Your skin really is an expression of what’s happening inside your body, so it’s no surprise that what you put in it will be reflected on the outside. That's why one of the amazing side effects of a healthy, nourishing diet is a beautiful glow.
My nutrition clients are always amazed when they change their eating habits and they not only feel, but look so much healthier. There’s no need to spend hundreds at the makeup counter — gorgeous skin is as close as your kitchen.
Here are three things you should always remember when it comes to how food affects your skin:
1. Don't be scared of fat.
Good fats, that is (aka essential fatty acids, or EFAs). These are a key element to naturally healthy skin, but your body doesn't make them on its own so you nee to get them from the foods you eat. If you're not getting enough EFAs in your diet, your skin will tell the tale: dryness, inflammation, irritation, acne, the list goes on.
Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s are absolutely essential for glowing skin. They keep your skin hydrated, plump and less prone to wrinkles and sagging. Seeds and nuts (especially walnuts) are packed with omega-3s and other anti-inflammatories. Salmon, flax, eggs and sardines are great ways to get more of these skin-saviors into your diet.
Another trick? I love adding chia seeds to my smoothies for an extra boost, and cooking or baking with everyone's favorite superfood coconut oil is adds a delicious dose of omega-3s to your diet. For a helping of omega-6, get your grain on!
2. Your skin could be affected by gluten, dairy, or sugar.
I know you love your cheese and ice cream, but try cutting dairy out of your diet completely for a two week trial period. It's almost inevitable that when my clients do this, most notice their skin issues completely clear up. While there's not much scientific evidence to prove a direct connection between dairy and skin health, I've seen enough empirical evidence to know it's true.
If you find a dairy sabbatical isn't doing anything to help your skin, try eliminating gluten and sugar next. When your body is gluten-intolerant, it works to fight off gluten (an invader) by releasing histamine, leading to inflammation. And since acne is an inflammation of the skin, the connection isn't hard to spot. Same goes for sugar.
3. When it comes to good skin health (and just about everything else!) proper digestion is key.
Many people don’t realize how closely the two are related. Instead, they assume it’s about good makeup or expensive moisturizer, but it’s actually so important to take care of your digestion.
For example, if you're breaking out on your chin, it's almost always because of a digestive issue. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day — keep a water bottle with you at all times to remind yourself to drink up — and indulge in probiotic-rich foods to keep your gut (and skin!) happy and healthy.