Medically Reviewed By: Michael Siino, PA-C
Just about everybody knows the old saying, “You are what you eat”…right?
Let’s get real, it can be…disconcerting, to look in the mirror and notice a new wrinkle forming on your face, or to see newly visible signs of aging anywhere on your skin, for that matter. Well, here’s the skinny on eating your way to better skin, 8 great tips and skin foods to keep the largest organ in your body looking and feeling as good as possible, for as long as possible:
- “Good” fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, to be specific. Foods high in these include olive oil, along with peanut, canola, safflower oil and sesame oils; plus avocados, peanut butter, and most nuts and seeds.
- Protein, such as lean beef (grass-fed would be good!), skinless chicken, seafood, low-fat milk & dairy products, especially yogurt.
- Antioxidant-rich foods boost your skin’s sun-blocking capacities, and since sun exposure is a major cause of skin aging and wrinkling, not to mention skin cancer, you’ll want to eat more whole grains, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, salmon, asparagus…and wash it all down with the antioxidant-rich green tea!
- Unprocessed and unrefined grains and flours, which can help fight skin damage and contain vitamins such as Biotin, which helps prevent dry, scaly skin. On the other side of the coin, eating processed and refined carbs – think white bread, most bagels, donuts, pizza, etc. – can mess with your blood sugar and initiate an acne outbreak. So, the more whole grains, the better.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in tuna, salmon, sardines and herring, and also in walnuts and flax seed. Omega-3 is proven to keep skin hydrated and smoother by reducing the loss of water from skin cells.
- Vitamins A, B, C and many other natural nutrients found in fruits and vegetables; with berries of all kinds, oranges, kiwis, and dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, all tops for skin health and youthfulness.
- Isoflavone has been found helpful in reducing signs of aging in the skin, and can be found in soybeans and soy-based foods.
- Silica, a mineral that’s great for strong bones and teeth, has also been shown helpful for both hydrating your skin, and for helping it to retain its elasticity. One easy way to get your natural silica is to eat the fruit/veggie peels and skins that you’ve probably been throwing away without thinking…but they’re a fantastic source of silica!
Last but in no way least, know that you can eat all the scientifically-proven skin-boosting foods you want without reaping the benefits – if you give in to empty calories and junk food cravings too often. Sure, you’ve got to live your life and have some fun. But if you want your skin looking its best while you’re doing it, for many years to come, then you’ll keep the junk to a minimum.
One more thing. Don’t forget to visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a skin screening, and for news on any new developments or breakthroughs in anti-aging treatments, and skin care.