An old adage says, “You are what you eat,” and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to skincare. Having a gorgeous, blemish-free complexion not only boosts one’s self-confidence but also indicates how healthy a person is. You can actually have someone figure out your diet without you saying it – your skin reveals it.
So, what really is the secret to radiant, youthful-looking skin?
There is an infinite spawn of beauty products promising the best results that you can find online. These products range from a bunch of collagen supplements, UV protection, moisturizers, skin whiteners to loads of vitamin supplements. But don’t you know that instead of spending dollars and dollars for these synthetic products, you can actually achieve the same, if not better, results using only natural food?
It is scientifically proven that natural foods yield the best results when it comes to skincare – after all, you can never go wrong with all things natural. By following these steps, you can up your skincare regimen to achieve that healthy glow your skin longs to have.
1. Include healthy fats in your diet
These fats are commonly called essential fatty acids, and as the name suggests, they are indeed essential in nurturing the skin. Essential fatty acids such as omega-3s and omega-6s are crucial building blocks of healthy cell membranes. Incorporating these fats into your diet helps protect the skin from environmental damage. They are instrumental in strengthening and restoring the skin’s natural barrier and helping the skin produce a natural oil that keeps you look hydrated, fresh, and younger-looking.
Not only that these fatty acids keep your skin hydrated, but they also reduce the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, whose heat may cause serious skin damage. They decrease skin inflammation due to acne as well.
A diet that lacks healthy fats results in dry skin full of blackheads and whiteheads. These foods will supply your body with enough essential fatty acids that could bring miracles to your skin. Omega-3 rich foods include avocados, chia seeds, flaxseed, whole eggs, mackerel, nuts, salmon, safflower oil, sardines, soy, and walnuts. Omega-6 can be found in baked goods, cooking oils, grains, and poultry.
2. Eat your greens and reds
Antioxidants are our body’s defenders against free radicals that can cause harmful effects on our body. Exposure to harmful chemicals, pollution, UV rays, and other environmental threats increases the amount of free radicals in our body, in addition to the ones we naturally produce. A good amount of free radicals in our system can significantly damage our healthy cells. Without enough antioxidants to combat and detoxify their harmful effects, our skin becomes dry and dull-looking.
Antioxidants are also vital in gracefully correcting signs of aging. Collagen, an essential protein that aids the cellular renewal process in the body, depletes as we age. This is why we see fine lines and wrinkles, acne breakouts, and dark spots in our skin – there isn’t enough protein to restore your lost cells. Bringing antioxidants to the table can help the skin replenish and correct these visible aging signs and get back your youthful glow.
In an authoritative list provided by the USDA, these are the top 20 foods that are rich sources of antioxidants: small red beans, wild blueberries, red kidney beans, pinto beans, cultivated blueberries, cranberries, artichokes, blackberries, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, delicious red apples, Granny Smith apples, pecans, sweet cherries, black plums, russet potatoes, black beans, plums, gala apples, and dark leafy greens.
3. Know your natural vitamins
Vitamins and minerals play a huge role in maintaining your radiant complexion. For instance, vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, aids the body in keeping the mucous membranes that line the nose, sinuses, and mouth healthy. Carotenoids, a group of Vitamin A produced by plants, include lycopene, an antioxidant that keeps the skin protected from damage due to the environment and aging. Carotenoids can be found in yellow, red, and green (leafy) vegetables, such as carrots, red peppers, spinach, and sweet potatoes, and in yellow fruits, such as apricots, mango, and papaya.
Another is Vitamins B, C, and E that act as antioxidants as well. Vitamin B can be found in whole grains, seeds, dairy products, legumes, and leafy vegetables and has antibacterial properties that promote wound healing.
Vitamin C, which is found in oranges, lemons, and other fruits, brightens and cleanses the skin by blocking an enzyme that produces pigmentation. Vitamin E is especially found in oils, seeds, and nuts such as almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and peanuts.
4. Avoid excess sugar, dairy, and processed foods
Premature aging, skin inflammation, and discoloration, acne breakouts – are but a few repercussions of having too much sugar in your body. Excessive sugar intake causes the body to produce a significant amount of insulin – the most important hormone when we talk about acne. Insulin helps produce sebum oil which acts as a lubricant to the skin, keeping it from drying. But, too much of this oil can make the skin unnecessarily oily and clog the pores, leading to acne breakouts.
Another bitter fact about sugar is that it actually dehydrates us. When there is an excessive amount of sugar in our system, the kidney does its job to take care of the extra. When that happens, a person tends to urinate more frequently, losing liquid more than necessary, making the skin flaky and brittle.
Sugar also breaks down collagen, which, as mentioned before, an agent of cellular renewal process, keeping the hair and skin firm and smooth. So, next time you’re at a table full of sweets, make sure you eat just the right amount, not only to take care of your skin but also to keep your body healthy.
5. Stay hydrated
Last but definitely not the least, keep yourself (and your skin) hydrated with water. Even in ancient times, water is believed to have healing properties. When drinking water, our skin becomes hydrated at a cellular level – flushing away impurities and toxins. A cup or two of water increases blood flow, giving our skin an even tone.
Staying hydrated also provides elasticity to our skin, decreasing the signs of aging. When damaged by the heat of the sun, the skin may be hydrated to speed up healing. Water also cleanses and purifies the gut – an organ in the body responsible for disposing of wastes and toxins out, giving us clear, fair skin.
We can make water more interesting by mixing some natural herbs and extracts into it while bringing many different benefits out of the concoction. Lemons, calamansi, mint, basil, ginger, raw honey, and a lot more – the world is actually full of natural source of vitamins and minerals that we can use to achieve that healthy, gorgeous skin we have always dreamt of.