A healthy youthful glow is what we all aim for as we get older, but unfortunately it gets harder to achieve as the years go by. Some people go to extreme lengths to obtain a line-free, super smooth face but there are plenty of ways that you can improve the quality of your skin without erasing all of the expressions you have earned through life’s many ups and downs.
I prefer to work on the quality and the texture of my skin and I do this through a variety of ways – including numerous beauty treatments (some of which I’ll be looking at in future columns). This month though, I would like to focus on nutrition and share some tips on how you can eat your way to fabulous skin.
I notice a huge difference in both my energy levels and my body depending on what I eat. Sadly we now live in a world obsessed with weight, scales and fad diets and this can have a big impact on the quality and luminosity of our complexion. When we dehydrate, diet or deny our bodies nutritional staples it doesn’t do our skin any favours. Eating well is about focusing on a diet rich in variation – you need to eat good fats that feed your body and keep it healthy and glowing and also consume foods that promote the production of collagen.
Collagen is responsible for the healing process and the plumpness associated with youth, but from around our midthirties our body’s ability to produce this important protein starts to slow down. It’s when we lose the plumpness that the lines, wrinkles and crows feet start to become more noticeable, so it’s a good idea to try to boost the levels of your collagen if possible. I have recently been trialling some amazing new pills from Ingenious Beauty (ingeniousbeauty.co.uk) that encourage collagen production and claim to reduce fine lines by 26 percent. I have been using them for three weeks now and so far so good.
We’re encouraged to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day but I think we can consume much more. Think of your diet and your plate as a rainbow of foods and know that the more hues you incorporate, the better. I eat as many colourful and water-rich foods as possible including pomegranates, cucumber, asparagus, kale, spinach, cauliflower and peppers. All of these are rich in antioxidants and help your skin to prevent or slow down cell damage.
Protein-rich foods are important too as they help to encourage the production of collagen, so make sure you get your fill of eggs, salmon and lean meats. Good fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil are amazing at moisturising the skin from the inside and are actually really good for you and your complexion (in moderation of course).
Also don’t forget the power of water – it energises the cells in our bodies, helps with digestion and flushes out toxins and fats from our systems. I aim for a couple of litres of water a day and when I’m feeling tired I reach for a big glass of H2O to perk me up instead of endless cups of coffee.
Lisa’s skin-boosting salad
Aubergine salad with green beans, tomatoes & chickpeas
Start by cutting one large aubergine in half and then into one inch moon slices. Place them in an oven-proof dish and coat them in some garlic oil or olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice before placing under the grill. Keep an eye on the aubergine and turn them until they start to colour a little. Meanwhile, chop a handful of tomatoes and place into a bowl, add the zest of two lemons and a bunch of chopped parsley.
Blanch a handful of trimmed green beans and then cut into quarters. Add the greens and the cooked aubergines to your bowl of tomatoes. Spread a can of chickpeas onto the baking tray, squeeze some lemon juice and grill for a couple of minutes. Once they’re cooked, add them to your salad and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper and a little cayenne pepper and sprinkle some toasted pine nuts on top.}