I was at lunch the other day, and a colleague asked if I was taking any supplements for my skin. Just to give some context; even though I’m probably going to get a bunch of hate for saying this, I’ve been blessed with good skin all my life.
The thing is, although I largely attribute my good fortune to genetics, there is a lot to be said about the age-old adage: you are what you eat.
I firmly believe am militant about eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet, meaning staying far away from processed food, refined sugars and anything that doesn’t look like something from nature. I have not touched soda in years, and the last time I ate fast food is a distant memory. If we’re being real, I admit that part of the reason why I eat clean is to counteract all that wine I drink, but hey, my skin definitely thanks me for it.
If you’re struggling with skin woes, or just looking to glow up, try switching up the contents of your fridge instead of your skincare shelf. Everything in your body is connecting, and by nourishing yourself with real, wholesome food, you’ll notice positive changes not just in your skin, but also your hair, nails, mental clarity and overall health.
Dietary changes take time to implement, so I’m not saying throw everything out in your fridge just yet. Baby steps – you start by incorporating these foods, depending on your skin type, into your diet.
You have: Dry Skin
If you suffer from dry skin, you need to increase foods containing healthy fats and oil to give your skin moisture and suppleness. Think foods like avocado, salmon, nuts and olive oil as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are crucial for maintaining skin health. Fun fact: omega-3 fats also help reduce inflammation that might cause redness or acne, and even reduce your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. You should also load up on foods rich in vitamin A, like carrots, tomatoes and spinach. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well!
You have: Oily Skin
When it comes to oily skin, it’s not so much about what you should eat than what you should NOT be eating. Naturally, you should stay away fat, particularly fatty meats like beef, lamb and sausages. Similarly, avoid overly processed, salty and carb-heavy foods like the plague as these high-glycemic options cause spikes in your insulin levels, which then increases the production of skin oils. Go easy on dairy as well, and stick to foods like sweet potatoes, berries, quinoa and green tea instead.
You have: Combination Skin
It’s all about achieving the perfect balance for this skin type. Ideally, you want to ensure you’re getting in a decent amount of healthy fat (salmon, nuts and avocado), lean protein (chickpeas, beans and tofu) and plenty of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli) and antioxidant-rich fruits (berries). Swap out simple carbohydrates like white rice, bread and pasta for wholemeal options whenever possible, and drink plenty of water.