Although a great skincare routine and treatments such as laser skin resurfacing, injections and chemical peels can help your skin look refreshed and youthful even as you grow older, without the backbone of a strong, healthy diet, all those treatments won’t help as much as they could. As you age, the old saying “you are what you eat” becomes particularly true. For example, a diet that’s high in sugar contributes to the signs of aging on your face and body.
While sugar can spell disaster for your skin, a few foods contain minerals, vitamins, and other substances that provide a great benefit. Some of these foods should be part of a healthy diet already, but others might not be.
You’ve probably heard that lycopene, the pigment found in tomatoes that give most variety their bright red color, played a part in reducing a person’s risk for some types of cancer. It turns out that lycopene is also great news for your skin. A 2008 study of 20 people, published in European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, found that lycopene also played a part in helping skin to stay smooth. The people with higher amounts of the pigment in their system were more likely to have smoother skin.
Lycopene may also reduce your risk of being burned by the sun. Another study showed that nearly half of the participants had less skin redness after sun exposure when they ate tomato paste daily. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, don’t worry. You can find lycopene in a number of other red/orange/pink fruits and vegetables, such as grapefruit, red peppers, and carrots.
Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are great sources of antioxidants, including vitamin C. A number of skincare product lines, such as iS Clinical, feature vitamin C, since it plays such an important role in the health of your skin. Vitamin C helps reduce dryness and can fight wrinkles. It also plays a part in the production of collagen, which provides the underlying support for your skin, keeping it from drooping or wrinkling.
You can make sure you get enough vitamin C in your diet by adding more fruits to it. In the summer, it can be easy to eat fresh berries all day long. In the winter, you can add a cup of frozen berries to a smoothie to make sure you get enough. Berries aren’t the only fruit that offer a good amount of vitamin C, though; you can also find it in citrus fruit, such as oranges and grapefruit.
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which contributes to keeping your body functioning well, even as you get older. Omega-3’s are also essential for the health and appearance of your skin. They help keep the membrane of your skin’s cells in good working order so that it keeps out the bad and lets vitamins and other nutrients in. A healthy cell membrane is also the secret to having skin that looks plump and feels soft.
You can find omega 3’s in a number of different types of fish if you’re not a fan of salmon. If you don’t eat fish, look to nuts, such as walnuts, for a good source of healthy fat. Flaxseed is also a great vegetarian source.
Kale, Broccoli, and Other Greens
Pretty much any vegetable you eat, with the exception of maybe starchy white potatoes, will be great for the health of your skin. Green vegetables, such as kale, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli, can be particularly beneficial since they are powerhouses when it comes to antioxidants and other vitamins.
Although you do want to limit the amount of sugar in your diet and avoid super-sweet chocolate candies, a small amount of bittersweet dark chocolate on a regular basis can help your skin. Chocolate contains epicatechin, a flavonoid also found in tea, that can help improve the texture of your skin.
When it comes to eating chocolate, it’s important to remember moderation. It is high in calories, even if you go for a dark variety with less sugar or other added ingredients. Try to enjoy about an ounce a day or less.
While your diet plays an important part in keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy, it’s not the only thing to think about. Your skincare routine also plays a big part. To find out more about what you can do to get the best skin possible, contact Dr. Andrew Campbell and the staff at Quintessa Medical Spa today.
Quintessa has two locations, in Mequon and Sheboygan, Wisconsin. For a personal consultation in Mequon, at 10604 N. Port Washington Road, call (262) 242-QSPA. Call (920) 458-QSPA for an appointment in Sheboygan, at 2124 Kohler Memorial Drive.