Craving clear skin? Your food cravings may have something to do with your dermal condition. Though topical creams and cosmetic procedures can dramatically improve the look and feel of your skin, it is most effective and healthy to take an inside-out approach to your skincare routine. By examining the foods we put into our bodies, it’s easier to manage your breakouts and wrinkles to achieve healthy skin.
When we talk about treatments for our skin, the conversation generally revolves around topical ointments, cleansers, or cosmetic procedures that can give us our optimal glow. However, there’s a more fundamental way you can be approaching your skincare routine that will give you not just the appearance of beautiful skin, but the healthy skin itself. Your skin’s glow actually starts from within. By examining the ways in which we nurture or irritate our skin through our diet, we can create a sustainable foundation for our skin to age beautifully.
You’ve heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. The nutrients you feed your body lends itself to your overall health. Your skin can be a great metric for your physical state, keep it vibrant by feeding your body these healthy skin superfoods!
Skincare Superfood to Stock Your Fridge With Now
Every millennial’s favorite vegetable, they are good for more than an #avocadotoast Instagram. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat. Our bodies need fat to sustain themselves, and monounsaturated are the more healthy form of fat. Nutrients from this fat give our skin moisture and elasticity (Read: fight aging). Avocados are also a great source of antioxidants, namely vitamin E which prevents oxidation damage in the skin. As it turns out, the guacamole costs extra for good reason.
Just like when you were a kid, it’s still important to eat your broccoli! Broccoli is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals; zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The leafy florets also contain sulforaphane, which can help prevent oxidation of the skin and is believed to prevent skin cancer.
You say tom-may-to, I say to-ma-to – either way, it’s important to include them on your skincare diet. Tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamin C and other carotenoids, which are key to preventing skin oxidation. The nutrients in tomatoes protect your skin from the sun and prevent wrinkles.
While lighter chocolates saturated with refined sugars can trigger a breakout, dark chocolate actually has great properties for your skin. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains antioxidants that give you thicker, more moisturized skin. Research has found that regularly consuming dark chocolate can double your body’s ability to withstand UV rays. [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25116848].
Who doesn’t love a comforting cup of tea? Include drinking a mug of green tea as a part of your nightly routine. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which strengthens your skin’s ability to resist damage from the sun, much like dark chocolate. Catechins found in green tea are essentially super antioxidants that reduce redness, promote hydration, elasticity, and collagen in the skin. Bonus points if you add lemon to your tea, which will give you an extra boost of vitamin C to fight skin damage.
Avoid These Skin-Damaging Foods Like the Plague
A slave to your sweet tooth? It’ time to cut the candy if you want a healthy glow. Any processed sugar is bad news for your skin, and candy is the ultimate overload of sweetener. Sugar-dense candies trigger breakouts and degrade the elasticity of your skin. Instead, substitute in fruit, which has natural sugars that aren’t nearly as detrimental to your skin. Try satisfying your cocoa cravings with a darker chocolate. Dark chocolates have antioxidants that give your skin a pick-me-up, rather than dulling your vitality and spurring breakouts.
Got milk? Well, hopefully not. Due to modern agriculture practices, milk can be full of growth hormones. These synthetic growth hormones can trigger major breakouts. If you want to avoid ingesting artificial growth hormones, opt for organic milk or a dairy-free option. Go the extra mile for your skin by adding soy to your diet, which is great for bringing out your natural glow. Swap your conventional milk for a soy-based substitute – your skin will thank you!
Chips and Salty Snacks
As easy as it can be to smash a bag of Fritos during a Netflix binge, the salty snacking does a number on your skin. Mindless munching on sodium-dense foods can damage the collagen in your skin. Excessive sodium consumption will accelerate the aging process and increase the number of wrinkles. Beware of the sodium-rich snacking options and you will be on your way to healthy skin.
Juice and Soda
Though you may think you’re making a health-conscious choice by reaching for an orange-peach juice punch, the reality is fruit juices are usually from concentrate and packed with sugar. Even juices that are billed as organic or boast about having no artificial sweeteners have naturally occurring sugars from the fruit itself. Soda is a cesspool of refined sugars and should be regarded as a sweet treat rather than a casual beverage. These sugary beverages are leaving a fiber-less void in your diet.
While cutting out your morning coffee entirely is not feasible, consider trying to reduce your caffeine intake. Reduce the effects by alternating each cup with a glass of water. Coffee is a natural diuretic, and while this is good news for your digestive system, this means it also dehydrates cells. Moisturized skin cells give us our natural glow, and without the collagen, we tend to develop fine lines.
The Skinny on Your Complexion
Making these slight dietary adjustments can have instrumental impacts on your skin health. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body, so it is wise to invest in your complexion for reasons that extend far beyond aesthetics.
In addition to focusing on these specific foods, consider taking a supplement to enhance your skin and nails. Biotin is a vitamin that helps make up enzymes which break down fat, carbohydrates, and other substances. Incorporating this supplement into your diet will ensure that your skin is receiving vital nutrients, even if your diet isn’t rich with avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, dark chocolate, and green tea.
If you’ve adopted this healthy skin care diet and you still aren’t getting the results you want, there are always more aggressive treatment options. At the Kovak Cosmetic Center, we work with each patient to evaluate their needs and present them a personalized plan. From oily to aging, we work with the entire spectrum of skin-related ailments. Our expert team is Chicagoland’s authority on cosmetic treatments. Our practice is led by Dr. Stanley Kovak, M.D., who pioneered the use of laser technology in cosmetics and is a national authority on skincare. If you’re curious about what solutions the Kovak Cosmetic Center may be able to offer you, check out our virtual consultation for a preliminary assessment of your skin’s needs.