We all believe in nourishing our bodies by eating healthy, but did you realise that what you eat can also affect your skin? As the body’s largest organ, it makes sense that it would be affected by the way we choose to nourish ourselves as well as how we treat it directly. There is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that your diet can affect your hormones, it can create or reduce inflammation or cause blemishes.
While having your skincare routine nailed down with the right products is important for looking after your skin, the food you eat can play a very crucial role in skin health. Pairing a healthy diet with your skincare routine can help you achieve the very best results possible for healthy, glowing skin.
So which foods should you be including in your diet, and what issues do they target?
For Dark Under-Eye Circles
Vitamin K found in pears, avocados, plums, and kiwi fruit help to heal the damaged capillaries and arteries in the thin skin layer around the eyes.
For Uneven Pigmentation
Vitamin B found in fish and garlic will help to combat redness by boosting circulation in the body, leaving behind a radiant complexion. Mackerel in particular, is one of the best sources of vitamin B12, containing 270% of what your body needs per day. Vegan sources of this vitamin include nutritional yeast, so getting a daily dose will help even out skin tone.
Vitamin A found in dark leafy greens and cantaloupe is the key to rejuvenating your skin and smoothing out fine lines and uneven skin tone, making it particularly helpful for those who have acne. Cooked pumpkin, as one of the top sources of beta-carotene, is also a good source of vitamin A, as the body converts beta-carotene into this wrinkle reducing vitamin.
Green tea has also shown to smooth skin and increase skin elasticity due to high levels of antioxidants. Studies showed that people who drank the tea daily for 12 weeks had improved skin and one quarter less sun damage when exposed to UV light compared to a control group. The antioxidants work to boost blood flow to the skin, delivering key nutrients to keep complexions healthy.
For Dull Skin
Vitamin A from carrots will keep your skin healthy and vibrant from their high beta carotene levels, which is an antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A inside the body. It helps repair skin tissue and protects against the sun’s harsh rays. Cooked carrots deliver even more skin–friendly beta carotene than raw ones.
For Dry Skin
Vitamin E found in mangos, almonds, broccoli, and spinach help to balance the skin’s moisture levels and work as an effective antioxidant to help fight free radicals in the body. Vitamins A, C, and E encourage cell and tissue growth to help the body repair itself throughout its constant shedding and growing cycles.
Additionally, walnuts supply significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which contain a fatty acid that helps reduce chances of eczema and dry, scaly skin.
Dark chocolate is also believed to aid in skin hydration and circulation due to the high level of cocoa flavanols.
For Sun-Damaged Skin
Vitamin C found in oranges, strawberries, and kiwi can help reverse some sun damage and prevent wrinkles and sagging, as well as brighten the overall skin tone due to the fact that it stimulates collagen production.
Kale aids sun damaged skin, with one cup containing 134% of your daily needs of vitamin C. It also contains nutrients that absorb and neutralise free radicals created by UV light (including wavelengths that get through sunscreen and reach your skin.
To Protect Against Future Sun Damage
Omega–3 fats found in fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and rainbow trout help fortify skin cell membranes, protect against sun damage, and may also reduce the risk of certain forms of skin cancer. The fats allow water and nutrients into the skin while keeping toxins out, and can also help fight inflammation.
Tomatoes are also believed to assist in improving the skin’s natural SPF, which is attributed to the antioxidant lycopene. Studies found that people who ate 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily along with almost a tablespoon of olive oil for 12 weeks, had 33% more protection from sunburn than a control group that just ate the olive oil. While this might help raise the skin’s natural SPF, it doesn’t mean you should forgo the sunscreen!