How to identify what is good or bad for your skin?

Beautiful skin needs to be taken care of from both the inside out, as well as the outside in. What you eat, environmental factors and how you take care of your skin on a daily basis all have an impact on how your skin ages and looks.  Below, we’ve provided you with information on healthy nutrition for beautiful skin and those things that can ruin your skin.

Skin Nutrition

“You are what you eat” couldn’t sound much true when we think of how nutrition impacts the skin. Your skin reflects your diet and what you are eating in many ways. The following table provides you with a recipe for beautiful skin.

   Nutrient                  Benefit to Skin      Foods Containing
Beta-carotene Fundamental to maintenance of tissues that make up surface of skin. •Apricots•Cantaloupe •Carrots•Spinach•Sweet Potatoes
Copper Necessary for collagen synthesis. •Nuts•Shellfish
Lean Proteins •Protein which are made of amino acids, enables productionof collagen, the connective tissue that provides support to skin•Contains zinc, which is a mineral necessary for the synthesis ofcollagen and one that may provide protection against wrinklesand at high levels, may help to reduce acne •Beans•Fish•Poultry
Mono-unsaturated fats •Protects against wrinkles•Reduces oxidative damage•Helps in absorption of fat-soluble antioxidantnutrients, such as vitamin E and lycopene foundin many antioxidant-rich vegetables •Canola Oil•Olive Oil
Niacin (Vitamin B3) Works together with iron to deliver oxygen to skin cells,giving them the support they need to live and multiplyinto new skin cells. •Dairy•Eggs•Fish•Poultry
Omega-3 Fats •Essential because you can only get them in your dietand your body cannot produce them on its own•Maintains oil barrier of skin, which protects the bodyfrom fluid loss and infection•Reduces internal inflammation •Avocados•Fatty Fish  (Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and trout)•Flaxseed•Green leafy vegetables like spinach•Walnuts
 Omega-6 Fats •Maintain oil barrier of skin, which protects the bodyfrom fluid loss and infection•Essential because you can only get them in your dietand your body cannot produce them on its own  •Seeds•Nuts•Vegetable Oils (sunflower andsafflower oils)
 Polyphenols Protects skin against oxidative stress that contributes to aging and disease.  •Apples•Eggplant•Garlic•Onions•Tea
 Selenium •Rids body of harmful free radicals that contribute to skin cancer and the aging process•Provides tissue elasticity  •Brazil nuts•Brown Rice•Chicken breast•Eggs•Shrimp•Tuna•Turkey
 Vitamin A •Helps to keep skin smooth•Helps protect against sunburn  •Egg Yolks•Fish•Fortified milk•Is converted from Beta-Carotene
 Vitamin B Work together with iron to deliver oxygen to skin cells, giving them the support they need to live and multiply into new skin cells •Fortified cereals•Whole grains
 Vitamin C •Protects against free radicals (highly reactive oxygen moleculesgenerated inside your body from environmental pollutants,smoking, sun exposure and stress, among other agents)•Synthesis of collagen •Broccoli•Oranges•Peppers•Strawberries
 Vitamin E •Keeps skin moist and smooth•Protects against wrinkles •Asparagus•Avocados•Nuts•Seeds•Spinach•Vegetable Oils •Whole Grains
  Water Hydrates skin, helping it to keep soft, smooth and moistSkin becomes dry and more susceptible to wrinkles  

Healthy Skin Enemies

Having beautiful, healthy skin means understanding what is detrimental to it.  The table below tells you what to avoid maintaining your healthiest skin naturally.

Detriment to Skin Impacts                                                                 What Can you do?                                                                                                
 Alcohol Impacts:Alcohol dilates small blood vessels in skin, increasing blood flow near skin’s surface.It:•Causes skin to look wrinkled•Turns skin red and flush Limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage per day
 Caffeine Impacts:Caffeine causes water loss from your body and skin, resulting in a lack in skin’s plumpness. •Limit caffeine to 300 milligrams per day (about 2 large cups of caffeinated coffee or 3 small)•Drink plenty of water•Green tea has less caffeine than coffee and contains antioxidants that protect against skin cancer
 Cold weather Impacts:Exposure to cold winds and low temperatures can dry out your skin.  Skin becomesdehydrated leading to dryness, wrinkles and roughness.  •Use a good moisturizer that protects against cold and heated rooms which can be very drying•Consider using a humidifier to help keep your skin more comfortable
 Eating Disorders(Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia) Impacts: Starving the body of important nutrients, vitamins and minerals doesn’t allow for proper cell turnover and growthDisorders can cause: •Thin, dry, grey or pale coloured, and cold skin • Nails to become brittle •Hair to become thin, dry and dull or to fall out more easily and turn grey  Never starve yourself…ensure you are getting the proper number of calories to keep your metabolism high and your body properly nourished.
 Saturated Fats (Butter) Impacts: May prematurely ages skin causing more wrinkles.   Avoid saturated fats in your diet.
 Sleep Deprivation Impacts: Too little sleep drains your body of needed rest and doesn’t allow skin torest and regenerate.Lack of sleep:•Makes you look and feel tired.•Causes dark circles and bags under eyes

•Sagging skin

 

 •Adults function best with 8-9 hours of sleep each night•Reduce caffeine during the day (with none in the evening)•Avoid eating at least 2 hours before bedtime•Maintain a sleep routine where you go to bed and wake up at same time each night and day•If you have chronic trouble sleeping, consult your physician
 Smoking Impacts: Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, resulting in decreased bloodflow to skin.  Further, it  depletes the body of Vitamin C, which is key for keeping skin plump and moist.Impacts include:•Capillaries can become permanently damaged, causing a flushed appearance and visibly broken capillaries at the surface•Increased dryness and skin dehydration due to a diuretic effect

•Skin looks grey

•Contributes to wrinkles, including crows

 

 Don’t smoke.
 Stress Impacts: Stress and worry cause frowning, and over time muscles in the face actuallyconform to that movement. Stress can cause lines and wrinkles. •Be aware of your stress level throughout the day. Keeping stress in check, will help you keep frown lines and wrinkles to a minimum, keeping you looking and feeling younger.•Vary facial expressions during the day.•Incorporate relaxation/de-stressing methods such as meditation, yoga, gentle exercise or other relaxation techniques into your lifestyle
 Sun Exposure Impacts:Sun breaks down skin’s structural tissues (collagen and elastin).Impacts include:•Skin looks mottled•Freckles become more permanent brown sun spots•Skin becomes dried out, leathery, wrinkled and saggy•Increased risk of skin •Use a sunscreen all year long (even on cloudy days) of at least SPF 15 that blocks both UVA/UVB (UVB causes sunburn and skin cancer and UVA causes premature aging)•Consider physical vs. chemical blocks like mineral based zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These reflect light away instead of absorbing it into the skin. Further, they are natural, making them preferable for people with skin allergies• Apply sunscreen generously and reapply after swimming, perspiring and at least every 2 hours (even water-resistant sunscreens need reapplication.)•See your physician or dermatologist to assess sun damage you may have, and to rule out possible skin cancers. They may be able to prescribe medication to reduce existing sun damage.
Refined sugar and carbohydrates – Low  protein diet Impacts:Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (white breads) cause high levels of sugar in the bloodstream cause sugars to attach to protein fibres in collagenproducing compounds which has a negative effect on the skin.Further, sugars cause a spikeof insulin in blood, increasing production of hormones called androgens which causessecretion of excess amounts of oil.Impacts to skin:•Skin becomes less resilient and contributes to wrinkles and sagging•Contributes to acne •Limit intake of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods• Get at least three ounces (21 grams) of protein per meal or at least 20 % of total calories from protein sources to ensure stable levels of insulin.
 Very Low Fat Diets Impacts:Healthy fats help maintain oil barrier of skin, protecting body from fluid loss andinfection. That said, it is possible that harmful fats, such as saturated fat, may cause negativeeffects in skin.Impacts include:•Eczema•Dermatitis (inflammation of skin)•Acne  Aim to have a diet that incorporates 20%-30% of calories from healthy fats, including fatty fish, nuts and olive and vegetable oils.