As we head into May, it’s time to start preparing for your healthy summer glow with a different kind of skincare regime. We’re not talking about a new product or treatment, but an overhaul on your diet.
The old wives’ tale ‘you are what you eat’ actually holds a lot of truth, and one of the best places to start on the path to radiant skin is looking at your diet choices. It’s scientifically proven that fresh food and plenty of water can improve your skin, making it clearer and radiant.
Bad skin doesn’t just affect teenagers, as adults can suffer from acne or spot outbreaks just as often. They can be caused by a number of reasons, including stress, hormone fluctuations, dehydration, and eating bad food.
One of the easiest things you can do to get beautiful skin is to improve your diet, so we are going to share some well-known diet tips and proven food groups that will ensure clearer skin, and will make sure you are glowing in time for the summer. All of these suggestions are valid for men’s skincare as well as women’s so men need not worry about having to go to a facial in order to get radiant skin (unless they want to!).
- Eating your five a day is hugely important, and recent research and headlines have suggested that five a day should be the absolute minimum and we should be aiming for seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
- If you’re struggling to add more fruit and veg to your diet then smoothies can be a fantastic way of incorporating a number of different portions into a snack or breakfast. Experiment to find flavours that you enjoy using fruit such as bananas, berries, apples, and vegetables like carrots, spinach and kale. The combinations of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and good-for-you fats will keep wrinkles and sagging to a minimum. They also keep puffiness and redness at bay, and can really fill you up too. If you haven’t already, go and purchase a blender so you can join the smoothie making fun.
- Oily fish are high in omega -3 fats, which are fantastic for keeping skin soft and supple. Try salmon, trout and mackerel, which are all great for fighting dry or inflamed skin. Vegetarians can try eating more nuts, seeds and flax oil, or try a good-quality supplement such as cod liver oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help skin, particularly inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Boost your vitamin C intake, as it’s important in helping your skin produce collagen, which strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin. Dark berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and are also rich in antioxidants, which help protect against the free radical damage that causes wrinkles. Other excellent sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes and parsley. This vitamin C boost is needed for a strong immune system, radiant skin and helps blemishes heal properly.
- Don’t be afraid of fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids, which can act as a natural moisturiser for your skin helping to keep it young and supple. As well as fish, nuts, and seeds – one of the best foods providing this fat is avocado. Avocado is packed with a healthy dose of vitamin E, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants and also helps neutralise free radicals. Other good sources of vitamin E include olive oil, wheat germ and wholegrains.
- White bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and sweets are all terrible foods for our skin, as the carbs send our insulin levels soaring, and research suggests that this can cause spot breakouts.
Avoid high GI carbohydrates like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they also lead to the production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles. Simply switch your refined white carbs for moderate amounts of complex ones like whole-grain bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta. This will help as they are digested more slowly and don’t lead to an insulin spike which is unkind on our skin.
- The antioxidant selenium can help your skin tissue elasticity. Snack on foods like Brazil nuts every day, which contain a high amount of selenium. Other good sources of selenium include salmon, fresh tuna, eggs, wheat germ, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts garlic and wholegrains. Plenty of options to try out then!
- Zinc is important as it helps the skin to produce oil, which can repair skin damage and keep skin soft and supple. Zinc is also good for healthy wound healing so eat foods including fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish. Snack on pumpkin seeds too, as they are Zinc-rich and are also useful for treating many skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
- Keeping hydrated is hugely important as it gives skin the moisture it needs to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. You should be aiming for six to eight glasses of water a day - all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best. Herbal, and caffeine-free teas are good too, particularly green tea and peppermint tea. If you struggle to keep up your water intake, carry around a bottle with you all day, and keep a bottle of water on your desk at work.
- Try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, both can age the skin. Some alcohol, particularly red wine, can cause blood vessels to dilate, bringing on facial redness. This is not good for the skin, so try to cut back on the booze or at least pass on the red!
Remember that as well as improving your diet, fresh air and plenty of exercise can really help – as well as a good skincare regime every day. See if you can make a difference to your skin!
If you’re really looking for an ultimate skin boost before summer, then be sure to have a look at our Spring into Summer package which will get your skin glowing.