Sun protection is often the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about healthy skin this summer, but what you eat and drink also has a huge impact on your complexion. With vacations and holidays filled with cookouts, your diet can easily become flooded with hamburger buns, heavily-dressed salads, and sugar-loaded cocktails.
Carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol can all wreak havoc on your skin. Foods with a high-glycemic index, such as salad dressing, potato rolls, and desserts made with processed or refined sugars cause inflammation in the body and increase the breakdown of collagen fibers. This process is called glycation. An article on glycation from Skin, Inc. magazine states, “The more sugar you eat, whether processed or natural, the more AGEs [Advanced glycation end products] are produced. When the body is overwhelmed with AGEs, collagen becomes compromised. Effects of the glycation process at the cellular level of the skin’s structure may result in wrinkling, loss of elasticity, stiffness, accelerated aging and compromised barrier function.”
This summer, slow down signs of aging by fueling your body with anti-aging foods and drinks! Here are four eats and drinks to try that promote healthy skin:
- Blueberry smoothie
A low-sugar smoothie is a great way to kickstart your day or give you an afternoon boost. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and are well known for their ability to prevent free radicals in the skin from causing damage. Try this blueberry smoothie and sneak some veggies into your day while you’re at it!
- Oats and dates protein balls
Dates have a ton of health benefits. They are high in antioxidants, fiber, and protein, and have a low-glycemic index. In an article on the benefits of dates, dermatologist Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra says, “They [dates] contain nutrients that enhance the strength of the subcutaneous tissues, which results in softer and smoother skin. …Dates contain pantothenic acid, which improves the skin from within and gives it a radiant glow.” These 5-ingredient protein balls are perfect for whipping up with your kids and storing in the fridge for grab-and-go snacking! Or, bring them with you on a picnic as an alternative to sugary snack bars.
- A low-sugar mocktail
Have you ever noticed that alcohol consumption can cause skin to look dry and dull? Many alcoholic drinks are high in sugar, which causes inflammation in the skin. “Alcohol is a toxin with little nutrient value and can contribute to poorer liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, cell damage and insulin issues all impacting on the quality, appearance, and aging of your skin,” said Sonya Dakar, celebrity esthetician and founder/CEO of Sonya Dakar Skin Care and Skin Clinic in an article on the impact of alcohol on the skin.
Act in favor of healthy skin by choosing a low-sugar mocktail come happy hour! This guide to healthy mocktails suggests using kombucha, green juice, or sparkling water as a base, and adding garnishes such as berries, fresh herbs, and ginger. Or, make those garnishes the main event by stirring up a Blackberry Ginger Mint mocktail!
- Grilled salmon with lemon and dill
The next time you’re itching to use the grill, pass on burgers and hot dogs in favor of heart (and skin!) healthy salmon. Served over greens, this lemon-dill salmon might be your new summer go-to recipe. Salmon is a lean protein known for its omega-3 fatty acids, which aids cardiovascular and brain health and lowers inflammation. It also contains selenium, B vitamins, and an antioxidant called astaxanthin. A study on cosmetic benefits of astaxanthin found that it can “help to smooth wrinkles, make age spots smaller, and help maintain skin moisture.”
If you want to go a step beyond changing your diet to embrace healthy skin, check out our services! A chemical peel removes dead skin cells and leaves you with a glowing, youthful look, and we have many peel options to choose from. If you’re ready to see your fine lines and wrinkles fade, consider micro-needling, a great alternative to Botox.
We have several services that can help your skin look youthful! Come in for a free consultation to see what is best for your desired results. We look forward to partnering with you on embracing healthy skin this summer!