Think about this the next time you’re tempted to hit the fast food drive through–we are what we eat, and what we eat shows up on our faces. While products can work wonders for our skin, so can certain foods. Foods like dark leafy greens and salmon are not only good for our bodies, but can also help nourish and protect the skin, which is the body’s largest organ. Some of the best foods for skin are packed with antioxidants, fight free radical damage and have anti-inflammatory properties.
“Beauty food” is the driving idea behind Nicholas Perricone’s “The Perricone Prescription,” which is a 28 day diet reboot for the face. He’s a big believer in salmon, olive oil and pomegranates to help fight inflammation, which he says is one of the main causes of premature aging. Eating your way to healthy skin is also the concept behind “Eat Beautiful: Food and Recipes to Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out” by Wendy Rowe, who champions foods including pomegranate, spinach and peppers. Here’s a look at some of the best foods for healthy skin.
Oily fish including salmon, mackerel and sardines are all high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as omega-6, which help fight free radical damage by reducing inflammation in the body, and may also help boost skin’s elasticity. These types of fatty acids also help to keep skin hydrated.
Brazil nuts may be pricey but they are one of the best sources of selenium, a mineral that is a skincare all-star. Studies indicate it may protect against UV-rays, as well as age spots and helps tackle inflammation. Only a few Brazil nuts are needed to consume the recommended daily amount of selenium, which can also be found in oysters.
Whether you prefer strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or raspberries, berries are considered super foods as they are powerful antioxidants – as well as being delicious. They are full of fiber and high in vitamin C, which helps promote collagen production. Berries may be small but are mighty; they also help protect skin cells from the signs of aging. Sprinkle berries in your morning cereal or add frozen ones to your smoothie.
Dark Leafy Greens
Greens such as kale, collard greens and spinach are beauty food superstars, and some of the most nutrient dense foods around. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are powerful antioxidants and support eye health. These greens also help hydrate skin and protect it from damaging free radicals, thanks to vitamins A, C, and E, as well as omega-3s to help fight inflammation and detox the liver. Try sauteeing your greens, wrap a burger in collard greens or throw a handful of greens in your smoothie.
When handling beets, save your clothes (and your countertops) by pulling on an apron and using a cutting board. Beets can be roasted or grated raw into a salad, and are thought to help detox and cleanse the body – all of which can help with better looking skin. They also contain plenty of vitamin C.
If you start most mornings with avocado toast, you’re benefiting your skin. Avocados are high in healthy fats which help keep skin moisturized and supple; if you don’t have enough healthy fats in your diet, skin can look dry and dehydrated. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin E, which helps protect the skin.
Whether you prefer oranges, grapefruits or a squeeze of lime over your food, citrus fruits should be a part of beauty food plan. They’re an important source of vitamin C which helps maintain healthy skin and destroy free radicals. Although rare, a vitamin C deficiency can show up as dry, scaly skin. Boosting your vitamin C is also thought to help keep wrinkles at bay and give you an extra glow.
Dr. Jessica Wu, the author of “Feed Your Face,” is a huge fan of tomatoes and has said in interviews that she considers them to be the fountain of youth. Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps fight UV damage. Dr Wu has said that she always travels with a tube of tomato paste and eats three tablespoons at lunch to help protect against sun burn.
As children many of us were forced to eat broccoli but our parents were right. Broccoli is a true superfood bursting with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A and vitamin C which helps with collagen production, D and K, along with selenium and zinc. Broccoli also contains protein, which is a building block for skin and hair, and helps to detox the body. The zinc in broccoli works to tackle inflammation. Try roasting broccoli florets for a richer flavor.
Olive oil is a cornerstone of Dr. Perricone’s beauty diet as he says it helps keep skin supple, and it is also a key part of the Mediterranean diet, which is heart and skin healthy. Olive oil is rich in monosaturated fats, and is thought to help keep skin nourished and hydrated thanks to vitamins D and E. Drizzle it on top of salads and roasted vegetables.
Watermelon is not only refreshing but good for you- and your skin. The summer favorite fruit provides plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are antioxidants. It will also help keep you hydrated and may help lower inflammation.
While tea bags are known to help depuff eyes, there are other benefits to drinking it. Green tea is full of antioxidants which help keep skin in optimal shape. The polyphenols in green tea may also help prevent sun damage and ward off the signs of aging. Sipping on green tea delivers a boost of vitamins B and E which work to maintain collagen production as well as promote cell regeneration. Some studies suggest green tea helps boost elasticity, while helping to reduce facial redness.
Swap out your white potatoes for sweet ones. They contain plenty of beta-carotene and magnesium, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Try them roasted, baked or cut into baked fries.
Most of us don’t need a reason to tuck into a piece of chocolate but here is one. Cocoa is naturally high in antioxidants, and is thought to help protect skin against damaging UV rays as well and also help prevent the signs of aging. For maximum benefits, choose dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa content.
Zinc is the superstar nutrient in pumpkin seeds, and should be on the radar of anyone who has oily and acne prone skin. Zinc is an antioxidant which helps regulate oil levels and may also help keep the early signs of aging at bay. Zinc is also found in oysters.
Although extracting the seeds from a pomegranate is time consuming and more than a little messy, it’s well worth the effort for the beautiful and delicious seeds. They contain polyphenol antioxidants which help fight free radicals, and are thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. The high water content of pomegranates helps to maintain hydration levels.
Tucking into a bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a comforting way to start the day. It’s also good for your face. A bowl of oatmeal delivers fiber along with selenium, magnesium and zinc. Try oatmeal topped with berries for a double whammy of beauty food, or soak overnight oats for a quick breakfast.
Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
Whether you like to eat them raw or sautéed, bell peppers are an ideal beauty food. They’re packed with beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A in the body, as well as vitamin C which helps maintain collagen production. The carotenoids in bell peppers are thought to help boost blood circulations and keep wrinkles at bay, as well as helping combat acne.
Whether you’re a fan of red, green or black grapes, snack on a handful of them to eat your way to better looking skin. Grapes contain plenty of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. They’re also rich in vitamin K and collagen boosting (and skin brightening) vitamin C. They may also aid in maintaining skin cell regeneration and are anti-inflammatory. As a high-water content food, grapes also help with hydration. Try popping some in the freezer for a refreshing snack on a hot day.
Skip the sugary stuff and tuck into plain Greek yogurt, which is high in protein but low in fat, and also contains calcium and vitamin D. The protein boost helps keep skin firm while the probiotics are also helpful for maintaining gut and overall health.
What Else Can I do to Help My Skin?
Achieving your best possible looking skin takes a holistic approach. Diet and exercise certainly play a role as does choosing the right products. Formulyst is dedicated to helping its customers put their best face forward, with products such as Formulyst Pro-Collagen Serum. It is formulated for aging skin and contains a potent mix of peptides and proteins. Gently pat a few drops of this hydrating serum on the face to help to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another option is the Formulyst Ultimate Youth Concentrate. This silky serum is bio-engineered from plant stem cells and helps soften and smooth skin, and is formulated to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Help keep wrinkles at bay with Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream. It helps hydrate and soothe mature skin while you sleep so you can wake up to your best skin. This nourishing cream is crafted with a nutrient-rich blend of plant oils, essential fatty acids and omega oils, including macadamia integrifolia seed oil, to hydrate the skin. It also gently exfoliates the skin to reveal a fresher, smoother looking complexion, while soothing the skin.