Nutrition Solutions for Common Skin & Hair Problems
Nutrition, while rarely thought about when it comes to skin or hair health, is actually a key aspect of solving many issues including acne, aging symptoms, and hair thinning. While there are many effective products and in-office treatments, improving your nutrition will have a positive effect on your overall health, making your beauty treatments more effective.
It’s well known that vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C have benefits for the skin. But did you know that getting those vitamins through dietary means can be just as beneficial as having them topically applied? Even better: there’s no need to invest in expensive supplements if you’re getting them from your food.
Keep reading for tips on what to add to your diet (and what to eliminate) for healthier and better-looking skin and hair.
Everybody is unique and requires adjustments to their diets. Please consult with your primary care provider and nutritionist to ensure you are following an appropriate diet.
Protein is the foundation of both healthy hair and skin. Hair that lacks protein is dry, prone to breaking and appears lifeless. Protein is equally essential for plump, glowing skin. While it’s possible to address your hair via a protein mask or use collagen-containing skin cream on your skin, protein should also be a part of your regular part of your diet.
To increase your daily dose of protein, consume lean, grass-fed red meats, fish, chicken, eggs or tofu.
Collagen is a specific type of protein which gives skin its structure. As we age, collagen production declines, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. Dermal fillers and treatments like microdermabrasion can help boost collagen, but so can a simple change of diet.
Foods that are high in collagen include bone broth, dark and leafy green vegetables, avocados, berries and citrus fruits, plus fish, chicken and eggs.
Not all fat is bad. In fact, Omega-3 fats are essential. This healthy fat prevents hair follicle inflammation and may improve hair thickness and growth. Omega-3 fatty acids regulate oil production in the skin, which helps prevent breakouts and wrinkles.
Omega-3 hair and skin products can be too oily for some. The supplement works just as well if it’s sourced from your diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish like salmon and tuna, avocados, nuts, seeds and brussels sprouts.
Vitamin C boosts immunity to help your body recover from inflammation, infection or damage. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to corkscrew hairs and split ends. Vitamin C also protects skin from oxidative damage and hyperpigmentation.
Serums work wonders on hair and skin, but Vitamin C is easy to get from your diet too. Since your body doesn’t store it long term, a daily source is necessary. You’ll find Vitamin C in berries (especially strawberries), peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
Minerals such as sodium and potassium are valuable electrolytes that help keep hair and skin hydrated. Proper skin hydration prevents bloat and the water retention that leads to puffy circles under the eyes. Hydrated hair is less prone to breakage and more apt to shine. Sodium and potassium work in relationship to regulate the body’s hydration. To function best, the two should be properly balanced.
Salt is the most common source of sodium, while potassium can be found in bananas, avocados, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapefruit. It’s best to get these from your diet versus supplement form, as it’s risky to overdo it.
Foods to Avoid for Healthy Hair and Skin
Dairy can lead to inflammation, and is often a source of hormones that can interfere with healthy skin and hair.
Recent research has established a possible connection between dairy consumption and acne. While dairy isn’t the only cause of blemishes, reducing your consumption can decrease inflammation and improve your skin.
Refined carbohydrates such as white breads and rice, pasta and sugars are inflammatory and potentially irritating to the skin.
A diet rich in processed foods (chips, microwave meals, breakfast cereals, etc.) has been shown to produce hormones that lead to hair thinning and loss.
To see if overconsumption of carbs, dairy, or processed foods is affecting your skin and hair health, simply reduce consumption for 30 days and observe the difference. If you see improvements a change in diet may be a great way to obtain long-term benefits.
Above All Choose Variety
Health on the inside is reflected on the outside. For healthy, youthful and glowing hair and skin, eat a variety of unprocessed whole foods including herbs and spices. Rosemary, cumin, ginger, garlic, turmeric and cardamom each offer a boost to overall health.
Clean eating, choosing fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, and protein over processed foods and dairy, is not a total replacement for professional products or treatments. But sound nutrition plays a bigger role in one’s health and appearance than most people realize.