How to feed your skin
Your skin is a complex organ that requires a great deal of nutrients to function at optimum levels. Unfortunately, too many of us often neglect our nutritional needs and instead opt for convenience over quality, choosing microwavable meals, processed snacks and sugar treats to help sustain our energy levels during the day.
As a result, your skin is left crying out for nourishment and other areas of your body suffer, such as your liver and digestive system, which can have a knock-on effect on your skin, especially if it’s already predisposed to being oily. However, I won’t harp on about what you shouldn’t eat (you can read more about that on our diet page) and instead I’ll focus on what you can eat.
1 – Grapefruit
A citrus fruit with a very distinctive flavour, grapefruit might not be to everyone’s taste but it definitely packs a punch when it comes to fighting oily skin. Incredibly rich in vitamin C as well as being loaded with antioxidants, it can help to support your production of collagen and even increase your skin’s natural pH balance, warding off acne.
You can eat this fruit or even apply it to your skin to help guard against free-radical damage. It’s naturally astringent so it can help to absorb excess oil, not to mention its high water content can help to keep your skin hydrated and protected from external pathogens.
My favourite way to eat grapefruit
Avocado & Grapefruit Salad
I personally like eating grapefruit as part of a salad and this recipe definitely ticks all of my boxes. Not only does it include avocado (more on them later!) it also incorporates spinach, another leafy green that’s bursting with skin-boosting vitamin C. Perfect as a light lunch or side dish, it’s simple, easy and very effective!
2 – Bananas
Famous for their high levels of potassium and dietary fibre, bananas are one of the nation’s most popular fruits and for good reason. They’re delicious, versatile and full of goodness being packed with antioxidants, vitamins like vitamin E, C & A as well as lectin and zinc.
They’re a popular addition to most oily skin face masks, but eating them can also help to protect your skin from oxidative stress and premature ageing, keeping away the bacteria that can cause pimples and helping to regulate your production of sebum oil.
My favourite way to eat bananas
Cashew & Banana Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to kick-start your day and this smoothie is definitely bursting with benefits for your skin. Not only does it contain bananas, it’s also got a good quantity of oats in it too, keeping your digestive system ticking over which in turn results in happier, healthier skin.
3 – Kale
Low in calories but dense in nutrients, the skin boosting properties of kale are starter to garner wider attention, with many beauty products now containing extracts of the leafy green vegetable. It’s definitely earning its reputation though thanks to its content of vitamin C, vitamin A and copper.
Great for promoting healthy cell growth, reducing inflammation and protecting against free-radical damage, just one cup of kale provides up to 48% of your vitamin A intake, which is very important, especially if you have oily skin, as low levels of vitamin A can impact your production of sebum oil for the worse.
My favourite way to eat kale
Broccoli, Kale & Sweet Potato Soup with Fitness Mix Sprouts
This comforting soup is one that definitely warms me up when the weather starts cooling down. It’s soothing, delicious and crammed with minerals like magnesium as well as vitamins and antioxidants. Topped with bioSnacky’s crunchy sprouts, it’s definitely rich in flavour as well as nutrients!
4 – Walnuts
A great snacking option, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help to strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, keeping out toxins and pathogens.
These healthy fats can even reduce inflammation, decreasing your chances of developing spots and pimples! Brilliant if you suffer from spot-prone oily skin, walnuts also contain dietary fibre which can help to support your digestive system and remove parasites.
My favourite way to eat walnuts
A great, satisfying dinner, this recipe works well if you use wholemeal tagliatelle rather than refined white pasta. Full of vitamins and minerals, and topped with crunchy walnuts, you won’t lack for nutrients and it’s a must-try if you’re fond of pasta dishes!
5 – Cucumber
If you’ve read my blog ‘7 home remedies for oily skin’ you probably aren’t surprised to find that this salad staple has made its way on to this list too. As I discussed there, cucumbers are incredibly hydrating and contain vitamins A & E, helping to keep your skin smooth and protected from free-radical damage.
It’s easy to increase your intake of cucumbers – you can add them to everything from salads to sandwiches or even to flavour your water!
My favourite way to eat cucumber
Cucumber & Avocado Smoothie
A nutrient-packed super smoothie, this is an excellent option if you’re looking to start your day with a greener twist. Containing celery, apple and avocado in addition to cucumber, it’s a valuable source of healthy fats as well as skin-boosting vitamins and minerals.
6 – Pineapples
Pineapple juice is often recommended for acne sufferers and for good reason. It’s brimming with vitamin C as well as bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Since oily skin can sometimes lead to acne, some people do advise applying pineapple juice topically, but you can also take it internally too!
Pineapples also contain alpha-hydroxy acids which are very useful for premature ageing, as well as preventing pimples!
My favourite way to eat pineapples
Pineapple Ice Lollies
A refreshing summertime treat these pineapple ice lollies are perfect if you’re looking to cool down. Prepared using a handful of ingredients, including pineapples and dairy-free milk, they’re quick and simple to whip up with no extra fuss!
7 – Lentils
Lentils are packed full of protein and fibre so they’re amazing when it comes to supporting your digestive system, which in turn can benefit your skin. Some have even taken to using lentils in their face packs to help remove acne marks and to brighten their dull skin.
Lentils are also low on the GI index meaning you won’t experience a drastic spike in your blood sugar levels that may trigger your sebaceous glands into releasing more oil. They also contain zinc which can regulate your production of sebum oil and help your skin to repair and renew itself!
My favourite way to eat lentils
Lentil Ragu with Zucchini Noodles
A satisfying and rich ragu that’s full of protein and fibre without being too heavy, this is a favourite with my vegan friends and contains garlic, tomatoes and onion in addition to lentils and zucchinis.
8 – Avocados
Avocados are definitely trending at the moment as a healthy source of fats, vitamin E and omega oils. While you’re generally better applying them topically to your skin, eating avocados can still help you to reap the nutrients that you need.
For example, avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas and are full of fibre. Their content of healthy fat also helps you to absorb nutrients from other foods, giving your skin more of what it needs to remain strong and healthy.
My favourite way to eat avocados
Chocolate Avocado & Banana Pudding
A great option if you’re craving a chocolaty fix, this avocado & banana pudding is bursting with dietary fibre, potassium and other antioxidants!
9 – Oats
Oats are an excellent complex carbohydrate that’s chockfull of fibre and protein. Just half a cup provides 20% of your daily allowance of zinc and 24% of copper. They contain beta-glucan which can help to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut plus they’re rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and can help to lower your blood sugar levels, preventing an insulin spike that may increase your production of sebum oil.
My favourite way to eat oats
Cacao & Peanut Butter Porridge
A protein packed start to the day this delicious, sweet and chocolaty porridge is full of great ingredients, like cinnamon, almond milk and raw cacao powder. Wonderful for keeping you full throughout the morning and supporting your digestive system.