How to get healthier skinThe appearance of our skin is often a true reflection of current health and lifestyle. What we eat and drink on a daily basis can make a huge difference.

Your skin needs the right nutrients to look fresh and healthy. There is a lot of truth in the saying ‘you are what you eat’. If we exist on a diet high in unnatural processed foods, sugar and alcohol or cigarettes there is only so long before the signs of wear and tear begin to show on the surface – your skin.

What are the main causes of poor skin health?

Diet & Dehydration
Processed food in general, sugar, caffeine and other stimulants including alcohol and cigarettes dehydrate your skin and deplete essential nutrients needed to keep it looking fresh. Your skin is the largest organ of elimination in the body, and a good proportion of excess toxins processed by the liver and kidneys are eliminated through the skin.  You should look to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of hydrating fluids daily – ideally water, fruit teas, herb teas, redbush tea, fruit juice diluted with water and decaffeinated drinks. My recommended foods to support skin health can be found below.

Environment
These include a dry atmosphere, i.e. overly air-conditioned or humid rooms; overexposure to the sun; chemical pollutants like exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke; chemicals we ingest that have been sprayed on crops or into the soil they have been grown in; and the presence of chemicals found in some beauty products.

Lifestyle
The effects of stress, anxiety and depression should never be underestimated. In some cases skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis are heavily  linked to stress type symptoms. Sleep may also be interrupted if stressed. Exercise can help ease stress, anxiety and depression – as little as five 20 to 30 minute walks a week can really help to support your overall health and the skin’s appearance.

Sleep quality
We all need our ‘beauty sleep’! The body goes into repair mode while we sleep and this includes the skin renewing itself as new skin cells replace older ones.  Poor quality sleep may result in dull, lifeless skin as well as puffy eyes and dark circles. Lack of sleep also tends to leave us stressed in the morning.

Getting older
As we advance in years the body starts making less of the proteins needed to keep the skin looking the same as it did in our earlier years. Collagen is the main protein in the underlying layer of the skin, with collagen and elastin fibres being vital in keeping it firm and looking smooth. As we age skin naturally starts to develop more lines, wrinkles, gets thinner and can sag.

How can our diet and lifestyle improve our skin?

There are a number of vitamins and minerals that provide specific benefits to your skin. All of these can be obtained through your diet and my top recommendations are:

Vitamin/Mineral Benefits Recommended Foods
Vitamin A Helps slow signs of ageing
Skin repair
Liver
Oily fish
Milk
Broccoli
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Mango
Provitamin A
Carotenoids
Antioxidants Carrots
Dark leafy greens
Tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Broccoli
Cantaloupe
Apricots
Vitamin B complex Nourishes
Improves elasticity
Fish
Nuts
Beans
Poultry
Vitamin C Protects against damage from the sun
Collagen formation
Antioxidant
Citrus fruits
Kiwi fruit
Blackcurrants
Strawberries
Red and green peppers
Broccoli
Spinach
Vitamin E Protects against damage from the sun
Reduces wrinkles
Makes skin smoother
Sunflower seeds
Almonds
Peaches
Tomatoes
Cabbage
Avocados
Copper Improves elasticity
Collagen formation
Shellfish
Cashew nuts
Walnuts
Brazil nuts
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Shiitake mushrooms
Zinc Collagen production
Anti-inflammatory
Limits oil production
Oysters
Sesame seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Beef
Lentils
Walnuts
Chicken
Silica Collagen production
Improves elasticity
Helps heal wounds
Leeks
Cucumber
Asparagus
Strawberries
Selenium Improves elasticity
Protects against damage from the sun
Antioxidant
Brazil nuts
Seafood
Eggs
Garlic
Whole grains
Omega-3 Repairs damaged skin cells
Anti-inflammatory
Moisturises from within
Oily fish
Flaxseeds
Walnuts
Hyaluronic Acid Hydrates
Improves elasticity
Poultry
Liver
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Bananas

 

Need more help and support to improve your skin?

My personalised services can provide you with a report and action plan that is 100% tailored to your own needs to help you improve your skin.  Please see my Services page for further details, or contact me with your concerns.