Eat Up: This Skin Care Experts Wants You To Have 3 "Skin Snacks" A Day
We've long talked about the connection between your diet and complexion. While everyone's bodies are different, and thus react uniquely to foods or triggers, there's a growing consensus among skin care experts that improving your gut health will absolutely have beneficial effects on your skin. Additionally, loading up on skin-supporting foods will give your cells the nutrients they need to thrive.
This connection is so important, notes dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar, that she encourages her clients to have skin snacks. "I always ask my clients to have three skin snacks a day, preferably berries," she tells us about brightening skin. "Berries contain antioxidants that can protect your skin from the sun as well as vitamin C that can brighten your skin."
You may already be folding skin snacks into your diet without realizing it (those egg whites in the morning? Great for collagen production. The olive oil and lemon dressing in your salad? Great for antioxidants and fatty acids.). But if you're using this time of year to reevaluate your nutrition goals, this can be a useful reminder that gives you a youthful glow in the process.
Want more skin snack inspo? Here are a few additional snacking ideas:
- Fermented foods, like kimchi and kombucha, can help improve your gut microflora. A thriving microflora translates to better skin barrier health.
- Green tea is loaded with antioxidants. Research shows that it supports your skin against environmental aggressors—the primary cause of wrinkles.
- A cucumber is more than 95% water, so if you have a hard time remembering to drink water throughout the day, try noshing on some cucumber.
- We can all benefit from eating more healthy fats—and getting those from avocados gives you other benefits, like over 14 minerals, protein, soluble fiber, phytosterols; polyphenols; carotenoids, and omega-3s.
- Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate seed extracts are very useful for environmental aggressors. Take this randomized controlled trial, for instance, which found that pomegranate extract increased skin's resilience against UVB rays; or this double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which found that taking pomegranate extract orally could help with common sun-induced pigmentation.*
Ultimately, there are lots of foods out there that can support your skin—whether that be through collagen production, hydration, antioxidant protection, or gut support—and finding a nutrition program that works for you is about listening to your body. Eat up; your complexion will thank you.
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.