Keeping Your Skin Fresh and Youthful
"The foods we eat and the foods we don't eat, have a profound effect on the health of our whole body, and especially our skin."
Watch live with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, holistic nutritionist and find out what really works and doesn’t work when it comes to wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.
Dr. Nancy takes a deep dive into what truly delivers for better looking and feeling skin, and what’s just marketing hype!
- 01:47: You don't have to accept premature aging
- 02:43: When it comes to your skin, you are what you eat
- 04:51: How vibrant skin is an "inside job"
- 08:26: The effects of refined sugar on your skin
- 10:15: How much sugar the average American consumes each year
- 14:39: The good news! You can turn it around
- 16:13: The rules for maintaining beautiful, healthy skin
- 16:28: Stay hydrated
- 16:55: Load up on antioxidants
- 18:16: Healthy fats and your skin
- 18:53: Be good to your gut
- 20:39: Tips for keeping these rules
- 20:43: Omega-3 fatty acid sources
- 23:07: Best plant-based antioxidant sources
- 25:55: Why you need selenium
- 26:48: Best food-based probiotic sources
- 28:20: A secret weapon in the fight for healthy skin
- 30:10: Collagen and your skin
- 32:46: Summing it up
Can You Turn Back the Clock When it Comes to Your Skin?
Do you want your skin to look younger and get rid of all those wrinkles? Of course you do! We all want to look more vibrant and feel good in our skin. That's why women and men alike spend a fortune on creams, lotions, and even devices in hopes of turning back the hands of time.
In this 3-part series, we're going to really dig into what works best for better looking and better feeling skin. There's nothing wrong with aging of course. It's completely natural! But there are parts of the aging process that can be accelerated, and you don't have to just accept it... whether that's related to your skin, or aching joints.
Keep reading to learn natural tips for making sure you skin looks and feels fantastic no matter how old you are.
Healthy Skin is an Inside Job
You've probably heard the saying, "you are what you eat", right? When it comes to the health of your skin as you age, that saying could not be more true. People often think skincare is all about external efforts like creams and lotions. But diet plays an important role when it comes to skin and aging.
No matter how much lotion you put on your face, if you're regularly eating fast food, processed food, and other unhealthy things, you'll look older than you should. Perhaps more than any other part of your body, your skin—the largest organ in your body—serves as a window into exactly what is going on inside your body.
Today, you'll learn the absolute worst foods for the health of your skin, and one food in particular that is directly responsible for causing inflammation and rapid premature aging for millions of people. We'll also share our favorite, healthy, natural foods that you need to incorporate into your lifestyle to keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy while minimizing the harmful effects of inflammation that age your skin.
It's been said by dermatologists and nutritionists alike that healthy, vibrant skin is an "inside job". Your skin is a direct reflection of the health of your internal organs: especially your liver and digestive system. Your liver works nonstop to remove toxins from your blood and organs, including your skin. As part of the process, these toxins are eliminated through your skin. As toxins are filtered through your skin, inflammation can cause a number of problems including:
Over time, this consistent inflammation and continual release of toxins will cause our skin to age at a much faster rate than it should. Fine lines start to develop, and you might even begin to notice crow's feet and laugh lines starting to show. The gradual and sometimes even rapid loss of collagen starts to cause sagging and lack of elasticity in your cheeks. This is where what you eat comes into play. Everything you consume will either help or harm your skin.
#1 Food that Causes Premature Aging
Our old inflammatory foe, refined sugar, rears its ugly head! Refined, processed sugar seems to be everywhere! It's even in "healthy" foods, like granola, yogurt, fruit juices, sports drinks, pre-made smoothies and more. The average American consumes 152 pounds of refined sugar every year! That's a full shopping cart of sugar, per person, per year. This means, each person eats about 3 pounds of sugar (more than 6 cups!) every week. Is it any wonder that inflammation is out of control, and that we're experiencing so many different chronic illnesses and aches and pains? Sugar sends inflammation levels in your body through the roof and contributes to an entire host of problems including: obesity, diabetes, heart problems, dental issues, and a compromised immune system. Of course most people already know this about sugar, but haven't made the connection between sugar and our skin.
When it comes to our skin, sugar breaks down collagen, and collagen is the substance that keeps our skin looking plump, youthful, and healthy. Sugar triggers insulin production, which triggers certain protein utilization functions that are bad for your skin. In other words, as sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches itself to collagen during a process known as glycation. This process creates a new substance, known as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGE's). AGEs are very destructive to the protein in your skin. They destroy the elastin and collagen, and this is what leads to wrinkling, loss of firmness, and increased sagging over time.
Consuming sugar also really effects your estrogen and testosterone balance. This tends to enlarge the pores of the skin, giving it an aged, leathery look. It also increases oil production in your face, and hardens blood vessels, making them more visible around your nose and other parts of your face. To make matters worse, it even contributes to dark, visible circles under the eyes.
The good news!
Sugar is awful for your skin, but you really can turn it around. In just 3 - 4 days of not consuming refined sugars, you'll start to see a real difference in the health and appearance of your skin! It will start to look healthier, it will be less oily, dark circles will be reduced, and inflammation levels will decrease significantly.
So now that you know how much sugar consumption affects your skin, you know how to start reversing the damage. But, it's not just what you eat that makes a difference. What you don't eat also impacts your skin health!
Rules for maintaining beautiful, healthy skin.
Hydration is key! Our skin is about 70% water, so keep your daily water intake super high. Carry a water bottle with all times and when you're tempted to drink coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages, reach for water instead. Caffeinated beverages act as diuretics and pull water from your cells, leading to unhealthy looking skin.
Load up on antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which damage your skin. In part 2, we'll go through an antioxidant skin care routine, but today we'll talk about antioxidant foods that will help protect your skin. Keep in mind, that one of nature's best antioxidants, is the free radical fighting compound found in turmeric, called Curcumin.
Healthy fats include things like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax seed, coconut oil, and avocado oil. Use these when cooking and steer clear of industrial and processed oils like vegetable, corn, and canola oils. which all increase inflammation.
Be good to your gut!
Probiotics, which are healthy bacteria for your gut, promote better moisture and absorption, and aid in delaying the signs of aging. Lactic acid found in fermented foods also helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, tightens your pores, and contains exfoliating properties that improve dry and dull skin. Taking a good daily pre and probiotic supplement like Smarter Gut Health, with the top 3 strains of hearty probiotics, will help balance your gut bacteria.
Download a copy of Dr. Nancy's anti-inflammatory diet guide for a shopping guide, lifestyle tips, and a list of foods to eat and foods to avoid to lower your inflammatory load.
Tips for keeping these rules
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s reduce inflammation, which in turn helps prevent skin problems and signs of early aging. Recommended sources of omega-3s include:
- Wild salmon
- Walnuts and almonds
- Chia seeds. Try these as a delicious pudding by soaking them in non-dairy milk overnight and top with fresh fruits and berries, or mix it in smoothies.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Cook with it or try drizzling on salads!
- Flax seed, and flax seed oil. Try grinding flax seeds in a coffee grinder and including in smoothies and salads
Best sources of antioxidants
- Organic blueberries and raspberries. These also help with brain function! Freeze your berries for a delicious snack for you and the kids.
- Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, bok choi, and swiss chard
- Red cabbage
- Beets and carrots
- Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, and grapefruits
- Avocados again!
- Walnuts or brazil nuts. If you've never tried brazil nuts, they are not only super crunchy, satisfying, and delicious, they are also very high a mineral called selenium. Selenium is an essential and highly underrated mineral, that does wonders to fight the effects of free radicals, including free radical damage to your skin. Studies have found again and again that selenium, paired with vitamin E, improves skin health.
- Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
Best food-based probiotic sources
Eat fermented foods consistently for great gut health, such as:
- Kombucha, a fermented tea that is chock full of healthy probiotics. It has naturally occurring sugars but many companies add sugar, so make sure you pay attention to sugar content. 1 serving of kombucha every other day is great, but more than that can throw off the liver enzymes
Okay we've shared a number of foods that keep your skin healthy and fight signs of aging, but we've saved the best for last!
A secret weapon in the battle to fight skin aging
Organic bone broth
If you've never tried bone broth, you don't know what you're missing. You can buy bone broth in a carton at the store, or make it at home. Simply take chicken or turkey bone (or whatever other animal you choose), with meat, and submerge it in a pot of water. Add herbs if you like, like ginger, garlic, and onion, and simmer for 2 - 3 hours. Bone broth includes high natural sources of collagen and is incredibly healthy for you. All you need is 1 cup per day.
Collagen is essential for skin health because it helps your body form elastin, which is responsible for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and maintaining elasticity in your skin. Studies have demonstrated that between 3 and 5 grams of collagen use among women ages 35 - 55 once per day for 8 weeks supports increased elasticity and skin moisture while reducing water loss and skin roughness.
Bone broth is also gentle on the digestive system, delicious, and comforting. For a delicious recipe, try adding swiss chard to your bone broth as it cooks, and then toward the end, poach a few eggs in it for a tasty, complete meal.
Summing it up
The foods we eat and the foods we don't eat, have a profound effect on the health of our whole body, and especially our skin. To keep your skin glowing, remove refined sugars from your diet, stay hydrated with clean water, and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy oils, antioxidants, and probiotics. Also stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 on healthy skin, and remember our mantra: