Every year women all over the UK spend hundreds of pounds on skincare products hoping that they’ll miraculously solve their problems. They buy moisturisers to keep their dry skin moist, they spend money on cleansers hoping they’ll help with oily skin but they completely ignore the first step to healthy skin: diet.
Have you ever heard the saying: “You are what you eat”? Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you but this couldn’t be more true when it comes to your skin. A few months ago I explained that a woman’s number one enemy is sugar. High consumption of sugar can age the skin considerably (you can read all about it here). And I gave advice on how to choose foods that will help with oily skin (you can also read about it here).
At request today I’m going to talk about sensitive skin. Even though a lot of people are convinced that the cold weather is the major cause to sensitive skin, believe me it’s far from being the only one.
WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?
The technical definition to sensitive skin is: skin that is hyper reactive to its environment. There are several factors that could cause a skin to be sensitive, genetics play a big part in it, as well as age, hormones and stress. When it comes to environmental causes food intolerances, pollution and harsh weather are the enemy to the skin.
When the skin over-reacts to any of the factors mentioned above it may become red, pustules, bumps, flaky, spotty, flushed and inflamed. These side effects can be very uncomfortable leaving it a feeling of itchiness and heated skin.
HOW CAN DIET PREVENT SENSITIVE SKIN?
The first step to getting rid of your sensitive skin is understanding the messages your body sends you. Whenever you have sensitive skin your body is telling you that the inside is out of balance. If you have an unhealthy diet and consume foods with loads of trans fats and carbohydrate you can’t expect to have a glowy looking skin, after all at the end of the day you get out what you put in. With that said, if you change your choices of food and adopt a balanced diet, eating natural food and keep in mind that your body/skin needs certain vitamins to grow healthier and stronger you’ll get better results.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I AVOID?
I’m going rip the Band-Aid and start by saying that sugar is a big NO NO. I have written an entire blog post explaining why eating sugar is so bad for your skin (you can read it in full here) but as far as sensitive skin goes, sugar can cause inflammation on the skin, so stir away from it and avoid it as much as possible.
Processed foods rich in trans fats can cause premature skin ageing and trigger sensitive skin.
Salt is also an enemy. In order to have a healthy and radiant skin you need to keep it moisturized and hydrated as much as possible. Salt is very dehydrating so it doesn’t contribute to your skin’s health. If you do eat high amount of salt occasionally make sure you consume a lot of water to make up for it.
WHAT FOODS SHOULD I EAT?
Even though you might be thinking I’m telling you to stop eating everything you like, there is a huge list of things that you can eat that not only taste good but are extremely healthy and will make not only your skin look and feel good and healthy but your entire body.
Let’s start by listing the properties you should be looking for in a food before consuming it: Omega 3 fatty-acids, Slenium, Vitamins A,B, C and E. These properties will help the skin restore its natural barrier, keep the cells healthy, repair the skin, help with damage suffered from the sun, reduce inflammation, support the skin and hair, prevent damage from free radicals.
Find below a table with the foods you should be eating separated by vitamin: