There is a strong connection between what we eat and the health of our skin. Though genetics do play a role, the foods that we choose to put into our body can significantly impact our complexions. Many of us care for our skin by investing in carefully researched skincare products like serums, moisturisers, and cleansers without giving a second thought to how our diet can negatively or positively impact our skin.
The skin is our largest organ, comprised of over 35 billion cells. The skin acts as a shield, protecting us from the elements and is the first line of defence against infection. While skincare products benefit our skin from the outside, a healthy diet can help to nourish our skin from the inside. Here are 10 foods to incorporate into your diet for healthy, luminous skin.
Top foods for skin health
Other healthy habits
Aside from eating a diet rich in the nutrients mentioned above, here are some tips to keep your skin looking amazing all year long…
Staying hydrated is vital for keeping your skin looking fresh and radiant. Water is necessary for the transportation of nutrients and oxygen, the removal of waste, and for important metabolic reactions in the body. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your skin cells hydrated, resulting in a youthful appearance. Dehydration can lead to dry and flaky skin and a dull complexion. To add natural flavour to your water, infuse your drink with different combinations of fruits and herbs. Delicious pairings like mint and ginger or lemon and blueberries will add a fantastic twist to plain old water.
A diet high in sugar can take a toll on skin health. One harmful consequence of a sugar-laden diet is the damaging effects of glycation. Glycation is a natural process that takes place in the body that forms harmful molecules called advanced glycation end products. Collagen and elastin, which are vital proteins that keep your skin looking young and full, are particularly vulnerable to the process of glycation. A diet high in sugar leads to high amounts of advanced glycation end products that damage these proteins. This can make the skin less resilient and more susceptible to ageing.18 Avoiding packaged and processed foods and eating a diet rich in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and lean proteins can help cut back on the amount of added sugar in your diet.
Drink alcohol in moderation:
Alcoholic beverages can have a place in a healthy, well-rounded diet. However, frequent alcohol consumption negatively impacts skin health in a number of ways. Alcohol makes us urinate more frequently due to its diuretic effects, leading to dehydration. Alcohol also blocks a hormone called vasopressin, which helps the body to reabsorb water. This one-two punch causes us to become dehydrated and can lead to a dull and dry skin.
When you are celebrating with a cocktail or two, help your skin by staying hydrated between drinks with a glass of water.
Get adequate sleep:
Not getting the recommended amount of sleep per night could wreak havoc on your complexion. When you sleep, your body is working to repair damaged cells, rehydrate the body, and eliminate toxins from the skin. The night is also the time that your body replaces the collagen and hyaluronic acid that is broken down during the day. Increased circulation and oxygen flow during the sleep cycle and increases the rate at which the body repairs damaged skin cells. Lack of rest can lead to puffy eyes, with dark circles underneath and a dull complexion.19 Chronic sleep deprivation can even lead to the degradation of collagen, resulting in a saggy skin. To keep your skin looking healthy, aim for 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Take home message
There are many things that you can do to increase the health of your skin. Eating a diet rich in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats help to nourish your skin from the inside out. Limiting the intake of processed and sugary foods can help to combat the premature aging associated with glycation. Adequate hydration and rest are also critical for a radiant complexion.
Of course, nurturing your skin from the outside is equally important. A healthy skin care routine that includes beneficial, naturally effective ingredients like those found in griffin+row products is essential for the gorgeous complexion that we all desire.
References and Sources:
- Dreher, D. and Davenport, A. 2013 May 2 Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
- Association of dietary fat, vegetables and antioxidant micronutrients with skin ageing in Japanese women British Journal of Nutrition (2010), 103, 1493–1498 doi:10.1017/S0007114509993461 https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/56684BEDBFE3C4A13F20629EB4BF2507/S0007114509993461a.pdf/div-class-title-association-of-dietary-fat-vegetables-and-antioxidant-micronutrients-with-skin-ageing-in-japanese-women-div.pdf
- Oregon State University Vitamin C and Skin Health Alexander J. Michels http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C
- Retinoids in the treatment of skin aging: an overview of clinical efficacy and safety https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699641/
- National Institutes of Health: Selenium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Effects of Oral Glutathione Supplementation on Systemic Oxidative Stress Biomarkers in Human Volunteers https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3162377/
- Dermato Endocrinology: Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
- Deeb,K,, Trump, D., Johnson, C., Nature Reviews: Cancer: Vitamin D signalling pathways in cancer: potential for anticancer therapeutics http://www.nature.com/nrc/journal/v7/n9/full/nrc2196.html
- Chandrasekaran, N.C., Weir. C., Alfraji. S., Grice. J., Roberts. M.S., Barnard. R.T., Effects of magnesium deficiency–more than skin deep https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928863
- Rinnerthaler, M., Streubel, MK., Bischof, J., Richter, K., Skin aging, gene expression and calcium https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25262846
- Santosh K. Katiyar, Green tea prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077767/
- Heinrich. U., Moore CE, De Spirt S, Tronnier H, Stahl, W Green tea polyphenols provide photoprotection, increase microcirculation, and modulate skin properties of women https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21525260
- Nazanin Roohani, Richard Hurrell, Roya Kelishadi, Rainer Schulin Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3724376/
- Rizwan M, Rodriquez-Blanco, Harbottle A, Birch-Machin MA, Watson RE, Rhodes LE, Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854436
- G Marquez Balbas, M Sanchez Regana, P Umbert Millet Study on the use of omega-3 fatty acids as a therapeutic supplement in treatment of psoriasis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133503/
- Williams JD, Jacobson EL, Kim H, Kim M, Jacobson MK Folate in skin cancer prevention https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22116700
- Dinkova Kostova AT, Fahey JW, Benedict AL, Jenkins SN, Ye L, Wehage SL, Talalay P. Dietary glucoraphanin-rich broccoli sprout extracts protect against UV radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless mice https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20354656
- Danby FW Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2010.03.018 http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/20620757
- Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25266053
- Mohammad Abid Keen, Iffat Hassan Indian Dermatology Online Journal https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4976416/
More articles about nutrition and you skin