For a long time, I thought I believed that “beauty is skin deep.” As I was growing up, I was given many different interpretations of this adage, which I also believed. That is, until I got exposed to the world of cosmetics. It was then that I began believing that beauty came in pretty little bottles sold by a beauty store. It was sometime after; as the years passed by, that my bottle of beauty stopped working as well. So I changed gears and bought some other bottles…supposedly better and definitely more expensive. Slowly, the voice inside my head began telling me that maybe my pretty bottles weren’t working because I wasn’t letting them.
Closer introspection led me to believe that in the pursuit of my external beauty, I completely ignored what went inside my body. A kick start to the day was a latte; breakfast was a sugary donut or a bagel; a soda for when I was thirsty; a burger on the run; fries and many a skipped meal…Hey, I was a busy person and well, it’s not like I was putting on weight like the lady in the next cubicle in my office! So I ignored this voice for sometime longer. But eventually I had to face facts and the fact was that my diet was responsible for my dull-looking skin and lackluster hair. I’m sure fine lines, age spots, pigmentation and wrinkles are just waiting for me around the bend.
I was amazed to see what I found when I started my research on the linking of diet to skin health. Turns out, a balanced diet is not just important but is critical to maintain skin health. According to the American Dietetic Association, a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals not only produces anti-oxidants that give your skin a healthy glow but also reduces the damage caused by free radicals.
In an article on WebMD, I learned about the direct connection between Vitamin A and skin maintenance. With just one helping of eggs, milk, carrot, spinach, and fruits like apples and apricots a day, I could control or even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and combat dry skin. Similarly, Vitamin C found in citrus fruits such as oranges helps in tissue repair and promotes collagen production. And B6 helps control eczema!
Now as it turns out, just focusing on Vitamins and minerals wasn’t enough! To have a healthy, glowing complexion, your diet also needs to be replete with calcium, fiber, carbohydrates, zinc, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, proteins etc. A fiber-rich diet makes sure that your digestion is in great shape, which in turn complements great looking skin. Also, the importance of water and fluids could not be overlooked. In fact, it’s imperative to drink enough water to be able to flush out toxins and stay hydrated.
There are some sacrifices that one needs to make in order to achieve the perfect complexion. But I learnt that sometimes simple substitution works just as well. For example, substituting fish for red meat and nuts for a donut or fries worked wonders not only for my complexion but helps me keep the weighing scales under control too!
After understanding this entire cycle and the direct consequence of what goes into your system truly impacts the health of your skin, I realized that beauty, indeed, is skin deep!
How is your diet affecting your skin? Write in and tell us.