Beauty

Adding these Foods to Your Diet Can Replenish and Protect Your Skin

A recent survey of 3,000 women age 16-75 revealed that women spend an average of $250 per month on cosmetics and skincare products. Women could trim… Alli - February 28, 2022

A recent survey of 3,000 women age 16-75 revealed that women spend an average of $250 per month on cosmetics and skincare products. Women could trim that cost considerably by looking no further than their local grocery aisle. Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients can improve your skin from the inside through the foods we eat.

Foods also improve skin on the outside through cosmetics and skincare products made with these foods. Many food ingredients are so healthy for the skin that they are incorporated into skin creams, serums, scrubs, and other skincare products by the world’s cosmetics and skincare product manufacturers.

The amazing almond is rich in antioxidants and and essential moisturizer. Shutterstock.

Almonds

While most people would classify almonds as a nut, they are actually the stone fruits of a plum-like fruit related to plums and peaches. The almond is in the “top ten” of foods necessary to fight aging. Almonds are very rich in Vitamin E, an essential antioxidant that protects the skin from cancer.  They also prevent premature aging from free radicals such as UV rays, pollution, and other damaging skin elements. Vitamin E is vital to skin health, as it neutralizes free radicals, fights inflammation, and protects skin cell membranes by helping them retain moisture. This vitamin creates a barrier on the skin’s surface. Cosmetics manufacturers prize almond extracts because they can seal in moisture to form a protective barrier in the cell membranes. The oil from almonds strengthens dry skin and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.

Flavenoid antioxidants allow Apricots t heal and protect skin . Shutterstock.

Apricots

Thought to originate in Asia, Apricots were used to enhance fertility in women. They were also used to treat tumors, ulcers, and inflammation. Apricots are a fruit packed with several essential vitamins and minerals for your skin. This fruit is high in the flavonoid antioxidants: chlorogenic acid, catechins, and quercetin. These flavonoid antioxidants neutralize free radicals that damage skin cells and cause oxidative stress. Antioxidants guard your skin against damage and can help heal skin from sunburns and environmental irritants. For a nourishing acne scrub, puree the pulp of half of a ripe apricot, add two tablespoons each of oatmeal and almond meal, and mix. Smooth the gritty paste on your face and massage it in circular motions for 5 minutes. Let the apricot mask dry for 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Use it once a week for healthy, glowing skin.

Artichokes keep skin glowing. Shutterstock.

Artichokes

Found originally in the Mediterranean islands, artichokes are part of the sunflower family. Artichokes are not only a superfood, but they are also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the skin. Korean women rely on artichoke extract to slow down the aging process and keep skin glowing. Exceptionally high in vitamins C and K, artichokes help skin synthesize collagen to boost the skin’s cell renewal process. Artichoke extract can heal and repair skin damage. Artichoke leaf extract is often used in the skincare products industry in moisturizers and toners to cleanse pores, tighten, and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Artichokes supply essential minerals, such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. The artichoke’s extract has an antioxidant effect that reduces oxidative stress, removes toxins, and boost’s the body’s alkaline production.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acid and vitamins, avocados are a skin superfood. Shutterstock.

Avocados

Although Avocados are considered a vegetable by most people, they are really a fruit. The avocado originated in Mexico and dates as far back as 10,000 B.C. The Aztecs used avocado paste in cosmetic applications such as face masks to keep skin youthful. Avocados are loaded with skin-beneficial ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, D, E, potassium, and lecithin. The antioxidants and vitamins in avocado oil protect against oxidative damage and provide anti-inflammatory effects so they can help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne. The avocado’s hydrating ingredients make them a “skin superfood” for anti-aging. This fruit helps prevent and heal the dry, irritated, and flaky skin associated with eczema and psoriasis. Avocado oil’s essential fatty acids and Vitamin E help promote collagen production to keep skin supple. As an anti-aging oil, it is particularly suitable for combating all types of wrinkles.

The fabulous Blueberry is a rich antioxidant superfood. Shutterstock.

Blueberries

Native to North America, blueberries are not just a delicious summer fruit. They are an essential superfood and an excellent source of antioxidants anthocyanin, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. Antioxidants are natural compounds that help fight cell-damaging free radicals. They also provide protection from the sun’s harsh UV rays.  Blueberries slow down the aging process and improve the quality of the skin.  Berries also support the skin’s ability to fight inflammation related to acne, psoriasis, and eczema by lowering oxidative stress. A natural source of prebiotics, blueberries ferment in your gut to produce anti-inflammatory fatty acids that heal your immune system and combat inflammation. Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C, K1, and minerals such as manganese. These essential vitamins and minerals play a vital role in collagen production, essential for firm, healthy skin.

High in retinol, carrots are a powerful anti-aging ingredient. Shutterstock.

Carrots

Originally from ancient Iran and Afghanistan over 5,000 years ago, carrots and were initially black, white, or purple.  Carrots were prized for their medicinal benefits in medieval Europe. However, carrots have several beneficial compounds for the skin. Carrots have a high content of beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Your body converts the beta-carotene from carrots into vitamin A, also known as retinol, which is a powerful  anti-aging ingredient used in many skin creams. Vitamin A also stimulates the development of fibroblast cells, which are responsible for healthy skin tissue. Carrots are 88% water, which makes them an excellent source of moisture for skin cells. Carrots are also high in vitamin C, an essential building block in collagen production. Collagen is the backbone of skin structure that provides firmness and elasticity. The A & C vitamins and carotenoids in carrots are excellent antioxidants for unclogging skin’s pores and clearing up acne breakouts.

Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, Coconuts are skins best friend. Shutterstock.

Coconuts

The Coconut is not part of the seed and nut family at all. Coconuts are classified as stone fruits and are related to peaches and nectarines. The coconut was initially found growing in India and Southeast Asia. People considered the Coconut to be the “Tree of Life” because of its unique benefits and uses. Coconuts are highly nutritious and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Young coconuts contain more water than mature coconuts. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and B1, B3, B5, and B6 vitamins that keep the body and skin hydrated to maintain that youthful glow. Coconuts also contain capric acid and Vitamin E, which reduce skin dryness by creating a layer that traps skin’s moisture and prevents wrinkles. Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer that clears away dead skin cells and sinks deep into the skin to soften and reveal youthful-looking skin.

The extract from Cucumbers soothes and promotes skin healing. Shutterstock.

Cucumbers

Grown in India around the 3rd millennia B.C., Cucumbers are an ancient fruit Cleopatra supposedly used cucumbers to maintain her youthful beauty. Cucumbers are related to watermelons. Like watermelons, cucumbers have a 96% water content, so they are an excellent hydration source for the skin. They also contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, and E. Cucumbers soothe and promote skin healing, relieve itching, and ease redness. Many sunburn relief products contain cucumber extract because of its cooling effects and skin-nourishing properties. After an acne breakout, cucumber extract can reduce skin inflammation and irritation and soothe the pain.

A refreshing treat for tired eyes, Cucumbers reduce puffiness. Shutterstock.

More on Cucumbers

Cucumbers are very rich in vital nutrients such as magnesium, iron, essential amino acids, potassium, calcium, and zinc so, they are a good source of antioxidants to rid the skin of damaging environmental pollution irritants and harmful UVA/UVB rays. The versatile Cucumber is  also used to kill bacteria. Suck on a cucumber slice to kill bad breath and mouth bacteria. Cucumber extract is gentle and safe for all skin types. Place a cucumber slice on each eye to reduce puffiness and refresh tired eyes. At the same time, place a few cucumber slices all over your face and let them sit for 15 minutes as an effective way to fight wrinkles.

Vitamin D in Eggs keep skin cells functioning correctly. Shutterstock.

Eggs

The chicken first appeared in China around 1400 B.C. Most people know that eating eggs can provide your body a healthy dose of protein. Did you know that eggs contain all the essential protein, minerals, and vitamins, except for Vitamin C.? Eggs also contain amino acids such as Lysine and Proline and lutein found in the egg whites. Amino acids boost collagen production, which your skin needs to help fight the fine lines and wrinkles of aging. Eggs can improve your skin’s texture because they are rich in fatty acids, which moisturize the skin.

An egg white mask tightens skin. Shutterstock.

Don’t Sleep On Eggs

Very few foods contain Vitamin D, however egg yolks naturally contain the vitamin. Along with the B vitamin biotin, also known as the “beauty vitamin,” Vitamin D keeps cells functioning correctly. These vitamins protect the skin from skin-damaging acne, rashes and dryness. The albumin in eggs is a simple protein that helps tighten the skin’s pores and remove excess oil and contaminants. A once a week egg white mask applied to the face can leave you with a glowing complexion.

Oils from Fish leave skin moisturized. Shutterstock.

Fish

Provide so many beneficial ingredients for the body, fish are essential for maintaining skin. High-quality fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that keep skin moisturized and supple. Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen skin cells and reduce the inflammation and redness caused by acne and sun damage. They may also help with inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Fish are also loaded with antioxidants Zinc and Vitamin E that protect skin from free radical damage from the environment. Vitamin E is an essential skin moisturizer and necessary in healing skin. Zinc is required for the effective functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin that produce oil. In addition, zinc boosts the production of new skin cells, speeds the healing of skin wounds, and helps keep skin soft and firm by preserving collagen.

Nutrient rich Grapefruit accelerates cell regeneration. Shutterstock.

Grapefruit

Believed to have originated in Barbados, the grapefruit was known as the “forbidden fruit.”  You probably already know that grapefruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and the nutrients potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and copper.  Grapefruit is an essential antioxidant source, beneficial in reducing skin inflammation from acne or eczema and healing free radical damage from pollution. The nutrients in Grapefruit  are necessary for fighting acne-causing bacteria to produce clear skin. In cosmetics, grapefruit has an astringent, keratolytic, and natural lightening effect. Grapefruit is a good source of biotin, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin A, reducing melanin deposits leading to age spots or skin discoloration. Add grapefruit juice to a sugar scrub to fight acne.

The ingredients of the Grape nourish skin deeply. Shutterstock.

Grapes

The oldest record of grapes being cultivated is from 8,000 years ago in Georgia, a former republic of the Soviet Union. Grapes are defined as a berry because each fruit comes from a single flower on the grapevine. Grapes are high in Vitamins K and C. One serving of grapes can provide 27% of your daily Vitamin C requirement. Grapes are also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. The seeds and skins from grapes are full of antioxidants, which protect skin from damage from environmental pollution and the sun’s harmful UV rays. Grape seeds are a powerful exfoliant of dead skin cells and skin impurities, so it is excellent for acne-prone skin.

The Greeks referred to Yogurt as the “food of the Gods.” Shutterstock.

Greek Yogurt

The Greek historian Herodotus referred to yogurt as the “food of the gods.” Greek yogurt is rich in B-12  and D vitamins, the vitamins, which help slow down the aging process by moisturizing skin. A natural source of lactic acid, greek yogurt is a natural alpha-hydroxyl acid. The lactic acid acts a a face peel by dissolving the bonds that hold layers of skin cells together so you can exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal the younger, smoother skin underneath. Lactic acid also contains anti-fungal properties that combat skin and fungal infections, so it is an excellent acne combatant. Greek yogurt is a powerful source of protein, with as much as 18 grams of protein. It has three times more protein than eggs. Your body uses protein to help build and repair skin.

One of people’s favorite superfoods is Kale. Shutterstock.

Kale

European people have been growing kale for over 2,000 years. Kale is a superfood, and these leafy greens are packed with carotene compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are essential for protecting and hydrating skin cells. The lutein and zeaxanthin help form a barrier around skin cells that lock in moisture. Kale leaves are also rich in Vitamin A; an antioxidant used to treat acne and prevent skin damage from free radicals in the environment. Kale is rich in vitamins C, E, and K, vitamins sought after for their healing properties. One cup of kale has more Vitamin A and K than your body can use in one day. While eating kale is the best way to absorb these rich vitamins, you can also use kale directly on the skin. Lightly steamed kale applied to the skin can minimize stretch marks, spider veins and even help reduce bruising and the appearance of scars.

The Vitamin D in Milk promotes collagen production. Shutterstock.

Milk

Cleopatra supposedly took milk baths to keep her skin soft. Milk is a powerhouse of enzymes, proteins, minerals, and vitamins that aid and improve skin in so many ways. Milk contains a fat-soluble enzyme known as lipase, which can remove oil-soluble impurities from the skin. Dip a ball of cotton in whole milk and wipe it over your face in little circles as an excellent, gentle cleanser for even the most sensitive skin. Milk is also a good source of lactic acid a powerful alpha-hydroxy acid containing antimicrobial properties that exfoliate dead skin naturally and cleanses away acne-causing bacteria. A paste of two-parts milk and one-part flour can calm an acne breakout and minimize a pimple overnight.

For a gentle cleanser for sensitive skin, consider oats. Shutterstock.

Oats

Many sensitive skin products contain oats because they are a gentle, soothing moisturizer. Oats contain saponin, lipids, and protein with emollient properties that gently clean, exfoliate, moisturize, and heal and repair skin. Dermatologists often recommend steel-cut oats or colloidal oats for people with skin allergies, eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis because oats contain polyphenolics that act as an anti-inflammatory, reduce itching, and soothes irritated skin. Oat’s properties rejuvenate and normalize skin’s pH level due to oat beta-glucan to protect and deeply moisturize skin.

The Greeks called olives “liquid gold.” Shutterstock.

Olives

It is believed that the wild olive tree originated in Greece. Greek women referred to the oil produced from olives as “liquid gold.” The women rubbed olive oil all over their skin to keep skin moisturized and protected from the island sun’s harsh effects. Olive oil is still used in many natural beauty treatments  because it contains antioxidant polyphenols that fight free radicals and prevent environmental damage and inflammation. This oil can penetrate sunburnt or damaged skin and deeply moisturize and heal the skin. Since it is very rich in fatty acids and Vitamins A, D, K, and E, olive oil help moisturize the skin to prevent premature aging and sun damage.

As a powerful source of antioxidants, oysters can protect against skin cancer. Shutterstock.

Oysters

Considered a delicacy in many cultures, oysters are prized for their food qualities. The shells and inside of oysters are often used in cosmetic products due to their skin-enhancing benefits. Oysters are a good source of selenium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and iron, powerful antioxidants that protect against skin cancer, sun damage, environmental damage, and age spots. As one of the best anti-inflammatories, oysters may be able to prevent acne flareups. Conchiolin is a natural protein found in oyster shells. When ground into powder, it acts as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and deep clean pores.

With their rich supply of antioxidants, papayas are surprisingly good for skin. Shutterstock.

Papayas

Originally from Mexico, papayas have an abundance of essential nutrients that benefit the skin in numerous ways. Papaya is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, and E, pantothenic acid, folate, magnesium, and potassium. Combined with the papain enzyme found under the papaya’s peel, these vitamins and minerals can help treat acne by exfoliating dead skin cells and removing the fats that can clog skin pores. Papaya extract is an excellent anti-inflammatory, which can decrease redness as swelling and heal wounds.

The polyphenols in pomegranates help regulate the blood flow through the skin. Shutterstock.

Pomegranates

The Greeks believe that Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1,000 ships, drank and used pomegranate juice and cream to maintain her youthful beauty. The polyphenols in pomegranates help regulate the blood flow through the skin, giving it a glowing, fresh look. Pomegranates are a natural source for Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, and potassium, which promote collagen production and increase cell regeneration. The anti-aging benefits of Pomegranates can rejuvenate skin and keep it supple and smooth. One rat study found that pomegranate was an effective acne treatment. However, more research, specifically human studies, is needed to confirm the role of pomegranate peels in treating acne.

A skin superfood, Quinoa is also a gentle exfoliate. Shutterstock.

Quinoa

Known as a skin “superfood, Quinoa is a whole-grain seed that has been a South American food staple for hundreds of years. Quinoa is loaded with riboflavin and lysine, the elemental synthesizers of collagen and elastin. Riboflavin and lysine work to increase the levels of Vitamin E in the skin and improve skin elasticity.  A rich source of essential antioxidants, quinoa protects healthy cells and restores skin from sun and pollution damage. Quinoa can work to stimulate the creation of new, healthy collagen, which rebuilds the skin. Quinoa is loaded with B vitamins that brighten skin by regulating dark melanin production, which can cause age spots and skin-pigment conditions. Additionally, Quinoa has a high Vitamin B3 content, which can soothe skin inflammation after an acne flare up or rosacea episode. The B3 vitamin rebuilds the skin barrier and naturally reduces irritation and dry skin.

Chinese women consider Soybeans are an “anti-aging jewel.” Shutterstock.

Soybeans

Chinese women have highly valued soybeans and soy extracts for centuries as an “anti-aging jewel.” Soybean extract is a valuable ingredient used in many skincare products. Soybean oil is particularly rich in essential fatty acids, which support cell renewal, protect the skin cells. Soy extract is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory qualities that help fight the production of free radicals and protect against skin damage from sun exposure. Fluctuating hormonal levels can also wreak havoc on skin. Estrogen helps keep skin plump, so when your hormone levels are in flux, your skin suffers for it. Thankfully, research shows that soy can cause some estrogenic or anti-estrogenic activity, depending on your natural hormone levels. Add some soy to your diet and skincare regimen to give deflated, tired-looking skin a beauty boost — and use a body lotion containing soy for an instant wow factor!

The oil from Sunflower seeds help skin retain moisture. Shutterstock.

Sunflower Seeds

The sunflower is a native plant to North America and was used by the American Indians as both a food and a skin and hair treatment. Sunflower oil is extracted from the sunflower plant’s seeds and contains several compounds beneficial to the skin. Considered  a “clean oil,” sunflower oil does not clog pores and is safe for use on all skin types. Sunflower seeds contain linoleic acid, which helps skin retain moisture and improves elasticity. Sunflower oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can improve dry, irritated, or flaky skin. You can massage sunflower oil directly into your skin as an emollient, being careful to avoid the eye area.

The wonderful walnut protects skin from free radicals.

Walnuts

Persia is the original source of walnuts, where they were considered a delicacy for royalty. Walnuts are not just a delicious snack; they are excellent food for your skin. These nuts are rich in Vitamin E, F, and zinc minerals, all of which are essential antioxidants for your skin. Eating walnuts can help maintain and protect skin from harmful free radicals such as pollution and UV rays that can damage the skin. Antioxidants combat germs and bacteria, promoting wound healing. Finely ground walnut shells are often added to scrubs as a natural exfoliator of dead skin cells and as an acne scrub to unclog pores, fight bacteria, and promote healthy, glowing skin.

The natural moisturizing Watermelon can help repair skin cells.

Watermelon

Watermelons originated in Africa more than 5,000 years ago. It was treasured by the desert people in the Kalahari region for its ability to store water. Valued for its high water concentration, watermelon can reduce puffiness around the eyes. Two essential vitamins for the skin, A and C, can be found in watermelon. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin because it is instrumental in skin cell creation and repairing skin cells. A natural moisturizer, Vitamin A keeps your skin from becoming flaky and dry by plumping skin with water. Add one-part watermelon juice to two-parts water in a spritzer bottle and spray on the face generously to hydrate.

Water is arguably the most important thing for your skin. Shutterstock

Water, Water, Water

One of the first questions a dermatologist will ask you on your visit is: how much water are you drinking? This is because water is, arguably, one of the most important factors when it comes to skin. Water intake contributes to reducing wrinkles, enhancing skin elasticity, maintaining a healthy pH balance and so many more things. Drinking water will flush out the toxins in your body, especially the harmful toxins that can take a toll on your overall health. By increasing your water intake, you can flush out the toxins in your body to improve the health of your skin and your body. The amount of water you should drink in a day depends on metabolism, weight, height and your daily routine. Generally, adults should drink between 5 and 8 glasses of water everyday, and even more if needed. Always make sure you are drinking at least six glasses a day to stay hydrated and healthy.

Green tea. Shutterstock

Green Tea

Green Tea is another one of those food items that have countless benefits. It is thought to help reduce the risk of cancer , be a healthier alternative to coffee, and help you feel rejuvenated. And experts agree that green tea is also a huge player when it comes to healthy skin. “Since green tea contains polyphenols, making it an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory, it can be used as a great toner to treat acne,” says Kaleroy Papantoniou, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist. “It’s great for healing blemishes and scars, flushes out toxins, and also keeps skin supple. The vitamin K in green tea helps lighten dark circles under the eyes, too. So, put used green tea bags in the fridge for a great 15-minute under eye treatment.”

 

Where Do We Find this Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Rheanna Murray, “You’ll spend as much money on makeup as it costs to buy a house in your lifetime,” March 30, 2017, Toda

Davidson, Katey, MScFN, RD, “the Benefits of Apricots,” June 5, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/apricots-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_

Szalay, Jessie, “Avocados: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts”, October 24, 2014, Live Science https://www.livescience.com/45209-avocado-nutrition-facts.html

Spritzler, Franziska, “ 11 Reasons Why Berries are Among the Healthiest Foods on Earth”, April 24, 2019 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-reasons-to-eat-berries

“Interesting Facts About Carrots”, Vegetable Facts, http://www.vegetablefacts.net/vegetable-facts/carrot-facts/

Ranjan Richa, “10 Beauty benefits of eggs for hair and skin”, September 29, 2017,http://www.femina.in/beauty/skin/10-beauty-benefits-of-eggs-for-hair-and-skin-31940.html#:~:text=E

Dalton Marine Cosmetics, https://www.dalton-cosmetics.com/int/explore-dalton/ingredients-library/

Dr. Surbi, MD, “9 benefits of using Milk on skin to know from a dermatologist”, September 27, 2018, https://www.dermatocare.com/blog/9-benefits-of-using-milk-on-skin–know-from-dermatologist

El, Reda, “14 Awesome Health Benefits of Oysters”, Smilizer, https://smilizer.com/benefits-of-oysters/

Borreli, Lizette, “Quinoa Skin Care Benefits: 6 Surprising Ways the Superfood protects Your Face”September 26, 2017, Newsweek https://www.newsweek.com/quinoa-skin-care-benefits-surprising-ways-superfood-protects-your-face-670770

Nagdeve, Meenakshi, “17 Proven Benefits of Walnuts,” October 26, 2020, Organic Facts

 

Advertisement