Skincare Tips: 5 Best Foods to Eat for Healthy and Radiant Skin
As the old adage goes, you are what you eat. For years, nutritionists and dermatologists alike have constantly emphasised the importance of our diets. What we consume shows up on our skin, quite literally. And due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re met with yet another skincare problem: maskne.
For many of us, it can get overwhelming when it comes to deciding which skincare methods and products work best for us. However, achieving great skin involves maintaining a healthy diet too.
“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,” says Dr Tal Friedman, Head of Naturopathic and Research & Development Specialist at Chiva-Som Hua Hin, a luxury wellness and international health resort.
“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.”
Below, Dr Friedman shares some of the best natural food items to consume to keep the inner and outer you healthy and radiant.
This oily fish has long been regarded as one of the best foods to consume for overall health as it's packed with protein, but did you know it’s also helpful when it comes to achieving good skin?
“Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to help keep skin thick and hydrated. Research shows that omega-3 deficiency can cause dry skin. The omega-3 fats also reduce inflammation which can cause and aggravate acne,” according to Dr Friedman.
(Related: You Can Influence The Way Your Skin Ages—Here's How)
Good news if your obsession with avo toasts hasn't quite died down yet, as it is an excellent ingredient to have in your meals. The fruit is full of healthy fats, and can be consumed in so many ways (besides sliced on toast, of course) such as serving it with some eggs, as a blended drink and even on its own.
“A study with over 700 women found that a higher intake of 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,” says Dr Friedman.
If you are trying to include more antioxidants in your diet naturally, go for tomatoes. They are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. More importantly, it also protects skin from UV damage.
(Related: Supergoop Founder Holly Thaggard Reveals the Best Way to Use Sunscreen)
Here's another powerful source of antioxidants: dark chocolate. It contains much less sugar than milk chocolate and research suggests that this semi-sweet treat may help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and improve brain function.
Dr Friedman shares: “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.”
If you've seen cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner posting photos of her consuming bone broth in the mornings, now you why. Bone broth is rich in collagen, which is a key ingredient in skincare products as it keeps the skin soft and moist as well as aids in skincell renewal and repair. Therefore, consuming bone broth is one way to get this skin superfood into your system easily.
“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,” says Dr Friedman.
(Related: How To Achieve Glass Skin)