Skin care goes far beyond your typical creams, cleansing and Botox. Going to spas is nice, sure; gives you a little time to relax from everything. It’s also a good excuse to be lazy the whole day. But you shouldn’t just approach skincare as a day off.
It should be a big part of your everyday routine. And not just for people who want to have smooth skin for their Instagram followers, but for everyone. Our skin is in a lot of ways, our only defense against all the nasty stuff flying through the air, especially in a big city like NYC. A big part of skin care that a lot of people seem to miss is eating the right food.
Now, we’ve covered all kinds of tips and tricks for keeping skin healthy in the winter, after makeup-heavy holidays like Halloween, even in the rainy seasons and the scorching hot summers. But what about food? Not a lot of people are eating healthy and it leaves a visibly negative effect on their skin.
Which is understandable. Proper diet isn’t something you’re going to be thinking about when there’s a really nice burrito place down the street. But if you want to do a little more for your body and are willing to give up your unhealthy eating habits, here are a few tips dermatologists offer for the kind of food you should be eating.
Diets Aren’t for Everyone, But…
Everyone knows that dieting isn’t easy to do. Sometimes, the healthiest food doesn’t taste that good compared to fatty, sugary treats, which are easy to purchase and gobble down.
But for the sake of our health, we’re willing to put all that aside and focus on what’s truly important. At first, eating healthy food can feel like a downright chore if you don’t enjoy the flavor. Once you get into the habit or rhythm of your diet, it’s smooth sailing. You’ll start enjoying the food you used to think was bland or boring and find yourself craving junk food less and less.
So, what food should you start eating to help your skin?
The Obvious Ones (Fruits and Veggies)
A good place to start is with produce. As you probably know, fruits and vegetables are among the best things you can eat for your skin. And if they’re organically grown, you have an even greater advantage.
Much of the non-organic produce that we put in our food has all kinds of chemicals and pesticides. Obviously, these aren’t dangerous to your health in the quantity that is injected into the plants, so don’t expect to grow a third arm by eating too many non-organic parsnips.
But the more organically grown a certain fruit or vegetable is, the better it is for you. Let’s be honest: this is common knowledge. What specific kinds of produce should you eat so that you have better skin.
Leafy vegetables like spinach or kale are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is super important for your skin’s regeneration. As are carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli. So if you feel like even the smallest scratches take a little longer to heal, time to eat up some Vitamin A.
For Vitamin C, you can also eat a lot of citrus fruits, some berries, and bell peppers just to name a few. People who get more Vitamin C have shown to have less wrinkles and don’t have as many problems with dry skin as those who don’t. You probably already consume food that’s rich in Vitamin C, since most of it tastes pretty great. Who doesn’t love oranges?
And then there are some nuts you should definitely include in your diet, like almonds or walnuts. Walnuts contain omega-3, which helps produce collagen, which is the protein responsible for plump and vigorous skin. It’s basically like a dermal filler injection, but inside a really hard shell.
Let’s Not Forget the Dairy
I once heard someone say that the more color food has, the healthier it is. This is true with vegetables and fruit, but what about milk? Doesn’t have a lot of color to it, but it’s a huge source of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is also super important when it comes to protecting your skin and regenerating damage. Normally, you’d get your biggest intake of it from the Sun itself, though with a few risks. You already know that the Sun’s rays can be gruesome to your skin and might cause more harm than good if you stand under it too long.
With milk, you bypass the radioactivity and just go straight to the Vitamin D. Do keep in mind though that milk is a little different than vegetables and fruit. Produce is a pretty simple formula: you can either eat it and get the nutrients, or are allergic to it and have to stay away. With dairy the results can vary from person to person.
Your friend might bathe in milk and get all kinds of nutrients or benefits, but you may have a far milder reaction, in some cases even the complete opposite. Again, this varies from person to person, so your best bet would be to consult with your doctor before drinking gallons of it.
If you’re a vegan, then you’re in a lot of luck. Almond and coconut milk are both very good for your skin. So, don’t think that you’re missing out. Coconut milk contains a lot of Vitamin C, which as we mentioned above, rejuvenates and reinvigorates the skin. Almond milk prevents wrinkles and keeps the skin firm. So, don’t think you’re falling behind.
Eat a lot of fish. Red meat or poultry can also have a lot of benefits for your skin, but fish is what packs the real punch when it comes to skin care. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 and tuna provides selenium, which protects your skin.
You can also eat eggs, which like dairy, contain Vitamin D, though a lot less. But have the added bonus of helping with collagen formation, another important building block of healthy skin we mentioned earlier.
And let’s finish off with a super trendy one, the avocado. There’s a reason why it’s so popular outside of foodie culture: it’s super healthy. Containing several vitamins, like A, D and E, as well as some phytonutrients, which gives a lot of added protection not only to your skin, but your entire body.
So, grab some guacamole, kale chips (regular ones aren’t going to be as healthy) and eat away for healthier skin.