In case you didn’t already know: I am obsessed with skincare in the constant search for beautiful skin.
Now, beautiful skin isn’t about it being completely flawless without colour or character: just because you have freckles, scars, moles, birthmarks or a line or two, doesn’t mean your skin isn’t beautiful.
Beautiful skin is healthy skin: refreshed, glowing skin that is plump and full of elasticity. It’s something that each and every one of us, no matter our age or situation, can accomplish easily.
And the secret to healthy skin?
It’s not what you put on your skin, but what you put in your body.
I may have been moisturising twice a day since I was 16 but moisturiser isn’t the be-all and end-all of beautiful skin. You can be using the world’s fanciest skincare, but if you’re not looking after your skin from within, that skincare is going to reach its full potential.
See, what goes into our bodies can have a huge impact on the outside of our body. For example, if I have a breakout or a blemish, it’s more likely than not related to that bit of gluten I had a few days previous. If I have psoriasis, it’s because I have had too much dairy.
Your skin is an important indicator of what is going on the inside, meaning beautiful skin starts from the inside out: Beautiful skin starts from within.
When discussing skincare its essential to discuss diet – are you eating healthy foods? Are you drinking enough water? Are you taking any supplements to support your diet (if necessary)?
So, what do I do every day to ensure that my skin has the best opportunity to look its best?
I’m sure you’ve noticed how after a night of heavy drinking your skin looks old and even the smallest of lines seem to have grown in depth over night? Or perhaps a piece of fruit that’s been left to dry out? That’s because of dehydration, i.e. a lack of water.
I drink a lot of water – at least 3L every day either in the form of sparkling mineral water, or cup after cup of green tea. I even keep a bottle of water by my bed!
Water is important in keeping us not only hydrated but it also helps when detoxing: if waste builds up in our bodies it tries to find a way out which is typically via our skin, so drinking enough water helps reduce waste building up in the first place.
I am not alive until I have had my extra-strong green tea each morning, and if you follow my Instagram you’ll know that my green tea mug is massive!
Green tea is rich in antioxidants which help rid the body of free radicals, those nasty toxins that attack the healthy, living cells within our bodies. It also helps balance certain hormones in your body, especially those hormones that affect your skin.
Gelatin / Collagen
Every morning I take gelatin supplements to help support collagen production in my body.
We all know that collagen is a primary building block for our skin and that as we age our collagen supplies becomes depleted, making our skin lose its strength, flexibility, and soft appearance, so as well as applying products to our skin that contain collagen to replenish this supply, we can also consume it in the form of gelatin!
Gelatin is derived from collagen, and is full of amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. These proteins are essential for healthy skin and also for the health of our digestive systems – without a healthy digestive system our bodies aren’t able to properly absorb the nutrients they need.
Gelatin (and collagen) can be found in the form of supplements (either a powder or a capsule, like I mention above) or, as is growing more popular, in home-made bone broth.
When I introduced biotin to my diet I noticed a huge difference in the strength of my hair, nails, (and the fact they started growing a lot faster than usual) as well as my skin.
Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is a vitamin that helps improve metabolic, neurological, digestive and cardiovascular functions via the improved metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and glucose.
Improved metabolic functions means our bodies are processing the food we eat more efficiently, meaning increased nutrient absorption, which of course leads to improved skin, hair and nails!
Biotin can be found naturally in eggs, avocado, berries, fish and some legumes, or in a bottle as a dietary supplement. Eggs, berries and avocado are an essential part of my daily diet, so I get a biotin boosts throughout the day, every day.
Vitamins A, C, and E are essential for skin health. By remembering Vitamin ACE you’ll be remembering a powerful combination of vitamins that will help improve your skins overall health and wellbeing. You can introduce these vitamins into your diet either by adding the foods listed below, or via a supplement.
Vitamin A supports your skin at a cellular level, encouraging cell replication and discouraging sebum build up, and is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.
Vitamin C help builds collagen, which as we know is essential for strong, healthy skin, and is found in green vegetables.
Vitamin E is a great antioxidant, which as we know fight free radicals which can prematurely age our skin, and is found in nuts and seeds.
In order to ensure these vitamins feature in my diet, I take a multivitamin every morning that contains my Vitamin ACE.
Eating the right food
I’ve mentioned a few different food sources that ensure a strong metabolism and digestive system for internal health that is shown externally, but food for your skin isn’t all just leafy greens! Although leafy greens, red berries, and oily fish are tasty skin boosters, did you know that Cocoa is also good for you?
Chocolate (the stuff that is at least 70 percent cocoa) is rich in flavanols which are potent antioxidants, and a few squares a day will help encourage brighter, more luminous skin.
Red Wine is also great for your skin as it’s packed with antioxidants with flavonoid, resveratrol and tannin, and as we know, antioxidants fight free radicals which harm our skin.
Although I can’t eat chocolate or drink wine often, I thought they’d be worth mentioning!
Speaking of food…
Identifying Food intolerances
Not all intolerances are made equal. Some foods can upset your tummy, whilst others wreak havoc on your skin. If I eat certain types of cheeses, or large amounts of dairy, I end up with large, incredibly painful cysts on my face. If I eat gluten my skin also breaks out not only on my face, but I also develop Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin) on my arms.
If you have tried everything in order to get beautiful skin but find yourself still prone to skin that you’re not happy with, try an exclusion-diet and see if anything you are eating is affecting your skin in a negative fashion. Remember, the “junk” you put into your body needs to find a way out somehow, and it’s typically through our skin.
Although that may seem like a lot of information to take in for healthy skin, it’s all about healthy lifestyle choices. Eating healthy and ensuring your body is getting the nutrients it needs is the easiest way to ensure glowing, strong, and healthy skin.
Do you have any tips on achieving beautiful skin? Share in the comments!