Beauty from the inside out: your A-to-Z guide to the perfect skin

There are hundreds of beauty products on the market promising you less wrinkles, a brighter face and no pimples, but other than costing you your life savings do they really work? There is a saying that “you can’t out train a bad diet” and this is just as applicable to your skin…you really can’t out train (or in this case out smart) a bad diet. Beauty starts from within and I am not just talking about self-love (even though that is just as important), I am referring to what foods you put in your body and your exposure to things like chemicals and toxins. It also matters what you put on your skin but that’s a whole other kettle of fish which we can discuss another day…

So how exactly does what you eat affect what your skin looks like? *Insert A-to-Z skin guide*. This guide provides some simple ideas (because like everything in life simple is best) that you can include into your daily routine to help boost your skin health naturally without the hefty price tag.

But firstly, let’s talk antioxidants- Antioxidants are essential for skin health due to their role in reducing free radicals. Free radicals are produced by processed foods, environmental pollution, smoking, chemicals and even stress. Free radicals wreck havoc in the body for many reasons, but in terms of skin they are the catalyst for premature ageing due to the toxic load they place on the body. Antioxidants work to ‘mop up’ these free radicals in our bodies therefore reducing the damage they can cause. Now we all have a better understanding of the role antioxidants play in skin health, the guide might make a little more sense and you might believe me a little more when I say “eat your leafy greens”.

A-TO-Z SKIN GUIDE: 

NUTRIENT/ LIFESTYLE FACTOR

BENEFIT

SOURCES

Vitamin A

Antioxidant, acts to reduce wrinkles, increase blood flow and helps regenerate new skin cells (vitamin A deficiency can present as dry and flaky skin) Sweet potato, carrots, spinach, kale, swish chard, beet greens (pretty much an dark leafy greens LOL)

Vitamin C

Collagen production (goodbye wrinkles), powerful antioxidant, builds tissue and keeps skin elasticity Strawberries, kiwi fruit, oranges, broccoli, lemon, capsicum, tomatoes, papaya

Vitamin E

Powerful antioxidant (especially in combination with vitamin A), and it protects, repairs and nourishes skin from inside out Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocado, asparagus, egg yolk

Essential fatty acids (EFA’s)

Reduce inflammation, skin repair, improve moisture and prevent wrinkles Walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, olive oil, coconut oil, tahini, oily fish

Magnesium

Antioxidant, helps DNA repair to reduce wrinkles, prevents skin inflammation (Eg, eczema/ acne) by maintaining skin moisture and elasticity Pumpkin seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, brown rice, sunflower seeds, cashews

Potassium

Maintains fluid balance in the body and reduces “puffiness” or fluid retention Avocados, bananas, sweet potato, beetroot, spinach, lentils

Selenium

Antioxidant, helps maintain skin firmness and elasticity, prevents acne, fights ageing through reducing cell damage Brazil nuts, walnuts, liver, sunflower seeds, shellfish, mushrooms, salmon

Sleep

Slows ageing process, reduces dark circles and puffiness under eyes, lowers cortisol production 8 hours of restorative sleep a night- try switching off from technology 30 minutes before bed to get a deeper sleep

Water

Maintains skin hydration, enhances the brightness of skin, cleanses of toxins from your body, reduces appearance of wrinkles 1.5-2L filtered water a day, herbal teas

Zinc

Antioxidant, supports collagen production, smooths skin, reduces acne and heals scars and wounds Mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, seafood (Eg. Oysters, shellfish), beef, lamb, lentils, quinoa, cashews

Now, I don’t expect you to dive head first into all of these different foods (or do, suit yourself) as it can all be a bit overwhelming to start off with if you’re not used to such a variety of foods… but just start simple! Include 1-2 pieces of fruit a day, try add 1 cup of green vegetables to every meal, snack on nuts/ seeds instead of chips, drink 2L of water a day and eat vegetables from every colour of the rainbow. This week just pick one of these ideas and focus on sticking to it and see how you feel at the end of the week. Eventually as the weeks go on these simple practices will become a habit and then they will start to form your healthy, happy and wholesome life!

Alex

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