Reduce Wrinkles, Clear up Acne: How to Eat Your Way to Better Skin
Are you diligent about removing your makeup before bedtime, exfoliating once a week, moisturizing, and wearing sunscreen? If so, you’re already ahead of the game on skin care! However, if you aren't aware of the foods you’re putting into your body then you have another big step to take towards healthier more glowing skin.
Expensive skin creams and topical serums only work, well, skin deep. Our bodies generate skin cells from the inside out, which means that the food choices we make every day shows up on our faces!
These are some helpful food changes you can make to have brighter, healthier, and younger skin.
What NOT to eat for Healthy Skin
High amounts of sodium.
Sodium pulls water from your organs, and yes, skin is an organ (your largest, in fact)! When we have too much sodium in our diets it leads to a number of health issues, but if your aim is healthy skin then this is yet another great reason to cut back.
Inflammation doesn’t just occur in our joints, it is an immune system reaction our bodies have in response to any irritant. Inflammation can show up when your skin turns red from a burn, but it can also be your digestive system struggling to break down certain foods (especially highly processed foods), or your liver working extra hard to process high amounts of sugar. Our skin can react in a similar way, and show an inflammatory response to certain foods that we eat whether through redness, acne, or eczema.
What TO Eat for Better Skin
Sliced veggies VS potato chips
Part of the reason why we crave the satisfying crunch of chips is because as we evolved we started equating crunchiness with freshness. This is because vegetables that contain a healthy amount of water have a nice snap when we bite into them. Sadly, snack food companies have capitalized on this desire and create crunchy salty foods that we crave. Chips wreak havoc on your skin not only because of sodium content, but potatoes are a starch which converts to sugar in the body! As if you need another reason, they are fried in oil - and if it’s hydrogenated oil that’s a whole other problem (see below for more on that).
You may be surprised at how satisfying a good, crunchy vegetable can be in place of chips. Try packing some of these veggies as a snack for a delightful crunch:
- Sliced cucumber
- Crinkle-cut carrots
- Celery (with no sugar almond butter)
- Sliced bell peppers (with homemade low-sodium hummus)
Eating nutrient-dense vegetables in place of foods that don’t contain any nutritional value such as chips will also ensure that you get plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for your skin as they prevent the production of free-radicals, which break down healthy skin cells leading to more fine lines and wrinkles. So eat those veggies!
“Good” fats VS “bad” fats
Hydrogenated oils, such as margarine, corn oil, canola oil, and soybean oil are guilty of being super high in omega-6 fatty acids. Unfortunately hydrogenated oils make up a lot of the Standard American Diet, and we ingest them anytime we eat fried foods, potato chips, and processed baked goods.
Omega-6 fats aren’t necessarily “bad” unless we go above and beyond in quantity and don’t eat enough omega-3’s to counteract them (which most American’s don’t). Too much of one or the other can throw off the balance and cause inflammation, while a proper balance can actually help reduce inflammation.
Good ways to balance your fat intake:
- Use non-hydrogenated oils for cooking, such as grass-fed butter or coconut oil
- Whenever possible, consume grass-fed pasture-raised meat and eggs, rather than regular meat that is raised on corn feed
- Eat more omega-3 rich foods such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines
Healthy fats not only support reduced inflammation, but they strengthen cell membranes leading to plump younger-looking skin.
True Citrus VS alcoholic drinks
Alcohol causes inflammation in the same way that an excess of sodium or sugar does. Alcohol not only converts to sugar in the body, but it also affects hormone balance and natural sleep cycles. True Citrus products are a wonderful substitute to add to water or sparkling water if you’re trying to cut back on drinking alcohol. Plenty of water keeps your skin well hydrated and adding natural flavors to your glass with True Citrus will encourage you to keep sipping!
Calcium-rich foods VS dairy products
Some people notice that their skin immediately begins to clear up even just after a week or two of eliminating dairy from their diet. You can have a perfectly healthy and well-rounded diet without dairy products and get plenty of calcium from leafy greens (such as kale and spinach), broccoli, and certain fishes like sardines.
No matter how on top of your skin routine you are, none of it matters if you aren’t giving your body the right nutrients to produce healthy skin cells from the inside out. Following these tips can help to reduce signs of aging, reduce acne, and let your beautiful glow shine through.