Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Part Two

We’ve shared part one of Danielle Heyhoe’s insight into nutrition for healthy skin and hair. Well, our nutritionist and Glasshouse girl is back with the second leg of the series, concluding her guide with all the information you need for a skin-friendly diet. Make sure you check out Danielle’s website for even more of an insight into the world of nutrition…

In the first half of the series, I mainly focused on the in’s and out’s of our skin and the effect our hormones can have on it. Here I continue with diet-specific information and the impact of certain nutrients on our overall wellbeing, but specifically on our skin.

Diet

In a world bloated by packeted food and high-fructose corn syrup, it can be difficult to know how to navigate a low-glycaemic diet that will increase our sensitivity to insulin. The number one question to ask yourself when eating is; does this constitute real food? If you’re eating plenty of vegetables, some fruits, quality meat (if you eat meat), fish, nuts, seeds, quality fats like coconut oil, avocado, coconut cream, and grass-fed butter, then your answer will be yes.

Eat food that is in its most natural form, or which has one degree of separation from its natural form. For example, butter doesn’t directly come out of a cow, but if cream is churned it develops into butter, without anything added or taken away from it. Avoid sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates, such as pastry, pasta, and white breads, still allowing for the occasional treat on the weekend. This way of eating will correct your insulin levels and promote the reversal of Insulin Resistance. This is something I work on directly with my clients; as for some people reversing Insulin Resistance can be a little tricky. Make sure you do this safely.

Nutrients

There are a number of key nutrients to keep in mind when promoting nourished healthy skin.

Zinc helps promote scar healing. It is also a great nutrient for balancing oil on the skin as it supports healthy hormones. When it comes to hair, zinc helps nourish the scalp and supports the integrity and strength of the hair. Zinc deficiency, which isn’t very common, causes hair loss and a dry, flaky scalp. Foods rich in zinc include beef, lamb, poultry, eggs, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, and cacao powder.

Vitamin A is very helpful for treating problem skin. It helps to inhibit over active oil glands and suppress testosterone formation. A diet deficient in vitamin A results in scaly, rough, dry skin. Foods that increase vitamin A in your diet include liver, cod liver oil, grass-fed butter, and eggs. Some vegetable sources include sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, and squash. Make sure you consume vitamin A with quality fats, as it requires fat for absorption.

Vitamin C plays an important structural component in protein collagen, which creates stability in the skin. Increasing vitamin C in the diet is associated with less wrinkling. The best way to do this is through eating plenty of vegetables; dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi fruits, citrus fruits, and capsicums.

Image: Design Files
Image: Amanda O’Brien for Design Files

Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to decrease the presence of acne, whereas omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with skin inflammation and reddened skin. Research shows that our Western diets are far too high in omega-6, which not only causes inflammation of the skin, but internal inflammation, which leads to disease, cancer, and infertility. Omega-3 foods include cold water fish like salmon or mackerel, perhaps even taking a cod liver supplement. On the other hand, to avoid omega-6, avoid industrialised seed oils found in fast food, processed foods, and store-bought sauces.

Biotin promotes proper fatty-acid metabolism. Fats are important for healthy skin as they protect the skin from external damage and water loss. The best sources of biotin rich foods include egg yolks, chard, lettuce, almonds, and walnuts.

Sulfur is important for collagen, which gives strength and structure to the skin. It is the breakdown of collagen that causes wrinkles. A diet rich in sulfur can also slow down the visible signs of aging. It is found in poultry, egg yolks, meat, fish and plant sources like garlic, onions, brussel sprouts, and kale.

Vitamin K2 helps to slow down aging and prevent wrinkling. Vitamin K2 gives your skin that bounce-back ability, supporting the elasticity in the skin. Note that the benefits of vitamin A rely heavily on the presence of vitamin K2 in the diet, so make sure you consume foods containing both these nutrients. The best sources of vitamin K2 include grass-fed meat and butter, liver, and egg yolks. A good plant-based source of vitamin K2 are fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi.

Probiotics are important for healthy looking skin as they improve gut health significantly, and research shows that there is a direct correlation between our microbiota (the bacterial balance in the gut) and acne. You can obtain probiotics from unsweetened yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir. It can also be supplemented.

No matter how many skin products we try, however many chemical peels available to us, nothing will increase the quality and appearance of our skin like a nutrient-dense diet. Nutrition improves every area of our health including our moods and emotions, energy and hormone levels, and especially our glow. Delight in all the delicious colourful plant foods and nourishing natural fats available, and you will reap their benefits of confidence, radiance, and beauty.

Words: Danielle Heyhoe

Cover image: Free People

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Astrology with Daliah: Capricorn

    As we ease into a new decade, we turn to Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, for a closer look at the ambitious, organised and practical Capricorn.

    More +
  2. The Glasshouse Guide to a Conscious Christmas

    From zero waste wrapping to dropping the turkey from your Christmas dinner, here’s the Glasshouse guide to making your festive season more eco-friendly.

    More +
  3. A Sustainable Department Store, Edition No. 2

    Everything you need to know about Edition No. 2 of A Sustainable Department Store, plus some top tips on how you can shop more sustainably this Christmas from our independent makers.

    More +
  4. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Sagittarius

    As we being to approach the final month of the year, we turn to Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, to tell us more about the free-spirited nature that defines Sagittarius.

    More +
  5. Sustainable Sleep Rituals

    ​From ethically sourced loungewear to low waste makeup removal, we speak to some eco-conscious bloggers about all the ways you can practice good sleep hygiene without harming the planet.

    More +
  6. Masterclass: Air-drying Curls

    Winter has definitely arrived and with it brings a shift in the way we care for our hair. On balmier days we welcome air drying our curly hair, but in the depths of winter this is less appealing. With the help of Glasshouse Salon stylist Tori’s expert advise, we’ve got some tips for achieving a frizz-free curly style throughout the colder months.

    More +
  7. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Scorpio

    As our mornings and evenings get darker and the clocks turn back this weekend, we are entering the beginning of Scorpio season and have once again enlisted the help of Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, to tell us all about this illusive and intriguing sign.

    More +
  8. Gender Neutral Prices

    As we launch a new gender neutral price list that makes hair cuts and colour the same for both men and women, we’re take a look at some of the other industries affected by the so called ‘pink tax’ and why many women end up paying more than men for the same products.

    More +
  9. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Libra

    ​Autumn is officially here and with it comes the beginning of Libra season. Balanced, social and often romantic, Daliah Roth of The Highgate Astrologer helps us delve deeper into the qualities of this sign.

    More +
  10. Hair Trend: Slicked Back

    From Molly Goddard to Roland Mouret, we spotted the slicked back look all over the SS20 catwalks. Though the style may seem more high fashion than everyday, hair that’s swept of the face is surprisingly flattering and easy to achieve. With help from our Senior Stylist Mel, we’ve put together some tips on the bold yet sophisticated trend.

    More +
  11. Plastic-Free Periods

    ​As more and more alternative period products become available, we chat to four real women to hear their experiences transitioning from conventional feminine care to more sustainable and healthy options.

    More +
  12. The Glasshouse Guide to Beauty Recycling

    The rules around recycling can be difficult to decipher most of the time, but recycling our beauty products seems to be an even more confusing area. In celebration of Zero Waste Week, we’ve put together the definitive guide to reusing, recycling, and refilling our bathroom waste.

    More +
  13. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Virgo

    As the summer starts winding down, we’re entering into Virgo season. Practical and humble, we find out more about Virgo’s traits as we continue our Astrology series with Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer.

    More +
  14. Beauty Trend: Orange

    Bold and zesty, orange makeup is having a moment this summer. Whether you’re up for experimenting or are a little more reserved, we’ve got some tips on how to wear the shade in a way that suits you with the help of our in-house makeup artist Emily.

    More +
  15. Amber Rowan by Thea Lovstad

    Despite diversity being more visible than ever, we still wrap a lot of our identity up in our hair. Model and actress Amber Rowan has suffered from alopecia from the age of 15, sharing her journey and the stories of others on her platform, Hair Free Life. We spent a morning with Amber and photographer Thea Lovstad, leaving feeling inspired by what she has to say and her unique beauty.

    More +
  16. Reads: Moon Lists by Leigh Patterson

    ​With a focus on reflection and perspective, Moon Lists is a new workbook from Leigh Patterson designed to guide readers through a series of prompts, lists and questions for a life experienced more deeply. We sat down with Leigh to gain some more insight about the concept and how it relates to self-care.

    More +
Load more posts