The “secret” to great skin isn’t just applying a lotion or having a in clinic Facial treatment – it’s maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Your diet is a critical element in this equation; in reality, what you consume is often the deciding factor on your skin’s overall appearance.
We like to use this analogy: Your skin is a mirror of what is going on inside. If you’re feeding it French fries, beer, and chocolate cake, it probably will be reflected on your face – regardless of the cleanser you’re using. Our recommendation? Nourish your skin from the inside out.
Below, we’ve detailed five ways to do so.
Drink plenty of water: Among many things, drinking plenty of water helps the body – and the skin – expel toxins. In fact, cancer patients are often told to drink a gallon of water a day to flush the chemotherapy toxins from their systems. That’s a pretty extreme example, but it helps crystallize just how important water is to maintaining a healthy system and healthy skin.
Eat lots of greens: Greens give you the most bang for your buck, providing virtually every single micronutrient your body could ever need. When it comes to your skin, they are a particularly good choices, thanks to their high antioxidant levels. These antioxidants (vitamin A, C, and K, to name a few) not only fight free radicals, they can help combat acne and repair damaged skin.
Don’t forget your healthy fats: After years of obsessively subscribing to “low fat is better” philosophies, we’re finally beginning to see research that consuming healthy fats can be… healthy. Very healthy, actually – eating fat is not only absolutely essential to maintaining good health, it is crucial to having amazing skin. In particular, you want to ensure you’re eating plenty of essential fatty acids (EFAs), also known as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They not only help your body produce healthy skin cells, they aid in the production of sebum, which helps keeps your skin hydrated and youthful-looking. If you’re not consuming enough of these type of fats, your skin can be more sensitive to sunlight, more prone to irritation and inflammation, and can even be more susceptible things like breakouts and psoriasis. We’ll eat plenty of wild salmon, nuts, and olive oil to get our daily dose.
Make bacteria your friend: In today’s ultra-pasteurized society, it’s tough to come across some good ‘ol fashioned bacteria. Which is a total shame, because your body – and skin – relies on healthy, thriving bacterial ecosystems. The majority of these bacteria are concentrated in your gut, composing what is called the microbiome; these gut flora help support the healthy functioning of everything from your immune system to your digestive tract. When it comes to your skin, people with healthy bacteria on their skin have been shown to break out less than people with fewer bacteria. Really: Studies have shown that individuals with clear skin have up to 20% more bacteria than their counterparts with acne. Our favorite way to ensure we’re eating plenty of healthy bacteria is via fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, kefir, and unsweetened natural yogurt.
Make time for exercise: Okay, so you aren’t exactly consuming anything here, but we’d be remiss to talk about skin health without mentioning this critical lifestyle element. Whether it’s a yoga session, a walk in the park, or a kickboxing class, physical activity is critical for healthy skin. For one, it is proven to help relieve stress, which is often a culprit in breakouts and skin inflammation. Moreover, working out helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and increases the release of myokines, which can promote a more youthful-looking complexion. Just be sure to stay hydrated…