. What’s more, you can use either fresh or frozen blueberries, so stock up on local produce - they’re grown year-round in the UK - and freeze to have on hand whenever the craving strikes!
Here’s a recipe for healthy glowing skin - but feel free to experiment, adding ingredients specific to your skincare and taste preferences!