For your clear skincare, it’s essential that it’s fuelled by a range of the top beauty nutrients to nourish from within and keep it supple and toned. Discover the key nutrients to help you hone your physique and keep you looking and feeling at your very best.
Nutrients for clear skincare
Before you address the specific beauty concerns, find out how certain nutrients are key to a toned, beautiful body.
Essential fatty acids
Your body needs a regular supply of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for the growth and repair of cell membranes. These vital fats have an impressive range of beauty benefits for clear skincare. As well as maintaining the skin’s oil barrier to keep skin hydrated, they have an anti-inflammatory action that helps to soothe conditions such as eczema and rough skin. The moisture they provide lubricates the skin, keeping it supple and firm. In turn, it helps to prevent premature sagging and reduces the appearance of stretch marks. Besides, omega-3 and omega-6 help to balance hormones and reduce premenstrual symptoms such as bloating. These essential fats cannot be manufactured by the body so you need to obtain them through your diet. And while both omega-3 and omega-6 are important, our bodies need more omega-3 than omega-6 as too much omega-6 can have an inflammatory effect. Eating oily fish at least three times a week will boost your levels of omega-3, and other good sources of this fat are found in flaxseed and hemp seed oils, nuts, avocados, and dark-green leafy vegetables. Omega-6 sources include meats, cereal grains, flaxseeds, hemp, and grapeseed oils, and nuts and seeds.
These are essential for collagen, the strong cement-like material that binds the cells of the body together. This structural tissue, made of fibrous protein, comprises 30 percent of the total protein in the body. It is one of the most valuable proteins. Collagen contains the fiber elastin that helps to form the connective tissues throughout our bodies, strengthening the skin, blood vessels, and bones. Supple skin with good elasticity is a sign that the body has ample collagen. As collagen is replaced very slowly it’s important to include sources of healthy protein consistently in your diet. Make sure you have good quality proteins in every meal from foods such as nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, and pulses.
Vitamins A, C, and E
The unstable chemicals are known as free radicals, whose development is hastened by toxins and unhealthy lifestyle choices, have a damaging effect on our bodies, and are a key factor in the aging process. This damage can result in dry skin and poor skin tone. In turn, it can exacerbate problems such as cellulite and slows the healing of scars and bruises. The best way to protect your body against these harmful substances is to boost your daily intake of antioxidant vitamins, found most abundantly in fresh fruit and vegetables. The most beneficial antioxidants for your body are vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A is obtained from foods that have betacarotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. Good sources of betacarotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach. As well as being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also important for the formation of collagen, so is a particularly crucial nutrient for clear skincare. Good sources of vitamin C include berries, broccoli, kiwi, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin E helps to protect the skin against damaging UV rays and is found in foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, avocados, and tomatoes.
This essential trace mineral is found in every single cell in the body. It is needed by more than 100 different enzymes to help them function properly. Surface skin cells are especially dependent on zinc, and the top layer of skin contains up to six times more of the mineral than the lower skin layers. Zinc acts as an antioxidant, helping to slow the aging process, and also has anti-inflammatory action. It has healing properties that help to repair skin, reducing the appearance of scars and sun damage and calming conditions such as eczema and skin bumps. Good sources of zinc include nuts and seeds, asparagus, quinoa, oats, spinach, lentils, and whole grains.
When it comes to clear skincare our body needs to be well hydrated to function properly. Staying hydrated also helps to lubricate skin and flush out toxins, which in turn stops us from feeling bloated and controls problems such as cellulite. Drinking up to 2 liters (31/2 pints) of water each day (around 6–8 glasses) helps to keep us well hydrated. We can supplement fluids by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables with high water content, such as leafy greens, cucumbers, celery, and watermelons.
What affects our bodies?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your body’s demand for nutritious foods is greater as you need to nourish both yourself and your growing baby. Many pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are low in omega-3 fats and other vital nutrients, leaving the body lacking moisture and exacerbating pregnancy concerns such as stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Being well hydrated and eating a balanced diet with healthy proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates can help avoid unnecessary weight gain and reduce problems such as swelling.
As we approach menopause it’s common to put on weight as our bodies adapt to fluctuating hormones. Eating healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods will help control weight gain.
Stress and illness
Periods of illness can affect weight, leaving us with an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) and depleting the body of nutrients, which need building up again. It’s important to focus on a high-nutrient diet to help the body recover. When stressed, we may pay less attention to our diet, often eating insufficient healthy fats and too many refined carbohydrates. Stress also leads to insomnia, and when sleep deprived we may be tempted into unhealthy food choices. Finding coping strategies for dealing with stress can help you to avoid dietary pitfalls.