With tens of thousands of skin products available these days, it can be difficult to figure out what’s the best way to take care of your skin.
Aside from the countless products and advertisements for them we see nearly every day, the past year has also introduced many of us to ‘maskne’ (face mask acne) to deal with as well.
Having said this, skincare is just as important for aesthetic reasons. Skin is our body’s largest organ and it’s our main defense for protecting us from all of the nasty elements of the outside world.
Our skin helps to keep microbes, bacteria, and other environmental hazards out. It also protects us from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can seriously damage tissues and organs. Additionally, skin helps convert the same harmful UV rays into vitamin D, which our bodies need to stay healthy and strong.
Achieving optimal skin health goes beyond topical treatments; it’s a combination of what you put into your body as well as what you put on your body.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve covered the best foods you should add to your grocery list to keep the inner and outer you healthy and radiant.
1. Salmon: The best food for overall healthy skin
Fatty fish, like salmon, is one of the best foods to eat for overall health, and especially for healthy skin. Salmon and other fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to keep skin thick and hydrated. Research shows that an omega-3 deficiency can cause dry skin. The omega-3 fats in fish also reduce inflammation, which can cause and aggravate acne.
2. Avocados: For flexible and moisturised skin
Did you know that an avocado a day can help you feel better from the inside out?
Avocados are often a popular ingredient in many face masks but they’re just as good for you on the inside.
Avocados are full of healthy fats, and those fats are essential to help keep skin flexible and moisturised. In fact, a study of more than 700 women found that a higher intake the types of healthy fats found in avocados was associated with suppler, springier skin.
If that wasn’t enough there is also research showing that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage. Avocados also contain a good amount of vitamin E and C – more antioxidant goodness to support healthy skin!
3. Tomatoes: For protection against sunburn
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects skin from UV damage.
One study found that people who ate five tomatoes – and specifically tomato paste – regularly showed significantly more protection against sunburn than a control group.
Next time you have some tomatoes, pair them with some avocado. Fat increases your absorption of carotenoids like lycopene. How’s that for a nice snack with a double hit of skin-healthy nutrients!
4. Dark chocolate: For smoother and thicker skin
Just in case you were looking for another reason to indulge in some dark chocolate, here you go.
Chocolate – specifically, good quality cocoa – and dark chocolates are rich in polyphenols and flavonols, which are powerful antioxidants.
In one study, after 12 weeks of consuming cocoa containing these antioxidants, participants experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. It was also shown that their skin was also smoother, more resistant to sunburn, and had improved circulation.
As always, pick dark chocolate with 70 per cent or more cocoa to keep added sugar to a minimum while maximising the benefits.
5. Bone broth: To boost collagen
Consuming not just bone broth but any food that is rich in collagen is a skin superfood.
Collagen is rich in amino acids, glycine proline, and hydroxyproline. Your body can absorb these important amino acids and use them, together with vitamin C and other nutrients to form new collagen in your skin.
Studies have shown that consuming collagen can improve skin elasticity, moisture, and firmness while reducing wrinkles. In fact, one study showed that taking a collagen supplement along with vitamins C and E for 12 weeks significantly reduced wrinkle depth.
So, when it comes to radiant and glowing skin, think about not only the products you’re putting on your skin but also what you’re eating too! Achieving the healthiest skin is truly a holistic effort.
This article was written by Dr. Tal Friedman, Head of Naturopathic and Research and Development at Chiva-Som International Health Resort, and was originally published on A Girl In Progress.