A skincare routine is much more than face washing and moisturizing before bed. It also includes using sunblock, staying away from harsh chemicals or pollutants – and feeding the skin important nutrients by eating certain types of healthy foods. Eating right is the foundation for a healthy body, and good nutrition should be part of any skincare routine.
The produce section at a grocery store is the best place to kickstart a healthier skincare routine. There’s no need for fancy menu plans; research shows these four basic rules contribute to healthy skin and healthy bodies overall:
- Choose whole foods over ultra-processed foods
- Cut back on added salt
- Limit added sugar
- Eat more fruits and vegetables each day
Good Foods for Healthy Skin
When making healthier choices at the grocery store, zero in on the antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that will help skin look its best. Research shows foods high in antioxidants have a protective effect on skin. Here are some to try:
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Dark chocolate
- Carrots, apricots and other yellow and orange produce
- Spinach and other leafy greens
Healthy Fats Help Skin
Healthy fats are key elements for healthy skin. Studies show foods that are naturally high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or have vitamins C and E are all important for supporting and maintaining skin function and appearance. Foods rich in these nutrients also contain compounds protective against sun damage – and the fine lines and wrinkles excess UV exposure creates over time.
Here are some great foods to eat to fuel skin with healthy fats and vitamins C and E:
- Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel
- Red and yellow peppers
- Sunflower seeds
- Sweet potatoes
The Importance of Drinking Water
Drinking enough water is important for overall health. While dehydration decreases the amount of water transferred to the skin, chugging an extra glass or two is not a quick fix to plump up sagging skin for those properly hydrated, dermatologists say. Skin hydration is also affected by what skin is exposed to – or kept away from, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here are some easy tips to care for skin:
- Avoid prolonged contact with hot water; opt for warm water instead
- Avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol and fragrance
- Moisturize skin immediately after a shower or washing hands
- Use a gentle cleanser
- Use a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air
Shanthi Appelö is a registered dietitian and health and wellness spokesperson at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more health tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.
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