So this week I will be starting with the negative…By negative, I mean how too much caffeine, processed food, high sugar intake, high fat intake, and general unhealthy bad habits we find ourselves falling victim to, affect the one thing we put out there for everyone to see and what everybody see’s first…Our skin!!! So on that note lets start shooting down the nasties before I enlighten you with some simple skin saviours 🙂
Caffeine: Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it causes our bodies to lose hydration, which directly affects the hydration of our skin. Dehydrated skin causes inflammation which presents itself as redness on our skin and also causes premature ageing as it affects the collagen production in our skin 🙁 and we need our collagen to keep our skin plump and youthful 😉
Processed foods: Processed foods contain artificial flavours, preservatives, MSG’s, hydrogenated oil, artificial sweeteners and food colourings or dyes and that is only the tip of the iceberg. What is our digestive system supposed to do with all this? We are not designed to digest this crap, pardon the French ;). So besides the obvious health benefits to cut out all this junk, there is extensive evidence that all this food, especially the highly processed soda, candy, white bread etc can trigger acne. These foods are highly inflammatory and cause blood sugar to spike, increasing hormones that stimulate oil production and cause inflammatory acne.
Sugar/high glycemic foods: High glycemic foods quickly convert into sugar, which in turn raises insulin levels which in turn, causes an eruption of inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Inflammation is also one of the main reasons behind acne and rosacea, See how inflammation just keeps popping its horrible little head up over and over.(grrrrrrr!!!)
Some simple bad habits we need to break to help our skin
Going to bed without removing make up-going to bed before cleansing our faces and removing makeup leads to oil glands becoming clogged and also our pores getting clogged with makeup. This will make our pores appear larger and as we get older and our collagen levels deplete our pores will not snap back and remain looking enlarged…Not a good look!!!
For anyone that has oily skin or acne-prone skin, it is so common for people with this skin type to use harsh face cleansers and products which strip the skin of its natural oils, which will, in turn, lead to the over production of oils to compensate for this. A gentle cleansing milk usually works a lot better than a cleanser aimed to “dry skin out”.
Not getting enough sleep-skipping on the optimum amount of sleep we require not only leads to dark circles but also leaves the skin lacklustre, dull and pale. Make sure to catch those zzzzz’s!!!!
They say to leave the best to last so let us talk about how we can improve our diet to help our skin.
As you know from my last blog, beautiful skin is not just from what we put on it, but more how healthy our bodies are on the inside, as any slight interruption on the inside can affect how our skin looks like on the outside.
Our skins Super Hero!!
Antioxidants will help our skin fight free radicals. Free radicals attack the collagen and elastin in our skin that keeps our skin plump and youthful.
Berries-berries are on top of the list for antioxidants. Any berries will do, it is down to personal preference which berries you choose but blueberries are the best as they are the most antioxidant rich of the lot.
Vitamin C-also known as ascorbic acid, the antioxidant properties of vitamin C are unbelievable and this is why it is the most commonly known antioxidant for our skin. Vitamin C is needed to make collagen and needed for the growth and repair of tissues. It also enhances the absorption of Iron from plant based foods. The best sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges etc. Red and green bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, pomegranate and tomatoes are also great sources of Vitamin C.
Vitamin E-Vitamin E is great for dry skin. It also helps fight free radicals and helps protect against UV rays. Foods rich in Vitamin E are avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, nuts and whole grains.
Vitamin A-Vitamin A is a group of compounds that includes retinol and carotenoids such as beta-carotene which is the form of vitamin A we get from plant foods. Vitamin A protects against sun damage and slows down the signs of ageing. Eating food rich in beta-carotenes destroys the free radicals that attack our collagen, these same free radicals that leave us with fine lines and wrinkles. The retinol encourages cell renewal and growth to keep skin supple. Vitamin A stimulates fibroblasts in the skins deeper levels, which produce collagen and elastin to keep skin firm and healthy. Foods rich in Vitamin A are liver, cod liver oil, eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers and dark leafy greens.
Omega 3-omega 3 fatty acids decrease dryness and keeps skin soft, smooth and supple. Omega 3’s also help with inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. Foods rich in Omega 3’s are flaxseeds, walnuts and cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring and also chia seeds.
This may seem like information overload but really it is quite simple, cut out the processed, high sugar, high fat food that our bodies aren’t designed to digest, this will reduce inflammation in our bodies and skin and replace these negative foods with powerful antioxidants and healthy fats to get the best out of ourselves and to truly put our best face forward!! Don’t forget about the water intake that we talked about last week, stay hydrated !!
In next weeks blog, I will be creating different organic face masks for specific skin types from ingredients we all have in our homes. So keep an eye out for my next blog and get creative with your skin care 🙂