The beauty market offers us all kinds of miracle serums, creams, oils, and tools like jade rollers to keep our skin glowing and as young as it can be. Using a moisturizer and sun protection are the main steps for better looking and healthier skin, that is a fact, but beauty also comes from within.
All the moisturizers in the world cannot help you if your diet is full of bad choices and poor habits.
Our skin reflects our health, so if you want to change your ways and feed your skin not just from the outside this is a place for you to learn how. If on the other hand you already have a healthier lifestyle, there is no harm in reading more about it, testing your knowledge, and maybe finding out something new.
Although there is barely a person in this world not aware of the fact that water is important for every process in the human body – including skin health, some of us still hardly take enough to support good health.
Water is vital, and lack of it can cause dehydration of tissues and functional disorders, as well as skin dehydration.
Drinking between 1L and 2L a day is good, and may significantly affect the skin and give it deep hydration.
A good and easy way to make sure you drink enough water is to have a 1L water bottle at work and one at home. This will help you keep track of your water intake during the day. If you have doubts about drinking enough, a simple test can be done at the toilet. Just take a look at your urine: if it is yellow, you don’t drink enough. If it is transparent, you do drink enough. It’s super easy and a great indicator.
If plain water ins’t really your thing, you can simply add a few slices of lemon or put in a few mint leaves. Basically any fruit will spice up your water. This way you are trendy, healthy and hydrated.
The health of your skin depends on your nutrition as much as it depends on your choices of cosmetics. Your eating habits, the good and the bad ones have a great effect on the state of your skin.
This vitamin is among the most common ones in beauty products. But apart from topical use, it can also help your skin from the inside.
Adding the following vitamin C rich foods to your diet may help with the health and radiance of your skin:
- Oranges and grapefruits.
- Red and green peppers.
- Tomato juice.
The lack of vitamin C can cause slower wound healing and make your skin fragile.
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, and it can prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive molecules which cause the damage of cells and DNA). Vitamin C prevents and reduces cell damage, and the combination of vitamin C and vitamin E (also an antioxidant) may help even more.
Apart from that, vitamin C is important for collagen production, which is a component vital for ligaments, skin, cartilage, bones, etc. This makes it especially important for a healthy skin!
Also an antioxidant, as mentioned above. It reduces cell damage and together with vitamin C prevents UV damage and the forming of wrinkles and all other problems that go with it. The intake of vitamin E products helps against processes linked to the aging of the skin.
Include the following items to your diet and feel the benefits of one of the gifts of mother nature.
- Wheat germ oil.
- Sunflower seeds and oil.
- Peanuts and peanut butter.
- Spinach and broccoli.
Carotenoids or vitamin A derivatives include β-carotene, astaxanthin, lycopene, and retinol.
They are all great antioxidants and have been shown to have photoprotective abilities, which protect your skin from UV damage by the sun. Free radicals may form for many reasons and some of them are UV radiation and pollutants. If their concentration is higher they may destroy cells and tissues and even lead to cancers.
This is where carotenoids, as well as other antioxidants, step in.
β-carotene is famous for its antioxidant properties. It is causing the color of:
- Sweet potatoes.
Astaxanthin may prevent or minimize the effects of UVA radiation (skin sagging and wrinkling), both by topical and oral administration.
Sources of astaxanthin are:
Lycopene is a bright red pigment that can be found in:
Lycopene and β-carotene are the main carotenoids in human blood and tissues. Both of them are known to modulate skin properties when ingested.
Retinol is a famous carotenoid and does wonders for the skin when used topically. But it also has an important role within our body. Our body can’t make retinol, so it must come from our diet. Natural retinol and retinol ester can be found in:
- Egg yolk.
- Fatty fish.
Minerals like selenium, zinc and copper are associated with skin immunity and the prevention of inflammation.
Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties and a role in wound healing.
Good sources of zinc are :
- Baked beans.
- Pumpkin seeds.
Copper is involved in the production and stabilization of skin proteins. Some studies showed it has a role in improving skin elasticity, reducing facial fine lines and wrinkles, and promoting wound healing. You can find your copper in:
- Shiitake mushrooms.
- Sunflower seeds.
- Dark chocolate.
Selenium stops free radical damage and protects the cells from UV radiation and inflammation. Rich sources of selenium are :
- Brazil nuts.
- Cottage cheese.
- Brown rice.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
Lipids are an important part of the skin and are needed for proper barrier function, membrane structure, and damage repair. As we age our fat content decreases, mainly because our skin cells’ ability to produce and secrete fat decreases.
Generally, a high-fat diet mainly causes the skin to age by causing oxidative stress that leads to inflammatory damage, but healthy fats help our skin stay beautiful. The amount of fat in our diet is linked to the lipid content of our skin and if we don’t eat enough essential fats it can lead to skin problems.
Omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids have an important role in skin barrier function and partly a role in the prevention of inflammation.
Olive oil is a good example of a healthy fat, and it may help with the reduction of skin aging.
The fatty acids extracted from W. somnifera seeds (ashwagandha) have anti inflammatory effects and may even help with psoriasis by reducing the release of pro-inflammatory factors.
So instead of the usual things that pop to mind when someone says fats like fast foods and fried foods, fatty meat, refined sweets full of sugar and fats, go for healthy fats with:
- Fish like salmon, tuna and fish oils.
- Olive oil and different kinds of plant oils like grapeseed oil, almond seed oil, etc.
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, etc.
Collagen is a protein in our body that decreases as we get older or when we don’t have enough of it in our diet. That leads to weaker muscles, less flexibility and signs of skin aging like wrinkles. Help your body build collagen by eating protein-rich foods like:
And as already mentioned earlier, vitamin C is also a part of the collagen production process, so combine the two of these and get your collagen levels up.
The importance of a good, healthy and varied diet cannot be understressed. It is imporant to make good choices not just for your gut, brain, muscles and general health, but for your skin as well. Beauty really can come from within and if you need any help with learning more about a healthy lifestyle, we at Parallelo Health are here for you.
Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact us via the contact page. Our team is ready to help the best we can!