Sick of masks, scrubs, spot treatments and serums that promise to cure your acne, yet end up leaving your skin dry, tight and flaky? Focus on improving your skin from the inside out. “I think the nutritional aspect of health is incredibly overlooked,” says Dr. Gary Rogers, director of dermatologic surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine.
The following powerhouse nutrients are big players in the fight for clear skin, especially when they replace high-glycemic (acne-friendly) foods like white flour, sugars, and artificial sweeteners, as well as dairy products (at least three scientific studies have shown a correlation between milk and acne).
Orange you looking good, baby!
Vitamin A is found in abundance in orange-colored vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and orange peppers. It helps to regulate the production of sebum, a natural oil produced by our skin that can lead to clogged pores, and studies have shown an improvement in acne-sufferers who increased their intake of the vitamin.
Vitamin E is for excellent!
This one’s another acne-improving vitamin, so make pump up its presence in your diet. Great natural sources of Vitamin E include sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, mustard greens and turnip greens. Fortified breakfast cereals are another easy way to get your fill, as well as whole-grain breads. Avoid cereals and breads made with white flour, which can lead to acne flare-ups in some people.
Good fats keep you looking gorgeous
Skin cells need to be hydrated to stay healthy. Fill your plate with avocados, nuts, seeds and healthy oils, such as sesame, olive, and walnutgood f oils, or top off your morning smoothie with ground flax seeds (check out this post for more alternatives).
These good fats (omega-3s) reduce inflammation, which is one of the key factors in the appearance of acne. They keep skin moisturized from the inside out. Speaking of hydration, don’t forget to chug at least 10-12 glasses of water per day to keep your systems flowing smoothly (did you miss our post on how much water we should really be drinking?)
Pump up the Antioxidants
When your skin lacks antioxidants, production of free radicals can increase, leading to all sorts of skin problems including breakouts. Strengthen your defenses against free radicals by upping your antioxidant intake. Green tea is a simple, quick antioxidant fix – plus, the caffeine will perk you right up. Throw a cup of bright berries into your smoothie, or toss in a handful of spinach or kale (we promise you won’t taste it).
Photo attribute: mvseeds.com