Our skin does naturally age. Wrinkles and age spots are the inevitable result of time, but skin ageing may be sped up by overexposure to the sun and tanning beds, strong soaps, chemicals and most importantly due to poor nutrition.
There are many other factors that can impact skin health, such as hormonal changes and imbalances, genetic predisposition, chronic inflammatory or autoimmune conditions and ageing, but also lifestyle related factors, such as high and prolonged stress levels, lack of exercise, poor sleep patterns, smoking, low hydration and diet. Just as what we put on our skin is absorbed, enters the bloodstream and effects how skin looks, what we consume every day affects its structure and appearance.
Luckily though, foods can also have a beneficial effect on our skin, as we can easily daily consume many nutrients that are involved in the formation of skin fibres, structure and in the protection of this amazing organ.
Drink a lot of water
Skin, hair, nails and all our cells need water to function as we are mostly made of water, in case you didn’t know!
Staying hydrated and enjoying an abundance of diverse antioxidant-rich foods can provide a lifetime of benefits for you — and for your skin.
Don't forget that some fruit and vegetables, such as watermelon, courgette and cucumber, also contribute fluids – the added benefit is that the minerals they contain will increase the rate you hydrate your body and skin.
Try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption as both can age the skin.
Omega 3 rich foods
Essential fatty acids are, as the name suggests, an essential component of cell membranes, keeping them elastic and functioning well, as well as being natural moisturisers that help to reduce dryness, leaving the skin feeling and looking smoother and plumper.
They are also able to reduce inflammation levels in the body and have been found useful in conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. Plus, they have been shown to be protective against sun damage.
Vitamin C rich foods
Bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, papaya, broccoli, tomatoes, peas, kale
This vitamin is known to be a powerful antioxidant that not only protects the skin from free radical damage and can reduce the appearance of brown spots and pigmentation, but it’s also needed for the production of collagen.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent signs of aging caused by free radicals and may even bolster your skin’s defense against skin cancer. “Studies also suggest that vitamin E consumed orally can increase its levels on the skin’s surface, which is good news for those with dry skin,”
Papayas are not only sweet and delicious they also contain enzymes papain and chymopapain, vitamins A, C, and B, and dietary fiber. The fruit improves bowel movement and digestion and also regulates blood pressure. This, in turn, can help you get a fresh and infection-free skin as better digestion means you will be flushing out toxins that can prevent acne and pigmentation. As stress can lead to high blood pressure and toxic buildup, papaya can help lower blood pressure thereby slowing aging.
Protein - Whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, algae, green leafy vegetables
Proteins are necessary for tissue repair and for the construction of new tissue. Every cell needs protein to maintain its life, including skin cells. Main structural proteins of hair, skin and nails, such as collagen, elastin and keratin, all contain different combinations of amino acids and some of these are essential ones, meaning they need to be obtained from diet.