Disclaimer: This article is not a nutritional prescription intended to treat, diagnose or cure any skin conditions. Its purpose is to give you tools and strategies to improve your daily eating. We recommend that you consult your doctor or licensed nutritionist before making any changes to your diet. Now with that out of the way...
Lettuce get started
We've all heard it before: you are what you eat. This is especially true when it comes to our skin. Aestheticians understand that prevention is the most effective way to slow down the signs of aging. Although there’s not much we can do to prevent intrinsic skin aging - the chronological and inevitable aging process - extrinsic aging, on the other hand, is primarily influenced by diet. Diverse eating habits like incorporating antioxidant rich-food, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and probiotics are needed to maintain healthy-glowing skin.
1. Glowing skin is berry exciting.
Too much exposure to UV rays prevents collagen production, which leads to premature aging. Vitamin C, aka L-ascorbic acid, works as a free radical scavenger by reducing inflammation. The richest natural sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and veggies like berries, citrus, bell peppers, kale, etc. You’ll always find some berries in our fridge because they are sweet, delicious, and low on the glycemic index. Swapping refined sugars for berries is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without causing further oxidative stress in your skin.
2. Let's go nuts.
Vitamins C and E make each better. Vitamin E, also called tocopherol, is a fat-soluble vitamin and, just like vitamin C, is a natural antioxidant. When vitamin E is oxidized, it is then regenerated by ascorbic acid. Eating foods high in vitamin E will help fight cellular damage and reduce free radicals in your body. Almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, and spinach contain high amounts of vitamin E. When applied topically, it prevents the formation of blemishes, which is why you’ll find some in our anti-inflammatory serum, The Lemon Drop.
3. We carrot tell you enough.
Carotenoids are the highly effective antioxidants that give fruits and vegetables their yellow, orange, or red pigment. Beta-carotene is a unique carotenoid. Although it doesn’t hold a candle to sunscreen, a diet rich in beta-carotene can prevent premature aging from UV rays. Carrots, pumpkins, mangos, and papayas are just a few of the goods high in beta-carotene. You’ll find mango and papaya enzymes in The Enzyme Peel.
4. Vitamin D is eggsquisite.
Our bodies synthesize vitamin D through sun exposure. It’s essential for preventing infections and protecting skin cells against premature aging. You can find Vitamin D in fatty fish, egg yolks, cereal, and tofu.
5. Here’s the tea on polyphenols.
Polyphenols are natural micronutrients you can find in tea, coffee, and red wine. Over the last few years, these micronutrients have become a fav of estheticians due to their antioxidant and anti-aging properties. Polyphenols help reduce inflammation and protect the skin against UV ray damage. Like to unwind with a glass of wine? Totally cool, as long as you do it in moderation. You’ll find green tea polyphenols throughout our mineral makeup collection.
6. Water you doing?
No water, no life, and we can only go a few days without some. A lack of water in your skin can cause premature aging and inflammation. Our skin is about 30% water, which gives it its plump and elasticity. You’ll prevent water loss and improve skin hydration with sufficient in-take of it. However, you’re going to need to more than just drink water to avoid (the signs of) aging. Using topical emollients like the ones you will find in The Moon Shine will boost your water consumption by helping improve dry skin look and feel.
7. Brew-tiful skin with probiotics.
Exposing yourself to UV rays will, in time, weaken your skin’s immune system and youthful glow. Recent studies show that probiotics, a mixture of microorganisms, can help protect the skin barrier and reduce inflammation. Other benefits include improving eczema and dermatitis, healing wounds faster, and rejuvenating the skin. Prebiotics are fermented ingredients that support digestive health. These can be found in leeks, asparagus, onions, garlic, oats, and soybeans.
8. Believe it or nut, fatty acids are essential.
Since our bodies don’t naturally produce essential fatty acids (EFAs), we have to get them through our foods to reduce inflammation. A high intake of EFAs lowers your chances of getting dry skin. Also, when taken with antioxidants, EFAs can reduce the type of UV damage that leads to wrinkles and sagging skin. Salmon, avocados, chia seeds, walnuts, plant oils, leafy vegetables are all great sources of EFAs. Using a cleanser high in safflower seed oil (like The Bare Bar) can help repair your skin barrier.
9. Let’s cut to the cheese.
Consuming foods like dairy and sugar can lead to premature aging because they increase inflammation. Dairy intolerance is one of the most common food sensitivities in the world. As we age, our body produces lower levels of enzymes that digest lactose. Dairy also impacts our hormones which can eventually give way to blemishes.
Ever heard the expression “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips”? It simply means more sugar, more weight. Too much sugar can also impact collagen production in the dermis and promote skin aging. Yes, this includes your favorite cocktails since alcohol is high in sugar. Want to avoid skin dehydration and wrinkles? Watch that sugar!
When I started my journey as an esthetician, I was going through a breakout (see Exhibit A below). I decided to avoid inflammatory foods like sugar and dairy for 90 days. As you can see in Exhibit B, my blemishes cleared up, my dark circles (almost) went away, and my skin became more radiant. Oh, and did I mention that I also lost 17 pounds?! Today I still eat the food that I love, but in moderation. I’m actually enjoying a dairy-free matcha tea latte as I’m typing this blog.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to cut dairy and sugar out of your diet completely. The key is making better choices. Now when I go out with my friends, we order one dessert for the entire table. This way, we still get to indulge in sweet treats without wreaking havoc on our skin.
10. Let’s taco ‘bout fitness.
Since we can get blemishes and dryness at any age, they can cause a little anxiety. Therefore, keeping your skin in peak condition matters for your physical and mental wellbeing. Although exercising cannot reverse the signs of aging, it has several health benefits including reducing stress and inflammation. Regular exercise can also boost circulation, giving your skin that youthful glow. Recent studies suggest that skin hydration temporarily increases after a good workout. Those who exercise twice a week look (and feel) younger and more hydrated.
Skincare alone won’t improve your skin. Adding long-term sustainable habits like balancing your diet, exercising regularly, and reducing stress are the most effective ways to prevent premature aging.