The key to a healthy, more youthful skin lies beyond what soap you use. Your skin usually reflects your diet (1, 2), so whatever you eat is likely to have an instantaneous impact on your skin compared to what you apply topically. Yes, we know that run-away mascara or a perfectly applied foundation will give you a model’s look, but how can you get that indefinable show-stopping look without applying toxic products? It is all about beauty from the inside out!
According to Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and author of Feed Your Face, “What you eat can affect your hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation, which is associated with skin aging.”
Dr. Georgiana Donadio, Ph.D., DC, MSc, founder, and director of the National Institute of Whole Health in Boston also agrees that ‘your skin is the thumbprint of activities of your body from within!’
Based on Chinese and integrative medicine, every organ in our body is linked to an exterior feature. For example, our hair and nails are related to our kidneys, our eyes are a reflection of our livers, and the health of our skin is heavily linked to our hormonal and digestive system. So if these organs and systems do not function appropriately, whether due to toxicity, stress, infection, or nutritional deficiency, our exterior organs suffer. Need a beautiful skin? Mind what you eat!
Beauty from the Inside Out: Nutrients for Healthy Skin
Of all the information we have access to on skin and beauty, probably the gaudiest buzz may be what we have heard about the power of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients to give our skin a more glowing, healthy, and youthful spark.
We have assembled some of best nutrients for your skin and the best primary sources to get them. Read on!
As a very strong antioxidant, vitamin C helps diminishes oxidative stress to your body, while also reducing cancer risks (3). This nutrient is very important in body’s production of collagen, and this component is very essential in revitalizing aging skin and repairing photo-damaged skin. Research have shown that vitamin C is most effective when ingested orally, this way collagen is released faster in the body which mitigates the effects of radicals that helps maintain a more youthful skin (4). You can obtain this important nutrient from turnip greens, collard greens, red and green bell peppers, grapefruit, beet greens, acerola, guava, and broccoli.
Dr. Des Fernandez, the founder, and formulator of Environ once said, “Aging skin is a direct result of sun-induced vitamin A deficiency. Correct the deficiency and you’ll have a more radiant skin. ”
So, if you want to turn back the hands of time, vitamin A is your go to nutrient (5). This nutrient is also very crucial for skin repair and maintenance if you are suffering from the dry or flaky skin. You can directly obtain vitamin A from red peppers, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, beet greens, peaches, asparagus, collard greens, and liver.
Vitamin E is also a very important antioxidant, and in its purest form, it is very versatile (6). It has been used in skin care industry for a long period as a topical cream ingredient, but recent works have shown that this nutrient is very effective when ingested orally (6). As an antioxidant, Vitamin E help combats free radicals caused by sun exposure, processed foods, smoking, and pollution. If free radicals are not fought out of your body, you will be susceptible to early aging (7). You can obtain this nutrient from foods such as olives, oatmeal, spinach, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, asparagus, avocados, walnuts, eggs, and almonds.
Omaega-3 essential fatty acids are known to be anti-inflammatory. Regular consumption of these EFAs can significantly improve numerous inflammatory skin conditions and may also help eradicate stubborn acne (8). Besides, they help the skin remain supple and guard against premature wrinkles formation. Food sources rich in EFAs include chia seeds, flaxseeds, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and walnuts. Fish oil pill is also a great supplement.
Selenium and Zinc
These two trace minerals are very important to your skin. Selenium is a strong antioxidant mineral that helps in maintaining skin elasticity and firmness (9). It can also prevents acne and skin cancer. Zinc, on the other hand, help in healing wounds and repairing damaged tissues. It also protects your skin from harmful UVs (9). You can obtain selenium from poultry, brown rice, seafood, onions, herring, germ, wheat, liver, red snapper, and walnuts. Zinc can be acquired from poultry, whole grains, mushrooms, legumes, seafood, ginger, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and oysters.