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Can Your Diet Affect Your Skin?

by Toni Olukiran

5min read

The biggest organ in our body is the skin — so how can our diet affect its health?

We’ve all experienced it: the morning after a heavy night, or maybe even a busy day, and your skin looks dull and lifeless. In a mere few hours, you can see the dehydration in your face, making you aware of how your body processes the food and drink that you consume (as well as other lifestyle factors like stress and sleep). 

So how can your diet affect your skin, and what can you eat and drink more of for smoother, clearer skin? Although there is no concrete evidence to suggest that your diet can help with acne, there is lots of evidence that your diet can contribute to your overall skin health, including your complexion, dryness, and puffiness. 

Here are four tips that may help your skin health:

Drink plenty of water

This seems very basic, but drinking enough water is crucial to a healthy, functioning body including your skin. Our skin needs moisture to stay taut and bright. The NHS recommends 6-8 glasses of fluid a day, be that from water, herbal tea, or squash — just as long as you are getting enough water in as unprocessed a way as possible, it can have a real effect on your overall complexion. 

Get enough vitamin E

Vitamin E is great for skin health, as it promotes skin repair and helps with sun damage as well as scarring, meaning it’s extra important for those who have hyperpigmentation. It is an antioxidant that is particularly effective in helping the skin from external damage like air pollution and sun damage. It has moisturising properties and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can be effective if you suffer from puffy skin. Foods like avocado, nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, and leafy, cruciferous vegetables like spinach and broccoli are rich in vitamin E, so try incorporating more of these plants into your diet.

Eat foods rich in zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is important for good skin as it is involved in the process of creating sebum, a substance that keeps the skin hydrated and stops moisture from leaving the skin. Eat foods rich in zinc like nuts and seeds for a balanced production of sebum; if you have dry skin this may help restore balance and keep skin more moisturised. 

Eat the rainbow

Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are key to maintaining good skin health. Eating a colourful range of them will reveal a range of nutritional benefits, with properties that may help you achieve smoother, clearer skin. Fruit like strawberries, blueberries, oranges and more are rich in vitamin c, which is important for producing collagen and maintaining structure for the skin, keeping it supple. Pumpkin, which comes into season during autumn (when our skin starts to look lacklustre due to the colder, drier air) contain beta-carotene, which is important for skin cell development and overall healthy, balanced skin. 

As most, if not all of the minerals and vitamins for good skin health are found in plants, being vegan can be a huge advantage as plants make up the majority of a plant-based diet. This is why one of the first things people report when switching to a plant-based diet is better skin. Eating balanced nutritious meals is key to good overall body health — and clearly the skin is no exception!

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By Toni Olukiran
Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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