At Bella Spa we’re big on skincare. We love high-tech treatments and know the importance of scientifically-backed ingredients, but great skin isn’t just about what you can see on the outside, a skin friendly diet can improve the tone and texture of your complexion. Here’s our guide to good skin nutrition.
By Hayley Fox
Mop up free-radicals Cooked tomatoes contain lycopene, a potent antioxidant that can help prevent free-radical damage. So cooking up a tomato sauce or soup, using tomato paste or taking a supplement with lycopene could help to protect against UV damage and slow down skin ageing. Pomegranate lives up to its super food status because it contains polyphenols, which also play a role in skin protection.
UV damage is the primary cause of premature ageing and antioxidants will help to slow down the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Flavenols, which happily are found in dark chocolate, are another skin protector but don’t forget the best form of defense against UV damage is applying a daily sun block such as Jan Marini Daily Face Protectant SPF30.
Essential fatty acids Omega-3 contains the essential fatty acids that are important to cell membrane function and help cells to hold on to moisture, which in turn plumps out fine lines and wrinkles. They also calm redness and are thought to help people with skin that is easily irritated. Walnuts and flaxseeds are particularly high in omega-3 so adding these to your morning muesli is an easy way to boost levels. Oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring and trout contain excellent levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Dry skin solutions Anyone prone to dry skin should think about snacking on almonds and sunflower seeds. These little beauties are high in vitamin E, which is another powerful antioxidant and also helps skin to retain its natural moisture.
Help for acne sufferers Zinc deficiency has been linked to acne and the highest levels are found in yogurt, shellfish and tofu. Some acne sufferers find their skin improves when they increase their zinc intake and a good topical skin care regime will also help.
Boost collagen levels Key to minimising fine lines is maintaining the production of collagen and vitamin C plays a vital role both in topical skincare and from within. Citrus fruits, sweet potatoes and kiwi fruit are great sources of vitamin C, which also helps immune function.
Hormone changes More mature women, who are experiencing hormone changes, will benefit from boosting their dropping oestrogen levels by incorporating soy-based foods into their diet. Soy contains phyto-estrogens, which mimic the action of oestrogen in the body and play a role in collagen production. Loss of firmness is a common complaint in the over-40’s and this is in part due decreasing collagen levels so it makes sense to up your protein intake as well.
Reduce DNA damage Popeye’s ever-youthful partner, Olive may have been on to something with a diet bursting with spinach. The greens are rich in folates, which helps to protect and repair DNA damage. Our DNA is damaged through environmental factors such as pollution, UV rays and smoking, the body needs folates to repair and synthesize these molecules so eating up your greens could go some way to keep cells healthy. Lentils and beans are also a good source of folates.
Say no to sugar Drinking plenty of water helps to keep skin hydrated from within and of course drinking green tea has the added benefit of antioxidants. Avoid sugary beverages such as fruit juice or fizzy drinks, in fact; ditch the sugar as much as you can. Once in the body’s system sugar sets off a reaction called glycation. The byproduct of this is protein and connective tissue damage and free-radical radical attack. So what does this mean for skin? It loses its natural bounce and elasticity and leads to wrinkles, sagginess and loss of radiance.
For more skin care advice book a consultation at Bella Spa by calling 01481 235417