The minute you make mention of skin care, everyone thinks about cleansing, toning, moisturizing, SPF, and while all of those things are important aspects of skincare, what many do not realize is, just how much your diet plays a significant role in the appearance of your skin. The truth is, the skin is also a part of your body and it needs the required nutrients to carry out its function. The skin naturally regenerates on its own and needs a steady supply of nutrients to do so. In order to have your skin looking youthful and radiant, you need to make sure your body meets the adequate nutrients needed by the skin.
We’ve all heard of the saying; “you are what you eat”. Well that is a fact.
I’m sure you have walked into beauty stores or drug stores and seen supplements for better glowing skin. These supplements are usually just vitamins that your body needs in order for it to be healthy. They are vitamins that can easily be found in food, but the beauty industry banks on the fact that people do not usually look into the diet when it comes to achieving better looking skin. This way they sell to you exactly what you would get from your food and still have the same results. In case you were wondering, they do work only if you were deficient in the nutrients in the first place, but if your diet is up to the part, you will usually not see a difference.
Thankfully, a lot of people are really starting to acknowledge how diet affects their skin, by noticing things that could be causing their skin to act up. Some even swear by going vegan. The thing is, certain foods improve your skin, while certain foods can cause your skin to react badly. Your skin having a bad reaction can be anything from having dark circles, breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, and or eczema.
When it comes to food causing a bad reaction on the skin, it is usually very specific to each individual. The good thing is, there is a list of foods that could be causing these reactions and one can pin point for themselves which in particular they react to. As for the foods that are good for the skin and promote healthy growth, they are pretty universal. This means, as long as your body has these vitamins in your system your skin is sure to flourish.
In the past there have been some back and forth on whether the food you eat can affect the appearance of your skin. Rajani Katta, MD and Samir P. Desai, MD carried out a research; Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease, which explains in depth how diet does in fact play a major role in how the skin looks. There are also several doctors/dermatologists that are of the opinion that what you eat has an effect on what your skin looks like.
Dr. Jessica wolf has a book titled; feed your face: the 28 day plan for younger, smoother skin and a beautiful body. In that book she emphasizes the importance of the food we consume and how it can affect the skin, either positively or negatively. According to Dr. Jessica wu, what you put in your mouth is just as important as the products you apply on your skin.
Foods that are bad for your skin
Before we get into the foods you need to be eating for better skin health, let’s go through the list of the food that could be causing your skin to act up. This way you can monitor your skin to see if it reacts to any of them.
Sugar does not directly cause you to break out, but because it is high on glycemic index, it converts quickly into glucose which spikes up your insulin levels. Insulin forces your body to produce more androgen hormones which causes or aggravates already existing acne and inflammation. Sugar and foods that are high in sugar may affect your skin negatively. Sugar foods include; Soda, sugar sweetened beverages, sweeteners cane sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave.
Milk has been linked to severity in acne especially when consumed regularly. Milk increases insulin levels which can cause acne. Cow milk contains amino acid which is linked to acne production. Other dairy products are something to watch out for as well, although there are no scientific findings on it, just peoples feedback.
Studies have shown that people who consume more refined grains such as bread, crackers, or desserts made with white flour have increased risk of having spiked blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin increases the chances of having acne, and the severity of it. Refined grains include; Bread (burger, hotdog, etc), cereal, crackers, white pasta, white rice, rice noodles. most fast foods.
Whey protein powder/ protein bar
Whey protein contains amino acid which causes the skin cells to regenerate at a rapid rate leading to acne. It also stimulates high insulin production in the body, this triggers and aggravates acne.
Foods that improve healthy skin
Here are some foods you should eat more of, for better healthy skin. Eating these foods boost your skin health, while lack of these foods in your diet can easily be cause for skin problems too. In other words, try to maximize on them.
Vitamin C, A, E, D and zinc
Vitamin C helps in production of collagen which the skin needs to be healthy. It specifically brightens and evens out skin tone by getting rid of hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. Foods rich in vitamin C are; blueberries, broccoli, guava, blackcurrant, kiwi, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin A helps the skin to heal itself. It is also good to reduce dark spots, even out skin tone and flattening wrinkles. Best sources of vitamin A are: eggs, cod liver oil, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified skim milk, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits, dark green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E protects the skin from damages and promotes healthy skin growth. Foods rich in vitamin E are; almonds, avocado, hazelnut, pine nuts and sunflower.
Vitamin D is very good for skin repair and prevents skin aging. Foods rich in vitamin D are; oily fish [salmon, mackerel, sardines], red meat, liver, egg yolk.
Zinc promotes skin repair and better skin texture. Foods that contain zinc are; fish, lean red meat, whole grains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.
Green tea is an antioxidant which improves your health and protects it from sun damage and aging. Green tea also improves skin texture and reduces the chance of getting fine lines and wrinkles by boosting skin elasticity. You can either consume it or apply topically, either ways it does wonders to the skin.
Vegetables are packed with antioxidants which help protect the skin from damages that can be caused by smoking, pollution and sunlight. These antioxidants protect the skin from wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. vegetables also help with skin regeneration which makes your skin look radiant.
Keeping hydrated by drinking water makes your skin look more radiant and the texture smoother, supple and soft to touch. It also washes out toxins reducing chances of having acne.
Healthy fats improve skin elasticity and natural moisture. It makes your skin texture look more smooth and supple. Healthy fats are usually packed with vitamin E which protects the skin from damage. These healthy fats can be found in; Avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds.
Omega-3 are fatty acids that can only be obtained through diet. It helps with skin inflammation on certain skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Omega-3 can be found in fish and plants sources such as Chia seeds, walnuts and rapeseed oil.
I hope you found this enlightening. See you in the comment section 💋
Much Love ❤️
Hauwa Sami 🌷