If you still want your skin to glow when you hit midlife, diet definitely plays a role.
The easiest way to maintain healthy skin is to drinks lots of water, which keeps you and your skin well hydrated, or “dewy,” as skin care expert Marie Delcioppo refers to it.
Experts on skin care also note that vitamin C will keep your skin smooth by providing collagen, a natural antioxidant that maintains strengthens blood vessels and gives skin its elasticity. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, as are dark, leafy vegetables like spinach. Bell peppers are, too.
In addition, drink green tea. “Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer [as a result of green tea consumption],” Delcioppo says in a blog by women’s health coach Louise Armstrong. “Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage.”
Other foods — such as pomegranates, sweet potatoes, carrots, berries, dark chocolate, red wine, Greek yogurt, walnuts, almond milk, and healthy fats — have compounds in them that protect your skin in different ways, according to Armstrong, a women’s transformation coach living in Dubai.
She also recommends eating foods containing probiotics.
“Probiotics have been shown to help clear up skin, calm inflammation, and decrease skin sensitivity and redness,” Armstrong says. “By altering the permeability of intestinal walls and acting as a sealed barrier, they (block from the bloodstream) certain molecules that may lead to inflammation, acne and rosacea.”
Science is just beginning to understand just how diet can affect the skin’s health, says Susan C. Taylor, MD, a pioneering Philadelphia cosmetic dermatologist. She adds that some studies have found, though, that foods can sometimes worsen common skin conditions and cause allergic reactions that affect the skin.
“The foods recommended by the USDA as part of a healthy diet contain valuable vitamins and minerals that have proven health benefits for our bodies,” said Taylor. “Research has shown that the antioxidants in vitamins C and E can protect the skin from sun damage and help reduce damage in skin cells caused by harmful free radicals, which contribute to aging skin.”
She adds that B vitamin biotin forms “the basis” of skin, hair and nail cells, while vitamin A maintains and repairs skin tissue.
You should also cut down on sugar – for your skin health and general health.
"Sugar is poison for the skin," says Frank Lipman, MD, director of Eleven Wellness Center in New York City.
He says sugar binds in your bloodstream with proteins to form end products called AGEs.
Those "stimulate enzymes in the skin that start chomping up collagen and elastic tissue," adds Alan Dattner, a holistic dermatologist in New York City.
April 22, 2016
Janet O’Dell, RN