There are millions of creams, tonics and ointments out there that tout the ability to give you a clear, radiant complexion. But what you put on your plate can be just as instrumental to healthy skin as what you put on your face.
Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and staying hydrated are all vital for your health as well as for your skin and can diminish the need to use lots of fancy (and expensive!) skin products.
Generally, eating a diet rich in whole foods and limited in processed foods is good both for your body and skin. The primary nutritional qualities in food that benefit skin are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Fruits and vegetables in particular contain powerful antioxidants that help protect skin from the cellular damage and signs of aging caused by free radicals.
1. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, which counters the effects of sun exposure, strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin, helps blemishes heal and reduces the damage from free radicals. And they contain vitamin E, which also helps protect skin from cell damage.
2. Avocados are high in vitamin E as well as essential fatty acids, which act as a natural moisturizer for your skin. These fats fortify the cell membranes, which in turn helps prevent harmful substances from getting in – like the stuff of whiteheads and blackheads – and helps remove waste. Avocados also contain antioxidants that have an anti-inflammatory effect.
3. Eggs are a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that forms the basis of skin, nail and hair cells. Eggs also contain selenium, which protects the skin from age spots.
4. Brazil nuts are a prime source of selenium, an antioxidant mineral believed to play a key role in preventing skin cancer. Selenium is often taken in supplement or cream form, but other dietary sources include whole-grain cereals, wheat germ, seafood, garlic, turkey and eggs.
5. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue and prevention of a dry, flaky complexion.