14 Jun Skincare – feed from within.
Healthy, vibrant looking skin is desired at any age, but as we get older the challenges are slightly greater. The luminescence of youth fades, but does it have to?
Skin starts to age from our twenties; dead skin cells do not slough off as quickly leading to dull skin, the skin is less elastic, and lines and wrinkles start to appear.
There are several factors that can exacerbate dull, lifeless skin and plenty that can promote vibrant, healthy skin. Here are some.
Avoid processed food and refined sugars as much as possible. Sugar is a major culprit – sugar molecules can link with protein molecules, a process call Advanced glycation end products (AGE) – how apt. This leads to inflammation and a certain amount of immune activity. I liken it to molten sugar, that sticks and coats whatever you poor it over, making it stiff and brittle. Similarly the elasticity of the skin is reduced, wrinkles form and function of the cells is affected and cells damaged.
Smoking and excessive alcohol can have the same affect. Furthermore alcohol can dehydrate the skin and reduce vital nutrients, plus damage cells. Excessive alcohol can cause puffiness and redness, which over time can enlarge blood vessels and lead to visible thread veins, and has potential to exacerbate psoriasis.
Lack of sleep is also detrimental to vibrant skin. Your mother didn’t tell you to get your beauty sleep for nothing! The body’s ability to detox can be impaired, and an excess of toxins in the body can often present themselves via the skin. In fact avoid as many toxins around you as possible, whether in processed foods, non-organic options, cosmetics and cleaning fluids. Swap these for organic, natural products where you can.
Avoid excessive sun exposure – as sun rays can cause damage to skin cells. Expose your skin just enough for that vital vitamin D fix – about 15 minutes a day in the morning, not at midday when the sun is most powerful.
Let’s move onto the supportive foods and actions.
A wholefood diet with fresh vegetables and fruits, plenty of filtered water, healthy fats, is a great place to start.
Hydration is of course essential. The cells need to be well hydrated to function properly – taking nutrients in and waste out. This helps a well functioning bowel – so important for waste removal. Hydration also plumps the tissue, making wrinkles and fine lines look less obvious.
For me one of the most significant changes was increasing healthy fats in my diet like nuts and seeds. Almonds are particularly rich in vitamin E well known for their promotion of healthy skin. I also included oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines 2 to 3 times a week. My skin became noticeably softer, the dryness improved and the eczema patches went.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that support and aid repair of the skin, and vitamin C can also promote the production of collagen. They are rich in fibre and water, as well as supportive nutrients like vitamin A, C and E.
Good digestion is paramount for healthy skin, so supporting gut motility with fibrous foods like beans, lentils, root veg and other fibrous fruits and vegetables is beneficial. Pineapples and papaya can aid digestion, and beetroot and artichokes can help the liver to cleanse.
Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and kombucha can provide supportive bacteria to promote a healthy gut flora, also vital for good gut function.
A few extra foods to include: Avocados, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, red & yellow peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, green tea, red grapes and a little dark chocolate. Oh yes!
Regular exercise can also stimulate blood flow to the skin, bringing nutrients to the cells and aiding elimination of waste.
A good skincare routine of gentle exfoliation can also assist in removal of dry, dull skin cells. Have a look at the skin care product range from doTERRA if you have an account, and if not get in touch to find out more.
A quick and simple trick is to lie on your bed with your head and shoulders hanging over the edge to get a little blood flow to your head. That quick flush can bring a glow to your cheeks, and if you add a smile and twinkle to your eyes you are very likely to receive a compliment or two!
So get out there and sparkle!
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Chen, J., Lin, X., Bu, C. et al. Role of advanced glycation end products in mobility and considerations in possible dietary and nutritional intervention strategies. Nutr Metab (Lond) 15, 72 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12986-018-0306-7
Svanström C, Lonne-Rahm SB, Nordlind K. Psoriasis and alcohol. Psoriasis (Auckl). 2019;9:75‐79. Published 2019 Aug 21. doi:10.2147/PTT.S164104
Addor FAS. Antioxidants in dermatology. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(3):356‐362. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20175697