Try this: Grab a handful of your skincare products and take a look at the labels. We'll bet you spot at least 5 superfoods on the ingredient lists. Now think about it: What would happen if you consume those ingredients, too? We're not saying diet works the same as your topicals, but if you want to play the long game, then adding some superfoods to your grocery cart is a great way to level-up your skincare routine and maximize its effects.
Let's backtrack: What are superfoods again?
Superfoods are nutritionally dense foods. While most are plant-based (fruits, veggies, nuts...), some animal products, like yogurt and fatty fish, are included in that category, too. While there's no one set of criteria to determine what officially counts as a superfood, anything that's super rich in vitamins and minerals is an A-plus choice.
Your shopping list, by skincare concern:
Note: All these foods are awesome for your skin health, so feel free to mix and match from different lists.
Vitamin C can help your body produce collagen, a protein that helps keep your skin plump and thereby keeps wrinkles at bay. It's also a powerful antioxidant that can help fight harmful free radicals. Foods high in vitamin C:
- Red bell peppers
- Citrus fruits
- White potatoes
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, the mineral zinc has been shown to prevent and treat conditions like acne and rosacea. It can also help kill the fungus that causes some types of acne. Foods high in zinc:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Seafood like oysters and crab
When it comes to overall skin health, these fatty acids deserve a spotlight of their own. Studies have shown that when consumed, omega-3s can reduce acne, likely by easing underlying inflammation. There are three types of omega-3s (EPA, DHA, and ALA). EPA and DHA are found primarily in fish and believed to have the strongest effect on acne, but ALAs found in nuts and seeds may still be beneficial. Foods high in omega-3s:
Dry Skin Superfoods
Found in our skins sebum (oil), vitamin E helps create a natural barrier to prevent moisture loss. As we age, both sebum and vitamin E levels decline, leading to dryness, unwelcome lines, and a dull complexion. Boosting vitamin E may help. Plus, it may also reduce skins inflammatory response (think less swelling and redness). Foods high in Vitamin E:
- Sunflower seeds and oil
- Beet greens
- Peanut butter (you're welcome)
Not a food, just another reminder to drink more water. Your skin will thank you.
Don't forget the yum factor
The benefits of food go beyond nutrients. The whole experience, from preparing to serving to savoring, can also be a source of pleasure, which reduces stress. Reminder: Stress itself can be harmful to our skin. Whenever you're shopping for or preparing food, find ingredients and recipes you actually enjoy. Make it fun, and discover satisfaction—just be sure to add in some nutrient-dense fruits and veggies along the way.
While a self-described social butterfly, I find empowerment in my independence. Taking myself on a spur of the moment solo vacation, dinner dates to new restaurants or parts of the city where my company is solely the characters in the book I bring, visiting the local bar and getting to know the bartenders over a glass of wine… or 3. I find that intimate moments with myself leave me feeling brave, confident, and empowered to take on the world without depending on anything else as a buffer. It also gives me time to reflect, plan, journal and explore new places at my own pace.