When we think of glowing, healthy skin, most of us think a lot about what we put on our skin. But what about skin nutrition? Does what we eat matter?
Just as it makes sense that what we put ON our skin impacts our skin health, what we put IN our bodies significantly impacts the health of your skin. In particularly, science shows that particular components in food can have benefits in the health of our skin. But what role do these different factors play in keeping our skin healthy and glowing skin? Read on to learn about key nutrients for your skin nutrition!
Easily my number one tip for keeping your skin hydrated? Drink water. Around 60% of your body is water, so it makes sense right? Deficiency of water can be associated with skin issues such as dryness, due to the skin’s role as a barrier. What to aim for? At least 2 litres per day as an absolute minimum, more if you sit in air conditioning all day, or are physically active. Including a dermatologically proven micellar water such as Bioderma’s Sensibio H2O Cleansing Micellar Water that uses pharmaceutical grade water as the base can also help protect the skin’s natural barrier to prevent further drying or dehydration of the skin.
Essential Fatty Acids
We usually consider two different types of EFAs; Omega-3, derived from alpha-linolenic acid and Omega-6, derived from linoleic acid. Both can be found in many healthy fat sources such as oily fish, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, avocados and extra virgin olive oil. EFAs are essential for the creation of cell walls and are a foundation of prostaglandins, which a big role in inflammation management. A high intake of the omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent skin dryness and thinning of the skin. The omega-6 EFAs are important in the structural integrity (damage level/ability to heal) and barrier function of the skin (i.e. helps keep hydration in).
Zinc is a mineral which helps heal and rejuvenate our skin by reducing the formation of damaging free radicals and protects skin’s fats and fibroblasts (the cells that make collagen, your skin’s support structure). It is particularly useful when skin is exposed to UV light or pollution. Where to find zinc? Oysters, wholegrains, legumes and meat.
Antioxidants play a key role in maintaining the health of our skin, through breaking down free radicals and reducing UVB sun damage. These antioxidants include:
- Vitamin A: This group includes B-carotene and retinol. These antioxidants all hold photo protective properties- protecting against sun damage. The best sources of carotenoids include carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papaya.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C rich foods include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, leafy greens, kiwi fruit and capsicum. Not only does this vitamin aid in collagen synthesis but it will also increase iron absorption and bioavailability of Selenium; other important nutrient for maintaining healthy skin!
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E actually works in partnership with Vitamin C. Vitamin E’s mechanism of action is in working against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation (i.e. cell damage) which are both correlated aging of the skin. You can find Vitamin E in almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
- Polyphenols: Like all our antioxidants, polyphenols play a role in reducing oxidative stress (cell and tissue damage). We mostly find these compounds in fruits and plant beverages such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, tea, coffee, chocolate and red wine (thought this doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you drink!).
All of Bioderma’s products include the D.A.F.patent that works to increase the skin’s tolerance threshold and strengthen its resistance to external stressors such as pollution, UVA and UVB rays, and even ingredients in make-up products.
Foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) such as sugar, are rapidly absorbed which result in elevated insulin levels. Insulin and IGF-1 (insulin like growth factor) have been shown to effect sebum production, increase adrenal androgen synthesis and increase the availability of androgens; which can all contribute to the development of acne. Sugar effects the skin via other mechanisms as well as its GI. Sugar promotes cross-linking of collagen fibres which fast forward the signs of aging. This cross linking happens as a product of glycation, where glucose and fructose link the collagen and elastin in the skin. When this happens over and over again, the skin becomes increasingly stiff and elasticity is reduced. The research shows that once these cross links are formed, they are unable to be broken. This glycation is a natural process but the rate at which it occurs is accelerated with consumption of sugar.
By eating a large variety of plant foods for a good dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, along with consuming healthy fats on a daily basis and drinking plenty of water, you will be choosing the best foods for keeping your skin nutrition on track.
When it comes to what to put ON your skin, head over to Bioderma and check out their range of products designed with dermatological expertise for lasting health for the skin.
From time to time I write sponsored posts such as this, however views are entirely my own, and I only ever collaborate with companies and brands who resonate with me.