These days, more and more people are using products to take care of their skin. From loofahs and pumice stones to facials and night creams, there’s no shortage of ways to improve your skin. But promoting healthy skin requires a lot more than working on it after the fact. The skin you apply these products to has already grown, and there’s only so much it can be improved. In order to really make a difference to your skin, you have to start working from the inside out, and that means paying attention to what you eat.
Your skin grows using the nutrients your body gets from your meals. Just like building a house, the the end result will depend heavily on the quality of the building materials you provide, so a poor diet will inevitably lead to poor skin. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways you can drastically improve your dietary intake and promote the growth of healthy skin.
Fruit & Veg
It may sound like the oldest cliché in the book, but eating your five pieces of fruit and veg a day will provide you with a whole host of nutrients and vitamins, which will have a direct and dramatic effect on your skin. To make sure you’re being as effective as possible, try to “eat the rainbow” and go for as many different colours as you can, as the colours of fruit and vegetables generally indicate what you’ll get from them. For example, purple foods such as beetroot and plums are full of Vitamin C, while red foods like tomatoes and cherries will give you lots of lycopenes, which help fight disease. Most fruit and veg will also have antioxidants, which can help protect your skin from damaging agents.
Although you’ll probably get it if you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables, it is important to highlight the significance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports the immune system, and is essential for healthy looking skin. We all know that oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, but if you want something even more powerful, guava, blackcurrants, red or green peppers, and kiwis are even better.
Another antioxidant that helps the immune system, selenium is an extremely effective way to protect your skin from sun damage and signs of ageing. Just four brazil nuts a day will give you your required dose of selenium, although most fish, eggs, tomato, and broccoli are also good sources. Selenium is extra effective when working with a sufficient supply of Vitamins C & E. Vitamin E can be found in almonds and hazelnuts, so mixing these in with brazil nuts could be a healthy snack to carry around.
It goes without saying that staying hydrated is essential to your overall health, but dehydration can affect your skin in ways that are much more noticeable. If you’ve ever heard that we are supposed to drink up to eight glasses of water a day, you may have thought that sounded like a lot. But that actually accounts for all fluids, so having a soft drink would count as one portion. Of course, drinking soft drinks means it will have all sorts of extra sugars and additives that will work against your skin. Plain old tapwater will keep you hydrated while also help you dilute and distribute the nutrients in your body. Drinking things like juice or green tea can be a great way to get the same hydration, but with extra nutrients.
Unlike other treatments that involve working on the skin you have now, changing your diet will not yield instant results (remember that our skin takes approximately 27 days to regenerate itself). But if you take the time and put in the effort, the benefits a good diet can have on your skin will be more noticeable and longer lasting, and will even make beauty treatments more effective. It may take a few weeks and some dedication, but in the end, the results will be as clear as your skin.