Looking after your diet checks a lot of boxes for your overall health. It manages your weight, energy levels, and brain functionality. Well, the health of your skin should be added to that list of benefits. Vitamin C is great for brightening your skin, and antioxidants in SPF are powerful in protecting your skin from sun damage…imagine what those vitamins and antioxidants can do for you when you're eating them too. This obviously doesn’t mean dishing up your face cream and eating it! But what you consume day to day does affect your skin health.
How a healthy diet can improve your skin health
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, accounting for approximately 16% of your total body weight, andt is also easily influenced by what you eat.Proper nutrition supplies your skin with the materials it needs to maintain a healthy skin cycle. That means eating a variety of healthy, whole foods that include a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
What does the skin actually do?
- Protects against UV radiation & pathogens.
- Prevents loss of moisture maintaining cellular hydration and electrolyte balance.
- Regulates body temperature
- Plays a role in converting Vitamin D from sunlight
- Excretes sebum, sweat and waste from the body
What is happening with your skin is often a reflection on what is happening within your body. Skin inflammation, breakouts or sensitivity can indicate internal imbalances such as inflammation, stress, food intolerances or nutrient deficiencies. There are many natural and nutrient dense foods that can support skin health and in turn help to promote internal balance and homeostasis.
Changes in your diet that may help your skin
Skin conditions can be a sign that the body is needing extra internal support with nutrient dense foods.
Rosacea: a common inflammatory skin condition has been shown to be associated with gastrointestinal inflammation. A large clinical trial in Denmark showed a high prevalence of gluten intolerance or an imbalance in the beneficial microbes in the gut.
Supporting digestion with the use of fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut or coconut kefir can help to reduce inflammation.
Keratosis Pilaris: a condition involving excess production of keratin causing red & dry bumps usually on the arms, thighs or bottom has been linked to a deficiency in Vitamin A.
Cold pressed cod liver oil contains large amounts of bioavailable Vitamin A supporting skin cell turnover.
Acne: a common condition can be caused by an imbalance of hormones leading to an excess production of testosterone that increases oil and bacterial production in the skin leading to inflammation and breakouts. There are many studies that patients with acne have lower levels of Zinc in their blood.
Zinc is a mineral abundant in oysters, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cashew nuts and pasture raised poultry. Research has shown that increasing Zinc can improve acne. Interestingly Zinc can also help to balance hormone levels.
Skin ageing: You may be aware that topical antioxidants can help prevent and improve the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Adopting a diet rich in antioxidants can also help to prevent cellular ageing. When it comes to antioxidants the latest research has shown increasing the antioxidants known as ‘bioflavonoids’ in your diet can prevent and slow down the ageing of the skin.
Bioflavonoids are polyphenol compounds abundant in plants. Introduce an array of colourful fruits and vegetables in your meals. Consume berries, leafy greens such as spinach, citrus fruits and bell peppers. Adding ground or fresh turmeric to salad dressings, soups or stews is also a great way to increase the powerful bioflavonoid curcumin.
Vitamins and nutrients that will help your skin glow
When it comes to supporting skin health, there is an array of nutrients required to support this vital organ.
The top 5 nutrients required for optimal skin turnover and regeneration include;
- B vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Zinc & Selenium
- Essential fatty acids
- Amino acids (protein broken down by digestion)
The great news is that adopting a varied diet rich in whole foods provides all of these nutrients. Focus on introducing three cups of diverse, seasonal vegetables to each meal and be sure to include protein and healthy fats as these are the building blocks of your skin cells. Healthy digestion and metabolism is required for these nutrients to make it to the skin cells. Eating in a relaxed state and chewing your food can aid in the absorption and delivery of these nutrients.
Renude’s Top Tips for Nutritional Skin Health
At Renude we highly recommend keeping a skin diary, to log the changes you gradually see when introducing or removing ingredients and to monitor how reactive your skin is. Why not try to keep a food diary too?
Take our 3 minute skin health quiz as the first step in receiving a personalised skin care routine that’s set to your budget. You can book into a free consultation to speak to one of our aestheticians at a time that suits you, or just upload your photos.