For fabulous, soft, glowing and vibrant skin, forget what you put on it, it’s what you put on your plate that counts! Providing your skin with all the nutrients it needs to function at its best and looking after your whole body is the key to radiant skin.
If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it in on your skin!
No face product will nourish your skin from the inside, especially those that are full of synthetic chemicals, mineral oil and perfumes, like most that proclaim to give you radiant skin. In fact, they will increase your body’s toxic load because your skin is like a sponge and will absorb anything you put onto it, right into your bloodstream.
Beauty From Within
Looking after your skin means looking after your whole body. Your skin is your largest organ protecting you from any outside factors that could damage you, like pollution or infection. It works alongside your digestive system, liver and kidneys to aid detoxification. Ensuring your liver and digestion are in good working order will also improve your skin.
Any skin complaint is usually a sign that something else needs supporting. A spotty chin can be a sign of hormonal imbalance and eczema is often an indication that essential fats may be lacking in the body. Like every other organ, the skin relies on nutrients. What you eat today, you will wear tomorrow!
Let’s look deeper… the skin is made up of two layers, the dermis and the epidermis. The dermis is the inner layer, which contains sweat glands, blood vessels, collagen and nerve tissue. The epidermis is the outer layer and replies on the dermis for all of its nutrients and oxygen, as this outside layer has no blood vessels of its own.
The skin surface you can see is composed of dead epidermal cells that flake off and are constantly being replaced. These are cells that have moved up through the skin’s layers, losing moisture as they go and becoming harder, flatter and more concentrated with a protein called keratin. Your skin’s condition relies on nutrients that are carried to it via the blood vessels.
Skin Friendly Nutrients
• Antioxidants. Vitamins A, C, E, selenium and other antioxidants protect skin cells from damage. A colourful diet is key to providing abundant antioxidants. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium and avocados are rich in vitamin E.
• Vitamin A. Important for skin health as it controls keratin levels preventing rough, dry skin. Found in carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, mangoes and all yellow vegetables.
• Vitamin C. Needed for collagen production. Found in most fruits and vegetables. Peppers, strawberries, kiwis and citrus fruits are good sources.
• Zinc. Crucial for new skin cell production. Found in raw seeds and nuts, as well as fish and seafood.
• Essential fatty acids (EFAs). These are very important as they keep cell membranes functioning correctly and prevent the skin from drying out. Sources include raw nuts and seeds, oily fish, like salmon and mackerel and cold-pressed seed oils, such as flax.
• MSM. (methyl-sulfonyl-methane). The important component here is sulphur, the main compound required for all of the body’s connective tissue (skin, hair and nails). Foods rich in sulphur are onions, garlic, cabbage, leeks and eggs.
• Protein. Provides the building blocks for growth, regeneration and repair. Lean, healthy protein from vegetable sources, such as beans, lentils, sprouts, nuts, seeds and chickpeas are ideal.
Your Skin’s Top 10 Enemies
1. Smoking. Depletes nutrients, dehydrates the skin, stresses the liver, causes free radical damage and upsets circulation affecting delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the skin.
2. Alcohol. Dehydrates and depletes nutrients.
3. Sugar and refined foods. Causes nutrient depletion and inflammation.
4. Bad fats, such as saturated and trans fats and fried foods. These block the good fats (EFAs), block the pores and cause inflammation.
5. Caffeine. Dehydrates and robs the body of nutrients.
6. Red meat. Causes inflammation if eaten in excess.
7. Constipation. Sluggish digestion and poor liver function create a build up of toxins, resulting in the skin needing to step-in for an alternative toxin escape route.
8. Dehydration. Without enough water, all cells shrivel and shrink, leading to poor assimilation of nutrients into the cell and toxicity. Water keeps the bowels regular and the kidneys functioning, without which the skin gets overburdened with toxins. In addition, dehydration causes dry skin and wrinkles.
9. Hormone imbalances. These impact on liver health and affect the skin.
10. Stress. Negatively affects all aspects of your health. A stressed body is an aging one!
The Perfect Skin Diet. Eat Yourself Beautiful.
• Eat organic produce often
• Eat many colorful fruits & vegetables – red, yellow, orange, green, as well as purple foods, such as berries
• Eat onions and garlic regularly
• Eat unrefined, whole foods
• Drink at least 8 glasses of pure water each day
• Eat fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, lentils, beans, root vegetables
• Fresh raw seeds – 1 tablespoon per day. Eat sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseed (flax) and hemp seeds. Try grinding them and sprinkle into smoothies and onto salads or soups
• Use cold-pressed seed oils – 1 tablespoon per day. Drizzle over salads or vegetables
• Eat oily fish like mackerel, wild salmon and sardines
• Eat live, organic yogurt for its digestive supporting qualities
• Eat good sources of vegetable protein like lentils, beans, sprouted seeds and soya
• See a nutritionist to help you pin point any underlying health issues that may need to be addressed
Regularly indulging in natural treatments, like aloe vera facials, virgin coconut oil massage or herbal steam baths will enhance your skin, as well as reducing your stress levels. A diet abundant in fresh, natural foods will nourish your skin from the inside.
Just like the eyes are the windows of the Soul, your skin really is a reflection of your inner health and vitality. Focus on your health and your skin will follow.