According to Statista, 49.2 Billion dollars was spent in 2020 on cosmetics, in the US alone. Let that sink in for a moment. Many of us are in pursuit of skin perfection, on a constant hunt for the newest launch promising more actives, more complex formulas and more results, while overlooking simpler actions with potentially greater impact on their skin health. I am not discounting the power of good skincare. Believe me- otherwise I wouldn’t have spent my career in the beauty industry. What I am saying is that skincare is a compliment to much more integral practices.
Let’s keep this simple: if you drink adequate amounts of water daily, you may not need water sprays or water based moisturizers. A simple balm or oil would be sufficient to protect the surface of your skin. But that’s hardly the case for most of us. Moisturizers should be treated as supplements to dehydrated skin (lacking water) but can never replace the need for optimal internal hydration. When you consume water, or any other essential element, such as vitamins and antioxidants, it travels to the vital organs first, leaving the skin as the last destination, receiving the excess, if any. So when your consumption is minimal, you are solely reliant on skincare to do the job which it may or may not do dependent on the formula and its ability to absorb into the skin. So, rule # 1: DRINK UP! Just make sure to opt for either Spring Water or filtered using a high quality reverse osmosis machine. Most of the water running through the pipes is loaded with pharmaceuticals, minerals, rust and other harmful elements that municipalities don’t necessary remove. Check your local water quality by entering your zip code here.
We picked greens, dark leafy one especially, because they are the most nutrient-dense and low on calories. Best options are kale, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts. They are rich in:
- Lutein; a super antioxidant that helps fight free radicals (main cause of aging), and increase skin’s resilience, hydration and elasticity.
- Folate fights free radicals and repairs DNA.
- Vitamin C, essential to building and maintaining healthy amounts of collagen and elastin in the skin.
- Vitamin K is a natural brightener, fights pigmentation and discoloration.
- Vitamin B promotes cellular energy and speeds up cell metabolism, essential to youthful skin.
This barely scratches the surface of what these powerful foods can do for your skin and overall health. But you get the idea…
Vegetables that are orange in color such as winter squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin, are superfoods that cover a huge spectrum of nutrients, most important of which are Vitamin A and Beta Carotene, essential to maintaining Collagen and Elastin as well as protecting from damaging UV rays. This is, of course, in addition to supporting a number of functions, reducing the risk of cancer, stroke and macular degeneration. But let’s just stay on skincare benefits, shall we?
Let’s put it this way: Where there is no Vitamin C, there is no collagen. So, in addition to consuming citrus fruits (the obvious sources of Vitamin C), add peppers, pineapple, strawberries and kiwis to your diet.
Vegan proteins and Amino Acids
90% of our connective tissues are made up of collagen, which steadily diminishes with age. That results in not only weak bones and ligaments, but sagging and wrinkles. While the vitamins we covered so far work together with Vitamin C to boost collagen production, it is vital to ensure that your Amino Acids, namely proline and lysine intake, is optimal. Find Proline in Asparagus, beans, peanuts, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, buckwheat, soy and watercress. For Lysine, load up on Quinoa, Tofu, Tempeh, and beans.
While a colorful plant-based diet is the most effective way to get your nutrients, let’s keep it real! It is very challenging to get it right in most cases, expensive, time consuming… Not to mention depleted soil and pesticide use, which render produce deficient in nutrients. So supplements are a must and a great way to fill the gaps. Lumity is a great example of a broad spectrum supplement that covers essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, as well as herbs that help regulate your circadian rhythm and reduce the impact of stress on the body.
Try to not destroy your collagen
How - you ask? Avoid the biggest culprits:
- Sugar is destructive to every part of the body, including skin, and by sugar we do not mean just simple white sugar. This includes breads, pastas, white rice, and baked goods. They all turn into sugar in your body through a process called glycation, where sugar binds to collagen fibers, hardens around them and causes them to break. So eat simple carbs in moderation.
- Sun exposure breaks down cellular structures in your skin, damaging Collagen and Elastin.
- Smoking not only destroys lungs, but with every puff, toxins seep into pores causing inflammation and collagen breakdown.
Covid-19 has kept us indoors for the better part of the day, breathing recycled air and facing air conditioners or heaters which dry the air and our skin. We’re also exposed to various chemicals from cleaners and room deodorizers. It is crucial to have a humidifier running around the clock and to substitute artificial fragrances (loaded with neurotoxins), with natural fragrances that are essential oil-based.
Be well. Be safe. Be beautiful!