Let’s take a moment to give thanks for our skin. Where else would we put our lovely tattoos? Our skin protects us from the sun and keeps out nasty germs. It can be pierced to display beautiful jewelry. It acts as a water barrier. It cools us when we are hot and keeps us warm and snug when we are cold. Plus, the skin is the largest sexual organ of the body. Think about it. Skin is constantly changing. It can be lifted and pulled, darkened and lightened, damaged and healed. Since our skin does so much for us, shouldn’t we make sure we treat it as well as we possibly can?
We are what we eat and our skin is part of what we are. Los Angeles dermatologist, Jessica Wu says, “What you eat can affect your hormone balance, cause acne, and create or lessen inflammation, which is associated with aging.” When it comes to skin care, the foods you put in your body can be just as important as the facial creams you put on it. Here are some foods you can eat that your skin will thank you for.
This makes sense. We all want our skin to maintain oil as we age, so shy not put some in our bellies? A 2012 study found that women who consumed more that 2 teaspoons of olive oil a day showed 31% less evidence of aging. This is because 75% of the fat in olive oil is in monosaturated fatty acids which keep you young and the antioxidants in olive oil defend against dangerous free radicals.
Here’s the perfect place for that olive oil tomatoes. A tablespoon of olive oil along with 5 tablespoons of tomato paste has been proven to give 33% more protection from the sun. Lycopene found in tomatoes can raise the natural SPF levels of the skin.
Delicious and healthy? That’s like being cute and single. Cocoa flavanols can improve circulation and hydrate skin. According to 12-week study, drinking a high flavanol cocoa every day caused less scaliness and roughness to women’s skin. To avoid weight gain while maintaining glowing skin, sticking to a 1 oz. a portion of the cocoa is recommended.
While we are singing the praises of oatmeal, let’s take a moment to point out a less desirable breakfast option, the bagel with jelly. With carbs and refined sugar, a bagel with jelly will increase production of insulin and hormones called androgens which, according to Lisa Drayer, MA, RD, author of “The Beauty Diet,” cause sebaceous glands in the skin to secrete more oil which gets trapped inside pores, causing pimples. Stick to the oatmeal and try topping it with fruit as opposed to brown sugar.
Omega -3 fatty acids are among the best fat sources and sardines are packed with them. One serving has 1.5 grams of Omega-3. Sardines are rich in DHA which is an anti-inflammatory and helps to prevent acne, inflammation being the root cause of breakouts.
Admittedly a more acquired taste, the researcher found that people who ate the peels of citrus fruits had a 33% reduced risk for squamous cell carcinoma, while juice and fruit had no effect. Peels contain limonene which has UV protective properties. Try blending them into a juice or smoothie for a less bitter taste.