by Jessica Carter Core Health & Nutrition
Have you ever heard the saying “You are what you eat”? That could not be truer than with our skin. The health and appearance of our skin is often a direct reflection of what we consume, but it’s not just the diet to consider. There are other factors that contribute to healthy skin as well. Looking in the mirror can be the first step to recognizing a problem in the diet, but the next is taking a look at your entire lifestyle.
Eat a well-balanced, whole foods diet full of skin super foods, omega 3s, vitamins and minerals.
Drink plenty of water! Be sure to get the recommended eight glasses a day and choose foods such as watermelons, strawberries and peaches, which are naturally full of water.
Be sure to eat some sort of fermented food such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or miso to keep the gut bacteria in balance.
Make sure to get plenty of antioxidant rich foods, such as green tea, berries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, pomegranates and kale. These antioxidants are your first defense against aging skin.
To fight wrinkles be sure to get an appropriate amount of healthy fats. This would include avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish.
Add supplements when unable to adequately consume probiotics, healthy fats, or vitamins and minerals.
Always wear sunscreen, yes even in the winter, the diet can only go so far, some protection is needed on the outside as well.
Add yoga or other stretching to your exercise routine. Yoga helps the body eliminate toxins, reduces stress and improves circulation — all important things for skin health.
Sleep! Make sure to make sleep a priority.
Reduce stress. Stress shows up on the face instantly so practice breathing exercises, meditation or find some other way to decompress when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Stop eating so much added sugar!! Excess sugar is linked to a variety of health concerns and can promote wrinkles and inflammation in skin. First place to make a change here is with sugary beverages.
Limit (or eliminate) processed and junk food. If it comes in a box, it’s processed. Not ready to make that drastic of a change, then start easy by making a rule to only buy foods with five ingredients or less.
Don’t smoke! If you smoke now, make it a priority to quit.
Monitor your caffeine intake. Try replacing afternoon coffee with hot teas and warm lemon water.
Don’t suntan. Enough said.
Take shorter showers and turn down the temperature. That scalding hot water that we all love to stand under on a cold winter day is stripping our skin of its natural protective layer.
Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can dry out our skin and cause blotchiness. It also can impede our decision-making process, causing us to do things that are harmful to our skin such as smoke, not wash our face, eat processed sugary foods, etc. Making a healthy selection, such as choosing red wine, and moderation are key here.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to reduce your stress by not worrying so much about everything. Recognize the things you can handle right now and deal with those, leave any other worries for another day.
Don’t overdo it in the product department. It is important to use the right products for your skin, but too much can be problematic.
Don’t go to bed with a dirty face. Throughout the day our skin has been exposed to countless chemicals, bacteria and dirt. Washing that off at the end of the day gives our skin a chance to breath and relax. Follow up with a moisturizer and a good night’s rest and you will wake up refreshed and one step closer to your perfect skin.