The Healthy Skin Diet

Nutrition. Whether you love or loathe the topic, the reality is that what you eat (and what you don’t) affects your skin in different ways. While genetics and skin care habits play key roles in the health of your skin, good nutrition is also vital to ensuring the optimal function and appearance of your skin. 

What foods are vital to a healthy skin diet?

If you’ve followed the Lexli skin care blog for awhile, you know that we talk often about the importance of antioxidants in both your diet and skin care products. Why? Because antioxidants work to disarm the free radicals that threaten to damage your skin. (Free radicals are generated by oxidative stress, which may include environmental pollution, sun exposure, sugar or alcohol consumption, smoking and more.) Among the most beneficial antioxidants for the skin are vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and green tea polyphenols. Want to load up on your intake of antioxidants? Look to foods like dark leafy greens, berries and beans.

Healthy oils and fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6 found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, help ensure optimum skin hydration while reducing inflammatory skin responses. These factors help to explain why omega fatty acids are effective in alleviating the symptoms associated with rosacea, psoriasis and other inflammatory skin disorders. What’s more, research has shown that omega fatty acids are helpful in improving the symptoms of acne. Avocado on multi-grain toast, anyone?

Incorporating minerals into your diet can play a role in helping you achieve your skin goals. Zinc helps support healthy skin cell turnover and aids in the regulation of sebum, which makes it beneficial for those with acne-prone or oily skin. Selenium is a mineral that has antioxidant properties. As such, it helps to minimize skin inflammation that can break down collagen and elastin, proteins that give skin its strength and elasticity. Foods rich in zinc and selenium include lean meats and seafood, as well as nuts and legumes.

Putting a healthy skin diet into practice

Ensuring good dietary habits to support overall health and wellness will certainly have a positive effect on your skin, as well. The foundation of your diet should be comprised of vegetables and fruits, with lean proteins, nuts and healthy fats added in. Work to limit consumption of high-glycemic foods like packaged meals, white breads, sweets and soft drinks, as these foods encourage inflammation that can lead to a host of skin issues. If you have difficulty ensuring a consistently healthy diet, consider taking a multi-vitamin in the morning.

And finally, a note on water. While getting at least 64 ounces a day is important to your health, the jury is out on whether water consumption benefits your skin. What it does do is help to flush toxins out of the body so keep filling that water bottle!

Photo by Daria Shevtsova