The natural way to perfect skin
Forget spending hundreds on beauty products – keep your skin youthful and fresh with a handful of common store-cupboard ingredients instead.
We spend millions of pounds every year on skincare products that promise everything from vanishing wrinkles to eternal youthfulness. But according to experts who are not part of the face cream industry, there may well be a much simpler, and certainly much cheaper way to achieve the skin we have always wanted without using laboratory produced products.
As with most things that make our bodies healthier, it would appear that a change of lifestyle will beautify the skin. Certain foods that can be easily included in your diet are especially good for your skin, promoting smooth skin growth with better elasticity and tone, and this means fewer wrinkles, dry patches and blemishes. Whilst the manufactured products claim results in extra-quick time with lasting effecs (providing you keep buying them), the results from the lifestyle change method will show gradually but will last for the rest of your life, with no huge financial outlay and just a small change in your eating habits.
So which foods fall into the category of beautiful skin boosters? All types of fish, including shellfish, are full of both zinc and the essential Omega 3 fatty acids; upping your intake of Omega 3 can reduce inflammation and dryness, both of which contribute to premature skin ageing. Omega 3 is also very beneficial to those suffering with psoriasis or eczema thanks to its anti-inflammatory qualities, which benefit your arteries and improve circulation; something that is crucial to good skin health. The zinc in fish helps fight acne and is also used by the body for new-cell growth and the sloughing of old skin cells, making the new skin glow.
Those of us who have battled with less than perfect skin may have tried a peel face mask, but we could just as easily have peeled a piece of fruit instead. Vitamin C is often emblazoned on beauty creams as the magic collagen-producing ingredient, and so it is, but is better eaten than rubbed on: citrus fruit in particular will tighten and smooth your skin better than any synthetic peel. The antioxidants in fruits also help to neutralize highly reactive oxygen molecules called free radicals that can age your skin by damaging cells. If, however, you are not a great fruit lover, then sprouts and peppers are also high in this great vitamin.
We all recognise the importance and health benefits of fresh vegetables in our daily diet, but for great skin, buy the green and orange-red veggies such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and spring greens. The red-orange vegetables contain plenty of beta-carotene that our clever bodies turn into Vitamin A – another antioxidant that has been used as a component in acne medication for years. Dark green vegetables are also packed with Vitamin A, and will help to make your skin fresh and moist.
If you want very soft, young looking skin, you should look to the humble nut for help. All nuts, and almonds in particular, contain Vitamin E which fights the free radicals that contribute to dull-looking skin, and helps the skin retain moisture, in turn reducing the dryness which is so ageing. For a great skin-boosting snack, eat some almonds with cottage cheese; adding the selenium found in the cheese to Vitamin E boosts its antioxidant qualities. Pistachios, walnuts and almonds also have a good amount of the valuable Omega 3 fatty acids in them.
The last of our special skin foods are the unprocessed whole grains. Eating wholewheat bread will add Rutin, another antioxidant, to your diet. Wheatgerm also contains a B vitamin biotin which helps cells process fats; if you are lacking in biotin, your skin will be scaly and dry. Using buckwheat instead of refined flour in your cooking will help to minimise acne, as well as reducing the likelihood of you developing diabetes in later life.
So now you are armed with the knowledge of what foods are great for your skin and the rest of your body. Throw in a little regular exercise and stress control, and your skin will naturally bloom and glow.