Skin. It’s our largest organ. We do pay attention to it, but most of the time it’s just because we’re interested in “looking young” or getting rid of that blemish or blackheads (my problem). Even though we tend to take it for granted or only focus on the exterior, we really should be taking better care of it, especially when it’s truly an indicator of how healthy we are on the inside. Remember that saying:
You are what you eat – on the inside and outside!
Well, it’s true! What we put in our bodies shows up somewhere and most of the time our skin is the first to react, whether we notice it or not. Before we get into how to help out our skin by putting in nutrient packed foods (and water!), let’s go over what our skin actually is.
The Ins and Outs of Your Skin
Your skin is made up of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. Your epidermis is your outer later, the one you see. It’s made up of cells that use the tough protein called keratin (the same protein that gives you strong and healthy hair and nails). As your cells mature, they grow outward until finally they reach the epidermis where they eventually die and shed. (Did you know that your skin sheds 50,000 cells every minute? Yea. Crazy!)
It takes up to five weeks for new skin cells to emerge at the surface. The great thing about new cells and cell regeneration, it gives you a fresh look. Your pores are cleaner, lines are less visible, and breakouts aren’t as frequent.
As my amazing facialist (if you’re in NJ check her out) tells me every time I see her: Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Help your skin regenerate by “gently” (yes that word is very important because you don’t want broken capillaries!) exfoliating every single day – your entire body!
The next layer is your dermis, which gives your organs the strength and elasticity that they need from collagen and elastin. Our sweat glands are also here, which helps keep our internal body temperature down.
Then finally, we have our baselayer, the subcutis, which includes a layer of fat that is used as fuel for the body in case of a shortage.
These three parts make up an average of 8 lbs and 22 square feet of us. It helps insulate and shield our vital organs and even helps us manufacture Vitamin D to keep our bones strong. It does so much for us, so why shouldn’t we do everything we can to help it out!
When Your Skin is Healthy, You’re Healthy (Most Likely)
If you’ve ever been on a health kick and then all of a sudden you fall off the wagon for a few weeks, start eating less fruits and vegetables and more convenience foods while skipping your evening run in favor of your sofa, you can attest to how your skin is the first to show the effects. I know I tend to get a few pimples and when I’m not drinking enough water, my skin cries out for moisturizer. And once I see that, I know that my insides aren’t too happy with me either. Eating a nutritious diet not only helps keep your body running smoothly and efficiently, but it also helps your skin performing at its best.
Everything you put into your body matters to your skin as much as your waistline, whether it’s the wrinkle-fighting antioxidants in those colorful fruits and vegetables or the healthy fats in fish, olive oil, and nuts that keep your skin hydrated – what you eat is reflected in the mirror. Ok, so I’ve told you enough (hopefully) how important it is to eat a nutritious diet in order to keep your skin at its best. But, what about specifics? Let’s get you into action!
5 Tips for Glowing Skin from the Inside, Out
1. Omega-3s are your skin’s best friend. Adding fatty fish such as salmon to your diet helps keep your skin-cell membranes strong and elastic.
2. Antioxidants aren’t just for your heart, they’re also great at blocking the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage including wrinkles, brown spots, and age spots, so be sure to add some olive oil, tomatoes, and red wine (in moderation!) to your meals. For example, Vitamin C found in oranges and broccoli boost your skin’s immunity.
3. Help your skin retain water by incorporating healthy fats into your diet such as flaxseeds, nuts, and olive oil (are you getting the hint that you should invest in some olive oil yet?). Hydrated skin = supple skin.
4. Healthy fats also aid in antioxidant and vitamin absorption, allowing your cell membranes to strengthen, which ultimately leads to a dewier face.
5. Minimize your “white” intake which includes white bread, white pasta, and white sugar. Yes, they taste good, but they’re empty in calories and nutrients. Swap in some whole grain pasta and bread instead and just cut out the sugar! The less “white” stuff you eat the lower the stress hormone cortisol goes and the less you break out.
6. Finally, if you’re going to do anything I say, just drink lots of water! Water is the key to everything. When you’re dehydrated, your skin is the first to show it. So drink up!
To get you on the right track, try out the below body scrub and skin brightening smoothie. Send me your glowing pics on Facebook!
Simple Skin Scrub
1 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
10 drops Tea Tree Oil
Pour the salt into a clean, sterilized container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the coconut oil and screw the lid on tightly. Leave in your shower for up to 6 months in an airtight container and enjoy brighter skin!
Skin Brightening Smoothie
1 cup Almond Milk (preferably made with soaked organic almonds)
1/2 cup Pumpkin puree (rich in beta-carotene and lutein which maintain an even skin tone)
1/2 cup Organic Greek Yogurt (full fat)
1 teaspoon raw honey (preferably from a local beekeeper)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
Blend everything together and enjoy your “fresh face!”
To work with me, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to help put your freshest face forward!