I’ve recently received a few questions about skin health. Now that summer is around the corner, and ability to soak up the sunshine, this is actually a great topic to start discussing. Our skin is our largest organ and is often an outside indicator of our inside health. Whether you are looking for protection from sun damage, a reduction in wrinkles, or dealing with acne, getting the right vitamins through diet and supplements are crucial for healthy skin.
First off, let’s break down what vitamins are essential for the health of your skin. Below is a list of the most important ones to look for in capsules, creams, or the food you eat.
*Vitamin C is essential for cellular repair, it fights infection, and boosts immunity. When it comes to fighting acne, you should shoot for about 1,000mg/day.
*Vitamin E has antioxidant effects that helps the skin fight against free radicals. It also enhances skin repair and healing. Shoot for around 400 IU/day.
*Vitamin A is necessary for maintenance and repair of skin tissue. Consume up to 10,000 IU/per day.
*Zinc has been strongly related to acne and skin health. In fact acne is often a sign of a zinc deficiency. The purpose of zinc is to clear skin by taming oil production and may be effective in controlling the formation of acne lesions or in helping those already on skin to clear up sooner. Shoot for 25-30mg/day.
*Vitamin K, when combined with Vitamin A, is great for reducing the appearance, or formation, of scars, reducing the appearance of bruises, and helping to eliminate under eye circles.
*All B vitamins have been shown to help maintain a healthy skin tone so a good B-complex is essential. B vitamins help reduce stress, which has been linked to causing blemishes or making them worse. These vitamins also help increase circulation and help metabolize protein, fat, and sugar.
*Omega 3 and 6 are also crucial for the production of skin’s natural oil barrier.
On to food!
Best healthy skin foods:
*Water with lemon – Lemons, or any citrus fruits are a good source of Vitamin C. Starting each day with a glass of water with 1/2 of a lemon squeezed into it will help bring a healthy glow to your skin (I try to do this frequently). Warm or cold, it’s your choice, either way you will reap the health benefits. The only additional benefit of drinking a cup of hot water with 1/2 of a juiced lemon is it will provide more of a detoxification effect to our entire body. Drinking it first thing in the morning is your best bet to flush out toxins at the start of your day.
*Green Smoothies – If you have ever seen my blog, I drink these on a regular basis. The good thing about these is you are getting a good dose of Vitamin C and E in one cup, plus others depending on what you decide to add to yours. Mine usually contain 1 frozen banana, 1 handful of spinach, 1 cup almond milk, and a pinch of sweetener. Other add ins to make it breakfast on the go is a spoonful of all natural peanut butter, protein powder, pinch or cinnamon, different fruits, or a spoonful of cocoa powder. Alter to your liking. If the idea of spinach in a smoothie grosses you out (honestly you can’t taste it!), just add it, cooked or raw, to other meals for some extra Vitamin E. Besides citrus fruits, Vitamin C also comes from bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens. Nuts, seeds, olives, and veg. oils are also good sources of Vitamin E.
*Blueberries – This fruit has an insane amount of antioxidants in it to help fight against free radicals, reducing skin damage, and to help keep skin looking younger longer.
*Carrots – These contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, biotin, Vitamin K, and B6, which are all essential for skin health. Eat up!
*Salmon – Along with other oily fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, it is chock full of fatty acids that are key for healthy skin. Omega-3s help keep cell membranes healthy by keeping out harmful substances as well as allowing nutrients to enter cells and exit with waste products.
*Green Tea – Being rich in antioxidants, it protects cell membranes and reduces inflammation. It also contains Vitamin C, D, and K to help keep the youthful appearance of skin.
*Water – Water is essential for the proper functioning of your body. It helps transport nutrients as well as flush out and eliminate toxins and waste. Water is definitely necessary for rejuvenating skin cells.
With that said, I would recommend trying to incorporate more of these food items into your diet. On the flip side, try to limit your consumption of fried foods, sugar, white flour, and overly processed items as these help trap oil in the skin.
Other tips for keeping clear skin:
*Wash your face every night before you go to bed. As tired as you may be, don’t let make up hang out on your face over night.
*Apply sunscreen daily. Try not to leave the house without a putting some SPF on your face. Especially with summer around the corner and the sun finally gracing us with its presence, you want to avoid exposure to damaging UV rays. Aim for a SPF of 15 or higher.
Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any additional tips for keeping skin looking flawless!