Quick trivia question: What’s the largest organ in your body?
That’s right! That beautiful skin on you works hard to take care of you and keep you, well, put together. And just like your heart or lungs it’s a complex organism, full of smaller structures and systems to help it do (and look) its best. So what does it mean when we have skin issues, and what can we do to help it out?
The Root of Skin Issues
The core of most skin surprises comes down to one word: imbalance. Your skin is either receiving too much or too little of something, whether that be a nutrient or a toxin, and its reaction is a sign that your skin is working really hard to mitigate that overabundance or deficiency.
Skin care products like our moisture stick can go a long way towards addressing the issue from the outside and helping provide the natural ingredients your skin needs to find balance. But paying attention to what’s inside your body is important, too! Ultimately, focusing on your overall health and nutrition will create a beauty you’ll feel inside and out, and your skin will thank you with a soft glow you’ll be proud to show off.
Below are 10 foods that are sure to give your skin – and the rest of your body – a little love.
Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines)
Helps with: inflammation, sun damage, dry skin, fine lines
All smells aside, fish has long been known for its benefits to things like heart health and blood pressure. Alongside that, this protein source is stacked with omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to the creation and preservation of collagen, a major building block of skin. Omega-3s have been linked to reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as those pesky rough or dry patches. Fish also lowers your triglycerides and reduces inflammation, keeping moisture in and irritants out. Some studies show that fish oil supplements may even help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis or lupus.
Helps with: dry skin, skin tone, skin damage, elasticity
Similar to fish, avocados are another power fatty food for your skin. These fats are essential to keeping skin moisturized and springy. Avocados also have a high amount of Vitamins E and C, antioxidants which not only protect from damage but help build up your oh-so-coveted collagen (just like our fish friends!) Avocados also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which early studies show may help improve skin tone. No surprise this is in so many face masks!
Helps with: sun damage, wrinkles, rough skin
This secret fruit is a powerful source of health for your skin, particularly for its large amount of lycopene. Lycopene is a plant nutrient with vast antioxidant properties, linked to aiding in heart health, sun burns, and even certain types of cancers. This paired with the high amount of Vitamin C and carotenoids make tomatoes vital for consistent skin health and smoothness.
Helps with: skin circulation, wrinkles, dry/rough skin
We could all do with one more reason to eat chocolate, right? Cocoa is actually pretty phenomenal for skin care. It’s high in antioxidants, leading to thicker, more hydrated skin. It also contains a high amount of flavonols, which reduce rough texture in the skin and protect against sun damage. Be sure to eat no less than 60-70% dark chocolate though, as sugar can have the opposite effect on your skin. Or don’t and consider it a break even. That works too!
Kale, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts
Helps with: wrinkles, dark under-eye circles, acne, dry skin, skin tone
Our trusty dark green veggies weren’t going to be left out! There are various benefits dark greens can have on your skin. They are rich in Vitamin K, key for blood circulation, as well as loaded with zinc, shown to reduce inflammation and help prevent acne breakouts. Dark green vegetables contain zeaxanthin, which protects and evens skin tone. Legend says applying kale to your skin diminishes the visibility of bruises, scars, stretch marks, and even spider veins! Count me in!
Helps with: acne, inflammation, elasticity, aging skin
Nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds are well known for their high levels of Omega-3s and Vitamin E, those earlier nutrients key in inflammation reduction and elasticity. They also aid in collagen production and prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Walnuts and sunflower seeds also contain zinc, the best friend for anyone in need of a zit zapper.
Helps with: dark spots, wrinkles, dry skin
Oranges, and really any citrus fruits, are high in Vitamin C, linked to fewer wrinkels and less age-related dry skin. They also calm inflammation, brighten dark spots, and even your skin complexion. Tangerines, grapefruit, strawberries, and bell peppers all fall in this category.
Helps with: elasticity, wrinkles, aging skin
Chia seeds are an easy, quick way to get Omega-3s into your system. They’re ideal for overall skin health, providing building blocks for healthy skin function and collagen production. Garnish your bananas and peanut butter toast, sprinkle over oatmeal, or add to a smoothie – they’re a quick boost to your supple skin!
Helps with: acne, wrinkles, inflammation, elasticity, dry skin
Greek yogurt (or Miso if you’re lactose intolerant) is filled to brimming with probiotics. Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that are linked to decreasing inflammation, gut health, and bloat control. They also are powerful acne/redness fighters, and can prevent worsening of skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Paired the power of probiotics with the Vitamin B – a strong wrinkle preventer – and we’ve got ourselves a winning combination!
Helps with: oily skin, acne, sun damage, skin tone
These sweet carbs are secretly hiding many benefits, including their high amount of Vitamin A and beta carotene to protect skin from the sun and – surprisingly - add a warm, orange color to your skin, giving you an overall healthier appearance. Vitamin A is also known to help reduce oil production in the skin, which can be helpful for acne. TIP: sprinkle your sweet potato with a little cinnamon, known to increase circulation and balance blood sugar levels, for a dynamic duo!
Helps with: pretty much everything
We couldn’t leave out this special ingredient that has long been known to provide balance in not only your skin, but most major organs of the body. Dry skin, enhancing your glow, or just feeling better all are fantastic side effects of getting enough water. Try eating foods with high liquid content, like watermelon, cucumber, and celery.
Did we miss your favorite skin food? Leave it in the comments below!