Waking up to a new blemish, bloated skin or inflammation can be frustrating. When we look back at what we’ve consumed in the days leading up to changes in the skin, more often than not we can conclude the role of diet in skin health had an adverse effect if sugar, processed foods and alcohol have increased while important vitamins and nutrients have decreased. Our skin is often considered a reflection of our overall health, so it’s no secret that what we eat can significantly impact its appearance and vitality. While skincare products play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, the foundation of a glowing complexion begins from within. 

Skin serves as a protective barrier against external threats such as environmental pollutants, UV radiation and pathogens. Proper nutrition provides the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients necessary for maintaining skin integrity, elasticity and overall health. Combining a balanced diet of whole foods that includes macronutrients, micronutrients, hydration and powerful antioxidants fuels the body and nourishes the skin, promoting a radiant complexion and overall health. 

Macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins and fats, are the primary sources of energy for our bodies. While each macronutrient serves distinct functions, they all contribute to skin health in various ways. Carbohydrates are divided into complex and simple carbs. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, have great skin benefits due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta and sugar, have the opposite effect of increasing inflammation and skin aging. Proteins are the building blocks of skin tissue, playing a crucial role in collagen synthesis and repair. Incorporating lean sources of protein, such as poultry, fish, legumes and tofu, supports skin structure and elasticity. Healthy fats are found in omega-3 and omega-6 foods such as salmon, avocado, nuts and seeds that protect the skin from moisture loss by maintaining the skin’s lipid barrier. 

The role of micronutrients, which includes vitamins and minerals, is necessary for skin cell turnover and regeneration, collagen synthesis, UV damage protection, wound healing, oil regulation, acne prevention, protection from oxidative stress and support of the skin barrier. Incorporate skin changing super foods to your diet with the following sources: Vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots & leafy greens), vitamin C (citrus fruits, bell pepper & strawberries), vitamin E (nuts, seeds & vegetable oils), and zinc (oysters, pumpkin seeds & legumes). 

Hydration is key for the function of every organ in the body and as skin is the largest organ in the body, water intake is extra important. Water helps flush out toxins, regulate body temperature and maintain skin elasticity. Additionally, consuming water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon and celery can contribute to overall hydration levels.

Powerful anti-aging benefits can be found in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals and unstable molecules that can damage cells and accelerate skin aging. While topical treatments will do wonders for the skin, foods that contain polyphenols and flavonoids not only promote skin health, but research suggests will also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. When you book your next appointment at THE CENTER for Advanced Dermatology, be sure to include the topic of the role of diet in skin health as part of your assessment. Keeping a food diary and making small changes can lead to a big impact on the health and aesthetic of your skin. Call today at 602-867-7546 or schedule online at WEBSITE.