Expert advice for glowing and healthy skin!

Having radiant and healthy skin does not just involve a good skin-care routine, but is also primarily related to our inner health, diet, and lifestyle. The skin is the largest organ of elimination in the body and along with the lymphatic system, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and lungs, removes the built-up toxins and waste, keeping us healthy. For our skin to be able to function optimally and look healthy, it is important we take care of it! Below are some healthy eating and living principles that will promote excellent skin health and a glowing complexion.

1. Eat your way to glowing skin!

There is a body of evidence building to show the relationship with our diet and dermatological conditions[1]. The foods we eat form the building blocks and foundation for healthy skin and can be useful in treating various skin conditions. Some of the nutrients that are important for our skin health and strength include zinc, essential fatty acids, and Vitamin C.

  • Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for collagen synthesis and skin health. It is an antioxidant[2] that protects the skin from free radical damage and is a common ingredient in beauty products. Food sources include kiwi fruit, citrus, and papaya.
  • Zinc is an anti-inflammatory mineral that assists in skin repair and wound healing[3]. Studies have shown that dietary zinc may help reduce acne[4]. Food sources of zinc include oysters, pumpkin seeds, seafood and dark leafy greens.
  • Essential fatty acids are another important nutrient for healthy skin. They have anti-inflammatory therapeutics, that decrease inflammation and may reduce the risk of acne and psoriasis[5]. Food sources of essential fatty acids include nuts, avocado and wild fish.

If you would like further dietary guidelines for optimal skin health we recommend making an appointment with our nutritionists Anthony Glanville or Amanda Harasym.

2. Hydration, hydration, hydration

Water is the main component of our cells and tissues in the body. Drinking enough water and ensuring that you are adequately hydrated is essential for great skin health. Recent research shows that higher water inputs in regular diet can positively impact normal skin physiology, in particular in those with lower daily water consumption[6]. Keep a stainless-steel water bottle (avoid plastic) on your desk and frequently sip through the day to encourage hydrated, happy skin.

* Hydration tip: If you don’t like the taste of water add a slice of fresh lime or cucumber.

3. Be sun smart

The most important way to take care of your skin is to be sun smart. Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world[7]. Protecting your skin from sunburn and sun exposure can help prevent the development of wrinkles, age spots and of course cancer. Use a high-quality sunscreen and wear sun-protective clothing if you are going to be exposed to sun for extended periods of time. Regular full body skin checks are also vital for detecting any skin disease early on.

Can’t remember the last time you had a skin check? Book in with one of our integrative GP’s, Dr Adina Blaj, or Dr Sandy Eun for a consultation.

4. Get a good night’s beauty sleep!

We all have heard of the phrase of ‘beauty sleep’, but this common saying has some scientific truth behind it. Indeed, a good night’s sleep is essential for great skin health. Recent studies have shown the negative effects of a poor night’s sleep on skin ageing.  It was found that poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of intrinsic skin aging including fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity[8].  A lack of sleep is also associated with increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Chronic high levels of cortisol can cause inflammation and trigger inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema[9].

If getting a good night’s sleep is a problem, book in with one of our integrative GP’s, Dr Adina Blaj, or Dr Sandy Eun for a consultation and referral to our sleep experts.

References. 

  1. Rajani Katta, S. (2014). Diet and Dermatology: The Role of Dietary Intervention in Skin Disease. [online] PubMed Central (PMC). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106357/ [Accessed 14 Feb. 2017].
  2. Linus Pauling Institute. (2017). Vitamin C and Skin Health. [online] Available at: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  3. Kresser, C. (2017). Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C. [online] Chris Kresser. Available at: https://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-1/ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  4. Michaëlsson G, e. (2017). A double-blind study of the effect of zinc and oxytetracycline in acne vulgaris. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/145237 [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  5. Boelsma, E., Hendriks, H. and Roza, L. (2017). Nutritional skin care: health effects of micronutrients and fatty acids. [online] Ajcn.nutrition.org. Available at:
  6. Rodrigues, L., Palma, L., Tavares Marques, L. and Bujan Varela, J. (2017). Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics.
  7. Trevor Cates. (2017). Skin Inflammation Skin Enemy Number One. [online] Available at: http://drtrevorcates.com/skin-inflammation/ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  8. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/5/853.long [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  9. Trevor Cates. (2017). Skin Inflammation Skin Enemy Number One. [online] Available at: http://drtrevorcates.com/skin-inflammation/ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].
  10. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/5/853.long [Accessed 15 Feb. 2017].

 

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