I’m sure most of us have heard the term ” You are what you eat.” this not only pertains to how you feel physically, but also how you look because our skin is a direct reflection of what we eat on a daily basis. Both internal and external factors ( such as pollution, genetics, and stress) play a role in determining how our skin looks at any given time and our diet also plays a role in skin health.
Whether you deal with acne flare-ups, deal with dryness or are lucky enough to have a refreshing glow, there are foods that can either help your complexion or hinder it. AEDIT.com did some excellent research on this topic and allowed me to share it with my readers. From healthy fats that hydrate the skin, to anti inflammatory foods to combat acne, there are certain foods that affect the look of your skin.
You’ve probably been told to avoid dairy if you have breakouts as well as greasy foods and refined sugar ( junk food). Loading up on foods that are good for you and drinking plenty of water can make a huge difference in your complexion. What are the best foods to eat for your skin type? AEDIT.com asked the experts.
Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands producing too much sebum. Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the body that exists as a means to lubricate the hair and skin. “Under each of our pores is a sebaceous gland that produces sebum. This helps the skin stay healthy and hydrated,” says Sapna Palep M.D a board certified dermatologist at Spring Street Dermatology in New York City. “There are many causes of oily skin, including genetics, age, where you live, time of year, enlarged pores, using the wrong skincare products, overdoing your skincare routine, or skipping your moisturizer. Oily skin is complex with many causes. It’s also possible to have more than one cause of oily skin.”
There are so many reasons for oily skin but there are a few things you can do from a diet perspective to slow down oily production. According to NYC-based nutrition expert and registered dietitian Brooke Alpert, the best thing any person can do — regardless of whether or not they have oily skin — is to avoid sugar. “Not only can added sugars cause premature aging by producing glycation end products (AGEs) they can also influence an overproduction of sebum by increasing the IGF-1 hormone,” warns the B Nutrious founder. “Adding in high quality CBD, like Daily Habit is also beneficial, as it may help decrease oil production.”
- Green Veggies
- Low Glycemic Index Foods
- CBD Supplements
- Chick Peas
- Refined Sugar ( processed sweets, candy, soda, etc.)
- High Glycemic Index Foods
- White Rice & White Bread
For some dry skin may be a seasonal issue such as winters cold arid air, but other factors can contribute to a dry complexion. Overly hot baths and showers can actually dry out the skin. Irritating soaps, detergents, and shampoos can be so strong they actually strip the skin and hair of oils and you lose moisture in your skin.
“Dry skin can be caused by many factors, but most often it is due to the skin barrier being compromised by harsh products, dry climate, excessive water exposure, malnutrition, or aging,” says board certified dermatologist Yoon-Sue Cindy Bae M.D of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.
“There is usually an imbalance of lipids between the skin cells and an imbalance of various proteins resulting in the impairment of the skin moisture barrier.” Not only is it important to use a gentle cleanser and good moisturizer on dry skin, incorporating the correct nutrients in your diet can promote healthy more hydrated skin. “For dry skin, it’s important to make sure you’re properly hydrated with enough fluids, ideally just water,” Alpert says. “A diet of anti-inflammatory foods that are also high in healthy fats — like salmon, avocado, olive oil, nuts — would be potentially beneficial as well.”
- Olive Oil
- Water Rich Foods ( Celery, Cucumber, Watermelon)
- Refined Sugar ( Candy, Sweets, Processed Foods, Soda)
Bloating & Puffiness
No one likes to look in the mirror and see a puffy face, not to mention the bloating in your stomach area or legs and feet. There are times I have looked in the mirror and my eyes are puffy. Not a good look. “As we get older the tissue, blood vessel walls, and the muscles around the eye all weaken,” Dr. Palep explains. “Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy.
Also, you get more blood plasma leakage from the blood vessels as the walls weaken. The combination of all this in addition to poor lymphatic drainage leads to puffiness.” For younger patients who are looking to get rid of the puffiness around the eyes from a late night out, or older ones looking to avoid just another issue of aging eyes, Alpert advises them to watch their salt intake. Also, she says its important to remember that water intake isn’t just about how much water you drink, but also getting water from water rich foods to boost hydration levels to combat bloating.
- Fermented Foods (i.e. kombucha, kimchi, kefir)
- Water-Rich foods (think: cucumbers, celery, berries)
- Whole Grains
- Dairy (milk and cheeses)
- Soy and Teriyaki Sauce
- High-Sodium foods (like pretzels, chips, processed meats)
As we’ve already learned, there are a number of factors that go into determining your skin type, and the same goes for acne prone skin. As Dr. Bae explains, sebum from the sebaceous glands plays a role in acne, especially when the sebum gets mixed with dead skin cells. The interaction of sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells clog pores that lead to acne. Comedones ( white heads & black heads) form when the skin cells that should’ve shed are retained.
Another culprit is diet. As Dr. Bae explains, new research shows that people who consume high glycemic index foods and certain types of dairy have shown a propensity for developing acne. But she notes that more studies will be needed to fully elucidate this link. For those with acne prone skin stress or sugary foods can cause a break out.
The list of foods to avoid seems long, but so is the foods that are good for your complexion. Alpert encourages an anti-inflammatory diet focusing on omega3-fatty acids which she says has been shown to reduce inflammation which is a common cause of acne and blemishes. To improve the symptoms of acne, she recommends pasture-raised eggs and fish since they are good sources of the essential fatty acid.
- Seafood (like salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies)
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Chia Seeds
- White Bread and White Rice
- High Glycemic Index and High-Sodium foods
- Refined Sugar (i.e. candy, sweets, processed foods, soda, etc.)
Combat Signs Of Aging
Sunscreen is a must when it comes to fighting aging skin. Your diet is equally important. Every meal you eat should become part of your anti aging routine. We know that environmental pollution and free radical damage contribute to age spots, fine lines and wrinkles so just like your antioxidant serum can help combat these so can a diet rich in powerful antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E.
You can check out my article here on foods to help your skin glow. Good sources of Vitamin A include meat, fish, and poultry. Veggies such as kale, sweet potatoes, and carrots are great too. Vitamin E can be found in most green vegetables, certain kinds of seafood, nuts (particularly sunflower seeds and almonds), and vegetable oils, while citrus fruits and leafy greens will go a long way toward upping your vitamin C intake.
- Vitamin E-rich foods (like green vegetables, nuts, seafood, vegetable oils)
- Vitamin A-rich foods (think: meat, fish, poultry, dairy)
- Vitamin C-rich foods (i.e. citrus fruits and leafy greens)
- White Bread and White Rice
- High Glycemic Index foods
- Refined Sugar ( candy, soda, sweets, processed foods)
Whatever skin type you have, the main idea here is eating a well-balanced diet with more natural foods and less junk such as processed foods will ensure that not only your body will feel its best, but it will show in your complexion as well. Eating foods rich in antioxidants and staying hydrated will definitely help at any age. Start now and get a head start on anti aging and optimal health. Thanks to AEDIT.com for allowing me to share this with my readers. Have you incorporated these foods into your diet? Have you noticed results? I would love to hear any comments you have!