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WHAT’S THE SKINNY ON THE HEALTHY SKIN DIET?
We have all heard the old adage, you are what you eat, and this is especially true when it comes to skin.
That’s both the premise and the promise of the 8-Week Healthy Skin Diet, a new book written by Karen Fischer.
“Your skin is made from the foods you eat, so if it’s letting you down, a simple diet make-over can make you feel a whole lot better about yourself,” she says.
Beauty in the Bag was intrigued and sat down with Fischer, who is based in Australia, to get the scoop on the foods that we should and shouldn’t be eating if we want to improve the look and feel of our skin.
BITB: What is the healthy skin diet?
KF: The 8-Week Healthy Skin Diet is a program for creating beautiful skin that includes both menus and skincare advice. Because severe skin conditions have vastly different dietary needs, there are unique programs for eczema, acne, cellulite, psoriasis, rosacea, and more.
BITB: What is the best thing I can eat for my skin if I have adult acne?
KF: Dark leafy greens such as watercress and spinach have a strong alkalizing effect, which improves blood flow to the skin and boosts liver detoxification of hormones. Dark green plant foods also supply antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
BITB: What is the best thing to avoid?
KF:If you have breakouts, reduce the amount and types of fats and oils in your diet, including fried foods, cooking oils, and saturated fats from red meat. Something as innocent as nuts, thanks to the rich content of omega-6 oils, can trigger a breakout if you are prone to them.
BITB: What is the biggest myth about food and healthy skin?
KF: Hormones are blamed for conditions such as acne and as a result, dietary changes are admonished by some health care professionals— people often hear: ‘Your diet is not the problem.’ It’s true that hormones are involved in the appearance of pimples, especially during the teenage years. However, population studies show that teenagers from native regions who have no access to junk food, do not suffer from acne. When these communities later adopted are more western style of diet, the researchers noted some of the children developed pimples.
Your diet modulates prostaglandin production, which are hormone-like substances that tell your hormones what to do and they influence sebum production in the skin. So when you change your diet, you alter how your body processes your hormones, and the first thing you’ll notice is a change in the oil production on the surface of your skin. It can be quite dramatic!
BITB: Biggest mistake most of us make?
KF: The biggest mistake you can make is to eat a diet that starves the skin of collagen-promoting nutrients—which most people do and the result is premature wrinkles and sagging skin. Collagen-boosting nutrients include vitamin C, copper, and zinc.
BITB: When do you call in the big guns such as lasers or injectables?
KF: Any time you like. Just don’t forget to feed your skin daily with nutrients for reducing the risk of skin cancer such as lycopene from tomato and papaya, and nutrients for boosting collagen formation.