When focusing on a healthy skin care regimen, it’s easy to get lost in all of the options that are out there — soaps, washes, toners, creams, butters. While what we put on the outside of our bodies is important, it’s just as crucial for us to be mindful of what we’re doing for our insides, too!
If you’ll remember our earlier post about the microbiome, you’ll remember that balancing our internal flora with healthy, whole foods will also help to improve the condition of our skin.
Instead of turning to harsh chemical peels or drastically changing your routine, start thinking holistically about caring for your skin. Giving our bodies the nutritional resources it needs to function will produce longer lasting results.
Wondering what foods your skin craves most?
1. Good fats
Not all fats are bad, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are going to help strengthen your cell membranes and provide all sorts of other benefits. “[Omega-3 fats] provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation,” reports a study from Harvard.
You can take fish oil supplements or find omega-3 fats in some of your favorite fish, like salmon and mackerel.
2. Prebiotics and probiotics
I imagine you’ve heard all about probiotics — good bacteria that ultimately make our digestive system a happier place.
Prebiotics are what probiotics needs to stay alive. “When combined with probiotics, the two become symbiotic; rich with both live bacteria and the food they need to thrive.”
You can get both pre- and probiotics from foods like kefir and yogurt.
Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are your best friend. Not just for your skin, but for other bodily functions as well. Foods like broccoli and spinach contain lipoic acid, which is apparently some kind of miracle compound.
“Researchers announced they have identified the mechanism of action of lipoic acid, a remarkable compound that in animal experiments appears to slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow, enhance immune function and perform many other functions.”
4. Anything with antioxidants
Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of molecules, and that’s important because oxidation means cell damage.
If you’re looking for antioxidants, you’re best bet is BERRIES. Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries — they all pack a hearty antioxidant punch.
So the next time you’re battling a breakout or skin irritation, start looking not just at what you’re doing to cleanse or moisturize your skin, but what you’re feeding it on the inside.