Healthy skin and diet
Whether you want natural beauty or theatrical drama, you’ll need healthy skin so translucent friends can see the blue fizzy pop you’re drinking go right down your neck.
Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body. All skin conditions, from flaky skin to acne and dryness, are warning you what your body needs.
Read about what you need to keep your skin as wonderful as blue fizzy pop…
Vitamins C, E, A, K, and B complex feed your skin
Studies show that the vitamins C, E, A, K, and B complex all help improve skin health and appearance. Here’s how.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C works by reducing the damage caused by free radicals, a harmful byproduct of sunlight, smoke, and pollution. Free radicals gobble up collagen and elastin, the fibers that support skin structure and make it plump (not you plump! Your skin plump!) and flexible.
Vitamin-C rich foods like citrus fruits (especially kiwis) and vegetables (think tomatoes) replace the loss of vitamin C through the skin. You can also take vitamin C supplements, from 500 to 1,000 milligrams. Combined with vitamin E, vitamin C supplements can also protect skin from sun exposure.
Vitamin E. Research shows that, like vitamin C, this potent antioxidant helps reduce the harmful effects of the sun on the skin. Some studies show that when vitamins E and A are taken together, people show a 70% reduction in basal cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer.
Vitamin E can also help reduce wrinkles if/when you have any and make your skin look and feel smoother. (Be aware, though, that some recent research warns that large doses of vitamin E can be harmful. Stay with 400 international units per day or less to be on the safe side.) Used in a cream, lotion, or serum form, vitamin E can soothe dry, rough skin. Foods naturally rich in vitamin E include nuts, such as almonds, vegetable oils, seeds, wheat germ, spinach and other dark, green leafy vegetables. Another bonus with Vitamin E is that it’s good for your hair.
Vitamin A. Most people get enough vitamin A from a semi-regular diet, but if levels drop even a little below par, you’ll probably see some skin-related symptoms, including a dry, flaky complexion. That’s because vitamin A maintains and repairs skin tissue.
The bad news, and it’s pretty cryworthy, is that alcohol and coffee deplete your vitamin A levels. The good news is that it can be found in carrots, mangos, sweet potatos, spinach, dried apricots (bonus fact: one apricot slice is equal to one of your five recommended daily portions of fruit/veg!), milk, egg yolks and mozzarella cheese.
Topical vitamin A is the form that makes a real difference in your skin. Medical studies show a reduction in lines and wrinkles, good acne control, and some psoriasis relief, all from using creams containing this nutrient. The prescription treatment is called Retin A, and it’s used primarily as a treatment for acne. The less potent, over-the-counter formulations are sold as retinols and used as anti-aging treatments.
Vitamin B Complex. When it comes to skin, the single most important B vitamin is biotin, a nutrient that forms the basis of skin, nail, and hair cells. Without adequate amounts, you may end up with dermatitis (an itchy, scaly skin reaction) or sometimes even hair loss. Even a mild deficiency causes symptoms. Your body makes plenty of biotin, and the nutrient is also in many foods, including bananas, eggs, oatmeal, and rice.
Creams containing B vitamins can give skin an almost instant healthy glow while hydrating cells and increasing overall tone at the same time. Niacin, a specific B vitamin, helps skin retain moisture, so your complexion looks more smooth and fab in as little as six days. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe dry, irritated skin. In higher concentrations it can work as a lightening agent to even out blotchy skin tone. Is there no end to its goodness? You would almost think we were vitamin B dealers. (Almost. We’re not.)
Non vitamins your skin craves and desires
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). If your skin is dry, prone to inflammation, and frequently dotted with white / black heads, you may be lacking essential fatty acids as they form the skin’s natural oil barrier (and also make you concentrate and remember things better, huzzah). Without an adequate supply of EFAs, the skin produces a skankier form of sebum, or oil, which can result in problems.
Skin experts reckon balancing out two of the key EFAs (omega-3 and omega-6) is the key. While most folks get plenty of omega-6s (in cooking oils, poultry, grains and more), omega-3s are often lacking. They’re found mostly in cold-water fish, including salmon, sardines, and mackerel, flaxseed, and flax and safflower oils. Taking supplements, such as fish oil capsules or evening primrose oil, may also help keep your skin smoother. The favourite mookychick form of taking our essential acids is a nice spoonful of omega-rich oil every day from the Groovy Food Company. But we’re not masochists – promise!
Selenium. Scientists believe this mineral plays a key role in skin cancer prevention. Taken in supplement form or in a cream, it protects skin from sun damage. If you do spend any time in the sun, selenium could reduce your chance of burning, lowering your risk of skin cancer. The best dietary sources of selenium include whole-grain cereals, seafood, garlic, and eggs.
Zinc is especially important if you have acne. In fact, sometimes acne itself is a symptom of a zinc deficiency. Taken internally or used topically, zinc works to clear skin by taming oiliness and soothes spots into clearing sooner. Food sources of zinc include oysters, lean meat, and poultry. Veggies can get zinc from milk, egg yolk, legumes, whole grains and nuts. It is added to veggie ‘meats’ and fortified soymilk. Girls who are prepared to swallow can get zinc from their boyfriends – hurrah! Zinc from animal foods is better absorbed by the body than zinc from plant foods. Vegans need to eat more servings of zinc-rich plant foods to get enough zinc daily.
Water. As if you couldn’t guess! Water flushes the toxins in your body out so icky stuff doesn’t get stored inside – and start showing itself on the outside. We love water. Water loves us. It should be turned into some kind of song.