Skin Health and Nutrition: Foods for Healthy Skin

01 March, 2021

            Skin Health and Nutrition: Foods for Healthy Skin

The food we eat nourishes our bodies from within. How does our diet affect skin health?

We’re all familiar with how our diet impacts the health of internal organs. But what about the body’s biggest organ? Here's what the physical condition of our skin says about our diet.

Ancient skincare beliefs were along the right lines in making an early connection between skin health and diet. Traditional Chinese medicine favours the idea of ‘Qi,’ the interconnectivity of all systems, internal and external. It is believed that redness on the face shows one of your internal organs is suffering. This approach was the first based on treating dermatological issues internally, trying to combat the cause rather than just the symptoms.

This Remedy guide to skin health and nutrition takes a holistic look at the relationship between diet and healthy skin. Many skin conditions are the result of poor nutritional habits and inflammatory foods, while our diet can even help prevent signs of premature ageing. Rather than relying on just skincare products, considering the impact of nutrition on skin helps figure out the cause of dermatological issues. This also helps prevent related internal ailments later down the line.

Food for Good Skin | How to get rid of acne | Healthy Skin Diet Ideas

Skin Issues and Gut Health Explained

The skin is one of the best indicators of gut health. Constantly renewing itself through epidermal regeneration, it requires the continuous maintenance of homeostasis, which is controlled internally. This process involves the development of keratinocytes through 15 layers of biomaterials as they transform into what eventually becomes the protective outer layer of skin on the surface. Gut microbiome and intestinal microbiota regulate this regeneration process by maintaining anti inflammatory responses and immune cells.

When our gut lacks a balance of healthy microbiota due to our diet, issues within the skin regeneration process begin to surface, as well as visible inflammatory symptoms. Recent studies continue to support the relationship between skin issues and diet, as women taking a probiotic twice a day were found to have clearer skin. It turns out that what we put in our bodies has an even bigger impact than what we put on them.

Healthy Juice Detox Smoothie Cleanse | Healthy Skin and Nutrition | How to get rid of redness on face

Skin Issues and Gut Health Explained

To improve skin condition through your diet, it’s essential to know which foods to avoid for healthy skin.

Common skin conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis were often deemed the result of external bacteria on the skin. Due to recent advances in medicine, however, many cases are now linked to internal inflammation and diet. To reduce acne and dry skin, it is recommended that inflammatory foods are avoided, including:

  • Sugar, added sugars, syrups and fructose
    High sugar diets lead to increased inflammation over time, while those continuous spikes in blood sugar can cause degenerative changes.

  • Refined carbohydrates
    Go for 100% wholegrain and avoid white flour products wherever possible. Refined carbs are so processed they lose their nutritional benefits, with fibre content being diminished.

  • Processed meats
    Sausage, bacon, salami and hot dogs all have an inflammatory effect and can lead to increased risk of heart disease and cancers. These gastrointestinal disorders are commonly linked with skin conditions.

  • Trans fats
    Trans fats are made via hydrogenation, an industrial process that aims to prolong the shelf life of foods. Avoid foods that include “hydrogenated oils” or “partially hydrogenated oils” on the ingredients label.
  • Food intolerances
    Any intolerances, such as gluten or lactose intolerance, can have an inflammatory effect that shows on our skin. It often results in red patches and a rash.

While you may be here looking to specifically improve your skin, it has been found that there are many medical co-morbidities associated with inflammatory skin conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. Inflamed skin conditions have actually been identified as a key symptom that often predates gastrointestinal symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

If you find altering your diet is doing nothing to alter skin inflammation, check up with a medical professional to rule out underlying conditions. Despite this, following a naturally healthy diet may reduce the chances of internal issues from developing from the source, as your skin is nourished from the inside out.

Food for Skin Care: A Nutritious, Healthy Skin Diet Plan

We’ve talked about food that works against our skin, but which foods are best for clear skin? Alongside this list of foods for skin health, you should also consider the impact of mental health on skin. Our Mental health can exhibit symptoms in a number of ways, even wreaking havoc on the condition of our skin.

  • Antioxidants
    Natural antioxidants like berries and mushrooms counteract the production of ‘free radicals,’ the harmful toxins found in skin that we mentioned earlier.

  • Yellow & Orange Fruit and Vegetables
    These include a diverse range of vitamins you need to maintain healthy skin through your diet. Sunshine yellow fruit and vegetables are also full of retinol, a Vitamin A1 that can reverse acne and wrinkle formation. They also have a photoprotective effect, preventing UV rays from being absorbed by the skin.

  • Naturally Fatty Fish
    Omega 3 fatty acids help fight auto immune and inflammatory issues like psoriasis and lupus.

  • Green Leafy Foods
    Lutein found in veg such as kale can fight free radicals while protecting against UV rays. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in these foods, also has powerful anti inflammatory properties.
  • Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free Foods
    Avoid common food allergies such as lactose and gluten in your diet. Cutting out foods we’re allergic to will reduce inflammatory symptoms showing in our skin.

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Skin Ageing and Diet

Skin ages naturally due to intrinsic biological changes we can’t control. Alongside this, our skin changes due to extrinsicfactors. These are external, environmental circumstances that can cause premature ageing of skin. UV exposure, pollution levels, sleep routine, smoking habits, and our diet are just a few examples.

While there is no magic anti-wrinkle food, eating foods rich in collagen can support the organ’s natural elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

These include foods such as fish (skin included), root vegetables, spirulina and bone broth. Foods that increase the body’s natural production of collagen, such as citrus fruits, nuts and seeds and leafy greens, will also help as part of an anti ageing diet. Foods that have antioxidant properties will also rid the body of free radicals (caused by exposure to toxins like UV light and tobacco smoke).

How to get clear skin | Foods to eat for good skin | Nutrition and Skin Health

Katie’s Favourite Natural Skincare Products

While maintaining healthy skin begins from within, a combined approach to skincare is recommended by nutritionists and dermatologists alike. Topical products can help diminish skin problems externally once you have started to consider how your diet may be causing these problems in the first place.

When looking for the best skin products, remember that the relationship between what we put into our bodies and what we put onto our bodies is reciprocal. Skin is porous: if it’s on your skin, you’re drinking it in. The highest quality skincare products are made from natural ingredients, avoiding the absorption of unnatural materials into our systems. Here are a few of Remedy founder Katie’s favourite natural skincare products:

  • Ren Skincare’s hot cloth cleanser is ideal for sensitive and dry skin. Free from artificial ingredients, the cocoa seed butter cleanser moisturises, purifies and protects.
  • Aesop has great formulations for oily skin, like this cleanser, toner and serum bundle.

  • For exfoliation, the Decleor Thousand Grain Exfoliator is infused with grapefruit essential oil and orange peel with healthy fruit acids. As a softer alternative to exfoliating, body brushing also has a number of benefits. It can help promote lymphatic drainage, improve circulation and remove toxins from the body.

Skin Soothing Smoothies: Improve Skin Health with Nutrition

Remedy Kitchen develops recipes that are best for your skin. Using dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free ingredients in our delicious meals, you can rest assured that you’re taking care of your skin from within.

Give your skincare regime a health kick from within with our Remedy smoothies. They’re full of antioxidant fruits such as berries, as well as Vitamin A and C rich citrus fruits. Made in Manchester, our smoothies will reduce acne naturally, clearing up your skin with essential vitamins for optimum gut health. Working to prevent skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis too, we make sure you’re getting just the right ingredients to support healthy skin.

For more recipes and nutritional treats from the Remedy Kitchen,
follow us on social media.

Remedy Founder | Healthy Skin and Nutrition | Foods to Eat for Healthy Skin

Thanks for reading...

The Remedy Kitchen concept and ethos was created by Katie McIntosh, Remedy Kitchen’s co-founder and Managing Director.
Katie is a specialist in Nutritional Interventions for Eating Disorders & Obesity, and has completed an expanding range of wellbeing-centric qualifications to date, including Detox Specialist, Advanced Sports & Exercise Nutrition, Performance Enhancement Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach and BSc Psychology. Katie is also a member of the British Psychological Society.
Having first launched her career as a fitness professional back in 2015, Katie realised her passion for helping others use nutrition to elevate their health could be put to better use. It was this realisation, along with the identification of a stark gap in the market , that inspired the Remedy Kitchen concept into what it is today.