May 16th, 2020 | Updated on June 30th, 2022
When keeping your skin healthy and clear, your success depends on how much of your lifestyle supports the necessary changes in your skin’s youth and elasticity.
As the proverbial saying goes, you are what you eat, so it’s no surprise that your diet factors into this process too.
Here we’ll be going through the best dietary practices for promoting healthy skin, all based on maximizing your intake of minerals and vitamins that have been scientifically proven to help.
We’ve done this by listing out the actual nutrients, describing their benefits towards your skin, and then the best foods where you can expect to find these nutrients.
1. Skin Care Nutrients
The nutrients you’ll want to include in your diet are as follows: omega-3 fatty acids, isoflavones, resveratrol, salicylic acid, iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin A/beta-carotene, and vitamins C, D, and E with selenium.
Most of these are valuable for skin care diets because of their antioxidant properties. Let’s break down what each one does for your skin.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are quite famous for being a brain food but are also great for keeping your skin moisturized.
They’re found in fatty fish, and not getting enough in your diet can be the cause of dry skin, which comes with it a host of other skin problems.
Keeping your body loaded with fatty acids will keep these problems at bay, reducing inflammation and acne breakouts.
To get these acids, you can either add fish to your diet directly or, if you want to be quick and resourceful about it, you can take fish oil supplements. Otherwise, go for the fattier fish cuts such as the classic salmon, or mackerel.
Isoflavones are a phytoestrogen that blocks human estrogen, which increases collagen in the skin and the elasticity of that skin when introduced into women’s diets, particularly postmenopausal women.
It also increases the water-holding capacity of the skin, improving pigmentation.
You can take supplements for isoflavones, too, but they’re easily added to diet through several foods detailed below.
However, soy is loaded with isoflavones and is easy to add to your diet. Chickpeas and pistachio nuts are also a great secondary source for them.
Resveratrol is a great antioxidant for those who want some extra UV protection for their skin. It also retains the firmness of your skin, which helps fight aging.
To achieve the best results from resveratrol, it needs to be used in conjunction with both water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants.
To get this nutrient, you’ll want to include red grapes or red wine into your diet. There’s also resveratrol in dark chocolate, too.
To be as healthy as possible, they should be taken sparingly, such as a glass of wine and a chunk or two of above-70% cocoa chocolate a day, since alcohol and dairy have their own negative skin effects.
You don’t even necessarily need to eat the grapes, since they can be mashed and worn on your face.
5. Salicylic Acid
Resveratrol is also linked to salicylic acid, another nutrient that’s great for keeping your skin young.
This is because they delay the natural deterioration of collagen in one’s skin, and it’s a popular ingredient in blackhead and acne treatments for their restorative properties.
Salicylic acid is most famously found in strawberries, and so we’d suggest they’re your one-stop shop for those looking to up their collagen levels.
Like with grapes, you can mash strawberries for a natural face mask to get the best out of them.
6. Iron, Zinc, And Magnesium
Minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium also help your skin. Iron and zinc are found in more foods that you may realize and help the day to day restoration and maintenance of your skin, as well as other bodily functions, giving your skin a healthy glow.
Zinc is also good for stopping the stress pimples that can form under your hair, on your scalp.
Magnesium is also useful if you think your skin blemishes are caused by stress or imbalanced hormones since it lowers cortisol levels, reducing inflammation and priming vitamin C’s effectiveness if both are present.
Iron and zinc can be found in both lean meats and fortified cereals, so these are surefire ways to increase the content of these vital minerals in your body.
Walnuts are also a great source of zinc (as well as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids) but for more hearty foods, shellfish will have your zinc intake covered.
Magnesium is found in leafy greens and fruit like avocado, being present in many of the foods that you’d eat to increase vitamin C.
7. Beta-Carotenes And Vitamin A
Speaking of the vitamins, a staple of skin care dieting is the presence of beta-carotenes. Beta-carotenes are provitamins, meaning they’re converted into vitamin A in your body.
Carotenoids have the effect of reinforcing your skin, making it more resilient to the sun and the subtle aging effects of it, as well as the not-so-subtle aging effects of time passing.
Due to the natural orange hue of carotenoids, hence the name, they also help your skin to achieve that healthy glow.
That detail may have already tipped you off to the foods you’ll have to eat, with oranges, carrots, sweet potato, red/yellow bell peppers, and squash being great for getting your fill of beta-carotenes, with sweet potato being the best by having six times your daily recommended intake.
Meanwhile, vitamin A, whether taken through beta-carotenes or on its own, keeps acne away and manages the sebaceous glands.
This reduces the oil your skin makes which in turn makes dead cell cleanup a smoother process.
If taking vitamin A supplements, you should exercise caution and ask for advice from a medical professional, since too much vitamin A can trigger hair loss.
8. Vitamin C, D, And E
The other main skin vitamins, C, D, and E, are vital for the regulation of your natural bodily functions and so have an effect on your skin, being the body’s largest organ. This means a healthy body leads to healthy skin, and vitamins are key to that.
Vitamin C is restorative, hunting down and eliminating free radicals, helping with scarring, acne, and other conditions based around the damaging of skin, like rosacea.
Vitamin C is mainly found in leafy greens, like broccoli, kale, and spinach. As for fruits, you should look at strawberries, and citrus fruits.
Lemons in particular are the most efficient and are a useful food to have in the house due to their many different applications, from face masks to lemon water to purge toxins from your system.
Vitamin D is the famous sun vitamin which also heals damage, but mainly where sunlight is concerned. It’s also preventative against acne or rosacea.
Some foods we’ve already mentioned, like fortified foods or fatty fish, can contain vitamin D. If you want an efficient way of introducing it to your diet, however, you can either start eating beef liver or take supplements.
Vitamin E also repairs damage, and works best when present with vitamin C. It’s also a great collaborator with the mineral selenium to protect against sun damage and fortify your immune system.
Avocado has earned its superfood reputation for many reasons, three being that vitamin A, C, and E can be found in abundance and work well together when ingested at the same time.
Sunflower seeds and nuts, like almonds and hazelnuts, are also good for vitamin E. For both E and selenium, brazil nuts should be your choice to fortify the vitamins already in your system. For The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Skin visit my website at skincareskills.com