Whether you are suffering from dry, oily or dull skin, making changes to your diet can help you improve your skin health in the long term
The way our skin looks and feels is often closely tied directly to how we feel in general. Often, the state of our skin can make or break our confidence, determining our mood and acting as a signpost for what’s going on with our wider health. Almost everyone experiences blemishes, spots, blotchiness or other skin-based issues that make them feel self-conscious from time to time. In particular, many people suffer from acne – which impacts 95% of people at least once between the ages of 11 and 30 – or dry skin, which impacts around 30% of the population.
Many factors have a hand in dictating our skin health, from stress and hormones, to skincare routine, but chief among them is diet. When deciding what foods to eat for healthy skin, it’s important to assess what kind of skin you have.
What are the best foods for your skin if it’s dry?
Dry skin can be a signal that you aren’t getting enough of certain nutrients in your diet, including vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as zinc and selenium. Eating a healthy diet that contains sufficient quantities of these nutrients can help to support your skin’s protective layer, locking in moisture and reducing the look and feel of dry skin.
Some of the best foods for dry skin include beef liver and sweet potato, due to their rich levels of vitamin A, as well as sweet red pepper, which is a good source of vitamin C. Meanwhile, cod liver oil and dairy-free milk alternatives like almond milk and oat milk are all good sources of vitamin D.
Even kitchen cupboard staples – like baked beans and yellowfin tuna – can help with dry skin, as the former is a good source of zinc and the latter contains significant levels of selenium.
The best food for oily skin
Oily skin is particularly common in teenagers and young adults, but can affect anyone and can increase your chances of experiencing unwanted skin concerns like acne and clogged pores. But as is the case with dry skin, eating the right foods can help you control oily skin and reduce the risk of issues such as acne, blackheads and congested skin.
One such food is cucumber, which is around 95% water. Hydration is key to skin health, as excess oil can often be a symptom of dehydrated skin. As such, coconut water is also beneficial when it comes to improving the look and feel of your skin.
Fruits and vegetables like lemons, bananas and broccoli are also good for oily skin, as they contain many of the nutrients needed to combat the problem. These include vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium.
Seaweed is also beneficial for your skin health. As a superfood that has grown massively in popularity for its numerous health benefits over recent years, seaweed helps to regulate oil production and tackle redness in sensitive skin. It’s also rich in vitamin E, which is great for hydrating the skin and tackling excess oil.
By introducing seaweed into your daily diet, you can improve the look and feel of your skin in the long term, as well as supporting your overall health and wellbeing.
The relationship between skin and the immune system
How does skin help the immune system? What role does skin play in the immune system? These are the kinds of questions we need to ask to determine the wider role our skin has in our overall health.
The state of your skin is a strong indicator of how your immune system is faring. This is because the skin contains an intricate network of immune cells, which are crucial for staving off illnesses and keeping you healthy. Like any other organ, when there’s something wrong with your skin, it can have a domino effect on the rest of your wellbeing.
By making changes to your diet to support your skin, you’re also effectively improving your overall health and immune system, by introducing key vitamins and nutrients into your eating habits.