Healthy-looking skin is something we all strive for, but the long hours of daylight and sweaty, sunny summer weather can wreak havoc with our skin.
Beautiful skin really starts with nourishment from within. Try these 5 smart steps for that glowing summertime complexion…
ONE: Protect your skin from the summer sun
It’s well established that we should protect our skin from those summer UV rays with sunscreen, however, a diet rich in plant nutrients may offer some degree of protection too. Beta-carotene and lycopene are responsible for the characteristic colour of yellow, orange and red fruit and vegetables. Whilst these carotenoids are not a replacement for sun cream, research has shown that an optimal supply within the diet, can provide a degree of photoprotection and ultimately maintenance of skin health and appearance (1). Try: Sun Prime
TWO: Year-round nutrition is key
From central heating in the winter to sun, sea and chlorine in summer, nourishing our skin can help to strengthen its barrier against these varying seasonal challenges. Key nutrients such as zinc play a key role in wound healing, but it also acts as an antioxidant which has protective effects on skin cells against free radical damage such as pollution. Whilst vitamin C is a critical nutrient required for collagen production and if there is one thing that keeps skin looking youthful and supple, it’s collagen! Whilst cysteine is a building block of beta-keratin which is the main protein found in skin, hair and nails. Try: Beauty Boost
THREE: Sleep and skin regeneration
Our skin is one of the first places to show the signs of sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep may result in skin that ages fast and a reduced ability to recover from seasonal stressors such as exposure to UV rays (2,3).
Struggling with sleep? The answer may lie within our gut! It appears that our gut bacteria may modulate stress physiology and sleep. Prebiotic fibre encourages the growth of stress-protective gut bacteria along with their metabolites. In turn, preclinical research has shown that prebiotics may improve restorative deep sleep (NREM sleep) and REM sleep, which promotes recovery from stress (4,5,6). Try: Sleep Rest + Prebio
FOUR: Get the glow with essential fats
It’s often thought that hydration is the only solution to soft, supple and glowing skin, yet few are aware that essential fats called omega 3’s are important for beating that dull complexion. These healthy fats line every cell membrane within the body preventing water loss and keeping the skin hydrated. Omega 3 fats also have anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve the appearance of dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Our body cannot manufacture these fats therefore we need to include them within our diet on a regular basis. Algae oil is unique as it’s a vegan source of omega-3 fat which is on par with those found in oily fish. It’s extremely sustainable as algae is where the oily fish obtain their omega 3’s, better yet it comes with no fishy aftertaste! Try: Brain and Heart Maintain (Vegan Omega 3)
FIVE: Maintain healthy blood sugar
Ice cream, summer cocktails and sweet iced lattes are a delicious refreshing go-to during the summer heat. But an over-reliance on high sugar options throughout the summer days may not be so friendly to our skin. Diet won’t necessarily be the cause of spots and greasy skin, but there is emerging to suggest that the glycemic load of our diet may exacerbate symptoms. The glycemic load is a number that indicates how quickly a food will raise blood sugar levels along with its carbohydrate content. A food with a high glycemic load can raise blood sugar rapidly along with hormones such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). These hormones can increase androgen production (male hormone) and ultimately oil on the skin which is a common trigger for acne. Instead aim to keep blood sugar stable with fibre-rich slow-release carbohydrates, whilst combing with some protein and healthy fats.