With tens of thousands of skin products available these days, it can be difficult to figure out what’s the best way to take care of your skin. Aside from the countless products and advertisements for them we see nearly every day, the past year has also introduced many of us to maskne (face mask acne) to deal with as well.
Having said this, skincare just important for aesthetic reasons. Skin is our body’s largest organ and it’s our main defense for protecting us from all of the nasty elements of the outside world.
Our skin helps keep microbe’s, bacteria and other environmental hazards out. Skin also protects us from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can seriously damage tissues and organs. Skin helps convert the same harmful UV rays into vitamin D, which our bodies need to stay healthy and strong.
Achieving optimal skin health goes beyond topical treatments, it’s a combination of what you put into your body as well as what you put on your body. Let’s look a bit closer at some of the best foods you should be adding to your grocery list to keep the inner and outer you healthy and radiant.
Fatty fish, like salmon are one of the best foods to eat foods for overall health and especially for healthy skin. Salmon and other fatty fish are good sources of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fat acids are essential to help keep skin thick and hydrated. Research shows that an omega-3 deficiency can cause dry skin. The omega-3 fats in also reduce inflammation which can cause and aggravate acne.
An avocado a day may can help you feel better from the inside out. Avocados are often a popular ingredient in many face masks but they’re just as good for you on the inside.
Avocados are chocked full of healthy fats, and those fats are essential to help keep skin flexible and moisturized. In fact, a study with over 700 women found that a higher intake the types of healthy fats found in avocados was associated with suppler, springier skin.
If that wasn’t enough there is also research showing that avocados contain compounds that may help protect your skin from sun damage. Avocados also contain a good amount of vitamin E and C, more antioxidant goodness to support healthy skin.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects skin from UV damage. One study found that people who ate five tomatoes and specifically tomato paste regularly showed significantly more protection against sunburn than a control group.
Next time you have some tomatoes, pair it with some avocado. Fat increases your absorption of carotenoids like lycopene. A nice snack with a double hit of skin healthy nutrients.
Just in case you were looking for another reason to indulge in some dark chocolate, here you go. Chocolate, specifically good quality cocoa and dark chocolates, are rich in polyphenols and flavanols which are powerful antioxidants.
In one study, after 12 weeks of consuming cocoa containing these antioxidants, participants experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. It was also shown that their skin was also smoother, more resistant to sunburn, and had improved circulation.
As always, pick dark chocolates with 70% or more cocoa to keep added sugar to a minimum while maximizing the benefits.
Not just bone broth but any food that is rich in collagen is a skin super food. Collagen is rich in the amino acids glycine proline and hydroxyproline. your body can absorb these important amino acids and use them, together with vitamin C and other nutrients to form new collagen in your skin.
Studies have shown that consuming collagen can improve skin elasticity, moisture and firmness, while reducing wrinkles. In fact, one study showed that taking a collagen supplement along with vitamins C and E for 12 weeks significantly reduced wrinkle depth.
- By Dr. Tal Friedman, ND at Chiva-Som.