Skin care is big business. This year, the industry is projected to generate more than $100 billion, largely fueled by people trying to delay the visual effects of aging.
There are so many products to keep skin moisturized, firm, wrinkle-free, and glowing. You’ve likely noticed an increasing amount of products with “natural” ingredients and extracts from various sources.
The words “protein” and “antioxidant” are in full display, but did you know that you can reap these same benefits from four common foods? Here’s how you can eat your way to better-looking skin. But first…
Why You Should Prefer the Food Way Over Most Cosmetic Products
While some cosmetic products may have “oatmeal,” “honey,” or “milk” prominently advertised on the label, if you turn the bottle around to read the ingredients, you’ll see not everything is so “natural” after all. You may see words like “cyclopentasiloxane,” “carbomer,” “methylisothiazolinone,” and “yellow 5” (or “CI 19140”) in addition to the “naturally soothing” ingredients.
Sure, these lab creations can do the job of keeping your skin moist and young, but do you really want them to? The names alone make me question their long-term effects on not only your skin’s health, but your overall health as well. (It’s always best to read labels and research all the ingredients before applying anything to your skin, especially if it’s on a regular basis.)
Luckily, there are a number of truly natural ways to improve your skin. By eating right or applying natural extracts, you can rejuvenate your skin to keep it glowing, strong, and beautiful, regardless of your age. Here are four natural foods you can use to get soft, strong, healthy, and hydrated skin.
Skin-Boosting Food #1: Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers are filled with skin-saving antioxidant properties. And in addition to what they can do for your skin, they also contribute to a healthy diet that can result in weight loss and a lower risk for serious conditions, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
One of these colorful vegetables provides more than 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements, which helps build and maintain collagen. Your skin’s elasticity and strength is dependent on collagen, while it’s also responsible for the replacement of dead skin cells. Because it’s so important to your skin (and your whole body—it’s the most abundant protein after all), I definitely recommend that you include these bell peppers in your daily diet for the most benefits.
Also, collagen production begins to decline after age 40, so intake should increase to make up for the lag in production. In addition to vitamin C, red bell peppers also have a good amount of carotenoid antioxidants that are linked to wrinkle prevention and acne defense.
Skin-Boosting Food #2: Papayas
Papayas offer a number of benefits for your skin, including lowering inflammation, providing a youthful glow, and building collagen. Papayas can either be consumed as a snack or applied directly to your face as a mask to bring out color and clean and strengthen your skin. The flesh of a papaya, or papain, can also be applied as a mask to heal, clean, and tighten skin.
The vitamin C content in papaya along with its beta-carotene help your body fight inflammation that can lead to skin problems. Their anti-inflammatory properties can also help with a variety of different health conditions that cause inflammation, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and high blood pressure.
Skin-Boosting Food #3: Salmon
Because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content, salmon is a great food for your skin and anti-aging in general. My personal experience has show it’s great for dry, chapped skin and can definitely improve the appearance of your skin by adding a healthy glow. EPA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, helps regulate oil production that boosts hydration and fights acne. It can also postpone aging and wrinkles by blocking the release of enzymes caused by UV rays, which can damage collagen, resulting in lines and sagging skin.
Skin-Boosting Food #4: Almonds
Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, a vitamin that offers a few key benefits for skin. One main benefit: the vitamin E content found in almonds can act as a natural moisturizer all on its own, while helping to fight against the impacts of UV damage. If you spend a lot of time outside, try to make almonds a regular part of your diet. And like all the foods mentioned here, they will be great for your weight and overall health, too.
Eat for Better Skin and Overall Health
A healthy diet offers far more than just improved health and a slimmer waistline. As you can see here, it can also do wonders for your skin. People put so much faith in modern science and believe that if they want to stay young, fight aging, or give their skin a gorgeous glow, they need to buy a product manufactured in a lab. That’s simply not true.
When it comes to youth, vivacity, and beauty, everything you need can be found at your local grocery store or market. If you want to save money, look better, and improve your skin, start eating the foods mentioned above, and enjoy all the benefits they have to offer.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Nafiu, A.B. and Rahman, M.T., “Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of unripe papaya extract in an excision wound model,” Pharmaceutical Biology November 28, 2014; 1–10.
Tornambe, R., “Fish Oil for Your Face? The New Anti-Aging Phenomenon,” Huffington Post web site, October 17, 2011; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-tornambe-md/omega-3-anti-aging-_b_993047.html, last accessed January 26, 2015.
Day, D., “Are Fish Oil Supplements Good for the Skin?” Health web site, March 26, 2009; http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411530,00.html, last accessed January 26, 2015.