"Healthy skin is a result of overall wellness." -Howard Murad, MD
Healthy, youthful, glowing skin has been sought after since the beginning of time. Men and women alike have always been worried about acne, eczema, wrinkles and sagging.
Your skin is a strong representation of who you are and everyone wants to give a good impression.
In recent years, the concern for healthier looking skin has not just affected older consumers but also a younger one. This trend has resulted in making the skin care industry one of the most profitable markets in the world.
There are no signs of this industry slowing down because according to Statista the numbers will continue to surge reaching a projected global estimate of 180 billion US dollars (over 139 billion pounds) in 2024.
Whether consumers are looking for moisturizers, anti-ageing cremes, makeup remover products, daily or facial skin cremes, the obsession with healthy skin is present in many of the world inhabitants.
However, what if I told you that healthy skin can be achieved without spending hundreds of pounds per year? Would you believe me?
I am not kidding around or pulling your leg, I am being dead serious.
Beautiful, shiny, healthy skin can be achieved through healthy diets and by consuming the right nutrition during meals.
Superprof is here to introduce food choices that will contribute to healthy, acne and age resistant skin!
The Best Foods to Eat for Healthier Looking Skin
The epidermis (comes from the Greek root words epi, meaning "upon" and derma which means "skin") is the largest human organ and is also the one seen the most.
We must all come to terms (even you Jane Fonda!) that we will age one day and our skin will not be the same as it was when we were in our early 20's.
Taking care of your skin in your youth means ageing well in the future. Wrinkles may show ones experience in life but they are also the result of a lot of stress and a poor diet.
Therefore, eating these well-chosen healthy foods will result in better skin quality now and in the future:
- Fatty Fish: salmon, mackerel and herring are wonderful for skin health. The omega-3 fatty acids found in these sea creatures are essential in keeping the skin thick, supple and moisturized. A lack of these beneficial omega-3's can result in dry skin. Some studies recently conducted have found that these fish oils can help fight against inflammatory conditions that affect the skin such as lupus. Fatty fish tops the list of foods to eat because they are also great sources of Vitamin E and Zinc. Vitamin E is one of the most important antioxidants for healthy skin and Zinc is a mineral important for the reproduction of new skin cells. Hallejujah for fish lovers!
- Avocados: are full of fats! Good fats of course. These delicious green fruits (not vegetables as many people may think) contribute to keeping skin flexible and moisturized, essential for healthy skin. Like fatty fish, avocados are a great source of Vitamine E, a vitamin Westerner's do not get enough of in their diets. This super vitamin when combined with its cousin Vitamin C, which avocados also have, is even more effective. Vitamin C is needed to create collagen, the main structural protein to keep skin strong and healthy.
- Walnuts: a great source of essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce by itself. Walnuts provide a good ratio of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that contribute to a healthier looking skin. Also full of zinc which helps the skin act as a barrier, blocking out bacteria and inflammation.
- Broccoli: is on this list because it is full of nutritious and beneficial bacterias that fight against unhealthy skin but also because the florets of the broccoli have something special. What is that special thing? A compound called sulforaphane that has anti-cancer effects, fighting even against skin cancer. Sulforaphane also acts as a protector, preventing sun damage and reduces the number of skin cells killed by the UV light.
- Tomatoes: yummy in my tummy! Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C and contain all the essential carotenoids which are brilliant for maintaining healthy skin. Carotenoids, however, need some fats to be absorbed so why not combine them and make a healthy salad with extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella and basil? Delizioso!
- Dark Chocolate: eating for healthier skin, never tasted so good! The effects of cocoa are pretty impressive. A recent study conducted shows that after 6-12 weeks of eating cocoa powder, that is high in antioxidants, contributes to thicker and more hydrated skin. Skin is less rough, scaly and dry which contributes to better blood flow and absorption of nutrients in the skin. We're not talking about Cadbury Creme Eggs here, we are mentioning dark chocolate that has at least 70% level of cocoa. The higher the better because that means less sugar.
Not only can a healthy lifestyle improve the state of your skin but it can also cause you to eat fewer calories (which contributes to losing weight and fewer health problems) and eat less of the wrong foods (saturated fats, processed foods).
All of these food items mentioned are delicious, healthy and easy to find anywhere. Inculcating these foods in your diet through simple recipes can drastically improve the health of your skin. Your skin will have a natural glow both alluring and enviable!
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Best Anti-Aging Foods for the Skin
When we notice wrinkles, don't we just wish we could turn back time?
If you nearing the ages 40, 50 or 60 and have started to notice an accumulation of wrinkles on your face, hands or neck do not stress out and call the plastic surgeon! Things can be done before going under the knife. There are plenty of foods that are part of a healthy diet that can turn back the clock.
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Here are a few of them and the benefits they offer for the skin:
- Sunflower Seeds: an excellent source of linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat that keeps the skin flexible and moisturized which contributes to a more youthful look. In a very large study conducted that followed 4,000 women, a high intake of linoleic acid meant a lower risk of dry and thin skin that contributes to ageing.
- Sweet Potatoes: contains great levels of Vitamin A and beta-carotene which keeps the epidermis healthy by acting as a natural sunblock. Protects skin cells from too much sun exposure and when skin cells die the risk of wrinkly skin is much higher. Eat your sweet potatoes and hit the beach!
- Oats: complex carbohydrates such as oats are part of low-glycemic foods which, according to dermatologist Debra Jaliman means that they don't spike up your blood sugar like other carbs. High-glycemic foods like pasta, rice and bread are known to cause wrinkles. Dr Jaliman explains all of this in her book Skin Rules.
- Red Bell Peppers: discovered to be one of the highest sources of Vitamin C which is essential for maintaining high levels of collagen in old age. High intakes of Bell Peppers or Vitamin C results in less dry and wrinkled skin, something that is common in old age.
- Sources of Protein such as Lean Beef, Eggs, Chicken and Tofu: contribute to a younger looking skin. High-quality proteins help build collagen which is necessary for a more youthful face. Healthy recipes for protein are available all over the internet.
- Red Wine: not exactly food but very enjoyable nonetheless! I am sure that from the entire list men and women alike will feel the most joy adding red wine to their diets, who can blame them? Very high in resveratrol, a compound from the skin of red grapes that has many health benefits that include reducing the effects of ageing. Also accredited for reducing the production of harmful free radicals which damage skin cells and cause ageing. However, drink in moderation, we are not recommending debauchery; just a class once and a while!
A glass of red wine accompanied by a top sirloin steak and a sweet potato salad is oh so delicious! A meal like that can also reduce the number of wrinkles and paralyze skin deterioration. Healthy skin is not impossible to achieve if you have the determination to eat better food items and take care of your well-being.
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Foods That Fight Against Acne
Teenagers and young adults all over the world feel the negative effects of acne.
Breakouts seem to happen during the worst period of life because teenagers are already so insecure about their looks. Teens want to impress the girls, look good in front of their peers and not wear pounds of makeup on their face to hide their pimples.
The fight with acne to have perfect skin is somewhat of a right of passage that we must all go through. However, there is good news! Not only are there thousands of helpful anti-acne skin cremes on the market but there are also beneficial foods that contribute to healthier skin and less acne such as:
- Kombucha, Sauerkraut and Pickles: great sources of probiotics that help reduce skin inflammation.
- Salmon and Walnuts: high in Omega-3 fatty acids that work wonders on the skin and fight against inflammation.
- Leafy Greens and Berries: rich in antioxidants which researcher Whitney Bowe MD says that teens suffer from acne do not get enough of.
- Cashews and Almonds: high levels of zinc can be found in this nuts which are needed because studies show that those who suffer from acne problems have low levels of zinc in their diet.
I know, I know teenagers would much prefer to choose snacks like fries or a Big Mac than nuts and seeds. However, the choice is yours, do you prefer to have clear, clean skin or be called pizza face from all the amounts of acne you have?
I think the answer is obvious!
Foods That Can Give You Unhealthy Skin
Just as there are many foods that can contribute to healthier skin there are also some that need to be avoided.
Here are some foods that can ruin your skin:
- Dairy Products: milk, cheese and yoghurt clogs pores and leads to many breakouts. It would be wiser to opt for soy or almond milk.
- Sugars: foods that are high in refined sugars aren't good for your figure but neither for your skin. Donuts, cakes or cookies (pretty much everything that has added sugar) end up stiffening and ageing the skin. Try eating fruits that have healthy sugars like berries.
- Butter: so delicious but so detrimental! Causes excess oil production which can damage the skin. In a 2001 study, those who consumed of butter experienced more wrinkling than those who opted for olive oil or other healthy choice vegetable oils.
- Shellfish: if you are a teenager and live by the seaside and regularly consume of shrimps, clams, oysters and scallops I have bad news for you: shellfish causes acne! Very rich in iodine and if you indulge in a diet that has too much of this element it can lead to many breakouts and less clear skin.
So now you know, a good dietary plan and eating healthy leads to healthy skin. An unhealthy diet of indulgence can lead to acne and dry skin in the present and wrinkles in the future!
Beautiful, glowing skin is worth the effort of implementing new eating habits that will contribute to a more balanced intake of minerals and vitamins. Superprof has had great joy in educating you about how to achieve healthier skin!
Definitions About Skin
What exactly is linoleic acid?
An essential fatty acid that the body cannot synthesize and needs to get from foods. Found in plant foods and used to build specialized fats such as omega-6 fatty acids.
What are carotenoids?
Mainly red, yellow or orange pigments which give colour to plants such as ripe tomatoes.
Nutrition is also important for