We all want to look and feel our most beautiful. There's nothing better than feeling good about yourself. However, not all beautification is external. Sometimes to look and feel our best, we need to work from the inside out to really have a long-lasting impact. And for guidance on that, I turned to noted derm and founder of skin-care line Perricone MD, Dr. Nicholas Perricone. Here's what he told me about foods that boost your beauty routine and eating your way to better skin.
Dealing with blotchiness? Skip the spice.
First thing's first, if you are experiencing blotchiness or redness in your skin, Dr. Perricone suggests avoiding hot/spicy foods, extremely hot and cold temperatures, hot beverages, sun exposure, and alcohol to name a few things to start. Dr. Perricone also suggests that using a topical alpha lipoic acid, like his Alpha Lipoic Acid Advanced Face Firming Activator ($115; sephora.com), might help to decrease the redness.
Inflammation an issue? Go fish.
And if you are suffering from cystic acne...what then? "When our blood sugar and insulin levels rise, whether from a poor diet or from stress, we experience a serious increase in inflammatory chemicals at a cellular level. This causes inflammation like acne to worsen dramatically," he says.
If you are suffering from inflammation, then you might consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. "Cold water fish that is high in omega 3 essential fatty acids act as natural anti-inflammatories and are great for the skin," says Dr. Perricone. When you do your weekly shopping, you should be picking up items like wild salmon, sardines, herring, and anchovies.
Other dietary powerhouses include fresh fruit and vegetables. Try choosing dark green and purple lettuce, not the iceberg variety. Dr. Perricone also suggests avoiding all trans fats, margarine, hydrogenated oils, and starchy/fried foods, as well as foods containing sugar or high fructose corn syrup. He notes that these foods will encourage clogged pores, resulting in new breakouts.
Another thing to keep in mind? Don't forget to eat quality protein with each meal—it helps with cellular repair.
Dreaming of clear skin? Get some sleep.
On top of that, Dr. Perricone also emphasized that getting enough sleep and minimizing stress in your life, is key when it comes to having clear skin. To minimize stress, set aside fifteen or twenty minutes a day for meditation. "It is a well established fact that people who do this have significantly lower cortisol levels. Long-term benefits of this include keeping our skin clear, maintaining a healthy immune system, and preventing age-related disease."
The benefits of eating to minimize inflammation and living to minimize stress will show on your face, but also in your overall health. Two birds, one stone, ya feel me?