If you want radiant glowing skin, the old phrase 'you are what you eat' has never been more true.
We all love our creams, serums, lotions and potions but truly good skin starts with taking care of your insides. If you eat the correct balance of foods, your skin will receive the vital nutrients it needs stay plump, full and soft.
We all know the word 'antioxidants' as it seems to be everywhere at the moment, and at Harley Street Skin Care we love them. We use them in our products and we swear by their powerful vitamins. Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. So, you ask, what are free radicals? These bad boys are caused by smoking, pollution, sunlight and air pollution. Free radicals can cause deep lines and age spots. If you aim for at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, your skin should flourish with normal skin development and skin tone. Try sweet potato, spinach or Kale. Kale is not just a phase.
Vitamin C has a long history of health benefits, with the immune system, growth, development and wound healing. Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, its involved in many bodily functions including formation of collagen, absorption of iron and the maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth. As well as this, Vitamin C is also a super antioxidant, your best sources of it are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, kiwi and strawberries. They all help to produce collagen and strengthen the capillaries that supply the skin.
Eat avocados, hazelnuts and pine nuts for a good source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E protects the skin from oxidative cell damage. New studies found that vitamin E may protect cells from the detrimental effects of oxidative stress in healthy middle-aged to elderly people. Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.
Now, lets talk selenium. Seleni-what? You ask. Right, so its found in soil, water and in some foods and it plays a big part in the health of our skin. Best known as an antioxidant, Selenium is a component of more than two dozen proteins that influence reproduction, the making of DNA, thyroid function and immune response. Selenium works alongside Vitamin E & C for the immune system. There are studies that suggest a selenium rich diet can help to protect against sun damage, age spots and skin cancer. But how?
Selenium neutralises free radicals and other skin-damaging compounds before they can lead to wrinkles. Similar to vitamin E it works with the vitamin to safeguard cell membranes, the protective coating around cells. That makes selenium a key player when it comes to slowing the signs of ageing. The easiest way to get your big dose of selenium is in Brazil nuts, just four single nuts will provide the recommended daily amount. Other good sources of the special antioxidant are fish, wheatgerm, eggs and tomatoes.
Zinc is another important chemical element which wards off acne flare ups but zinc is also very useful in keeping pimples at bay. Involved in the normal function of the sebaceous glands, it helps to repair skin damage. In doing this zinc helps to control that inflammatory response. Foods rich in zinc include fish, lean red meat, wholegrain, seeds and shellfish. Zinc also plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.
As much as we try to resist it, our skin does age. Wrinkles and age spots are the result of gradual, accumulated damage from the sun, strong soaps, chemicals and poor nutrition. Make sure you follow the guidelines above and try to include antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables containing beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium. And lots of water, lots and lots of it. Make sure you are drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day your skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey.
Eat good, look good, feel good.