I've got a great guest post for you today!
I know I talk about beauty products all the time -what products hydrate, repair, and treat the skin the best.
One concept I'll admit that I often forget is that what we put into our bodies is reflected in our skin, hair and nails.
You know what, how about I just let Katie do the talking...
Katie Brind’Amour is a freelance writer eating her way through Columbus, Ohio one delicious dish at a time. When she is not busy sampling new red wines and dark chocolates, she spends her time writing for her clients at Elance.com and her personal blog.
Eat to Treat Skin Damage this Winter
Everyone is familiar with the skin treatment regimens that tote sun block, moisturizer, and mild exfoliation as the gold standard. Unfortunately, we often fail in one (or more!) of these areas. I am sad to admit that even when I lived in Phoenix I often passed on the sunscreen. And the moisturizer. And the exfoliants. Yes, my skin was like a lizard’s, but hey – I was too busy to be bothered with a strict skincare routine!
Luckily, I am not too busy to eat, and I hope that goes for all of you as well (otherwise we have bigger problems than dry, dull skin). Making time to feed myself can not only help nourish my brain and boost my mood, but it can also make up for some of my shortcomings in taking care of my skin. Mind you, Columbus is a tad less sunny than Phoenix – especially in the wintertime! – but appropriate skincare is a must no matter where you catch your rays and spend your days.
Eat Your Way to Healthier Skin
First and foremost, don’t pass on (low-fat) dairy. Yogurt is a powerhouse of healthy nutrients such as Vitamin A, which is essential for the production and protection of collagen. Collagen helps give your skin strength, structure, and elasticity, and dairy provides plenty of Vitamin A in a form readily absorbed by your body.
Sip on some green tea. Not only do the antioxidants in green tea help prevent DNA damage in your skin and repair some damage that has already been done, but green tea can also help prevent damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Hydrating yourself has the added perk of keeping skin more pliable, moisturized, and healthy-looking.
Grab a handful of nuts. Brazil nuts, that is. These Brazilian beauties have something delightful to offer your skin: better circulation and a healthy glow. Thank the Vitamin E, selenium, antioxidants, and healthy fats in these nuts for their range of health perks for your skin.
Get fishy with it. The healthy Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon, tuna, and swordfish help reduce inflammation and keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Research indicates these fatty acids may prevent wrinkles and sagging while also fighting sun damage from ultraviolet rays. Need I say more?
No excuse is necessary to eat dark chocolate. The antioxidants in the cocoa help protect your skin from sun damage and keep your blood vessels healthy, pumping plenty of oxygen to your skin and organs. And if you don’t like to eat it, try wearing it; natural cocoa butter helps moisturize and keep your skin elastic when used topically.
Berries, berries, berries. Even though it’s wintertime, buy a bag of frozen blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, or blueberries and put them in smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, desserts, salads, and more. Berries have wonderful concentrations of antioxidants and can help protect your skin from damage from ultraviolet rays. Even better, they build up your natural defenses to help fight diseases and cancers.
Think whole grains. Not only do complex carbohydrates provide essential fiber and energy, but they also provide plenty of B vitamins and micronutrients that boost your skin’s ability to repair itself. Try working whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole grain cereal, and rice into your diet to get the skin perks from these delicious foods.
Kiwis can be your best friends. These little green super-fruits help keep your skin springy and promote healthy connective tissue. The Vitamin C in kiwis and other citrus and tropical fruits can keep your collagen going strong, so be sure to indulge in some tangy fruity goodness this winter.
Spice up your life with turmeric. A common spice in Indian dishes, turmeric’s skin protectants (curcumin) may help prevent the development of skin cancer. As if that weren’t enough, its potent antioxidants help reduce skin damage.
All in all, it’s comforting to know that a $200 moisturizer is not the “be all, end all” component of a healthy skincare routine for winter. However, the above foods will work best to prevent skin damage and promote a healthy glow when consumed as part of a daily regimen that also incorporates moisturizers and sunscreen.
Even though I was sad to find that cookies and Coca-Cola weren’t on the list of foods for healthy skin, I dare say I can manage to work in some fruits (or grains, or dairy, or fish…) into my diet sometime this winter. Preferably everyday, but hey – I am the girl who couldn’t be bothered to wear sunscreen in Skin Cancer Central, Arizona. Maybe I just have to start small – like with a kiwi!