Photo: Woman applying moisturizer to her face

by Sabra Leomo, RD

As temperatures get warmer and summer clothes are worn on a daily basis, healthy glowing skin becomes the ultimate accessory. Slathering ourselves in skincare products is often the first line of defense when trying to achieve skin health. Often, we don’t think about how our skin can be affected from the inside-out by the foods we consume. Try the tips listed below and adopt a new approach by nourishing your skin with healthy food.

  1. Hydration - If your skin is feeling tight, dry or lacking elasticity you may not be drinking enough fluids. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and requires proper hydration just like the rest of you. Water is always your best option for hydration, as it is calorie and sugar-free. Unsweetened green tea is another great option. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that fight cell-damaging free-radicals. Drinking green tea may decrease your risk of skin cancer, so drink up for glowing healthy skin.
  2. ACE Your Vitamins - Eating a diet high in vitamins A,C and E found in fruits and vegetables not only benefits your overall health but also your skin health. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects against the damage from the sun’s UV rays and is also necessary to form collagen, the main structural protein found in skin. Peppers, broccoli, guava and papaya are all high in vitamin C.
  3. Must-have Minerals - Zinc and selenium are two minerals of importance for skin health. About 6% of the zinc in your body is found in your skin and is vital for skin health. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of dietary zinc. Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties and may decrease the incidence of skin cancer. Brazil nuts are an excellent source of dietary selenium.
  4. Healthy Fats - Our bodies can’t create essential fatty acids (EFAs), which is why it’s important that you consume a balanced diet that contains healthy fats. Essential fatty acids, also known as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. They also play a role in the appearance of healthy skin and decreasing the inflammatory response of skin.

    Americans tend to have a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids so focus on adding more sources of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts and ground flaxseed.

  5. Oatmeal Masks - Your pantry may hold the ingredients for an easy DIY mask featuring ingredients that are healthy from the inside-out! Uncooked-ground oatmeal is a great base for masks because it is skin soothing and gently exfoliates dead skin cells. For a basic mask add 5 tablespoons of ground oatmeal with water to form a paste. Gently rub on face and wait 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and feel how soft and supple your skin becomes! You can also add honey and fresh lemon juice for additional skin-nourishing benefits.

Incorporate these skin-nourishing ideas into your skincare routine, and see and feel the difference an inside-out approach makes!