From acids and retinols to masks and moisturisers, we spend a lot of time and money thinking about what we put on our skin. But the secret to having a better complexion might be simpler than you think.
‘You are what you eat’ might sound like something of a cliche, but nutritionist Jenna Hope (jennahopenutrition.com) says that what we put on our plate can make or break a youthful glow. Here, she shares her top foods for enhancing your skin from the inside out.
1. Load up on fish
Salmon is famously known for being an omega-3 powerhouse. “Salmon contains DHA, a type of omega-3 that plays an important role in keeping our skin cells soft and supple,” says Hope.
“What’s more, the EPA found in salmon (which is another type of omega-3) helps to ensure our skin stays hydrated through a regular production of moisture. It also contributes to the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, helping us to get a better night’s rest – an essential component of skin regeneration.”
2. Snack on almonds
Rather than reaching for sweets and chocolate, a desk-side stash of nuts can help to keep breakouts at bay.
“Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which helps to remove free radicals,” says Hope. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can cause damage to cells and can lead to ageing.
She adds: “Vitamin E also helps to reduce inflammation in the body, which can leave your skin clear and glowing.”
3. Eat your avocados
Avocados aren’t just trendy and delicious, they’re also great for getting some essential skin nutrients.
“Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which are important for supporting the structure of your skin cells,” explains Hope.
“Plus, they’re also high in vitamin C, a key nutrient to help the production of collagen – the protein in our skin which leaves it looking plump and supple.”
4. Switch to sweet potato
Starchy sweet potatoes are a rich source of dietary fibre as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals.
Hope explains that they’re particularly rich in biotin, which is otherwise known as vitamin B7. “Biotin is required to help breakdown the fats within the skin to support healthy skin cells,” she says.
“Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin A, another antioxidant which works together with vitamin E to fight off those pesky free radicals.”
5. Drizzle on the extra-virgin olive oil
“Please don’t fear fats,” assures Hope. Olive oil, in particular, is loaded with healthy fats in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids, which she explains are great for combating dull skin.
“Healthy fats can help to reduce inflammation in the skin and provide you with the tools to create strong cell membranes,” says Hope.
She suggests switching your salad dressing for olive oil and lemon, which can cut down your sugar intake and contribute to a healthy glow at the same time.