Skin Health and Nutrition 101

Skin Health and Nutrition 101Skin health starts from the inside out… I’m not always the best example to use here. I like to think I’m fairly healthy but looking at a bowl of veggies instantly has me craving fried chicken. With a side of gravy for dipping. Don’t judge me.

While many of us think of creating healthy skin from the outside we sometimes neglect what’s going inside our body. Good quality, clean topical products are essential but let’s look at how nutrition affects skin health.

Generally, aging of the skin is a result of our cells being subject to free radical damage, but there are other factors as well: deficiency in nutrients or consuming foods that promote inflammation. A solid rule to follow: a good diet for optimal health will likely be optimal for skin health, too! KALE FOR DAYS! Without butter. Talk about misery.

Vitamins: Unless you’re vitamin-specific deficient a multi-vitamin is likely acceptable, but I’m not a doctor… this is just my thinking. I take plant based New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily Multi…. when I remember. Many say plant based vitamins absorb better so I’m going with it.

If you avoid the sun, like me, there’s a probability you’re Vitamin D deficient. Few foods naturally contain Vitamin D making it hard to gain enough from dietary sources. While researching for this post I fell into a rabbit hole of medical studies and found Vitamin D is actually a hormone AND you can receive D2 and D3 topically! Be on the lookout, I’m working on a product review containing topical D’s.

Protein: Our bodies need protein for cell renewal [hello, body building 101] and use H2O to break it down. So if you’re on a high-protein diet increase your water intake to avoid dehydration.

Fats: Fatty acids, like Omega 3, promote anti-inflammatory compounds in the body and aid in lubricating our skin. If your diet isn’t high in Omega 3 [think salmon, tuna, mackerel] adding a supplement is a good idea… I’m a big fan of Nordic Naturals.

Carbs: Avoid simple carbs as they cause inflammation in the body and aggravate acne, rosacea, and produce collagen-damaging enzymes. In our skin, this process is referred to as glycation. Glycation hardens collagen and elastin causing it to become brittle and break.  As we age our metabolism slows down and glycation speeds up. Yet Glycation cannot be stopped by avoiding sugar. A 2005 study at Dartmouth School of Medicine found avoiding dietary sugars while following the Atkins diet doubled the rate of advanced glycation endproduct formation in participants.
In normal people speak: avoiding ALL carbs caused participants collagen to break down faster.
What you should do: reduce simple carbs like chocolate and enjoy complex carbs such as sweet potatoes.
The good news: this process may slow down with effective topical products!

Be sure to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet. All this being said… live your life! Enjoy treats in moderation. There’s no reason to be miserable in the name of vanity.

About Sarah Nicole

Sarah is a Denver based expert esthetician, known for returning abused sensitive skin back to a glowing state without harsh products while boosting her client's skin confidence and self-worth. Sarah has been featured in Allure, New Beauty, Greatist, NBC News, and D Magazine among others. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahnpayne.

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