Discover the best foods for good skin, and eat your way to a fabulous complexion.
At Nakin, as natural skincare beauty experts, we know that nutrition is essential for a good complexion. The better the food that we put into our body, the better our skin will look. This has an added bonus of making us feel fabulous, from eating healthy food that is super kind to us. So, we have compiled a list of the best foods for good skin.
List of the Top Ten Foods for Good Skin:
- Manuka Honey
- Orange Vegetables
- Green Vegetables
Herbs can be lovely for skin, and especially when it is in need of some TLC; as they are beautifully calming for skin. Herbs are long known as an effective alternative natural health treatment, with many benefits. Calendula is great at calming redness and even rosacea. Dandelions are long known for their ability to help reduce excess water, as they flush out the system, so help to de-puff complexions. Chamomile is well known for its calming ability. It includes alpha-bisabolol which helps with skin irritations. So, if you suffer with this then have a cup of chamomile tea every day to help. Fennel is also good for irritation and redness. To make herbal tea simply add some fresh sprigs of the desired herb and put into a cup with boiling water. Green Tea is great for skin for many reasons, including because it naturally contains an antioxidant polyphenolic compound. That’s why we also include it in some of the plant-based skincare in Nakin’s Natural Face Products.
Spices make our list and they are often a forgotten group of food that’s great for skin. They have exceptional skin perfecting properties. Long known in Ayurvedic medicines as ancient remedies to improve health and skin. Cinnamon and ginger give a natural glow to skin. When we ingest ginger in particular, you can sometimes feel it working and radiating in the body. Nutmeg spice has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce skin redness and pigmentation. Tumeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and can reduce inflammation in our internal systems. Reducing internal inflammation is a biz buzz topic at the moment, so you will most likely have heard about the health benefits of Tumeric and the Cucumin within it.
Manuka Honey is from New Zealand and rated using a UMF system, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. The higher the UMF the more therapeutic the Manuka Honey will be. It is expensive, but ingesting it is good for our skin because it gives our systems a special substance called methylglyoxal - which is cleansing, calming and skin softening. It also contains a mass of skin enhancing B-vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper. Marie Claire Magazine (1) advise that 1-2 spoons of honey a day are recommended, although to note that it is a natural sugar. Easy ways to include manuka honey in your diet are with a hot drink of lemon, or with your morning porridge. Some people even apply manuka topically to their skin for certain issues such as acne and wounds, as it has so many healing properties.
Orange vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash and carotene are a great help to achieving clear healthy skin, as they contain beta carotene. This is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep the skin healthy and looking fresh, so it works to slow down molecule oxidation and prevent cells deteriorating. You might have heard of people taking beta carotene to help achieve a tan on skin. However, we do not recommend taking supplements as having too much beta carotene from supplements can be harmful. However, when ingested from food, the body manages any excess beta carotene production. The Huffington Post (2) reported that research from Dr. S Stuart (a dermatologist in California) found that eating fruits and vegetables with orange and yellow colour helps to give skin a natural tan from the beta carotene.
Green vegetables are a very special group of foods that contribute to amazing skin, because they contain so many nutrients and antioxidants. As a general rule, the darker the vegetable, then the more beneficial it will be. Shop for broccoli, kale and spinach for a boost of vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as a whole host of other skin loving micronutrients. The other aspect of eating lots of green vegetables is that they are very kind to our systems. They are kind to our stomachs and just flood us with nutrients; without causing any gut irritation like some fruits can. Green vegetables also contain lots of B vitamins, which are great for providing energy. If you need a boost then this may help as it assists energy production, and when we feel great our skin tends to look great.
Fruits are amazing for skin. The extra special trait of fruit is that every species is filled with vitamins and nutrients, and has its own unique offering. Let’s start with the humble orange; it’s well known that oranges are full of vitamin C and this helps skin to brighten skin and stimulate collagen products. But they are also anti-viral, anti-bacterial and contain vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6 and vitamin B9. Berries are important in a diet developed for good skin as they are rich in antioxidants, particularly ellagic acid, which stops free radical damage and wards off lines, wrinkles and other skin aging factors. Pomegranates are one of the best skin boosting fruits, and that’s why we use in lots of Nakin’s anti-ageing skincare products. This is because pomegranates are great for regenerating skin. Their intense nutrient make-up of vitamin C, vitamin K, folates and choline means they help with cell revival in the skin’s dermis and epidermis, as well as helping to repair past damage. The best thing to do is eat a variety of fruits of different colours each day. This is because the different coloured fruit generally contain different vitamins and minerals, so eating a rainbow of these ensures that we receive all the essentials for beautiful skin.
Collagen is now easily available as a supplement tablet, or powder form to make drinks with. Try it in your smoothie, or how about a milkshake made with fresh milk, collagen powder, manuka honey and cinnamon powder for the ultimate yummy youth preserving drink. Collagen is so important as it is one of the things that our skin loses when we age. Collagen helps to plump and lift skin. Therefore, some cosmetic establishments use collagen to inject it directly into faces. But at Nakin we are all about natural anti-ageing, so we only recommend using it as a supplement or in skincare. Our youth preserving skincare range works to promote collagen production in the skin. With supplements take care to ensure the collagen is plant based though, if this is important to you.
Nuts are one of our favourite skin boosting foods for many reasons, starting with the fact that they are 100% natural, vegan and super wholesome. Nuts contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which are skin enhancing, plumping and soothing. Monosaturated fats help to maintain the water level in the epidermis and supply ceramides and fats that are essential to good skin health. Ceramides are actually lipids that work to strengthen the skins barrier and to keep hydration in. As they enforce the skins barrier these ceramides help to protect skin against environmental stressors from the weather and pollution. The hydrating and essential fats of monosaturates also works to relax and soothe skin, preventing dryness and inflammation. Almonds, Macadamia and Cashew nuts are especially high in monosaturates; and yummy pistachio and cashew nuts contain a fair amount too if they are your favourites. Pine nuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds are high in polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats help with skins overall appearance and elasticity, plus they reduce inflammation. As well as all these healthy fats, nuts contain high amounts of skin improving vitamins and minerals. Different nuts contain different nutrients. Try brazil nuts for selenium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, thiamine, and vitamin E. Hazelnuts for vitamin E, thiamin, magnesium, copper and manganese. Chesnuts for vitamin C. Plus cashew nuts for vitamins E, K and B6 - along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium. The other nice thing about nuts is that they also contain lots of protein, which is an essential food group for health and makes a nice healthy filling snack.
Probiotics have long been known to help gut help but are thought to be beneficial to so many aspects of our systems including mental health, the heart and skin. It’s thought that most of our immune system lives in our gut, and therefore imbalances in the gut can have effects on our whole biology. Just looking at the skin then imbalances in the gut microbiome can cause problems with inflammation and even conditions like rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. So, it’s good to take probiotics every day. Foods that contain large amounts are yoghurt and kefir, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut. There are also many supplements available but take care with these are there is a huge variety in quality. Each product will list the CFU and above 25 billion CFU is recommended. There is also different types of bacteria and the best ones for skin health are lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus plantarum and bifidobacterium longum.
Avocados must be included in our article about the foods that are best for skin because they have a lot to offer. Easily accessible, affordable, yummy and filing they are also made up of lots of good fats, vitamin C and vitamin E. All of which contribute to soft, healthy bouncy skin. So much so that Healthline (3) report on a study of more than 700 women that ate a large amount of the healthy fats found in avocado, and they typically had more supple, springy skin. They also comment on evidence showing avocados can protect skin from UV sun damage. Avocados are packed with nutrients and contain vitamin B6, C, E and K, alongside riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta carotene and omega 3 fatty acids.
As well as adding nutritious skin loving foods for a fresh healthy complexion, there are some foods that are best avoided as they put stress on our systems and skin. The three main groups to avoid are alcohol, gluten and sugar. This is a whole topic in itself but in short alcohol dehydrates skin, sugar causes inflammation and gluten can cause puffiness in the face.
Don’t forget that it’s a holistic all-round approach that works best for good skin, and it is not just about the food we eat. Our diet plays a huge part but it is also good to stay active, keep hydrated with water and spend time de-stressing. Great skincare is also essential to feed the skin with nutrition and protect it on the outside. Good skincare plays a vital role in keeping skin looking as healthy as it can be. At Nakin we have developed a stunning range of award-winning cruelty free skincare, made from the best natural active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, pomegranate, green tea, seaweed and hibiscus. Find out more about Nakin at www.nakinskincare.com Our natural face care has everything you need to keep your skin fresh, smooth and healthy with cleansers, toners, moisturiser, eye, lip and face treatments. The range is made in the UK and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.