10 Great Foods for Your Skin
By Sarah Stevenson
Everyone has heard of the phrase, "You are what you eat." But when
talking about skin care, "You reflect what you eat" may be more
appropriate. Okay, sure, it's not as catchy, but the simple truth is
that when you eat right, your skin will love you—and everyone else, in
turn, will love your skin. The food you eat can be a great ally in the
fight with age and acne.
As Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD, and assistant clinical professor of
dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia
University, said recently to the American Academy of Dermatology, "While
there's no mistaking how our diet affects our overall health, we're
just beginning to understand how certain foods—or lack thereof—can
impact our skin's health." So, before you purchase the $40 pimple eraser
and the $100 wrinkle cream, make sure the following items are on your
There are several topical creams that can help give you that youthful
glow, aid in reducing redness and help remedy deep lines due to sun
damage and age. However, most experts say that eating a healthy balanced
diet is a sure way to help alleviate skin problems. Here are 10 great
foods to help boost your chances at a lovely complexion.
These foods don't only need to be ingested to help create healthy
skin. You can also apply many of them to the face by making some fun
homemade food facial mask. Face masks are a great way to pamper yourself
while cleaning your pores and soothing dry irritated skin. Get in the
kitchen, whip up a facial concoction, dim the lights, and you have
yourself an at-home spa treatment for a fraction of the cost. Here are a
few simple facial masks for you to try out.
- Avocado. This
green, smooth, and creamy fruit contains B-complex vitamins and B3
vitamins (Niacin). These vitamins have anti-inflammatory qualities and
help relieve irritated, red blotchy skin. Avocados are also a great
source of vitamin E.
- Veggies. Foods
high in vitamin A help to repair your skin. When one is low in this
vitamin, skin can become dry and flakey, and take much more time to
heal. Many topical creams contain vitamin A in them and are said to help
with acne and reduce lines and wrinkles. You can find vitamin A in most
fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach,
tomato juice, broccoli, and kale.
- Water. According to the American Skin Association "Water is
the most important nutrient we consume. The human body is anywhere from
55 to 75 percent water. Without water, we could not survive. It is
recommended that people drink 8 glasses of water a day." Drinking the
right amount of water helps you sweat. Sweat helps you detoxify from
toxins that the body absorbs through unhealthy eating habits and living
in a smoggy world. In turn you clear out the body and keep the internal
and external body nice and clean. Clean skin = Healthy skin.
- Whole grains. Whole grains will up your intake of fiber. Fiber
is just what you need to clear your body of waste and toxins. When we
retain toxins from the food we eat and our physical environment it
starts to show on our face. Whole grains such as whole-meal pasta, whole
wheat breads, and rice also contain vitamin B which is an ingredient
you will find in anti-aging creams.
- Vitamin B foods. There are many forms of vitamin B. The one
most important to skin is Biotin. This nutrient helps form a basis for
the skin, hair, and nails. Those who show a deficiency in Biotin will
have problems with itchy skin and possible hair loss. Most adults
require about 30 micrograms of Biotin a day. Almonds and peanuts are
high in this nutrient, in fact peanut butter contains the full 30
micrograms per serving. Other foods high in Biotin are milk, eggs,
yogurt, and cheese. You can absorb vitamin B when eating chicken,
turkey, and beef; leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and
cabbage; fruits such as raspberries, avocado, and bananas.
- Salmon. Sea
creatures such as salmon and oysters happen to contain Zinc and Omega-3
fatty acids. Zinc helps shed old skin and promotes new-cell growth.
Which gives you that youthful luminescence. Damage to your skin creates
inflammation, which in turn causes your skin to age at a faster rate.
Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for reducing inflammation associated
with redness. The fatty acids also promote healthy circulation. Healthy
circulation is crucial to healthy skin. Anti-aging expert Nicholas
Perricone, MD, author of The Wrinkle Cure, has advocated a diet rich in antioxidants and Omega-3s for better skin.
- Citrus and other vitamin C-rich fruit. You can absorb vitamin C
from oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, and Acerola cherries (One Acerola
cherry feeds 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement). Vitamin C
is in many of your over-the-counter skin care products because it aids
in the production of collagen. Collagen is that priceless protein that
holds your skin in place. As one gets older (usually around 35 years and
on) the skin starts the "sagging" process due to the breakdown of
- Raw or Sprouted Seeds and Nuts. Foods high in vitamin E offer
the benefit of antioxidants. They protect your complexion from
skin-aging free radicals and sun damage. Vitamin E also helps lock in
moisture to protect your skin from looking dry and aged. Seeds and nuts
are very high in vitamin E, specifically sunflower seeds, almonds,
hazelnuts, and dry roasted peanuts.
- Cottage cheese. You have heard that dairy is beneficial to
your bones but did you know that this dairy product is actually good for
your skin? Cottage cheese contains high levels of selenium—an essential
mineral that works like vitamin E as an antioxidant. It also protects
against skin cancer.
- Dark Chocolate. This yummy treat contains high counts of
antioxidants. It can help increase blood flow to your skin and helps
reduce the roughness of skin, while keeping you safe from sun damage.
You don't have to feel guilty when you run to the candy isle to grab a
bar of dark chocolate. When eaten in moderation, this is a "guilty
pleasure" that actually is good for you, when eaten in moderation of
course. So break off a couple squares every once in a while for a
healthy glow and soft skin.
This helps to sooth and heal irritated skin due to sun exposure.
- Mash one whole avocado
- Add 1 tspn flaxseed oil and 1 tspn honey
- Mix together until smooth and creamy
- Apply to face and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes
- Rinse clean with warm water
Oatmeal/Egg White Mask:
This exfoliates and removes dead skin and blemishes leaving skin feeling soft and smooth.
- You'll need: 3 – 4 egg whites and 1/3 cup oatmeal
- Mix ingredients together
- Apply and rub mixture onto skin (oatmeal with exfoliate the skin).
Allow for mixture to sit for 5 minutes and let egg whites dry.
- Rinse clean with warm water
This purifies and cleanses the skin leaving the face feeling cool and smooth.
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Cut a cucumber into thick slices and place in a blender. Set aside 2 thin slices of cucumber for the eyes.
- Throw 3 mint or parsley leaves into the blender. Puree to a paste.
- Mix the cucumber puree with the yogurt in the bowl.
- Cover your face with the cucumber mask. Place thin slices of cucumber on the eyes and let sit on the skin for 15 minutes.
- Rinse clean with warm water.
So hop in the car and head to the grocery store. Nourish yourself
inside and out. Next time you hear "WOW . . . you haven't changed a bit
since high school," you know they are talking about your beautiful,
youthful glow and not a face stained with break outs.
Independent Beachbody Coach