Even the budding beauty enthusiast knows that truly healthy, glowing, and beautiful skin isn’t created by products alone. There are serious environmental and lifestyle factors that come into play when it comes to your skin’s overall health and appearance, like: is there a lot of pollution where you live, do you have hard water, do you drink enough water, do you get enough sleep – you get the idea. And we couldn’t talk about lifestyle factors that affect our skin without discussing one’s diet and general nutrient intake – which is why we’re sharing the essential vitamins and nutrients that bring out the best in your skin, and the foods that contain them. You’re going to want to keep your grocery lists handy for this one.
#1 Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for quelling skin-inflammation and safe guarding it from environmental damage that can accelerate the signs of aging. Omega-3s are also key to maintaining your skin’s moisture barrier – aka its ability to hold onto hydration and keep out pore-clogging, acne-causing bacteria, ultimately promoting a more moisturized, plump, and protected complexion. Pretty sweet, right? You can work Omega-3’s into your daily diet by opting for foods such as: salmon, tuna, nuts, avocados, and flax seed.
#2 Hyaluronic Acid
This hydrating compound naturally occurs in our bodies to keep skin cells healthy and nourished. However, we like to keep our bases covered by opting for foods (and skincare, of course) that keep HA levels intact and thriving. Hyaluronic Acid is essential for boosting your skin’s ability to hold onto hydration keeping skin, plump, glowing, and hydrated. Not only does hydrated skin prevent pesky dry patches, it also prevents skin from over producing sebum (which could lead to acne), and helps minimize the appearance of fine lines. While it’s tough to come across hyaluronic acid directly in foods, there are tons of options that enhance your body’s production of the compound, such as – bone broth, kale, and citrus.
#3 Vitamin C
If you decide to eat any of the nutrients included in this list (although we hope you try them all), please let it be Vitamin C. A superstar antioxidant, Vitamin C is crucial for protecting your skin from free-radical damage, which can cause dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles, and impede your skin’s production of collagen (scary, we know). Vitamin C is also a must for boosting skin’s overall radiance, and minimizing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Where to find it? Foods such as citrus, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and strawberries are all great options.
#4 Vitamin A
Also known as “nature’s retinol,” Vitamin A is actually a group of compounds that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and other carotenoids. Much like its more popular, antioxidant relative Vitamin C, Vitamin A helps protects skin from free radical damage and helps lessen the appearance of the telltale signs of aging. Vitamin A also helps boost skin cell turnover, which means a shorter healing time between breakouts, lowered chances of residual scarring, and an overall smoother, and more even skin texture. Sweet potatoes, greens, carrots, and animal proteins like beef, salmon, and tuna, are all natural sources of Vitamin A.
#5 Vitamin E
Vitamin E is comprised of a group of fat soluble antioxidants like tocopherols and tocotrienols, that are rife with skin benefits. Just like fellow antioxidants Vitamin C and A (sensing a trend here? Antioxidants are the way to go), Vitamin E combats free radical damage and helps enhance your skin’s production of collagen. Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties also make it a go-to for quelling skin-inflammation, and keeping skin moisturized. Bonus: It even helps boost the efficacy of your SPF (just like Vitamin C), by providing added protection from UV rays. Find Vitamin E in foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.