Eat Right for Your Skin Type
New research shows that the secret to defying age is what you eat! This approach to skin care may seem boring as the switch to an anti-aging, pro-skin diet does not achieve overnight results. As we get older and become more susceptible to oxidative stress, the importance of nutrition in relation to skin health becomes vital. Oxidative stress is a condition where an excess of free radicals inflames skin and causes visible damage. The right foods contain antioxidants and other age-defying substances that help skin ward off free radical damage and prevent common skin conditions ranging from acne to premature ageing.
Most foods we eat fall into two categories namely Pro-inflammatory and Anti-inflammatory. Choosing to eat anti-inflammatory foods can help slow down the ageing process. Pro-inflammatory foods which are bad for the skin inlcude Caffeine, Alcohol, Refined, processed fats, Sugar and Salt. These all accelerate the degradation of the skin’s supportive collagen and elastin. Use of skincare products in addition to a skin-friendly diet and lifestyles will provide the best results. Supplements are also recommended to fill in nutritional gaps.
There are loads of wonder-cosmetics in the market that promise to hold the key to youthful skin with exotic ingredients but in effect it’s like trying to put rocks through a sieve as there is a limit to what the skin can absorb from the outside in. It however can absorb a lot more from the inside out which is the Beauty of food.
Rich coloured fruits such as raspberries and blueberries are also rich. Look for supplements rich in antioxidants and kelp ( a type of seaweed containing lots of protective minerals ).
Acne is a chronic low-grade inflammation of the skin. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to damage and injury. To treat acne effectively, you have to target the problems from all directions. The acne-diet relationship has been strongly established and must be taken seriously for best results regardless of whether your acne is hormonal, stress induced, due to bacterial build-up or dead skin buid-up. Foods rich in Vitamins A, E, B2, B3 and Zinc such as green leafy vegetables, seeds, pulses, whole grains, nuts, eggs and oily fish are key. These contain essential nutrients such as fatty acids, essential fatty acids, protein, vitamins and minerals. These promote healthy skin and good hormone balance. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding toxic foods such as red meat, sugar, caffeine and alcohol are very important. Supplements should also be added.
FOR DULL, DRY AND FLAKY SKIN
A good balance of oil and moisture is crucial for healthy skin. Piling on layers of moisturisers will not give your the skin the healthy glow you most likely seek. It will help somewhat but if you are not moisturised from the inside so to speak, your skin will remain dry. Skin that lacks oil and moisture is often due to a deficient intake of Water and the Essential fatty acids – Omega – 3, 6, and 9. A deficiency of Vitamins A and B which is worsened by drinking too much coffee, tea and alcohol also results in dry flaky skin. I recommend you drink at least 3 litres of water a day, eat Vitamin B rich whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain bread and wholemeal pasta and stay away from refined processed foods. Also take orange and red coloured carotene containing fruits and vegetables such as Mangoes, Papaya and Carrots. Saturated fats found in fried, processed foods, excess red meat and dairy should also be avoided. Oily fish should be eaten at least 3 times a week for good levels of essential fatty acids. If you can’t eat fish that often take an essential fatty acid supplement.
FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Sensitive skin includes that which becomes red, tender and tight when exposed to extremes of temperature and direct sunlight as well as conditions like Eczema, Psoriasis and Rosacea. The diet can greatly improve all of these conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids help soothe such skin and fights inflammation. Diet should be as natural as possible thus avoiding preserved, refined and processed foods. Caffeine Sugar and Alchohol should also be limited. These will help improve liver function which when adversely affected may give rise to these skin conditions. Lots of Betacarotene containing foods should be eaten such as brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. Dark leafy greens are also recommended as they contain zinc, selenium and fibre which help reduce toxic overload. An MSM containing supplement is beneficial as this easily absorbable form of sulphur strengthens the skin’s supportive structures.