A friend of mine came to me recently with concerns over her skin, and asked what things she could do naturally to improve the quality of her skin. She was breaking out a lot and could not get to the bottom of what was causing the breakouts. I think most everyone has had or does have concerns over their skin. Whether it's breakouts, fine lines, or sun damage, we can all agree having radiant, clear skin sounds pretty good.
What we eat plays such a large roll in how our skin looks and feels. If our skin is acting up and looking dull chances are we're missing something in our diets. Here are some of the top nutrients for amazing skin.
Vitamin A promotes proper repair and maintenance of the skin, and deficiencies can result in a dry, flaky complexion. The most vitamin A-rich foods are liver and cod liver oil, but other sources include kidney, cream and butter from pastured cows, and egg yolks from pastured chickens.
Zinc is an important component of healthy skin, especially for acne sufferers. In fact, acne itself may be a symptom of zinc deficiency. Zinc acts by controlling the production of oil in the skin, and may also help control some of the hormones that create acne. Foods rich in zinc include fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs.
Vitamin C is highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin - the fibers that support skin structure - and can cause wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Vitamin C is especially effective at protecting the skin from overexposure to the sun when combined with vitamin E. Foods high in vitamin C include acerola (a cherry-like fruit), red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips, and broccoli. I use this vitamin C mask once a week, and absolutely love the way my skin looks and feels after.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Dry, inflamed skin or skin that suffers from the frequent appearance of whiteheads or blackheads can benefit from supplementing with essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially omega-3s. EFAs are responsible for skin repair, moisture content, and overall flexibility, but because the body cannot produce its own EFAs, they must be obtained through the diet. I try to eat fish as much as possible, but I know I don't get enough of omega 3 fatty acids daily, so I supplement with a god quality fish oil, and I do notice that my skin has less dry patches.