“Many clients don’t fully appreciate the power of healthy eating until they develop a skin condition. After only one month of making healthier food choices, they usually report increased energy levels and improvements in their skin. It is important to note though, that healthy eating is only one part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Getting regular exercise, managing stress levels and getting enough sleep are other factors that are equally as important, and none of them can be isolated as the single magic cure,” he says.
Which foods should we add to our diet to truly benefit skin?
“Foods rich in omega 3 have anti-inflammatory properties and are beneficial for dry skin. Omega-3 fatty acids improve the skin’s barrier, maintain hydration and keeping irritants out. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines. Vegetarians and vegans should source this through avocado, chia seeds, walnuts and flaxseeds,” says Dr Nadira Bhamjee.
Dr Bhamjee believes antioxidants are important for the skin as they protect and limit free radical damage. Free radicals can damage healthy skin cells and cause oxidative stress that results in premature skin ageing.
“Along with blueberries, tomatoes and leafy greens, vitamin C also has antioxidant benefits needed to create collagen and give skin a glow. Food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, broccoli, capsicums, strawberries and papaya. In addition to the application of a good sunscreen topically, there are some nutrients that can help increase sun protection. These are omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin E, beta-carotene and lycopene. Sweet potatoes and carrots are rich in beta-carotene. Tomatoes and watermelon are high in lycopene.”
So the right foods will nourish and protect our skin’s barrier, but what foods should we pass up, for the sake of our skin?
“Sugar and foods with a high glycemic index cause inflammation in the body, which negatively affects the skin. Sugar damages the skin through a process called glycation. Glycation is when sugar in the bloodstream attaches to proteins and forms harmful free radicals. This can result in accelerated aged and sagging skin,” she advises.
Renewal Institute promotes a holistic approach to skincare and health, but what other key things should clients take into account when it comes to their skin besides a healthy diet and exercise routine?
“Lifestyle factors such as stress management, regular and adequate sleep and quiet time are very important in addition a healthy diet, supplementation and regular exercise,” says Dr Lestonn Lawn. “Over and above these lifestyle factors, in-office treatments like injectables, peels, laser treatments and needling can contribute to not only improving the condition of the skin but can also prevent signs of ageing and volume loss.”
Find out more about the Renewal Institute here.