How Nutrition Impacts Skin Health.-
By: Niwrka P. - Skincare Professional | Digital Content Creator.-
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While we can’t see what is happening inside our body, the effects of what we eat show up on our skin, most prominently on our faces. Our skin is the largest organ of our body and has to put up with all the wear and tear of daily life. While beauty and skin care products can protect you from outside pollutants that can damage your skin, they can't help correct the issues that arise from a poor, unbalanced diet, such as acne, inflammation, dullness, and signs of aging.
So keep reading if you want to understand exactly how your diet can affect your skin health, what food to include, and what to avoid. Hopefully, this information will help you make smarter, healthier choices for your skin health.
Acne and Inflammation
While acne is more common in teenagers and has been linked to hormonal changes and stress, it is also aggravated by a poor diet. According to dermatologists, processed food with high levels of refined carbohydrates and sugars can increase the chances of breakouts in teens and adults.
These foods are high on the glycemic index, meaning they digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. These spikes affect hormone levels, explicitly increasing androgen, stimulating sebum production in the skin, and clogging pores. Another side effect of high insulin levels is mild and severe inflammation that can increase the frequency of breakouts and the time it takes for acne to heal.
Reducing your intake of foods high in the glycemic index can make a difference. So say goodbye to processed snacks and bread, and avoid sugary drinks. Instead, look for whole grain options like whole wheat and oats and natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey.
A diet rich in vitamin A can help treat spots by promoting the skin cycle, meaning pores are less likely to get blocked. Salmon, fish oil, broccoli, spinach, and carrots are all great sources of vitamin A.
Dull, Dry Skin
Our body is 60% water, so we must stay constantly hydrated, drinking at least 10 cups of water a day. When our body doesn’t have enough water, it draws water out from the cells, dehydrating our skin cells and making them look dry and dull.
Another fact to remember is the top layer of our skin is exposed to all the external elements that can dry it out. So this top layer is made from various fats, known as lipids, that act as a barrier to keep the moisture. If you are not getting enough healthy fats in your diet, your skin doesn’t have the materials it needs to make the best barrier possible again, resulting in dull, dry skin.
So reevaluate your diet, even if you are following a low-fat diet, and make sure you are getting plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids and essential oils. These are found in fish like sardines, salmon, and other kinds of seafood like shrimp and oysters. Seeds and nuts like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cashews. Also, add foods rich in B-complex vitamins (B2, B6, and B12) to increase cell repair and water retention, like milk, cheese, eggs, whole grains, and leafy greens.
Sunlight emits UV (ultraviolet) light, and while this sunlight helps produce Vitamin D, too much can harm your skin cells and cause damage like sunburns. While our body has the internal processes to heal from this damage, too much exposure can lead to permanent discoloration and spots. Another issue is that these UV rays penetrate the skin cells and produce free radicals that can circulate in your body, wreaking havoc by destroying other cells and causing cancer.
A diet rich in vitamins C and E can be highly beneficial here, and they can calm inflammation, reverse the effects of sun damage and boost antioxidant protection. Include more citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges in your diet to increase vitamin C. tomatoes, spinach, and red peppers are also excellent sources. You can get vitamin E from leafy greens like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. Seafood and vegetable oils like olive oil are also rich in vitamin E.
Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Our skin is often the first part of our body to show signs of aging, as it loses its elasticity and starts to sag, creating fine lines and wrinkles. A poor diet can increase the speed of aging because of long-term deficiency in essential nutrients.
While we can’t stop aging, we can slow it down by adding protein to our diets, such as meat and chicken, that can tighten our skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines. Also, foods rich in vitamin C and E, like oranges, grapefruits, spinach, tomatoes, seeds, and nuts, can promote healing and collagen production to keep our skin soft, supple, and elastic.
Staying hydrated will also slow the aging process, so make it a habit to drink water and avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine which all cause dehydration.
What you put in your body can transform how your skin feels and looks, taking years off your appearance, but it will not happen overnight. You must commit to changing your eating habits and cutting out processed foods and refined sugars. Whether eating out with friends or at home, always look for a healthier option incorporating plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, seafood, healthy fats, and whole grains.
When you make this change, the best part is that your beauty products will apply smoother and more evenly, and your skincare will be more effective, taking that inner glow to the next level.
Until Next Time!
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Author: Niwrka P.
Content Creator | over a decade of experience in the beauty industry.
Passionate about Design and Esthetics!