Are you tired of spending hundreds of dollars on expensive treatments and facials just to find yourself staring at the same red bumps on your skin a couple of weeks later? Well, here’s a little secret - it takes more than just fancy face creams and treatments to get a clear glowing complexion. What you put into your body matters just as much!
We spend hours researching the right skincare products for our skin, pour in hard earned money to buy the fanciest products and treatments that promise to give us the glowly-iest skin but only to realise that they do not work as well as advertised. But wait, could it be that in order to achieve flawless healthy skin, we need more than just to maintain the perfect skincare routine?
The body works in the most unique way. Every part of our body, including our gut and skin, communicates with each other. So, if you are not eating right, your skin will show it. Several studies show that following a healthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates, Zinc, Vitamin A and E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants can help prevent acne and even help improve an existing breakout.
If you have read our guide on top acne causing food, you would know that food with high levels of glycemic index, sugar, and refined carbs are basically a death sentence to your skin. So, here’s the next part to our food guide on what to eat to achieve that flawless radiant skin.
01 Sweet Potatoes!
A well known superfood, sweet potatoes get their beautiful orange colour from beta-carotene, a chemical that gets converted into Vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A is needed by both the upper and lower layers of your skin and promotes natural moisturising helping you achieve a natural radiant glow.
Vitamin A is also an antioxidant that helps prevent sun damage by disrupting the process that breaks down collagen. It supports your immune system, speeds up healing and prevents breakouts making it an essential vitamin in keeping your skin clear and radiant.
Despite being naturally sweet, sweet potatoes have a relatively low glycemic index (carbohydrates, also known as sugar). Food with a high glycemic index has been linked with inflammation and acne in particular which makes sweet potatoes the perfect, low fat, sweet treat for your skin! Well, ain’t that good news for all you carb-loving people out there!
Salmon is a popular fish well-loved all around the world. Afterall, who doesn't love a good baked salmon for dinner or a smoked salmon eggs benedict for brunch? Salmon has high in Omega 3 fatty acid that helps regulates hormones such as testosterone that can trigger sebum overproduction.
Many studies show that being deficient in Omega 3 fatty acids can lead to many skin conditions and concerns, with acne being one of them. Salmon is also high in proteins that can speed up the skin’s natural healing process. Pair this with avocado, another skin-loving food being rich in Vitamin E to boost your skin’s luminosity.
Are you nuts for nuts? Well, good news for you, nuts, in particular pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts are high in Zinc and Selenium which helps clear skin by reducing the risk of breakouts. Researchers found that lower blood levels of Zinc were associated with more severe acne in a 2014 study in BioMed Research International. This is because Zinc is found to have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
It’s almost like they’re tiny doses of pills to prevent those pimples from appearing! Keep a bag of nuts at your desk when the 3pm munchies hit.
Grapes are filled with powerful natural chemicals and antioxidants known to treat skin inflammation, beneficial to healing the redness and swelling around acne. They can even protect your skin from cancer causing ultraviolet radiation that can cause wrinkles and dark spots.
Grapes of different colours contain different levels of antioxidants with black grapes having the highest level and thus, would be the most effective! But red and green grapes will also do the job. One popular home remedy involves mashing grapes with avocado pulp and rose water and using it as a mask but we find eating them far yummier!
05 Probiotic-Rich Food
This includes fermented soybeans, dairy and vegetables like yoghurt, miso or daeonjang, kimchi and pickles. I guess it isn’t so surprising that many Koreans have such clear and glass-like skin! But if Kimchi is not for you, there are many other options! A daily bowl of warm miso soup or a nice cool yogurt parfait in the hot afternoon can help you achieve acne-free skin.
The reason that these foods are great for helping us maintain healthy skin is that they are rich in healthy probiotics - “good” bacteria and yeasts that live in our body. They encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut which in turn, plays an important role in building skin immunity. Probiotics can also help reduce inflammation and have been shown to lessen instances of acne and eczema.
06 Matcha Tea
No, we don’t mean that Matcha Frappuccino from Starbucks that's laden with sugar and syrups. We’re talking about 100% pure matcha tea that is either made from matcha powder or tea leaves. Matcha, probably one of the most potent superfoods in the world, contains extremely high levels of antioxidants and is great for combating inflammation.
Matcha is known to help fight hormonal acne which is generally caused by stress and excess androgen hormones (testosterone, which can be present in both male and female) that increases the amount of sebum your skin produces.
Green tea is an alternative to matcha (yes! they are different) but matcha has up to 137 times more antioxidants as compared to green tea! So the next time you suffer from skin irritation, acne, eczema or rashes, reach for that hot cup of soothing matcha!
07 Spearmint Tea
When you find yourself with acne popping out left and right, spearmint tea is the best choice for you! A study by the American Academy of Dermatology conducted in 2015 found that drinking two cups of organic spearmint tea daily has reduced inflammatory acne lesions by 25% in one month and 51% after three months. In other words, a cup of spearmint tea a day keeps breakouts and redness away!
Not only is spearmint tea refreshingly enjoyable, it has the most potent antibacterial properties of the many different mint varieties and can help keep your skin free of bacteria. Spearmint also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm flare ups, plus they are delicious! Serve it hot or cold with a hint of honey for a deliciously refreshing treat!
Change Up Your Diet PlanThe Keto, the Atkins or the Weight Watchers, there are literally hundreds of approaches to eating healthy but some are guaranteed to up your beauty game more than others. You can’t go wrong with incorporating more fruits and dark leafy greens into your diet. A clean and simple diet plan can form a strong foundation for your skin's journey and provide lasting results but do keep in mind that miracles don’t happen overnight and dedication is key to lasting results!
About the writer
Rachel spent five ascetic years as a vegetarian before discovering spicy chicken wings are, in fact, a delicacy. She’s also a bit of a snob about fancy whiskey. Rachel writes early in the morning, then spends the rest of the day trying to impress her Maine Coon.