You are more likely to find the solution to your persistent skin problems in your kitchen than in your makeup cabinet.
What you eat (and drink) has a far bigger impact on the quality of your skin than whatever you apply on it.
I’m not recommending you start taking supplements or eating weird superfoods. Most of these are just expensive fads with no real impact on your skin quality.
It’s all about the basic stuff like eating your vegies, having several portions of fruits daily and drinking enough water.
Moisturizers, serums and creams are just the icing on the cake to make sure your skin looks good on the outside. But the biggest benefits to your skin health come from the inside.
With that in mind, here are the best ways to improve your skin from inside out.
1. Eat a balanced and varied diet
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It quickens healing time, gives your skin a radiant look and boosts the production of collagen.
Vitamin E is important in preventing skin cell damage from free radicals, making sure your skin stays young and smooth.
Selenium is another powerful antioxidant that prevents skin cancer and sun damage.
I could go on and on. Truth is, there are dozens of vitamins and nutrients in different foods that are good for your skin.
But it would be tedious to keep up with a list of foods that contain specific nutrients and make sure you integrate them into your diet.
It’s much easier to eat a balanced and varied diet. Make sure you are getting your proteins, whole carbs, healthy fats and vitamins.
Such a diet will provide you with most of the ingredients your skin needs.
But don’t forget about the varied part. Certain micronutrients are found only in certain foods such as nuts, specific types of fish and seeds.
Make sure your main meals and snacks include a wide variety of natural foods. Good examples include walnuts, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, avocados, leafy greens, seafood, berries and whole grains.
These foods contain a rich mix of minerals like zinc, antioxidants like vitamin C and fatty acids such as Omega-3.
2. Reduce or avoid processed foods
Refined carbohydrates, too much sugar, unhealthy fats and harmful additives in processed and fast foods will mess up your skin health.
They can cause premature wrinkles and sagging, cause or aggravate acne and make your skin look older and duller.
If you cannot completely cut out processed food from your diet, try to reduce it drastically. Come up with a skin-friendly meal plan that consists of natural foods mostly from plants and a few from animals.
And it’s not just foods but also beverages. Anything loaded up with sugar, preservatives and chemicals is bad your skin.
Replace them with good old fruit/vegetable juices and water.
Talking of water…
3. Drink enough water
Anyone, even people with oily skin, can have dehydrated skin. This is different from dry skin that produces less sebum than usual.
Dehydrated skin is as a result of inadequate hydration.
If you are not drinking enough water, even a moisturiser will not help much.
Your skin will feel rough and scaly. It will get dull and signs of aging will begin to set in.
It can also worsen acne for those with oily skin. The dehydration causes the body to produce even more oil, causing pores to clog.
6-8 glasses of water will keep your skin properly hydrated. Complement that with juicy fruits like watermelon, herbal teas and homemade fruit or vegetable juices. Smoothies are also great.
4. Sleep well and manage your stress levels
Beyond your diet, your mental state can influence the health and appearance of your skin.
If you don’t get enough sleep, someone can easily tell just by looking at your face. The skin looks dull and fatigued.
High stress levels have similarly negative effects. Stress hormones can make your skin more sensitive, increase the risk of acne breakouts and cause rashes and hives.
It also speeds up the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Sleeping for 6-8 hours every day, meditating, engaging in a hobby and talking to someone are some of the things that can help you reduce your stress levels.