As someone who has battled with acne on and off since my teens, I know the importance of following a diet that gives you the best hope of a lovely complexion.
Eating for your skin type can support you in creating a soft, beautiful complexion that’ll make you look and feel amazing!
If your skin feels tight and appears dull or flaky, you’re a dry skin type. This most commonly occurs from being exposed to too much cold, winter air, over-washing with harsh products, using certain medications or lacking specific nutrients in the diet. The aim is to restore the skin’s natural moisture levels and teach the skin to retain that moisture through consistent attention and care.
Try eating grass-fed and organic beef or chicken liver if your diet preference allows. Pate, anyone? As this contains high amounts of both Vitamins A and D. For meals, go for baked salmon as it is high in both Vitamin D and Omega 3’s with a side of butter and honey glazed carrots for a dose of vitamin A precursors. Or a mixed vegetable curry with lots of turmeric, a powerful antioxidant, or a pesto pasta made with almonds instead of pine nuts for the skin-loving benefits of Vitamin E.
If your skin feels greasy and shiny all over, it’s likely you have an overproducing of sebum. Sebum usually helps protect and moisturise the skin. However, genetic tendencies, stress, humidity and hormonal fluctuations can build up and cause skin problems, often complete with acne breakouts.
The goal with this skin type is to balance out the hormones without reliance on birth control pills or other medication. The sex hormones responsible for skin oiliness are androgens, most abundant in males but occur in lesser amounts in females, such as testosterone.
Flaxseed oil is great to drizzle on salads for its high content of lignans, which may help fix a hormonal imbalance by mimicking the female hormone oestrogen. In contrast, its omega-3 fatty acids help hydrate the skin without making it greasy. Foods with high water content, think cucumbers, celery, watermelon and strawberries, are also great for hydration and may be particularly beneficial for this skin type.
It’s common to have skin that may feel dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the nose, forehead and chin, commonly referred to as the T-zone. Some can tell they have this skin type because of visibly larger pores on their nose than their cheeks or patches of dry, flaky skin on their scalp, otherwise known as dandruff.
With combination skin, you want to balance out the areas of dryness and oiliness and create more consistency throughout. This can be fixed with a nutritious, well-balanced diet. Assess your skin daily, and don’t be afraid to mix and match advice for dry and oily skin diets, depending on what is happening with it. Because carbohydrates can cause inflammation and throw off the delicate balance of combination skin, opt for carbs high in protein, such as brown rice or quinoa.
With this skin type, you are more prone to reactions, such as redness and itching and perhaps even burning or stinging in some areas. It is essentially a breakdown of the skin’s protective barrier and can be caused by the environment, dehydration or an underlying condition, such as contact dermatitis, specific allergies or rosacea.
As with other skin types, incorporate plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and essential fatty acids. However, with sensitive skin, you may also want to take note of the foods to cut out of the diet that may be causing you to react. Common culprits may include gluten, dairy, soy or histamine-forming foods, such as alcohol, fermented foods, bone broth, dried fruits and cured meats. As for drinks, try sipping on green tea or a cup of warm golden milk, turmeric latte.
For all skin types, it’s vital to get lots of antioxidants in your diet, namely Vitamins A, C and E, zinc and selenium. Vitamin D is also highly recommended, as are Omega-3 fatty acids.
Written by Zanna Taeni