A flawless, healthy, beautiful skin is a dream for many of us. But besides moisturizing, peeling, exfoliating and using sunscreen regularly we tend to forget about one thing. And that is: what we feed our skin from the inside…
Of course we do, since it is more intricate, it requires much more determination and attention. It’s easier to buy a fantastic non-toxic cream (which is actually also very important!) and wait for the miracle. But unfortunately this might not be enough. For a long time I fell into the mistake of waiting for the solution from outside. But I had to come to the conclusion that that by itself will not solve the problem (namely my acne). So I began to read about the functioning of the skin, the relationship between digestion and skin issues, hormonal processes and I have realized that the saying “everything is related to everything else” is actually true even if it can not be always scientifically proved.
Your mental and physical health, nutrition, the environmental factors (smog, dust, sun exposure, cosmetics) and your genes altogether determine the actual state of your skin. It’s great if you pay attention to what you put on your skin, you know what INCI is and you’re looking at it thoroughly before spending a penny on anything. But you should also pay more attention to what you put into your body (what you eat / drink) and what kind of supplements and vitamins you are taking.
I also think that no drastic diet is needed. You do not have to be vegetarian, macrobiotic or paleo. In most cases you only need a special diet if you have certain food allergies (eg. gluten, lactose intolerance) but again, it completely depends on you, your body. Everyone’s body is different. I only know what helped me, but I hope that if you read my tips and try to observe them, you will also have an overall better, cleaner, brighter skin.
1. Stay away from sugar
Okay, I know this is a big deal to start with. I’m not telling you that from tomorrow you should not eat a grain of sugar, but you can slowly start to eliminate it from your diet. First, just put a little less sugar in your coffee and choose brown instead of white bread. As a dessert eat a coffeespoon of honey and some walnuts or almonds (witch are btw packed with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids) instead of a sugary muffin. One or two tiny pieces of black chocolate (min. 70%) can do the trick as well. It is important to satisfy your sweet tooth and not feel like you are missing out on something, because it will not work on the long run.
The sweet taste is essential for our soul, I can relate to this 100%, but there are healthy alternatives as well to prevent the aging and acne-causing sugar overdose. (I will explain this in a separate post, because it is very interesting how sugar affects our health and hence the skin.)
2. Have more fruits and vegetables
Yes, this is what we hear all the time and it’s boring like hell. And not only is it boring but also pretty difficult to accomplish. Because honestly, in wintertime, in Hungary, who can make the banana-mandarin-orange-apple repertoire more appealing by not spending a fortune on fruit procurement? You tell me? Even for my three-year-old I do not know what kind of fruit to give, which he will not throw very far in one second, because he is already quite browned off.
That’s when juicing comes in handy, which is a super-invention in my opinion. You just need a juicer, you put all kinds of vegetables and fruits in it and then you just mop up your daily vitamin dose in under one minute. How cool is that? Ok, I admit the process sucks and it is messy, but once you start, you can make a higher dose that you can put in the fridge for 2-3 days. My favourite combination is beetroot-carrot-apple. Mmm, so good! And I truly experience a huge, huge difference in my skin in every aspect if I drink it: it’s glowing, it’s brighter, less pimples and it just looks overall healthier.
Ok, so here are the fruits and vegetables that are best loved by the skin: berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.), pomegranates, papaya, lemon, kiwi, banana, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, beets and carrots.
Otherwise, if you don’t mind spending money, you can also buy fresh juices as well.
3. Quit dairy
Cow’s milk on the first place. Okay, no sugar, no dairy, it is pretty drastic, I know. But if I say that this helped me permanently get rid of my terrible cystic acne, plus I do not remember when I felt bloated the last time, then I think it’s worth a try. Cow milk is full of hormones you do not need, and lactose can not be digested properly by the adults. If you can not give up on it them try lactose-free at least (it might already helps). For a long time my fiance was just pulling my leg about me not drinking milk, but after he started to buy lactose-free milk as well, because he said he felt weird after drinking normal milk.
There are so many plant based alternatives out there that are delicious: rice, oat, soy, coconut, almond milk, etc. It is worth trying a couple of them to see which one you like the most. Of course, if you feel like you have no trouble with digesting dairy products whatsoever (you are not allergic to milk protein or lactose either), you can sure drink it within bounds. I just encourage you to pay attention to the signs of your body, and nurish it with things that it likes.
4. Say no to processed food
This includes pastries, ready meals (except frozen vegetables, fruits – they are more than fine), cold cuts (salami, Hungarian „párizsi”, canned liver pate, etc.), canned food, ready-to-use sauces, dressings, preserved pastries. And of course McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast foods. The last thing your body needs is junk food, and this applies to everyone. If you would like to put some kind of meat in your sandwich, you can choose a ham that contains at least 90% actual meat. There are also very delicious bio pates as well (for example in Dm), but you can also make some homemade egg, avocado or aubergine cream. They are fast, easy to prepare and are full of vitamins.
5. It does matter what you drink
Forget about soft drinks (carbonated and non-carbonated), flavored mineral waters, energy drinks and stuff like that. It is terrible how much energy drink Hungarians are drinking, aweful. It freaks me out. You should only drink water (mineral or tap water, depending on where you live), herbal teas and cold pressed fruit- and vegetable juices (as mentioned above, section 2). Water can be very boring, I agree, so what I do is that I throw in a few slices of lemon, cucumber, fruits and some lemon juice, or a tiny bit of 100% fruit juice. The point is to drink at least 2 liters of liquid per day – and I’m just saying this cause we don’t hear it enough. Haha.
About coffee. I do not say that you should not drink it. I think there is no problem with having 1-2 cups a day if you don’t have any issues with it. I drink it as well, and I could not give it up. But for God’s sake stay away from those 3 in 1 instant coffees and sweetened instant powders! They are the worst. Instead, cook some ground coffee, it takes literally 3 minutes and tastes much better (can not even compare). Coffee is full of antioxidants, so in moderation, if you drink heaps of water with it as well, you have nothing to be afraid of. However, if you are struggling with serious acne, quitting coffee may help. Try it out and see if your symptoms disappear if you’re trying to keep yourself awake with green tea instead.
Alcohol. Do you want to have beautiful, glowing, wrinkle-free skin? Then forget about drinking. Alcohol causes dry, dull skin and horrible wrinkles. Alright, you do not have to be a teetotaler either, occasionally you can have 1-2 glasses of high quality wine. Preferably red. That’s completely fine, but that’s all. (Please.)
Have a beautiful skin and an amazing day!
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