Have you noticed a change in your skin recently? Whether your skin has developed a sudden glow or you’re experiencing more breakouts than usual, it might be down to a change in your diet.
Yes, you heard us. Even if all that chocolate and alcohol skipped your waistline, your skin may not be feeling so lucky. Whether you’ve been overindulging on the bad stuff, or not getting enough of the good stuff, what you put into your body can impact your skin – but it’s not all bad! A lot of the things we eat have huge benefits for our health and can give your skin the ultimate wow factor.
We’ve detailed below some of the reasons you might be seeing a change in your skin and what you can do to help it.
Let’s start with the very basics. Are you getting enough water? Dehydration, whether through illness, diet or after intensive exercise, can affect your skin in more ways than one.
Your skin is one of the body’s largest organs, made up of millions of cells that require water to survive. Without water, your skin cells won’t work probably or even die off (eek!) – leaving you with dry, flaky or dull looking skin. Despite being one of the largest organs, your skin is actually one of the last to receive the water you drink. Your other organs take priority when it comes to water, so if you’re experiencing dry skin, it may mean that you need to keep on drinking!
Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day can help your body to flush out toxins, which also helps to keep your skin clear of blackheads and breakouts. Healthcare experts recommend drinking around 5-8 glasses of water a day – not too much or too little (unless you’re an athlete!) Remember, drinks containing caffeine and alcohol may actually dehydrate you, so bear this in mind when you’re counting your 8 glasses.
Hydrated skin means more resilient skin – making it better able to repair itself and defend against damage caused by free radicals, also making it more able to keep wrinkles at bay. You may not see results overnight but increasing your water intake over a few weeks should leave you with an awe-worthy glow.
Although your diet may not be the single cause for acne and breakouts, what you eat can affect your skin in ways you might not have thought of.
The skin is a living organ – always renewing and repairing with new layers of cells constantly replacing the old ones. However, sometimes this ‘turnover’ process doesn’t quite work as it should, meaning oils, dirt and sebum (your skin’s natural oils) get trapped in-between the layers of new and old cells. This delicious combination feeds the bacteria that causes acne and breakouts, so attempting to reduce the oil and dirt on your skin by keeping it clean is a great place to start.
Eating large amounts of fatty, greasy or processed foods can increase the levels of oils in your skin and therefore increase the number of clogged pores and breakouts. Eating foods high in hormones such as dairy (yes, hormones!) can create a hormonal imbalance within your body and also trigger unwanted breakouts. It’s OK to indulge every so often, but if you’re prone to acne and breakouts you may want to reduce your intake of fast foods and dairy products (try switching to non-dairy alternatives such as nut milks) for a clearer complexion.
So, what should we eat instead? As above, drinking plenty of water will help to flush out the toxins and reduce the levels of oils on the surface of the skin. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and nutrients will help your skin to repair and therefore help to stabilise the turnover of new cells. Vitamins A, E and C play important roles in skin renewal and repair, even helping to fight off free radicals which can damage the skin. Many herbs and spices also contain anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce redness and irritation – time to spice up your life!
Wrinkles are just another part of ageing, right? Well, you may be surprised to hear that your diet can affect just how many wrinkles you get and just how soon you get them. It’s all about helping your skin to stay strong and supple for as long as possible.
Once again, staying hydrated can help to keep your skin cells functioning correctly, retaining elasticity and firmness to keep wrinkles at bay. Elasticity is extremely important when it comes to youthful-looking skin. Getting your fix of an array of vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables and good fats can help with this.
Silica and Vitamin C are essential for collagen production – a key building block for skin cells. Vitamin E helps to restore damaged skin and prevent moisture loss, whilst Vitamin A encourages cell renewal. Vitamin antioxidants such as Vitamin C (there it is again!) fight off the free radicals that damage healthy cells – leaving you with a more youthful, even complexion for years to come!
Foods that pack a punch
If you find that your all-round healthy diet just isn’t doing enough for your skin, perhaps try incorporating something a little extra. Superfoods are natural foods which are packed full of health benefits. These miracles of nature often contain much higher levels of the vitamins and minerals found in your average fruit and veggies – meaning you need less of them to benefit from their goodness. Superfoods range from common foods such as blueberries, kale and green tea to more obscure fruits such as goji and açaí berries. Although some superfoods can be expensive, they’re often available as supplements in tablet or powdered form to easily add to your shakes or smoothies (check the labels to make sure there’s no hidden nasties in there!)
In summary, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet incorporating an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, whilst drinking plenty of water, will help your skin look and feel its best. If you’re unsure of how your diet is affecting you, it’s always best to speak to your healthcare professional.
Even if your diet is worthy of its own Instagram feed, your skin can still benefit from a little help on the outside. KIATA’s range of certified natural and organic skincare products are packed full of the incredible benefits nature has to offer – keeping your skin supple, plumped and looking healthier for longer. All KIATA’s products are vegan and not tested on animals.
To find out more about our range, see here.