By now you probably know that whatever is happening on your face – pimples, wrinkles, dry skin etc. – can probably be traced back to your habits of consuming food and drink. (Especially drink.)
Yes, cleansing and moisturising are important. But the problems, the ones not caused by every organism’s inescapable march towards entropy and death, are usually caused by things like sugar and alcohol. And sugary alcohol.
The good news is that there are a bunch of delicious things you can put in your body that will clear up your complexion, reduce acne, and provide a greater defence against skin cancer.
It’s no surprise that foods high in sugar are especially detrimental to your skin’s health, but some skin-friendly foods might surprise you. (Chocolate and red wine, when consumed in moderation, are two such examples.)
We sought some expert advice on foods to eat for healthy skin, since proper skincare is so much more than just products – though a good 3-step regimen and an advanced skincare strategy are crucial, too.
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa flavanols, which has been shown to help with smoother skin. Pick a 70-percent dark chocolate blend, or higher. Dark chocolate is still ranked #10 because you shouldn’t eat too much chocolate – perhaps just a nib after dinner.
9. Red Wine
Ditto on wine: You shouldn’t use this high ranking as an excuse to kill a bottle of red every night. However, no discussion on food is complete without red wine, since it is so rich in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant with anti-cancer effects and pro-collagen effects on skin.
Rosemary is the best herb for your skin – rich in antioxidants, and an herb-rich diet in general has been shown to decrease melanoma risk.
7. Olive Oil
Olive oil has both mono-unsaturated fat (the good fat) and antioxidant polyphenols to scavenge skin-compromising free radicals created by smog, smoke, and the sun.
In particular, tomato paste and cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is thought to benefit the prostate. And in regards to the skin, it also helps improve efficacy of sun protection.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, and the right amount can add to a healthy radiance on the skin. But in a classic example of ‘you are what you eat,’ there have been many recorded occurrences of people whose skin was orange from eating too many carrots or drinking too much carrot juice…
Kale is highly touted superfood, since it is rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. It is a potent antioxidant, a free-radical scavenger that helps minimise UV damage. On top of all that, it is also rich in Vitamins A and C, which boost collagen.
Blueberries are blue since they are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanins. They are also rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and together these help to firm skin and decrease free radical damage.
2. Green Tea
Green Tea contains polyphenols and specific antioxidants called ‘catechins’, which improve skin’s elasticity and help protect against sun damage.
Salmon gets its pink colour from a carotenoid called astaxanthin, which has been called ‘nature’s most potent antioxidant. Astaxanthin is thousands of times more potent than Vitamins C and E, and helps boost collagen and minimise free radical damage and wrinkles from the sun.