Skin health starts from the inside out. Truthfully, 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 my Southern roots.
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. This includes 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.
Unless you’re vitamin-specific deficient a multi-vitamin is likely acceptable, but I’m not a doctor, so take my opinion with a grain of salt before consulting a real one. I prefer taking a plant-based multivitamin. Many say plant-based vitamins absorb better and 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. Vitamin D is actually a hormone AND you can receive D2 and D3 topically!
Our bodies need protein for cell renewal (hello, bodybuilding 101) and use H2O to break it down. So if you’re on a high-protein diet, increasing your water intake is a good idea to keep your skin and other organs running optimally.
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 from foods like salmon, tuna, or mackerel, adding a supplement is a good idea. I’m a big fan of Nordic Naturals.
Avoid simple carbs as they cause inflammation in our body and aggravate inflammatory skin conditions like acne and rosacea while producing 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 found avoiding dietary sugars while following the Atkins diet doubled the rate of advanced glycation .
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, similar to an 80/20 rule. There’s no reason to be miserable in the name of vanity.