Best Choices for Skin Health
As we age, our skin naturally undergoes wear and tear, but there are many ways we can help protect our skin from damage. However, there are some things that you can do to help prevent premature skin ageing.
What purpose does skin serve?
- Helps protect the body from the environment
- Regulates temperature
- Helps fight off infection
- Provides the sense of touch
There are no specific foods that will stop the ageing process. A healthy, balanced diet will ensure that you have all the nutrients you need for skin health and in particular, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and B that have a key role to play. Examples of foods rich in these vitamins include:
Nuts and seeds
|Cheese||Eggs||Oily fish||Milk and yoghurt||
Red, yellow and orange coloured fruit and veg
|Oranges||Red and green peppers||Strawberries||Blackcurrants||
Meat – Poultry and fish
Green leafy vegetables
It is more beneficial to source these foods naturally rather than to take supplements unless a healthcare professional has advised otherwise. This is because taking too much or for too long could be harmful. Foods also naturally provide other beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants.
Adequate hydration helps to keep the skin more elastic. Dehydrated skin is more likely to develop wrinkles. Aim for at least 1.6 – 2 litres of fluid a day, which is around 6-8 glasses a day in the UK climate – more during the summer months or when partaking in exercise. Water is the best choice. Aim to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and calories.
If you drink alcohol, keep within the limits – 14 units per week for both men and women. This should be spread evenly throughout the week with at least two consecutive alcohol-free days each week. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause the skin to dehydrate, making it look older and tired.
The following tips below are also important factors in skin health.
Smoking is strongly linked to ageing of the skin, it literally causes wrinkles and makes the skin look old by reducing the natural elasticity and speeding up the ageing process.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun is the main cause of skin ageing, it directly damages the skin, but can also cause skin cancer. Protect yourself and never allow your skin to burn. Short daily periods of sun exposure during the summer months (between 11am and 3pm), for 10-15 minutes should be enough for vitamin D production.
Sleep and stress
Too much stress not only contributes to older looking skin but can also disrupt sleeping patterns. Sleep deprivation will make the skin look older and more tired. Physical activity can really help alleviate stress levels and also increase blood flow to the skin giving it a vibrant and healthy glow.
Here are the best foods to eat to clear up problem skin