You are what you eat.
If a genie granted me three wishes, you better bet one of them would be to possess flawless skin – and world peace, obviously.
My complexion isn’t terrible, but it’s also not perfect enough that I’d ever consider leaving the house without a light foundation on most days.
I’ve always used a wide range of skincare products on my face, and only recently found a cleanser, serum, and day/night cream combo that actually works for me, after finally figuring out my skin type, but the reality is, it’s not just about what you put on your skin, but what you nourish it with from within, that makes the difference.
In fact our diets have far greater an impact on our skin than most of us give them credit for. The wrong food can cause redness, blotchiness, congestion, breakouts, and dryness – to name a few. Drinking a lot of water is the bare minimum you can do for your complexion, but depending on your skin type, there are certain foods you should avoid, and others you should consume more of, ifv you really want to achieve an Instagram-worthy, healthy glow.
Skin expert and marketing manager for skincare brand, Murad, Emma Hindmarsh has always taken a holistic approach to healthy skin.
“As an organ, your body is there to act as a filter, aiding certain things to be absorbed and released, as well as stopping other things from being absorbed or released. As such, your diet plays a big role in your skincare regime, aiding your skin to look and feel more or less healthy, depending on your internal health,” says Hindmarsh.
So if you’ve tried dozens of skincare products and treatments, but are still struggling to achieve healthy skin, try incorporating these foods into your diet, according to your skin type…
1. Ageing skin
When it comes to more mature skin, you definitely want to stock up on bananas. The delish yellow fruit contains Vitamin C and B6, which help in maintaining elasticity and firmness of skin. High quantities of antioxidants also help to protect the skin from damage from free radicals, which leads to premature ageing.
Rich in good fats, which makes your skin glow with health and hydration, avocados should also be your friends. They contain lutein, which has potent antioxidant properties, ideal for protecting more delicate mature skin from further environmental damage.
And finally, if you have to reach for the herb cupboard next time you’re looking to spice things up, grab some rosemary. The fragrant herb is naturally anti-inflammatory and can help reduce puffiness and redness. It’s also known to enhance your mood through its stress-relieving aroma. Bonus!
2. Dry skin
Watermelon and other water-rich fruit and vegetables allow the body to absorb water and keep it hydrated for longer, so feel free to feast on the juicy Summer fruit if you’re prone to dry skin. Moreover, watermelons contain collagen-boosting properties that give dull skin a beautiful glow.
Zucchinis are also a water-rich fruit that contain Vitamins A, B and C to help fight free radicals and inflammation, which can be a concern for anyone experiencing dryness. Try cooking some up with olive oil, which is rich in Vitamin E and will help hydrate skin from the inside.
3. Sensitive skin
If you’re blessed with sensitive skin that reacts to everything, take heart: eating calming foods can dramatically reduce your sensitivity levels. Mint provides powerful digestive-calming properties which can help to reduce inflammation and bloating and soothe skin. Eat it in a fresh watermelon salad, or brew some fresh mint tea for maximum benefits.
Vitamin E-rich olive oil is ideal for improving your hydration-levels (dehydration can increase sensitivity) and also fights free radicals to reduce inflammation. It is best consumed virgin, pressed and unheated, to preserve its anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish and seed oils (like flaxseed) will also help to reduce sensitivity and inflammation.
But if you’re prone to sensitivity, take care not to overeat common allergens like gluten, dairy and food dyes, and look into getting tested for dietary intolerances and allergies with your doc if symptoms persist.
4. Oily and congested skin
As being 95 per cent water, cucumbers contain high levels of powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. As such, they help increase skin hydration (Note: hydration, not oil production), and reduce inflammation, which can be a concern for blemish-prone skin types.
Onions contain sulphur compounds that assist in detoxifying the system and they also have powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties to help the body combat breakouts and reduce redness, so embrace onion breath and throw a few in your next stir-fry.
Finally, when the sun rises, congested skin types should reach for grapefruit for breakfast. Not only is the tart fruit a low-glycemic food which is packed with water, fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C, it can help control oil internally.
And if you really want to see your skin quality improve, avoid high-glycemic foods like bread, pasta and refined sugars which cause inflammation and stimulate oil glands to produce more oil, leading to dreaded breakouts.
Images via tumblr.com and giphy.com.