Your quest for flawless skin knows no bounds. You’ve perfected your skincare routine and you know what ingredients work best for your skin type. You’re double-cleansing to remove makeup and all the pore-clogging dirt and grime that builds up on your face to achieve perfectly clear skin. You have a multi-step regime that incorporates moisturisers, serums, and SPF.
But if you want to take your skincare to the next level, it’s time to look at enhancing the effects of your topical treatments.
The food you eat can make a huge difference to the clarity and appearance of your skin. But we’re not talking about that age-old myth of junk food causing acne. We mean the foods that can make a positive difference and leave you with soft, glowing skin.
Here, we’ll cover some of the best foods you can include in your diet based on your skin type.
Oily skin needs oily foods
Remember the time when everyone thought a facial oil was going to make their oiliness worse? We now know that certain facial oils can counteract skin oil production. But did you know the same applies to oily foods?
Foods with anti-inflammatory oils have been found to counteract oil production in the skin. And there are some delicious options to choose from.
Olives and olive oil
Olives and olive oil contain high levels of anti-inflammatory oils, leading to a reduction in the skin’s natural oil production. They can also improve your gut microbiome, which is another way it can help your skin. Studies have shown that unhealthy gut bacteria can lead to inflammatory skin conditions including acne and psoriasis.
A word of warning – don’t put this oil on your skin. While a lot of influencers – and even celebrities including J.Lo – promote using olive oil topically on your face, dermatologists including Dr Muneeb Shah and Dr Alexis Stephens have warned against it on their TikTok platforms. It can cause trans-epidermal water loss, which dries out our skin and even encourages fungus to grow. Yikes.
Another oily food that can counteract oily skin is oily fish – including tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring. This is because of its powerhouse ingredient: EPA. A type of Omega-3, this ingredient regulates the hormones in our body that are responsible for stress, which can lead to oil production.
EPA can also reduce inflammation in the body, often caused by stress – are you spotting a theme here?
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, Omega-3 supplements are a great addition to your diet.
Healthy fats for dry skin
Dry skin occurs when the skin doesn’t produce enough of its own natural oils. Dry skin can also be deficient in ceramides and lipids, the skin’s natural fatty acids that keep it plump and hydrated. Supercharge your skincare routine by incorporating foods rich in healthy fats for dewy, hydrated skin.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are well known as some of the best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They can help your skin build up its essential moisture barrier, alongside your barrier-boosting skincare products that contain ceramides and lipids.
Almonds are a great choice for especially dry skin because they’re high in magnesium and vitamin E, both ingredients that can boost your skin’s moisture from the inside out. Walnuts also have fats that can draw moisture in from the air. The skincare experts amongst you will know this is a property of hyaluronic acid, which the magnesium found in walnuts helps our body to produce!
Fruit and vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables are packed with ingredients that hydrate dry skin. Guava is the most vitamin C-rich food (that’s right, it’s not oranges). But if that’s not accessible to you, kiwi fruit and bell peppers are the second and third highest on the list.
Topical vitamin C is well-known for a host of benefits including skin brightening, hydration, anti-ageing, and fighting sun damage. But it can sometimes be too irritating for dry and sensitive skin types. Eating your vitamin C can provide your skin with some of these benefits without the added side effect of irritation.
Food that works for all skin
If you have oily or dry skin, don’t feel like you have to stick to the specific foods above. We also need to consider combination skin, which suffers from both oiliness and dryness. The most common complaint of people with combination skin is an oily t-zone, but dry cheeks and forehead. There are also some lucky guys and gals out there who have normal skin, which doesn’t suffer heavily from oiliness or dryness.
As well as incorporating the above foods into your diet, here are some foods that can benefit all skin types.
Forget what you’ve been told about chocolate ruining your skin. While the dairy and sugar in milk chocolate can potentially cause some side effects like puffiness, dark chocolate is amazing for the skin. It can supercharge your SPF – something you should be wearing every single day – because of its high antioxidant levels.
Studies have also shown that eating dark chocolate regularly can give you thicker, more hydrated skin – which is great news if you’re interested in anti-ageing because thin, dehydrated skin is more prone to signs of ageing.
An amazing all-rounder for skin, you might just want to start sipping green tea on a daily basis. Its ingredient, EGCG, can limit the production of androgens – hormones that can increase your sebum production. This makes it perfect for oily skin.
If you have dry, combination, or normal skin, don’t worry – green tea can still offer you plenty of benefits. it can reduce existing sun damage in your skin, which can be a cause of dryness if you’re a reformed sunbed user. It also revives dying skin cells, meaning sufferers of dry, flaky, or ageing skin can rejoice. Green tea also has these benefits when applied topically – win-win!
When it comes to looking after our skin, there’s no doubt that our skincare products reign supreme. Topical ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide can penetrate our skin and make a difference on the surface. The most important thing for clear, plump, youthful skin is the products you apply – so make sure you have your routine nailed. Then, you can look to boost it even further by incorporating these skin-friendly foods into your diet for the best skin of your life.