If sensitive skin is really becoming a burden, 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. Sensitive skin can be hard to manage but, with some of my top diet tips, you could help to keep your skin properly hydrated, and flare ups to a minimum.
No matter what skin type you have, from sensitive, to oily 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 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
Sensitive skin food musts
Now, certain skin types may benefit from specific foods, so let’s delve in and explore some of my sensible skin food favourites:
Pumpkin seeds – Pumpkins seeds are a rich source of omega-3 and zinc – two nutrients essential for helping to support sensitive skin. Omega-3 is naturally anti-inflammatory and calmative whilst zinc is important for skin healing and the regeneration of new skin cells. Other sources of zinc include seafood and whole grains – you can also up your omega-3 intake with some extra oily fish and walnuts.
Blueberries - Blueberries contain high quantities of vitamin C and quercetin, making them an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine agent. This makes them the perfect option for a healthy, nutrient-packed snack.
Carrots - Carrots are extremely nutritious, they are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, both very important for supporting healthy skin – another top pick!
Fresh herbs and spices – Fresh herbs have a number of health-boosting properties, but one of them is their anti-histamine properties. Histamine is a chemical in the body that can contribute to itchy, red skin. By including delicious herbs and spices such as thyme, fennel, tarragon, turmeric and parsley in your meals, you can help keep histamine to a minimum.
Fresh herbs and spices – Fresh herbs have a number of health-boosting properties, including their anti-histamine properties. Histamine is a chemical in the body that can contribute to itchy, red skin. By including delicious herbs and spices such as thyme, fennel, tarragon, turmeric and parsley in your meals, you can help keep histamine to a minimum.
Sensitive skin food don’ts
As well as some food favourites, there are also some foods and drinks best avoided if you suffer from sensitive skin:
Processed meats – Processed meats are not only pro-inflammatory in the body but, cured meats in particular, are also histamine-producing, so options like chorizo and salami are ones to watch.
Chocolate - Probably not what you want to hear but unfortunately chocolate is also thought to be high in histamine! Watch out for your sugar intake too as sugar is also pro-inflammatory so it’s definitely one to keep to a minimum as much as possible. Try reducing your chocolate intake and see if you notice a difference!
Alcohol – Unsurprisingly, alcohol is pro-inflammatory too and options such as wines, beers and spirits are histamine-producing. Swap for a non-alcoholic tipple instead to help regain your fresh glow.
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 watch out for nasty chemicals making your skin more uncomfortable and why not try out PHB’s Gentle Cleanser with Olive & Plum instead? This gentle cleanser helps to effectively remove impurities, excess oils and makeup but contains soothing ingredients to help cool more sensitive skin types.