If oily skin is proving hard to tame it might be time to reconsider your diet. Much of the health of our skin is thought to come from the inside, so, as much as health care products and more natural cosmetics can help, diet and lifestyle is an important part of achieving that glowing complexion. Oily skin can be frustrating but, with some of my top diet tips, you could help to keep your skin properly hydrated and grease free.
No matter what skin type you have, from oily to dry to ageing, certain components of your daily diet should always be present and correct. Some of these include the following:
- Plenty of H20 – Regardless of your skin type, I can guarantee you’ll see quite surprising results with some simple H20 treatment. Dehydration is so detrimental to skin, yet so many people are in this state without even realising! Drink at least 1.5l of water daily, and this doesn’t include any other liquids, including tea or coffee! Many people assume they drink lots of water, when in fact they are drinking lots of caffeine. Caffeine acts as a diuretic which will only contribute to you losing more water in the long run
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage by free radicals – just what we need to be doing when trying to achieve some supple skin! The richest sources of vitamin C include fresh fruit and vegetables, so why not up your intake by including more citrus fruits, bell peppers, pineapple and berries in your daily diet.
- Beta-carotene – Another antioxidant which is thought to help protect your skin is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body and a good intake is even thought to help protect skin from damage by the sun! Beta-carotene is found in abundance in yellow, orange and red vegetables
- Vitamin E – Yet another antioxidant, (can you see a pattern here!), vitamin E is particularly important for supporting the structure of our body’s cells. We know our skin cells are particularly sensitive to damage and, of course, are on show for all to see, so stock up on lots of nuts and seeds which are rich in this important mineral, or alternatively add some wheatgerm oil capsules to your daily diet for a vitamin E boost
- Pre- and probiotics – It’s so true that beauty comes from within, but more specifically, from a healthy gut! We are gradually learning more and more about our gut flora, and how the balance of bacteria here can have an influence over other areas of the body. From weight management to glowing skin, supporting your gut could have a number of positive effects. Try introducing more fermented foods into your diet such as sauerkraut, or why not try a good quality probiotic supplement?
Oily skin food musts
Now, certain skin types may benefit from specific foods, so let’s delve in and explore some of my oily skin food favourites:
Beans - Not the kind in sickly sweet tomato sauce, but other beans tick a lot of boxes when it comes to managing oily skin. We know that in many cases wobbly blood sugar can have a knock on effect and, together with other endocrine influences, be the underlying contributing factor when it comes to oily skin. From haricot to cannellini, beans are high in fibre, protein and also have a low glyceamic index which means they are much gentler on your blood sugar responses – but satisfying too!
Porridge oats - Porridge oats have many of the same benefits as beans – they are high in fibre, protein and have a moderate glycaemic index. In comparison to many other questionable breakfast choices out there, they are a great way to start the day and are much gentler on your blood sugar responses.
Oily fish – Contrary to popular belief, oily skin can often mean your skin is dry underneath and is crying out for some moisture! Another common cause is fluctuating hormones, especially in women. So, despite having an oily complexion, good quality omega-3 oils may be the answer. These are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 which have a long list of benefits – from helping with dry skin, to issues such as PMS.
Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds are very gently oestrogenic, so if hormonal imbalance is the problem, they could help put the problem right. They are also high in omega-3 and protein – just perfect for adding into smoothies or snacks to lessen the load of the carb components.
Oily skin food don’ts
As well as some food favourites, there are also some foods and drinks best avoided if you suffer from oily skin:
Refined sugar – Sugar is a no-no if your complexion is oily. Sugar prompts the release of insulin which can upset the balance of our sex hormones. Greasy skin and spots are often more of an issue for women at certain times of the month as a result of fluctuating hormones. So avoid sugar and refined carbs and stick to complex carbs and more savoury options instead.
Dairy products – Dairy products, especially milk, are thought to influence hormones in our body which could have a negative impact on your skin. By switching to dairy-free alternatives you could see a marked improvement in the oily look of skin
Alcohol – We know that alcohol is pro-inflammatory in the body and can also affect blood sugar levels. Long-term use can upset the balance of bacteria in your gut and congest your liver too – which can easily contribute to toxin overload and dodgy skin outbreaks. So, for more than one reason, alcohol may be one to avoid if you’re plagued by oily skin.
Feed your face too...
As much as diet is important, we want you to feed your skin too! Your skin is super absorbent and will soak up any cosmetics or products that you apply to it. So why not take advantage and try out PHB’s Balancing Facial Wash with Rosemary and Mint? This nourishing wash contains rosemary to cleanse skin of excess oil as well as regulate oil production. The skin refreshing mint has anti-inflammatory properties which help to improve the appearance of skin thus preventing a breakout. This nice balance of natural ingredients helps replenish the delicate balance of oils that we need for our skin to look and feel at its best.