THE IN-TRAY

Six foods (and nutrients) your skin will love

If you want healthy, flawless skin then you need to feed your face skin-loving ingredients. Here’s how.

It sounds like a cliché but it’s true, you really are what you eat. Inner health equals outer beauty. So, here’s how to start eating yourself beautiful. Your skin loves plenty of leafy greens (rich in vitamins and minerals), brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables (rich in free-radical fighting antioxidants), extra virgin olive oil (healthy fats), oily fish (anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids) and lean meats (protein for cell repair and rejuvenation), nuts (good fats), complex carbohydrates and legumes (healthy fibre) and probiotics from yoghurt or lacto-fermented vegetables (for good gut health). Not-so pretty, inflammation-causing foods to leave off your plate include refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats and nutrient-poor processed foods which usually contain excess salt, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, flavours and other additives. Feed your skin from within. And you can help treat it along with vitamin and mineral-rich topical treatments, too.

Antioxidants

If you need a beauty mantra, make it this: antioxidants are anti-aging. That’s because antioxidants help prevent and reverse the free radical damage inflicted on our skin and DNA by UV radiation, stress, cigarette smoke and pollution. Antioxidants scavenge for free radicals to stop them from oxidising or damaging our cells thus slowing the ageing process and helping to prevent many lifestyle-induced diseases. Antioxidants also help calm skin inflammation, heal scar tissue and provide many other health and beauty benefits.

Get your daily fix of free radical-fighting, anti-oxidant superheroes from phytonutrients (aka plant chemicals) found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and legumes. Darker coloured plant foods such as blueberries or green leafy vegetables are the most potent source of antioxidants, so try to eat a rainbow every day.

Apply a topical dose of antioxidants with Tatcha Violet C Radiance Mask a rich and creamy rinse off mask that contains10 per cent AHA (alphahydroxy acids), green tea, rice and algae to target dull, even skin tone, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles. It gently buffs away dead cells to improve skin texture and encourage the production of new cells.

Vitamin E

This hard-working, free-radical fighting antioxidant is involved in wound healing and repairing the effects of oxidative stress. It can also help minimise the effects of aging. Dull, dry skin and slow-healing wounds are signs you may not be getting enough. You can get fat-soluble vitamin E by eating plenty of almonds, avocados and sunflower seeds which are all rich in healthy fats. Treat your skin to an intense dose of vitamin E-rich moisture with the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask which contains avocado, apricot kernel oil and Japanese seaweed to nourish and restore skin while you sleep.

Vitamin C

Sunlovers take note, vitamin C helps reduce free radical damage caused by too much UV exposure and environmental pollution. It also helps stimulate collagen production, supports blood vessel, bone and tissue health and it reduces inflammation. It’s a water-soluble vitamin which means you need to consume it daily and will find it in almonds, spinach, kale, broccoli, citrus fruits, capsicum, kiwi fruit and berries. Vitamin C can also helps reduce free radical damage when applied topically. Give dull, sun-damaged skin a potent dose of Vitamin C with Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum help correct photo-aging.

Magnesium

This mineral plays a big role in boosting beauty, energy and overall wellbeing. It also soothes the nervous system and relaxes muscles, balances electrolytes and strengthens bones and teeth. Make sure you are getting enough by eating plenty of raw cacao, nuts, seeds, leafy greens and sea vegetables. Soaking in a bath of magnesium salts is a good way to absorb it through your skin. Soothe your skin while you sleep with Mario Seaweed Night Cream a non-greasy formula enriched with seaweed, collagen and hyaluronic acid to soften, hydrate and nourish skin.

Zinc

If you are serious about better-looking skin, think zinc. This amazing mineral helps heal wounds, nourishes the scalp for healthier hair, is vital for the production of digestive enzymes, regulates sebum production to help prevent acne, balances hormones and boosts immunity. You can find it in eggs, red meat, oysters, wholegrains, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Zinc it over with Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment containing salicylic acid, pineapple, papaya and pumpkin enzymes to clean pores and create a polished complexion.

Silica

Firm skin, healthy hair and robust nails are made of strong connective tissue, collagen and elastin. To start strengthening your skin on the inside, include plenty of silica-rich foods in your diet such as strawberries, asparagus, celery, apples, cabbage, pumpkin, almonds, honey and fish. Silica is also important for wound healing and skin elasticity. Apply some of this super mineral directly onto your skin with Ren Bio Retinoid Anti Aging Cream to nourish, hydrate and smooth away fine lines and wrinkles.

Words by Jody Scott
January 2017

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