Keeping the Health and Look of Your Skin
Any weakness in the epidermis or open areas on the skin can be an entryway for germs. Also, unhealthy skin ages quicker which can lead to premature wrinkling.
You can spend thousands of dollars on treatments, creams, and ointments. The effects of these are temporary or may not even work. For great skin or to heal skin issues, you need to work from the inside out. This means you need to eat very healthy.
When considering what it means to eat very healthy, think of food as medicine at least as supplement. When choosing something to eat, ask yourself if you will be getting the highest nutritional benefit from it. To get you started, here are ten foods that are very beneficial for skincare.
10 Skin Loving Foods for Healthy Skin
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are high in nutrients that research has shown to be very beneficial for the skin. Anti-oxidants, such as vitamin A, C, E, and lutein are found in these vegetables. They also contain vitamin K, which helps to repair skin. Nutrients in dark green leafy vegetables assist in collagen building, which improves elasticity thereby reducing wrinkles.
- Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, and other fermented foods help with digestion, allowing for quicker delivery of nutrients to the skin. This is important because skin cells are the last organ to receive nutrients. So, foods that help with nutrient delivery benefit the skin. Fermented foods also remove toxins which helps heal conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Carrots and sweet potatoes are high in carotene. Carotene is a precursor to vitamin A which is a powerful anti-oxidant. Vitamin A assists in combating wrinkles and heals skin tissue.
- Fish are filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, a necessary nutrient. Necessary nutrients are ones that the body does not make. Therefore, it is important to eat foods that have Omega-3s. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory nutrient. Omega-3s are essential for all skin, but vital for skin diseases, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and sun damage. Omega-3 also hydrates the skin, which is beneficial for wrinkles and dry skin.
- Whole grain oatmeal is hydrating and helps keep skin moisturized, especially good for dry or aging skin. Oatmeal is rich in beta-glucans, which fight infections and are anti-viral.
- Avocadoes contain large amounts of vitamin B, E, and other healthy skin nutrients that help skin stay emollient, firm, and aids in healing.
- Broccoli is high in vitamin K. Vitamin K helps blood to clot so it is good for wound, bruises, and healing skin after surgery. Vitamin K is also said to help with stretch marks and spider veins.
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, and lemons are good sources of Vitamin C. Vitamin C aids in building collagen and elastin. Vitamin C is beneficial for healing skin, so it is good after surgery and for other damaged skin.
- Goji berries, blueberries, cranberries, and other berries are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals that can break down cells and tissue, which can lead to premature aging and cause diseases. Antioxidants protect healthy cells from environmental pollution, sun, chemicals, and other harmful side effects.
- Water while not technically a food is essential for great skin. It helps to deliver nutrients and removes toxins from the body. Water keeps skin supple and hydrated.
It takes a variety of wholesome foods to heal and keep skin healthy. As you can see, the foods above have several things in common: They are not processed; they do not contain hydrogenated fats, chemicals, added sugar, or salt.
So, if you want to improve your skin’s texture, look or heal skin conditions, work from the inside out with a very healthy diet as well as seeking professional opinions.
8 Essentials to Beat the Winter Skin Blues
Winter is not kind to skin; it can make it dry, itchy, & scaly. If you have dry skin to begin with or eczema, it becomes even worse in the winter. Dry skin for many during the cold months means the constant application of moisturizer to no avail.
There are a couple of factors that contribute to the skin becoming drier in the winter: Cold temperatures means humidity levels are low. If that's not enough, indoor air is made even drier because of heat sources like forced-air furnaces and fireplaces. For skin, these two scenarios are bad news: What moisture the skin has the dry air causes water from it to evaporate. In the winter, more than 25 percent of the skin's ability to retain moisture is lost.
While it's a challenge to keep skin moisturized and smooth during the cold months, it's not impossible. You do need to keep in mind that there is not just one single remedy. To keep skin moisturized and soft during winter takes a multi-faceted approach and consistency.
Here are a few suggestions to help you keep your skin smooth and silky no matter the weather.
- Wear gloves, scarves, socks, and long-sleeved clothing. When outside, protect your skin by keeping it covered. Cold air and wind can chafe skin and make dry skin worse. Also, certain fabrics like wool can irritate dry skin making it worse. According to dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu, wool resembles steel wool under a microscope and scrapes against dry skin when it touches it.[i]
- Get omega-3s in your diet. A study showed that participants who took a half a teaspoon of omega-3 flaxseed oil for over a 12-week period had a 39 percent increase in skin hydration. Fatty fish like salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, & flaxseeds have omega-3s. There are also omega-3s supplements, and some skincare products have omega-3s as an ingredient.
- Drink plenty of water. As mentioned, skin loses more water in the winter, and especially from the indoor air. Also, like many people you may tend to drink less water in the winter because hot weather in the summer makes you thirstier. Drink water throughout the day; set a timer to remind you if necessary.
- Flakes on the skin are dead skin cells that haven't sloughed off because there is not enough oil in the skin. The best way to remove dead skin cells is to exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating removes dry skin, revealing the softer and smoother skin underneath. You can make a simple one at home by combining equal amounts of plant oil (almond, sunflower, safflower, etc.) and sugar.
- Choose an organic or natural moisturizer. Your skin doesn't need the added chemicals; they can worsen dry skin. Also, be sure to massage the moisturizer into the skin thoroughly. Moisturize in the morning and before going to bed at night. Shea, cocoa, and mango creams are excellent for hydrating the skin and for providing a barrier to protect the skin from moisture loss.
- Either buy a humidifier or use another method to add moisture to the indoor air, such as simmering a pot of water on the stove. If you simmer water on the stove, be sure to check on it regularly to make sure all the water doesn't get evaporated and burn the pan. Set a timer to remind you. The humidity will help hydrate skin.
- Chlorine Filter. Chlorine in the water exacerbates dry skin conditions. Attach a chlorine filter to your shower. Natural chlorine reducing balls are also available to use in the bath.
- Avoid hot water. Use warm water when showering, washing your hands, or taking a bath instead of hot water. Also, shorten your shower and bath times. Hot water strips the skin's protective oil barrier making skin even drier and parched.
Rasmussen, Brad, MD. 6 Ways to Protect Your Skin During Cold Weather (February 22, 2017). Retrieved from https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2017/02/6-ways-to-protect-your-skin-during-cold-weather/
Want Healthy Skin? Feed It Well. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/want-healthy-skin-feed-well#1
Wu, Jessica, MD. Top 10 Causes of Dry Skin. Retrieved from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/dry-skin-relief/dr-wu-causes-of-dry-skin/
[i] Wu, Jessica, MD, Top 10 Causes of Dry Skin. Web.
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