Everything You Should Be Eating for the Glowiest Skin

There are a number of factors that go into the way your skin behaves, all totally out of your control: your mom’s generous gift of acne-strung genes, the changing of seasons and of course, hormones. However, there is also a major connection between what you eat and the quality of your skin. Most people know to stay away from dairy when it comes to keeping acne away, but what the heck should we be eating to achieve that #nofilter glow?

  1. 1. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is basically the elixir of life—or at least skin. Dermatologists rave over the age-defying properties in vitamin C. The antioxidant not only encourages collagen production, but also repairs and protects your skin against free radicals and sun damage. This keeps your skin looking firmer and younger. According to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, people who consumed more vitamin C had less age-related dry skin and wrinkles.

    Foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, guava, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.

  2. 2. Turmeric

    Turmeric is an herb that has been used for thousands of years for its healing and cosmetic qualities. It is high in curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which helps give your skin a polished glow.

    A turmeric facemask can help with acne and subsequent scarring. The scar-reducing properties combined with the calming anti-inflammatories can really help to get rid of those stubborn acne scars.

    Turmeric supplements are available, but it's also a yummy spice you can add to pretty much any recipe you want. Golden milk, which contains turmeric, has debuted as not only super healthy but, when mixed with coconut milk is altogether the perfect replacement for yellow curry sauce, IMHO.

  3. 3. Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so naturally, it protects against free radicals. It also helps to keep the skin moisturized for longer periods of time. By retaining fresh lipids in the skin, it keeps the skin barrier intact, which keeps moisture locked in. It also has been found to reduce skin damage from UV rays. So basically, it is here to protect you from the dry winter, to sunny summertime days.

    Vitamin E is found in a number of food sources such as almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli, sunflower seeds and avocado.

  4. 4. Selenium

     

    Another anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, selenium can really help with soothing redness and irritation as well as increasing elasticity. Like vitamins C and E, this mineral also combats wrinkling. It works with the latter to protect cell membranes, which will slow visible aging in the skin. Studies have shown it also can reduce the risk of skin cancer. 

    Selenium-rich foods include brazil nuts, tomatoes, broccoli, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked beans, spinach, lentils, mushrooms, cashews and oatmeal.

  5. 5. Zinc

    As one of the most studied forms of acne treatments, zinc is a trace mineral that helps to not only reduce acne, but also minimize scarring by strengthening skin cells and regulating oil production. Zinc therapy has been used in dermatology to treat a number of different skin conditions.  A deficiency in this mineral can be a cause of acne. Goodbye pimples, hello tofu and cashews.

    Other foods high in zinc content are lentils, almonds, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, pecans, tempeh, kidney beans, peas and chia seeds.

  6. 6. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha, also known as the Indian Ginseng, is a herb that has a multitude of skin benefits. It’s loaded with antioxidants, so it is a tremendous help in ridding the skin of dark spots and wrinkles caused by free radicals. A lot of skin issues flair up due to stress and anxiety. This adaptogen has been used for thousands of years to treat anxiety and stress, and also acts as a mood stabilizer. The herb keeps the skin young and supple by boosting collagen production. It also is known to soothe inflammation and is often used as a toner.

    Ashwagandha is made into herbal supplements, but can also be found in teas and in powdered form.

  7. 7. Schizandra Berry

    Schizandra berries are classified as a “superherb” and adaptogen that is also known as a “Youth Berry”. The herb has been used for its medicinal qualities for over 2,000 years in China, namely the wealthy. People utilized its ability to preserve youth, fullness and beauty. Schizandra encourages moisture retention and is loaded with vitamins C and E. It also keeps skin protected against UVB damage.

    Schizandra can be consumed in similar ways as ashwagandha; it can be taken as a capsulated herbal supplement, in teas and in powdered form, which can be mixed into coffee or smoothies.

  8. 8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids are more commonly known as “good fats” and makes skin look healthier and younger. These fatty acids keep the cell membrane healthy, which keeps the skin barrier strong and aids in water retention. They also battle inflammatory agents. The result: moisturized, healthy and young-looking, supple and wrinkle-free skin.

    Foods sources of omega-3’s are walnuts, seaweed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, edamame, kidney beans, canola oil and soybean oil.

  9. 9. Vitamin A

     

    Vitamin A does wonders for acne-prone skin. It is made up of carotenoids and retinoids. A type of vitamin A called Retinol probably rings a bell to many acne-sufferers, as it is a component in acne products. Vitamin A reduces the production of sebum, which in excess causes breakouts. It also prevents keratin buildup in hair follicles that leads to clogged pores. Anyone with oily skin would benefit from including vitamin A-rich foods in their diet.

    Try eating more carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, spinach, kale, mangos, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and apricots to get loads of vitamin A.

  10. 10. Maca Root

    The Maca root works as an adaptogen that helps to regulate hormones and stress. It’s basically a life saver if you get period breakouts. This majestic root can also make your skin less sensitive and is packed full of vitamins that increase collagen and really knock out those pesky free radicals.

    Maca root in powder form is a fantastic boost for your smoothie. Like other herbs, it can also come in a supplement form.

At the end of the day, the age-old saying, “you are what you eat” still rings true—especially when it comes to maintaining your totally 'grammable skin.