The best things you can do for your skin.
February 1, 2010 § 5 Comments
First things first, I really want to stick it to all those doctors who routinely assure poor, acne-ridden adolescents that pimples have absolutely nothing to do with diet. You can eat whatever you want, you can smear that big greasy burger all over your face and it isn’t going to change anything because hormones are the sole reason a blemish exists. Well, I think that we definitely need a more holistic approach, because what we put into our bodies and feed ourselves, if toxic, will manifest itself on the outside – good nutrition is definitely a major step towards beautiful skin. Of course, sometimes if you’re on the wrong pill or have hormonal imbalances this is going to make things tough for you, so go and seek medical help and implement a plan, but certainly don’t discredit the place of food in healing the skin.
So these are the things i have personally found to help my skin keeping in mind that over the years, while never having severe acne, i have suffered from bouts of cystic acne that are very stubborn and hard to treat. Now, i very very rarely get a spot and if i do, it’s less inflamed and heals in a couple of days.
1. Proper hydration.
Yes yes, i know that every celebrity, model and actress cites ‘2 litres of water a day’ as their miracle source of radiance and beauty, but there is a lot to be said for proper hydration and getting enough fluids. This is so so important for every aspect of health, not just skin, but i notice the more water i drink, the more it impacts positively on the look and feel of my skin.
I really believe in the power of the walnut. When i started introducing them into my diet, i genuinely noticed that my skin looked dewey the next morning if i had eaten them the night before. Similarly, my mum loves them and has felt the improvement in the texture and quality of her own skin. (As a side note, for those people conscious of calories and weight, these are a very calorie dense food, so please don’t go out and eat a whole packet if you are trying to lose some kilos. I think a handful a day is enough, so just be mindful…But don’t let me put you off! Good fats are amazing! Be alert but not alarmed people.)
Omega-3’s in general though are probably one of the best things you can include for healthy skin (and hair, and nails, and insides!), so this includes Chia seeds (my FAVOURITE), ocean-derived fish & krill oils (that the vego’s won’t have), and even things like Basil, Broccoli and Spinach. Get them into you!
3. Nuts & seeds
Brazil nuts for example contain selenium which helps improve skin elasticity and ward off infections. Pumpkin seeds have zinc that helps repair the skin and promotes cell regeneration. Sunflower seeds have high amount of Vitamin E, which slows the aging process… All amazing foods that make great snacks, or can be used in smoothies, salads, breakfasts or whatever your brilliant creative heads can conjure.
4. RAW FRUIT AND VEGETABLE JUICES!
I’ve only been having these regularly for the past couple of weeks, but oh my goodness golly gosh fair dinkum wowzer these are the best thing you can do for yourself, and your skin. Live foods (which haven’t been cooked, processed, packaged etc) are so amazing for your body and in turn, your complexion, i cannot stress enough how much you should try to include fresh vegetable/fruit juice in your daily diet. Even after a couple of days, i started craving a big fresh juice at around 11am every day, and now it’s the perfect mid-morning snack. They make you feel so energetic and best of all, if you’re like me and often wonder how on earth you can get 5-7 serves of veggies a day, these will amp up your intake so you can feel closer to actually meeting those guidelines. Your skin will drink it up.
Berries are high in anti-oxidants which we all know help to slow aging and prevent free-radical damage, but some moreso than others. Goji berries for example (which you can get at your local supermarket, and are little bright red shrivelled things that taste a bit like a sweet crayon) have an ORAC value (a measurement of the total active antioxidants present in a food) of over 90 000 per 100g. This number probably doesn’t mean much to you, and it really doesn’t to me either, but in comparison to say strawberries which have a value of under 10 000, it puts it in perspective. So i like to add Goji berries wherever i can – if you can’t get used to the taste they are less noticable in muesli’s and desserts. But i’ve also found that there is something about Blueberries that makes skin radiant as well. Not sure of the science behind it, maybe it’s just the antioxidant factor, but they seem to make your skin feel lovely and soft and positively delectable.
6. Green Tea
I’ve talked about this fantastic beverage before so i won’t dwell on it, but basically the Chinese used to prescribe it as a cure for acne, and it seems to have an amazing cleansing effect that is great for the skin. It is another antioxidant superpower, so if you’re not already, embrace your inner nanna and get sipping on some tea dears.
7. Good quality skin care
Fran at High on Health, creator of one of the most inspirational and amazing health blogs i’ve come across, sells and promotes beautiful natural skin care products that come from nature, and are gentle and non-abrasive. I’m not quite there yet with using purely natural products, like manuka honey and such, but what i would like to say is that whichever way you choose to look after your skin, it is important to pay it attention and give it some love! Cleanse and moisturise day and night, exfoliate, and most of all, don’t subject your skin to those cheap, harsh 8-hour fixes that are never going to help you in the long run. I personally use Dermalogica which was developed by the International Dermal Institute and is therefore properly endorsed by skin experts who know what they’re talking about. The ‘Special Cleansing Gel’ is brilliant, and both my flatmate and i use it, and have found it excellent for our combination skin that may be prone to break-outs. I also use their ‘Active Moist’ moisturiser which is equally as effective. You can get Dermalogica from beauticians and in David Jones, and once you know what product suits you, you can buy it online for a reeeeaaaly good saving. Skincare Store is awesome. Low prices, free shipping and i’ve never had a problem with them.
I think that’s it for now – i hope you’ve seen some things you might include in your own diets and good luck with the results!