When it comes to skincare, there are only so many products you can buy. The best skin care starts inside the body with a healthy diet rich in nutrients. With the right combination of healthy foods and adequate hydration, you can stop buying the over-priced skin care products and still enjoy glowing, healthy skin.
Here are nine natural foods and supplements that will make your skin softer, brighter, and more supple.
Collagen is one of the best supplements to help your skin look and feel great. This protein plays a pivotal role in skin cell regeneration. As you age, your body produces less collagen, contributing to the development of wrinkles over time.
This protein is sourced from animal bones and connective tissues. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly feasible to start chomping on cow bones to get more collagen into your diet. As such, some people prefer to get collagen through bone broth, which is a slowly cooked stock of animal bones designed to make the collagen easier to digest. Other people prefer to consume collagen powder each day in their coffee or smoothies.
As far as supplements go, collagen is by far the best one to improve the appearance of your skin.
There’s a lot of debate about drinking coffee and how it impacts your skin. On the one hand, if you only drink coffee, your skin is unlikely to be hydrated to its full potential. However, coffee can often be the difference between looking tired and looking lively each day.
What’s not up for debate is the amazing effect coffee grounds can have on your skin. The grounds act as a fantastic exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and promote new growth. Additionally, the dose of caffeine constricts the blood vessels, reducing redness and puffiness. It can also improve circulation in your skin, bringing blood flow to the surface and giving you a healthy glow.
One word of warning for those looking to exfoliate before bed: your body will absorb caffeine through your skin. If you’re sensitive to caffeine before bed, consider leaving this treatment for the morning or washing it off immediately. Don’t make a rejuvenating coffee ground mask to leave on for half an hour while you read in the tub before you go to sleep.
Leafy green vegetables are perhaps the healthiest thing you can give your body. The benefits of foods such as spinach and kale are immeasurable. Leafy greens have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals galore. They help regulate digestion and promote heart health. Whether you eat them in a salad or throw them in a smoothie, get as many of these vegetables into your system as you can.
The main interaction between leafy greens and skin care is in the vitamins A, C, and E. If you pay top dollar for skin care products with retinol, you’re purchasing products with vitamin A. Vitamin E is also a common addition to skin care products, as it helps improve elasticity and repairs tissue. Vitamin C helps brighten the skin and make it look more vibrant.
So, by eating leafy greens on a regular basis, you can probably cut a few costly skin care treatments from your budget.
Oatmeal is a great source of antioxidants and soluble fiber. As a diet rich in fiber can help reduce inflammation, it’s a must-have when fighting acne and other skin conditions. However, oatmeal is especially effective when applied topically.
Colloidal oatmeal, which is regular oats ground into a fine powder, is an effective cleanser and exfoliant for sensitive skin. It’s anti-inflammatory properties also work when applied topically, helping to reduce puffy, inflamed blemishes. This natural remedy is also powerful in treating sunburns and reactions.
Carrots have long been associated with better eyesight thanks to the high levels of beta carotene, which help the body process vitamin A. It’s also important to note that carrots are packed with vitamin C, which, in addition to improving the skin’s brightness, also assists with collagen production.
Consider adding carrot juice to your breakfast or eating raw carrot sticks as a snack. If you learned as a child that eating too many carrots will turn you orange, it’s not a myth! However, you’d have to eat around 10 carrots a day to get enough beta carotene to change your skin color.
It’s no secret that seafood is a great source of lean protein, but when it comes to healthy skin, fatty fish is best. Choose fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and arctic char that are bred in cold water and have a nice layer of fat to keep them warm. These fish are prime sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which help offset sun damage, reduce acne, and keep skin hydrated.
It’s also worth noting that omega-3 fatty acids are a form of brain food – because you’re more than just a pretty face.
Avocados are another fantastic source of healthy fats. In addition to being a great food for heart health, the vitamins and minerals in this delicious food are great for your skin. As with the fish listed above, avocados are also thought to help offset sun damage, keeping you looking fresh and healthy.
Broccoli is another known superfood that has numerous benefits for your body. It’s rich in antioxidants that promote collagen production, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. While the benefits of vitamins A and C are mentioned above, vitamin K is also worth exploring further.
This vitamin is associated with healing, particularly regarding bruises and dark spots. If you bruise easily or seem prone to dark circles, you may need more vitamin K in your diet.
The main benefit of consuming citrus is the high dose of vitamin C. Citrus is also a beneficial addition to your natural beauty products. Orange rinds make a great exfoliant that gently loosens dead skin cells while promoting new growth. The soft, natural aromas are therapeutic without the addition of synthetic fragrances.
You can also use citrus juice as a spot treatment for dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
The natural foods and supplements on this list can be used internally, externally, or both. Nourish your skin from the inside out with a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants.