Did you know the same plants that are good for your body are often good for your skin too — as in, to put directly on it? It’s true. So today I’m talking about fruits and veggies, food that’s good for your skin inside and out.
Our skin loves having plenty of vitamin C. This antioxidant vitamin minimizes signs of aging by:
- protecting skin from damage caused by ultraviolet light
- stimulating synthesis of collagen, the protein that keeps our skin firm and elastic
- supporting the skin’s innate healing processes
But human bodies, amazing as they are, can’t create vitamin C themselves. We need to get it from outside sources. When it comes to topical application, one review of scientific research showed that the most effective formulas contain both vitamins C and E, plus a delivery vehicle.
You’ve probably heard that this power leaf is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. True. It’s high in vitamins A, K, and C, with additional B vitamins, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium.
And this mix of potent antioxidants and minerals is also great for skin maintenance and tone:
- supporting the production of collagen, which begins to decline naturally after age 30
- protecting elastin, part of the extracellular matrix that’s key to maintaining texture and tone
- preventing free-radical damage
Try this: Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum from Eminence Organics
This expertly-crafted formula pairs vitamin C from lemon and grapefruit with vitamin E from avocado. It also contains vitamin C “salt” (sodium ascorbyl phosphate), a stable form of vitamin C that transforms into active vitamin C on contact with the skin. Kale extract brings an extra dose of antioxidants to protect elasticity and hydration for a healthy, more youthful glow. Speaking of kale and food that’s good for your skin …
The human body can produce almost every fatty acid it needs, except for two: linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid; and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. While it’s great to eat foods rich in essential fatty acids, research suggests that our bodies can also absorb them through the skin. Avocado oil consists of 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3 and omega 6.
Both omega 3 and 6:
- play an important role in healthy skin function and appearance, including resilience to the elements
- help regulate inflammation in the skin
Omega-6 fatty acids:
- help maintain the skin’s structural integrity and barrier function
Omega-3 fatty acids:
- have anti-inflammatory properties
Try this: Restorative Mind-Body Massage Oil from Stony Creek Aromatics
This soothing and deeply nourishing massage oil combines the protective and supportive benefits of avocado oil. In addition to the benefits of omega 3 and 6 listed above, the lipid profile of avocado oil increases the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins and phytonutrients in any formula it’s part of. And thanks in part to the presence of phospholipids, avocado oil bonds with the surface of skin, locking moisture in and helping to regulate skin cell production. Food that’s good for your skin? Definitely.
Radish & Broccoli Sprouts
Much like a cleanse would likely include plenty of greens, you can detoxify your skin with microgreens. Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, a lesser-known food that’s good for your skin. This phytochemical:
- induces phase 2 enzymes to detoxify the skin
- acts as an antioxidant
- neutralizes free radicals to protect against photoaging
- helps maintain collagen
- decreases production of reactive oxygen species (ROS)
Broccoli and radish sprouts also contain vitamins A and C, protecting skin from UV damage and free radicals, stimulating collagen synthesis, supporting healing, and improving texture and tone by protecting elastin.
Try this: Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment from Eminence Organics
This blend is named for exfoliating and hydrating lotus. But in the background, Eminence Organics’ detoxifying microgreens complex — a mix of broccoli, radish, clover, and Swiss cress sprouts — works to protect against environmental stressors and reduce the signs of aging for a dewy complexion by morning.
Berries are packed with polyphenols, plant-based compounds that help the body defend against pathogens and ultraviolet radiation. The specific compounds vary from one berry to the next, but generally speaking they’re potent antioxidants that help skin recover from external stressors from harsh weather to blue light.
A few highlights:
- blueberries have astringent properties, tightening and toning the skin’s appearance
- raspberries are high in antioxidants, protecting against visible signs of aging
- blackberries also have astringent properties, tightening the appearance of pores
Try this: Blueberry Detox Peel from Eminence Organics
During the summer we take a break from our pharmaceutical grade TCA Peels, and we love to heat things up with the Blueberry Detox Peel with Hungarian Paprika. Book a facial to try this professional product we use for our clients. It also contains a blend of blueberry juice, raspberry juice, blackberry juice and pineapple extract that naturally exfoliates, cleanses the pores, and tones the skin. If you’re not in the Ann Arbor area, use Eminence Organics’ Spa Locator to find an authorized esthetician in your area.
One way the food we eat impacts our skin is through the gut-skin axis, or the gut microbiome. Acne, for instance, has been linked to diets rich in high-glycemic foods and low in plant fiber (processed and sugary foods). That’s likely because the gut microbiome — the ecosystem of beneficial microorganisms in our digestive tract — helps regulate inflammation in the gut and throughout the body. Although more research is needed to understand exactly how the gut and skin communicate, many cases of acne appear to involve an imbalance in intestinal bacteria and increased gut permeability. This imbalance can be corrected by the food we eat.
Probiotics have gotten a lot of attention for helping rebalance the gut with beneficial bacteria. But prebiotics, essentially what you’re feeding your gut microbiome, may play a more important role over time. Many plant-based foods contain prebiotic polysaccharides and fiber. Almonds are one to note. One study found increased populations of the beneficial bacteria Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in people who ate almonds and almond skins, versus a control group.
Applied directly to the skin, Almond oil has been used in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic, and Greco-Persian medicine to soothe skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. It’s rich in antioxidant vitamin E giving this oil similar protective and inflammation-regulating properties to many of the foods highlighted in this post.
Perfect Pairing: The Feed Your Skin Collection
Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum + Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment:
This radiance-boosting pairing includes an antioxidant serum and a detoxifying overnight treatment. They’re suitable for a wide variety of skin types and are two of my favorite items featuring food that’s good for your skin. Both products are from Eminence Organics, a skin care line that combines the latest in scientific findings with nature’s ancient wisdom to keep skin feeling and looking its healthiest. The entire line is made to the highest standards: organically sourced, cruelty-free, and never made with synthetic chemicals.
For your best skin, there’s no substitute for eating an abundance of fruits and veggies. Beyond what we eat, though, high-quality skin care blends can draw on the wisdom of nature to bring our skin’s health to the next level — a little extra love from the plants. I hope this inspires you to revel in botanical luxury, whatever that means to you. I’m off to make myself a kale, microgreen, and avocado salad garnished with berries, citrus, and almonds … See you soon!