Proper nutrition can go a long way in improving your health, but does food affect skin?  Yes! A healthy diet can also make a difference in how your skin looks and feels.  However, many people need help separating dietary fact from fiction. In honor of National Nutrition Month, we’re taking a closer look at some of the ways that what you eat can impact your skin and your appearance. Learn more about the types of foods that moisturize the skin as well as what foods can contribute to aging skin.

How Does Food Affect Skin?

We’ve already established that food does affect skin, but how does food affect skin?  Below we answer common questions about nutrition and skincare, including what foods are good for the skin, what foods help the skin heal faster and what foods help aging skin and skin elasticity.

How Does Diet Affect Skin?

If you are what you eat, then diet affects all aspects of the whole YOU.  Your skin is your body’s largest organ, meaning it requires the same nutrients that your other vital organs need, such as vitamins, minerals and water.  Foods that heal the body, and the skin, include antioxidants, healthy fats, and hydrating foods that retain elasticity and prevent aging.

In essence, whatever your body needs, your skin also needs.  In addition to good nutrition and hydration, your skin will also look better if you sleep more and reduce stress.  Genetics is also a factor, but good skin care products and aesthetic treatments like chemical peels and Botox can help bypass any pesky genetics getting in the way of how you want to look.

What Foods Are Good for the Skin?

The best foods for skin tend to be high in heart-healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil and beans, as well as antioxidants found in foods such as blueberries and green tea. If you want to improve your skin through diet, including as many vegetables as possible is a great place to start. In particular, leafy greens like spinach and kale are recommended.   

What Foods Help Moisturize the Skin?

To moisturize the skin, it is important to add moisture to the body. Foods with a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables, ensure adequate hydration in the body as well as the skin.  Additionally, drinking plenty of water will ensure a healthier body and more youthful, plump skin.  Feeling dehydrated?  Opt for coconut water instead of sports drinks loaded with sugar and additives. Coconut water provides added nutritional benefits and contains electrolytes to help with absorption.  A good idea is to blend those antioxidant rich berries with coconut water for a nourishing fruit smoothie that will hydrate without the added calories.

What Foods Help Aging Skin? What Foods Help Skin Elasticity?

We understand that dealing with aging skin is a part of life, but you don’t have to give up without a fight. Skin looks older when it loses its elasticity and begins to wrinkle rather than staying taut and youthful. To reduce the look of aging skin, you’ll want to enjoy foods that help boost your skin’s elasticity. Healthy fats are the perfect antidote to aging skin. These omega-3 fatty acids can be found in olive oil, nuts, flax seeds and salmon.  

Does Food Cause Acne?

While there are plenty of products and treatments to reduce acne, sometimes the best method is working from the inside out and addressing diet. Many researchers believe that having high blood sugar levels can lead to inflammation and acne. If acne is your skin’s biggest problem, then sticking to a low-glycemic diet might be the best choice.  This means avoiding unrefined starches, candy, sodas and processed snacks like chips and crackers.

What Foods Help the Skin Heal Faster?

What you eat may be able to encourage skin to heal faster after a surgery or an injury. Perhaps most importantly, you should aim to eat enough calories each day. Dieting, or reducing calories, is not recommended when your skin is trying to heal. It is also vital that you consume adequate protein as well as foods containing Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Some scientists consider Zinc to be a key in rapid skin healing. To get enough Zinc in your diet, add foods like red meat, seafood or fortified breakfast cereals with no added sugar.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Skin?

One of the worst things for your skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is too much alcohol. Consuming alcohol dries out the skin, causing you to look older. Because alcohol does damage to the liver over time, it can lead to skin that is ashy, pasty and full of large pores. Although alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation (an occasional glass of red wine is good for you, and full of healthy antioxidants), too much can begin to negatively affect the color and elasticity of your skin and leave you vulnerable to chronic skin conditions like psoriasis.

Looking for more skin care tips and advanced aesthetic treatments to help you look your very best? Contact us at Skin by Lovely in Santa Monica, California, or Portland, Oregon, for a consultation to learn more about caring for your skin.