Diet and healthy skin are more linked than you may think and whilst many of us take care of our skin from the outside, it’s also important to achieve healthier looking skin from the inside out.
Certain foods, such as those high in fats and sugars, are likely to trigger skincare concerns like hormonal acne and may even exacerbate existing skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. So, it is important to take a look at the food on our plate and see what changes we can make to nourish dull and sensitive skin.
At Evolve Beauty, we believe in natural and organic ingredients, not only in our skincare, but in the food that we eat too. By doing so, we can find the root cause of our skin concerns and make changes towards a greener lifestyle that benefits our body and skin.
This guide will teach you all you need to know about how diet can affect your skin and what you can change in your diet to get glowing skin.
HOW DOES DIET AFFECT MY SKIN?
A poor diet that consists of high amounts of fat, sugars, salt and processed foods are likely to cause inflammation and irritation to the skin. This is because they lack nutrients that the body craves.
A balanced and healthy diet allows your body and skin to receive all the nutrients and benefits it needs to repair the skin’s barrier when it’s damaged. This contributes to slowing down signs of ageing, reducing inflammation for acne-prone skin types and allows you to achieve glowing skin.
We’ve broken this section down to teach you how sugar, salt and fats affect your skin’s health.
HOW DOES SUGAR AFFECT MY SKIN?
A diet with high amounts of sugar affects can your skin’s elasticity. High consumption of sugar beyond what your body’s natural insulin can handle can weaken the structures of collagen that allows your skin to be plump.
As a result, you may see your skin duller than usual, lose its elasticity with more fine lines and wrinkles.
HOW DOES A SALTY DIET AFFECT MY SKIN?
When you consume lots of sodium in your diet, it contributes to signs of dehydration and lack of water in the body. For your skin, this means you may see dry and rough patches on the face that don’t seem to go away no matter how much moisturiser you use!
If you wake up with puffy eyes in the morning and slight swelling around the face, it may be because of a salty diet too. Sodium retains water and the effects are more obvious on the parts where the skin is delicate and thin like your under eyes.
For those who experience dry skin on the body, or suffer from pre-existing skin conditions like eczema, may also want to reduce the amount of salty foods in their diet. This will help to reduce swelling and inflammation, allowing you to achieve healthier skin.
HOW DO SATURATED FATS AFFECT MY SKIN?
Not all fats are bad. We can get high levels of healthy fatty acids from foods like avocado that help the function of our hearts. These are known as unsaturated fats and are often found in many vegetables and plants.
Saturated fats are naturally found in a lot of meats and cheese. However, too much saturated fats can cause high cholesterol. When it comes to your body, this means your arteries are prone to getting blocked and increase your risk of heart diseases.
High saturated fats will also increase insulin hormones in your body, and this is responsible for an increase in sex hormones. For your skin, this means more sebum production that can worsen existing acne.
Opting for leaner meats and reducing dairy in your daily diet can help to improve the body’s overall condition and help reduce acne on your skin.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT THE SKIN?
Too much alcohol in your diet can lead to premature ageing of the skin. This is because alcohol can result in dehydration and contributes to dry skin concerns. You may find that your skin is dull and lacklustre. Alcohol that is also high in sugar will increase insulin levels and promote unhealthy skin inflammation such as acne.
Your hangover skin may be left feeling puffy around the eyes, dehydrated with more redness than usual.
Cutting your alcohol consumption down or opting for healthier alcohol options is a step towards a balanced diet.
CAN A HEALTHY DIET CLEAR MY SKIN?
Eating a well balanced diet is one way to achieve healthier skin. However, there are many other factors that can contribute to the look of your skin such as environmental stressors, smoking as well as hormone imbalances.
Improving your diet and eating the best foods to improve skin may not completely clear acne or texture but you may see drastic improvements over time.
While it is not the means to all ends, it is the start to beginning a healthier and greener lifestyle.
WHAT FOODS ARE BEST FOR THE SKIN?
To achieve healthier looking skin, here are just some of the best foods for our skin.
Broccoli is high in omega 3 fatty acids making it a great superfood for acne-prone skin types. It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties that calms redness and irritation. Rich in fibre, it also aids in detoxing the body of impurities.
For frequent jetsetters or city dwellers, broccoli has powerful antioxidant properties that fight against free radical damage from the sun, pollution and other environmental factors. This is a great win for those who want to combat signs of premature ageing and reduce hyperpigmentation on the skin.
Citrus fruits are a wonderful source of Vitamin C and is an ingredient that is well loved in skincare products for its antioxidant properties. Our Bio-Retinol + C Booster is one example!
While applying them topically can help the fight against free radical damage, incorporating them in your diet can boost its benefits.
Vitamin C can keep signs of ageing at bay where it helps produce natural collagen within the skin, allowing you to maintain that youthful glow. For those who experience hormonal acne around the chin, Vitamin C can help heal damaged skin barriers and fight PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation).
Drinking a glass of orange juice in the morning is an easy and effective way to incorporate Vitamin C to your diet and get your day started on the right foot.
NUTS AND SEEDS:
From anti-inflammatory properties to regulating sebum production, nuts and seeds have lots of benefits for your skin.
Walnuts are high in omega 3 fatty acids meaning it has the ability to calm and soothe irritated skin. It has high concentrations in Vitamin B that promotes cell metabolism to allow your skin cells to maintain its healthy glow. These are also great for mature skin types to prevent dryness and fine lines.
For those looking for nutritious snacks for healthy skin, try adding cashew nuts into your daily diet. Containing zinc, cashew nuts will help to reduce inflammation and prevent infections caused by excess sebum production. They are also high in selenium to keep the skin hydrated from the inside.
Sunflower seeds have similar benefits to nuts where they are naturally high in fatty acids that protect your skin’s moisture barrier from damage. Containing both zinc and Vitamin E, the antioxidant-rich sunflower seeds will detoxify the skin and combat ageing and acne.
A SIMPLE SMOOTHIE RECIPE TO ACHIEVE HEALTHIER SKIN:
If you’re finding it difficult to incorporate fruits to promote clear skin, try this easy smoothie recipe that you can take on the go.
1 handful of kale
200ml of coconut water
1 tsp chia seeds
- Add all the ingredients into a blender. Blend for 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth.
- Adjust the thickness of your smoothie by adding more coconut water.
- Enjoy your delicious smoothie for glowing skin!
The wonderful thing about smoothies is that you can switch out the ingredients to suit your taste. Try almond milk instead of coconut water or mangoes instead of bananas. The possibilities are endless!
WHAT CAN I DRINK FOR HEALTHY SKIN?
If you’re not a smoothie lover, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. There are other drinks you can add in your diet with all the same benefits for healthy skin.
For those who have difficulty sleeping at night, try sipping on chamomile tea before bed. Chamomile tea has a variety of calming properties that help to soothe the mind and get your body in a routine for sleep.
Lack of sleep contributes to dark circles and under eye bags so it’s important that you're getting your eight hours of sleep every night.
It also contains natural polyphenols and phytochemicals that soothe irritated skin, particularly for those with eczema or active breakouts.
Green tea is another ingredient that has slowly made its way into skincare products and for good reason! Green tea can help detox the skin and body due to its antioxidant rich properties. It helps to reduce inflammation from acne and promote collagen production through Vitamin B and E.
Green tea also contains tannins that are responsible for the slight bitterness in its taste. They are an astringent compound that aids in reducing the size of your skin’s pores and regulating sebum production to help with acne.
This may be an obvious choice but it is something we don’t do enough. Water is the purest form of hydration your body can get so it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking your eight cups a day will plump the skin from the inside to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and give the skin what it needs to fight against skin conditions.
If you have trouble remembering to drink water throughout the day, you can spruce it up by adding in cucumber or lemon slices to taste. Doing so will add in those extra vitamin benefits whilst hydrating at the same time.
What you put inside your bodies is just as important as your existing skincare routine. Small changes in your diet can yield dramatic results. Try incorporating more healthy foods and drinks into your diet and see what a difference it makes!
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