Beauty comes from within; it’s a cliche and probably caused a few eye rolls from you, but it’s true! The state of our body really shows on our face, so if you have been hitting the takeaways a bit recently and had not just a few late nights, your poor skin is going to be the first to give it away. Really nourishing our skin from the inside out with some powerhouse nutrients is going to give your skin a gorgeous glow. Skin nutrition isn’t as hard to incorporate into your daily routine as you might think! In fact, clear skin from within is just around the corner.
Let’s break down the five best nutrients for great skin...
Let’s start from the beginning. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that helps your body fight illness and keeps your skin healthy. For your skin, it works to prevent sun damage by interrupting the collagen breakdown process (which incidentally also slows down signs of ageing - bonus). It also works as an antioxidant and helps in the production of new skin cells, keeping things plump and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Skimping on the vitamin A can cause dryness, itchiness and bumps which are things no one wants!
To get your vitamin A hit, you’ll want to have the most important meal of the day, breakfast! Foods like eggs, cheese, milk and yogurt are all rich in vitamin A. As if we needed an excuse to dig into the cheese. In its active form, vitamin A is only available from animal sources.
If you’re vegan, foods such as carrots and sweet potatoes contain something called beta carotene which will convert to vitamin A in the body. While the more active form is only in animal products, having a diet rich in beta carotene will set you up in the best way!
If you want to level up your vitamin A absorption, topical products like our Encapsulated Retinol will boost collagen, even out your skin tone and help to keep acne in check.
Talk about a triple threat! Vitamin C keeps your skin in great condition by boosting collagen production, smoothing fine lines and evening the skin tone. Basically, it is an anti-aging star. This anti-inflammatory nutrient can’t be produced by our bodies naturally, so giving our skin a little helping hand is key.
Fruits and vegetables are the most common source of vitamin C, with foods like oranges, berries and broccoli being your best bets. So, make like your middle school health class and embrace the food pyramid!
Having said that, research suggests that to get maximum skin boosting benefits from vitamin C, you’re going to want to apply it topically. The Pomegranate Brightening Serum is packed with Kakadu Plum extract, which has one of the world’s highest levels of vitamin C. She’s a showoff but we love her for it.
Zinc is one of those essential nutrients that we rarely think about, but it will absolutely get you on the way to perfect skin from within. One of its major benefits is its anti-inflammatory skills. It helps to calm redness and irritation which makes it a fantastic nutrient if you have acne prone skin, as it also decreases oil production. If you’ve got oily skin, you’re going to want to take notes on upping your zinc intake.
“But how do I do that?”, we hear you ask. Good question. Red meat is rich in zinc, as are more obscure foods like oysters, if you’re feeling particularly fancy (oysters pair perfectly with champagne, just saying). For all of our vegetarians, no need to stress! Legumes are an excellent source of zinc. Mix through chickpeas, lentils and beans into your salads for the nutrient (and taste) boost. Feeling snacky? Nuts will also get you across the zinc line.
When applied to the skin, zinc can protect against the sun, which is why you’ll find most sunscreens, like our Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen, harness its powers.
Sometimes called fatty acids (trust us, they are better for you than they sound), omega 3s just so happen to be key to the structure of every cell wall, so yeah, they’re pretty important. They are crucial for the overall health of your body as they keep your energy levels high and your immune system running at full steam. When it comes to your skin, they can help to regulate oil production, which is music to anyone with oily skin’s ears. In other good news, omega 3s also improve the skin barrier to seal in moisture and fight dryness and inflammation.
The omega 3 MVP is fish, so whether you go for seafood or down your fish oil tablets, it’s time to get friendly with fish! Omega 3 is also found in most seeds and plant oils, like canola oil.
Protein is the building block for all skin tissue, so getting familiar with protein is key for youthful looking skin. It helps to maintain elasticity and firmness (no sagging skin here, thank you very much). Making sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet is one of those anti-aging secrets spam ads tell you dermatologists don’t want you to know about.
In good news, eating foods rich in protein is not too difficult. Of course, red meat, chicken and fish are your best bet, but other animal products like eggs and dairy are also a great way to go. For our vegan readers, legumes and nuts are what you’re going to want to reach for. While you might want to go full body builder and go hard on protein all the time, you’re actually better off eating small amounts in each sitting because our bodies can’t store it.
Skin nutrition isn’t something you need a Harvard degree to understand, it can actually be quite simple! When it comes to clear skin from within just look for vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, omega 3 and protein - simple!
If you want to know more, chatting to a naturopath can be a great source of information on how to eat for your skin!